Pokémon Go US Beta Begins Today

Features including microtransactions and trainer customization also detailed.

Pokemon Go
The Pokémon Company and Niantic, Inc. have announced that a limited Pokémon Go US beta begins today following testing in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Pokémon Go is still in active development and will be free-to-download when it launches on the App Store and Google Play. In-app purchases in the form of PokéCoins will allow users to purchase additional items and power ups.

More than 100 Pokémon are included in the game and users’ phones will notify them when they approach a Pokémon in the real world. These Pokémon can then be caught using a Poké Ball via your phone’s touch screen.

Poké Balls and other items can be picked up at PokéStops, which are found at locations including monuments, historical markers, and public art installation.

Players will be encouraged to join one of three teams and engage in Gym battles with other teams. Pokémon can be assigned to Gyms after joining a team and, like PokéStops, Gyms are found at real world locations.

Teams will battle for control of Gyms using the Pokémon they’ve caught and reduce the Prestige of a Gym by defeating its defending Pokémon until it hits zero and defending team loses control of the Gym. By successfully defending a captured Gym, players can raise its Prestige and the level of their Pokémon.

The game will also offer Trainer customization options, with clothes and accessories available to make your avatar stand out from the rest.

For more on Pokémon Go, check out our dedicated game tag. This year marks Pokémon’s 20th anniversary.