Pokemon GO: Here’s How Augmented Reality Plus Works | AR+ Guide

The latest update to Pokémon GO adds an improved layer of augmented reality interactivity. Learn all about AR+ here.

Interact with Pokémon as if they were in the real world with AR+, a new feature that makes Pokémon GO a more immersive experience. Now Pokémon appear on your phone as if they were really there.

From huge monsters like Charizard to little Pikachu, you can size-up Pokémon, circle around them, or sneak up close to get an awesome snapshot. Sneaking up behind Pokémon is an amazing and embarrassing experience in equal measure, and here we’re going to explain all the ins-and-outs of AR+ (Augmented Reality Plus) and what exactly it can do for you in Pokémon GO.

AR+ adds more than just a visual component to your Pokémon catching; you’ll also have to contend with retreating Pokémon and the new Expert Handler Bonus. Learn everything you need to know below, trainer!

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How Augmented Reality Plus Works | AR+ Guide

While hunting Pokémon, they’ll now appear on your phone as if they were actually in the real world — Pokémon match their basic shape / size, allowing you to walk around them, sneak toward them, or take pictures of them as they wander their new environment. You’ll actually see Pokémon in the wild, outside of the battle screen.


There are three new basic “features” when it comes to Pokémon in AR+:

  • Pokémon have scale. Snorlax and Onix are massive! You’ll get a better sense of their size than ever before.
  • Pokémon have awareness. If you get too close, you’ll startle the Pokémon and they’ll run away.
    • Tap the nearby bush and a Pokémon may come out, giving you a second chance to catch them.
  • Trainers can earn more rewards with the new Expert Handler Bonus.
    • Get close to a Pokémon before attempting to catch them to earn an Expert Handler Bonus.

The biggest new addition that isn’t just visual is Awareness / the Expert Handler Bonus. A meter will appear above a Pokémon’s head as you approach, showing its awareness. If it fills up, the Pokémon will retreat and you’ll lose your chance to catch the Pokémon. You can catch Pokémon at any range, if you see them, but getting close will give you the Expert Handler Bonus.

When close to a Pokemon, you’ll earn Great and Excellent Throw Bonuses way more often. If you can catch the Pokémon, you’ll get the Expert Handler Bonus and get even more Stardust and XP than before.

Awareness seems to be based on how quickly you approach a Pokémon — rush close to them too quickly, and you’ll scare them away! It’s all about movement. Carefully approach slowly, and you’ll be able to get that Expert Handler Bonus way easier. It’s just, you know, kind of embarrassing to sneak toward invisible objects in public.