At Niantic, our goal is to create experiences that encourage healthy outdoor exploration and social gameplay. With Pokémon GO, players can explore their neighborhoods and cities to find wild Pokémon. They can discover and catch more than 100 Pokémon from the original Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version games, take Pokémon into battle against other Pokémon at Gyms, uncover items, including a variety of types of Poké Balls and eggs at PokéStops, hatch and train new Pokémon, and more.
We’ve answered some of the most common questions about Pokémon GO that new players might have below.
What about safety? Is the Pokémon GO app dangerous to use?
Pokémon GO is designed to be played outdoors. It carries with it some of the risks of any outdoor activity including hiking, biking, or playing sports in a park. Users should always remain aware of their environment and avoid going into any inappropriate areas, or any area where they are not permitted to be. Pedestrians should remain aware of hazards, including other pedestrians, traffic and obstacles. As with any mobile app, Pokémon GO should not be operated while driving a vehicle. This is reinforced by warnings and behaviors within the app and it’s vital that people be responsible and not play while driving. Parents should guide and supervise their children’s use of the product, including where to play and how to use a mobile phone app safely. To help remind players of the risks and to encourage everyone to play safely, the Pokémon GO app cautions users about safety and awareness each time it is started.
What about children? Is parental consent necessary for children? Can a parent control a child’s account?
Pokémon GO is available for adult and child players. Some players may need to get parental consent by creating a Pokémon Trainer Club account before playing the game. Additionally, we encourage parents to explore the range of settings available to them on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store to control aspects of app usage. For example, on the Apple App Store, parents can control settings, such as in-app purchases, camera settings, and data plan limits.
What about privacy? Does Niantic collect my information and sell it to third parties? Does Niantic sell or provide the children’s information to third parties?
Niantic collects information in order to operate the game and to optimize and improve our products and services. Niantic does not sell any adult’s or child’s user information to third parties. Niantic game sponsors receive only aggregate information about the number of visits and player actions at their locations. For example, a restaurant chain sponsor would only get information about aggregate visits and actions at their locations.
Can PokéStops and Gyms be in unsafe areas?
PokéStops and Gyms are created from historical sites, public artwork, and user-designated locations. They exist in many places, including trails, parks, and urban areas. The safety of any given area depends on the user, the time of day, and many other factors. We encourage users to use their own judgment about which parts of the city or countryside they feel safe going to at various times of day or night. Concerns that a PokéStop or Gym is located in an inappropriate location can be reported through this form.
What about PokéStops or Gyms on private property?
PokéStops and Gyms should be located at publicly-accessible locations, such as historical sites, public works of art, interesting architecture, and unique local businesses. Concerns that a PokéStop or Gym is located in an inappropriate location can be reported through this form.