You Can Play Pokémon GO On PC, Sort Of

If you’re anything like me, you’re surrounded by people – and an internet – that won’t stop talking and writing and buzzing about new Niantic/Pokémon Company/Nintendo mobile game Pokémon GO [official site]. Perhaps, like me, you’re feeling a little left out because you had resolved to wait for the game’s release in your country rather than using a workaround to get it early. Perhaps you would, however, be willing to install it on your PC – after a laborious process – in order to “play” it there instead.

Perhaps you’re daft.

Or perhaps you’re Alec. He’s written before about playing Android games on his PC, using a piece of software called Bluestacks to run games and apps attached to his Google account (and thus legally bought through Google Play) on his desktop machine.

Of course, you can use the same software to run Pokémon GO – except it won’t really work. GO uses the GPS functionality of your phone along with the camera to embed Pokémon into the real world, encouraging you to go out and explore the world around you in search of Squirtles and Geodudes. It’s quite spirited and lovely. Naturally, these things are anathema to the sedentary life PCs demand.

Thus there are other pieces of software you can use to fake going outside. YouTube user Travis D explains how:

It involves three other pieces of softare: KingRoot, Lucky Patcher and finally Fake GPS to spoof your location.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as installing all of them. You have to do things in a certain order, editing the registry to deactivate certain Bluestacks features, and judging from the list of potential issues, a lot of crossing your fingers.

After which you’ll be able to play Pokémon GO like all your mobile phone-having, go-outsidey, less cool friends.

Thanks, PCGN.


  1. tanith says:

    I WOULD play Pokemon go but apparently it is not available in Germany.
    Nevertheless I took a quick peek at the google store page and the amount of permissions this game needs to run put me off completely. No thank you.

    • Velleic says:

      If you want to try the game (when it’s released) try it. Those permissions are not too crazy for this kind of app, and if you have the latest version of Android, you can turn off any of the permissions. Obviously Camera and Location permissions are kind of the core of the app, but the Contacts and similar ones I will probably turn off when I play. If the app really needs those permissions it will ask you to enable them when it needs them.

      • Nick Arthur says:

        I guess now the game is still in testing and many gamers say that it can crash very often. Maybe later time, they will release a better upgrade version in more areas.

  2. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    Sincerely don’t get the love for this game. They’ve turned the most annoying part (actually catching the bastard things) into its own video game? It’s like turning Dark Souls into a jumping platformer.

    • asthasr says:

      So true. There is literally no game here. Judging from the empty landscape of mobile and social gaming, however, that isn’t a big deal to most people…

    • Rizlar says:

      The original creator of Pokemon talks about how he was inspired by catching bugs as a kid. The idea of amazing creatures living everywhere around you, searching for them under leaves and twigs and learning about them is the magic of Pokemon.

      This game seems absolutely in the spirit of the thing, much more so than most Pokemon spinoffs, perhaps even more so than the original games.

      • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

        I see your point, though i respectfully disagree. The spirit of Pokemon (as well as learning about critters, which to me is entirely tertiary) is about friendship, gaining strength in said friendship through facing adversity together, and being the absolute best you can be as an individual. If anything the core games have only driven those further home as time has gone on. This game is just an empty collect em up.

        • Rizlar says:

          Have no idea what Pokemon Go is like, haven’t read up on it or played it so it may well be terrible. But I can understand the appeal.

        • thelastpointer says:

          Interestingly, as someone who never got into Ingress and absolutely loathe Pokémon, I think the best thing in this game would be when you play with other people, either with random strangers, or, you know… friends.

        • yogibbear says:

          So I was going for a jog around the park today with pokemon go open, catching pokemon here and there… then ran up to a gym. Two people who were also at the park had their phones out and were obviously trying to take down the gym… so I was like “Are you guys team VALOR?”, “Yeah!”, “I can help!”. So random strangers combined our powers to take down opposing gym!

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          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          That’s the spirit of the anime, not the games. The tagline is “Gotta Catch Em All” not “My Friends and I Are Better Than You.”

          • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

            Yes, and the tag line for Gran Turismo is the “Real Driving Simulator” which it isn’t. Or if you want to talk about the underlying spirit of a game, then MGS’s tagline is “Tactical Espionage Action”, and there’s a whole lot more being said by those games than “Sneak Here and Shoot the Bad Guys”. The same goes for Pokemon, so my guess is you’ve either never played the games, or haven’t been reading what the dialog has been hammering home for the last 20 years.

        • Einsammler says:

          Two friends rent a kayak to conquer a gym out in the middle of actual water: link to

    • Starayo says:

      There’s no real point to Pokémon Go. The game itself is barely a game. There’s no reason to play it by yourself…

      …but, that said, there’s something to be said for the greater shared experience. When I was in the city, everyone was playing it as they walked. I met up with some people I distantly knew and we all bonded as we pulled out our phones to catch that elusive Dratini. I’ve talked to coworkers I never would have otherwise as we both attempted to nab another Venonat.

