Should You Turn Off Augmented Reality In "Pokemon Go"? Here's What You Need To Know

When "Pokemon Go" first took over the world in early July, its integration of the virtual and real world was one of the most appealing features. (If you don't think Pikachu sitting next to you at the bus stop is the cutest thing you've ever seen, you're lying to yourself.) But should you turn off augmented reality in "Pokemon Go"? It's up to the player, of course, but unless your phone is a technological miracle with infinite battery life, you might want to consider turning the feature off every so often.

As I've discussed before, "Pokemon Go" is more complicated than you'd think; it uses your phone's camera, GPS, compass, and even your clock to produce a world where Pokemon hang out in the park or at the Pentagon. To catch a Pokemon, all you have to do is select it on the map, hold up your phone, and suddenly, a Squirtle is chilling in your swimming pool. (Well, hopefully it's your swimming pool — don't trespass, kids.) It's the stuff every '90s kid's dreams were made of, but some people have taken to switching off the AR feature, leaving them with a grassy computer-generated background instead of the real world.

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So what's making people turn off one of the game's coolest features? Primarily, it's because "Pokemon Go" drains phone batteries ridiculously fast, and turning off AR saves your phone battery. (The game also uses tons of data, but turning off AR won't do much about that.) However, there's another compelling reason: Pokemon are much harder to catch in the real world than in the computerized version. When AR is switched off, you don't have to worry about aiming your phone camera and your Pokeballs — the Pokemon stays at the center of the screen no matter where you point your phone. If you get motion sick or have unsteady hands, this can be a huge help in catching Pokemon.

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So if your phone has a tendency to die when you're about to catch a Dratini three miles away from home, or if you're looking to make your quest to catch 'em all a little easier, go ahead and turn off AR. It's pretty easy: When you've found a Pokemon, tap on the switch labeled "AR" at the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Now go make your team proud.

Images: Giphy (2)