"Pokemon Go"s AR Feature Is Optional

by Michelle Lulic

The world you dreamed of as a child is finally here. Thanks to the release of Niantic's interactive Pokémon-catching game, "Pokemon Go," your phone is now your Pokédex and Pokémon are quite literally roaming around in the wild just waiting for you to catch them and become the very best. The app has the ability to access your phone's camera, so you can actually see Pokémon in even the most unexpected of places. However, the augmented reality feature in "Pokemon Go" is optional, and there's a reason why it might be worth shutting off from time-to-time.

With the feature, everything from a Pidgey to a Snorlax to a Magikarp could be in your local park, at the church down the block, or even right in your bedroom. All "Pokemon Go" users have to do is click on the Pokémon that pop-up on their GPS-connected map, walk around town, click on the Pokémon that appear, and then use their phone camera to throw a Pokéball the Pokémon's way. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Isn't the ability to catch a Rattata in my kitchen the entire point of the game?" Yes and no.

While it's cool to see the Pokémon exist in your surroundings, your job is to catch them all and become a Pokemon master. Turning off the augmented reality of the game might make your job easier. All you have to do to turn off your phone's augmented reality is find a Pokémon, click on the Pokémon to prepare to catch it, and then click on the switch labeled "AR" located in the top right-hand corner of the screen. From there, your screen will no longer show your surroundings through your camera. Instead, it will show an animated grass backdrop that the Pokémon you are trying to catch is now at the front and center of.

With the augmented reality off, you don't need to worry about aiming and holding you camera in the right spot when throwing your Pokéball. That makes your hands a lot steadier and your ability to aim (especially if you're walking) more smooth. And, there's no need to fear. Flipping the same switch that turned the augmented reality off can turn it right back on again. That way, you can catch your next Pokémon in your bathroom.

So go enjoy the weather by walking around and catching as many Pokémon as you can. I'll see you at one of the gyms.

Images: The Official Pokemon Channel/YouTube; Giphy