      As a game, it’s garbage. But as a social experience… it’s quite unlike anything I’ve played before.

    • Steed says:

      Ah man, it’s really cool. I went to the park to give it a go and bumped in to a friend, then we bumped in to three more groups who were wandering around pokehunting. Once it’s actually released, I can see it being (potentially) quite a social thing – we stopped to chat with the others and exchanged tips on pokemon locations.

      The Pokestops are also quite interesting, I’ve learnt the names of a few ‘things’ around where I work, and discovered random points on interest along my commute (as a passenger, don’t Poke and Drive).

    • Spinkick says:

      Its really a bad game, but has all the qualities that addict casual gamers. Progression “treadmill” mechanics, etc. As a gamer, I need more to be entertained.

    • Spinkick says:

      Please, as a motorcyclist, dont play this game while driving your car or airplane. Seriously, I’ve caught people doing it with a horn blast. This takes the texting danger and adds steroids.

  3. Barberetti says:

    This is the one place I thought I’d be safe from hearing about the fucking thing to be honest.

    • gunny1993 says:

      … You didn’t expect to hear about a astoundingly popular mobile game from a astoundingly popular IP…. on a gaming website…

      • mukuste says:

        This is a PC gaming site.

        • gunny1993 says:

          Still, it’s not like this is a website about long drilling techniques in canine dentistry.

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            Nauallis says:

            Just wait for it.

            Given that I as an American oftentimes come here to escape the USA’s social/media bullshit (gaming related or not), and then I see an article about Donald Trump mods for Surgeon Simulator… Nothing really has surprised me about indie games in a long while.

  4. DingDongDaddio says:

    Or you could just get an emulator, spare yourself the tortuous setup, and then be rewarded with a far better game.

  5. mukuste says:

    Huh, weird. The first time I ever heard about this was a blurb in the newspaper this morning, and now it’s here on RPS. It seems this game is kind of a big thing?

    • TrynePlague says:

      I heard the States are now under Japanese control.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I live a few hours’ drive from Seattle, and I’m glad I’m not in the city proper right now. I hear it’s not safe to walk the streets in some parts of the city now, because everyone has their eyes glued to their phone screens in search of ‘mons.

        There was a Star Trek episode about this once. Wesley tried to warn us.

        • gunny1993 says:

          ‘because everyone has their eyes’glued to their phone screens’

          This is different from the usual nowadays?

          • Zenicetus says:

            It’s oddly different, because they’re waving their phones around to find things in the “real” space around them, instead of holding their phone fixed in the usual way as they walk around. It’s creepy.

  6. Emeraude says:

    Sorry, I barely read the article, but I now have the vision of someone carrying around a PC/battery/screen + webcam combo to play this (not, laptops are not a rational choice!).

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I had an image of somebody rigging up a system so that their sick, bedridden friend could catch Pokemon at home while the other person walked around for them. It made me feel nice until I remembered I made it up. Oh well!

      • Rizlar says:

        My own mental image was of downloading this then catching fifty six zubats in my bedroom before falling asleep at the keyboard. Or possibly becoming a shady zubat dealer… ‘hey kids, come into my basement bedroom, I’ve got something to show you’.

  7. SaintAn says:

    Great for me since my phone is only a iPhone 4 which isn’t supported. Been using my mom and grandma’s phones when they’ve been around.

  8. ark_quintet says:

    In Ingress GPS spoofing has been considered as cheating in the past, and accounts found guilty of it had been banned. Just saying …

    • Stengah says:

      That will apply to Pokemon Go too. From link to
      No cheating.

      Don’t do it. Play fair. Pokémon GO is meant to be played on a mobile device and get you outside to explore your world! Methods of cheating, unfortunately, are limited only by cheaters’ imaginations, but include at a minimum the following: using modified or unofficial software; playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please); sharing accounts; using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location; or selling/trading accounts.

      We will enforce the Terms of Use as well as these guidelines.
      We will review reported or flagged player accounts and content and will determine whether or not they violate the Terms of Use and/or these guidelines. Accounts are penalized for violations of the Terms of Use and/or the Trainer guidelines—we may issue a warning, suspend you from the game, or (for serious or repeated violations) terminate your account.

  9. ROMhack2 says:

    From the buzz surrounding this at the moment, people might still talking about it next week too.

    Can never say for sure with these types of things though.

  10. Jay Load says:

    I played Ingress for a wee while a few years back. It’s a really weird experience when everyday places you know become part of a game. Lots of fun.

    Whoever decided to pair that concept with Pokemon is a bit of a genius, though. They’re made for each other.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I tried Ingress once but it doesn’t really work when you live in a small town and there’s only one hot-spot for dozens of kilometers around.

