With Android, you can always grab a game’s APK off of the web, though that isn’t always the most secure option, especially with games that are as popular as Pokemon Go. Sideloading the game would also mean that it won’t be able to receive automatic updates from the Play Store. If you have these same concerns, here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: On your Android device of choice head on over to settings, then the accounts menu and select the option to add a new Google account.
Step 2: Sign up with a Google Gmail address. It doesn’t matter which so long as it’s not your main account. It will only be used to access the US-based Google Play Store.
Step 3: Follow the process to add the account to your device. It’s all fairly simple.
Step 4: Visit wallet.google.com/manage/w/0/#settings for the same account. You might want to do this part on a computer for ease of use. Here, you will be prompted to select a country – choose the US, obviously – and enter a zip code of your choice. At this point, you can also add a payment method if you so desire. You don’t have to, though.
Step 5: Back on your device, download and install a VPN app. There are lots and lots to choose from on the Play Store, so find one that’s free. You’re only going to use it for a few minutes. Just make sure it has a server in the US that you can connect to.
Step 6: Connect to the US VPN.
Step 7: Open up the Play Store on your device, and switch to the new account that you created a few minutes ago.
Step 8: Search for, and then install Pokemon Go. That’s kind of what we’re here for.
Step 9: Disconnect from your VPN. You don’t need it anymore. Switch back to your main Google account on Play Store as well.
Step 10: Lose the next few months of your life to catching Pokemon.
It is also possible to get Pokemon Go for iPhone ahead of its general release in your area, but it takes a lot more effort. You can Jailbreak your iPhone, for example, but that isn’t ideal and invalidates your phone’s warranty. Then you need to find the app on a Jailbreak site to install. We don’t recommend it, to be honest.
The other way is less permanently but also not ideal. You can set yourself up with an iTunes account in a country that does have the app on the App Store, then download it “legitimately”. Often you need a credit card from the country the account is based in, but it is possible to do it without.
You can set it up on iTunes on computer, but here are the steps to do it directly on your phone:
- Launch the App Store on your iPhone, tap on “Apple ID” at the bottom of the screen and sign out.
- Now you need to change the region of your device. Go to Settings>General>Language & Region.
- Tap on Region and change it to “United States” (or New Zealand, etc).
- Head back to the App Store and search for Pokemon Go. “Get” it and hit “Install”.
- A pop up with ask you to sign in, but check “Create New” instead.
- You have to fill out the required information and follow the instructions. Choose any email or US based address. It is important though to tap “None” for billing information, otherwise you need a credit card from the specific region chosen.
- Head back to the App Store once the account has been created and you can download, install and play Pokemon Go as you are signed into a supported country.
One major problem with this method is that every time you want to use your existing apps and games, you have to switch your phone’s region and sign back into your own country’s account again. It sounds simple now, but is a real pain. And if you do want to buy additional content from within Pokemon Go, you need to first buy some US iTunes vouchers and then assign them to your account.
- London through the eyes of Pokemon Go: See what the UK has in store for Pokemon Go player – Covent Garden, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and other key locations explored.
- Check out Pokemon Go: How to play and other tips and tricks for a closer look at how to play the game, find out what a Poke Ball is how to play like a winner.
- What is Pokemon Go and why is everyone talking about it: A deeper dive into the latest mobile gaming craze – is it safe, do you have to exercise and how much does it cost?