      • Unruly says:

        This is a problem in Pokemon Go as well, because they made all the hot spots for Pokemon based on the spots in Ingress. So there’s a ton of them that are churches, which is fine really because churches tend to be relatively populated and safe places, but then there’s also clusters of them in graveyards. And while graveyards aren’t inherently dangerous or anything, they’re also not the kinds of places that parents want their kids wandering around most of the time because they’re usually empty of people and if something does happen there there’s not much help. I live in a suburb, and the only spots are a memorial statue by the fire department that’s a gym, a really popular ice cream place that’s a gym, and then a graveyard that’s got about 10 pokestops in it.

        Meanwhile, in the town where I work, I’ve got 3 pokestops and a gym within spitting distance of each other and I can hit them from my desk at work. Since I work in a city building, it’s got a couple power outlets outside on the plaza, and we’ve got a crowd of about 20 people sitting there and catching stuff using the lures available in the game. At that’s at 1am. When I got to work at 11pm, there were roughly 40 out there, and I’m told that during the day it gets packed even more.

        The game is really biased towards population centers. Which, when you think about the basis of the series, is kind of backwards. Rural areas and suburbs are practically devoid of pokemon, when in the show and games they’re where you’d be most likely to find them, while cities are absolutely crawling with them.

  11. Distec says:

    People being critical of the actual GAME part of this title are very much in the right, but I feel like they’re missing the point when we start getting into “stupid, terrible, mobile waste of time” end of the spectrum.

    I mean, sure, mobile games generally fit that bill. But the appeal of this app (aside from scratching my Collector itch) is the social aspect it’s introduced. There are people in my neighborhood who I’ve never spoken to who I now end up chatting with when we both realize we have our phones out doing the same thing. There’s a lake by my house that I never visit, but now me and my friends (and friends of friends) are making plans to take walks around it so we can catch Pokemon and hatch eggs. There’s bars and locales downtown that I usually wouldn’t bother getting to know – because I’m comfortable my current watering hole and don’t feel like wasting my night god damn it – that are now piquing the interest of peers so they can just see what’s in the area.

    Time will tell if this a fad; the socializing aspect is very much built on the necessity of it being one. But there’s a method here that works and I see plenty of developers working with and honing this concept in the future.

    That said, it’s kind of scary. If you want a solid preview of a future where the world and its activities are viewed through your phone, here it is.

  12. VeNT666 says:

    Before you go doing this I’d point out that the co behind ingress are known for wilding the ban hammer when they see gps spoofing in your account.

  13. Generico says:

    GPS spoofing can get you perma-banned, FYI.

    Although, for a game like this, who cares. There’s basically nothing to it. It’s a pokemon game in the sense that pokemon are in the game, and that’s it. There’s no trading, there’s no real battling, there’s no anything. Pokemon don’t even have levels. You walk around with your nose in your phone, then pokemon randomly appear, then you flick pokeballs at them until the RNG decides you caught it. Pokemon Go is probably the most overrated “game” of all time. If it wasn’t pokemon themed, nobody would have anything to say about it.

    Perhaps its success will convince nintendo to make a real pokemon game for mobile though.

    • Unruly says:

      But there are levels and battling. A pokemon’s CP is essentially it’s level, with player-raised pokemon having more HP than their wild counterparts, and battling is done at gyms both to take over enemy gyms and to strengthen friendly ones. Of course, currently the battling is against AI only, but from what Niantic have said they’re already in the process of working towards trading, battling nearby trainers, and all the other stuff that makes a pokemon game a pokemon game other than catching them and fighting gyms.

      Should it have had everything from day 1? Probably, yea. But it’s doing pretty well even without it, and when that stuff does get added in things should get even better.

  14. racccoon says:

    The Pure essence of this game its greatest asset & that is it gets people O U T!
    I know of many people who play it and they all now talk about the places they’ve been too and all the walking about doing things they’ve not done in ages or even been too & now they have! This game is a positive, I just would like to of seen it released on all mobile platforms! I have a windows phone :( I signed the petition for it to be on windows phone. I’m still a little baffled to why they left a major mobile system out of equation.

    • Babymech says:

      Hide and go seek is still free to play, works best outdoors, and can be played regardless of platform.

  15. DerDachs says:

    But you still wouldn’t be able to hatch eggs, because you have to literally walk for this (they register if you’re making steps)

    • Unruly says:

      By using the GPS. It doesn’t make use of the phone’s pedometer functions. So spoofing GPS, if done right, works perfectly for hatching eggs. Better than actually getting out and about, actually, because my GPS has been spotty at times and I suddenly find myself teleporting rather than moving normally, which results in my movement not being counted. Reddit has already had a thread about how to spoof GPS just fast enough to make hatching eggs a quick thing, but not fast enough to trigger the game’s speed limit that prevents it from registering the movement because it’s too fast to be running/moderate biking.

  16. Raoul Duke says:

    This is the kind of thing that makes me avoid telling people I’m a gamer…

    As the Onion put it:

    link to

    Q: Is some part of this game’s popularity among adults deeply, indescribably sad?
    A: Yes