Save money while playing Pokémon GO

Tim Falk 25 July 2016

pokemon go

A Pokémon GO addiction doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Here’s how you can save money playing the augmented-reality game that’s taking over the world.

Pokémon GO. If you haven’t heard about it, chances are you’ve been living under a rock in a dark cave on a deserted island for the past few weeks. This crazily popular augmented-reality game is everywhere you look, whether you’re out walking your local streets or simply checking social media feeds. It’s great fun, has a wonderful social aspect and is very, very addictive.

If you’ve been bitten by the Pokémon GO bug, you will have discovered that playing this game can be a costly experience. But there are plenty of ways you can save money while playing Pokémon GO, both in the game and in many other aspects of life, so let’s take a look at some top Pokémon GO money-saving tips.

Save money in-game

You don’t have to pay

Pokémon GO is free to download on Apple and Android devices. That’s one way to save money right off the bat, especially when you start to think about how much cash you regularly fork out to fund your other hobbies.

Then there’s the fact that while you can pay to make in-game purchases in Pokémon GO, you don’t have to. You can use Pokémon GO’s in-game Pokecoin currency to buy Pokéballs and a range of other gadgets that make the game easier, but there are other ways to progress in the game. Many of the items you can buy can be found at any Pokéstop, and you can earn in-game currency by defending a gym. Sure, it might take you a little longer to reach your in-game goals, but that just means more time playing.

Save your battery, save your data

Despite its many impressive features, Pokémon GO does have a couple of drawbacks: it drains your phone battery and it eats through your data. But there are a few hacks you can use to reduce the burden of these disadvantages and any potential impact they might have on your bank balance.

Use the game’s power-saving mode, lower the screen brightness and turn off background apps to make your battery last longer. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan and you want to reduce data usage, open the Pokémon GO app only when you need it, close background apps and make sure automatic app updates aren’t eating up all your data.

Save money in real life

Reduce your entertainment expenses

Playing Pokémon GO could actually be a great way to save money. Think about how much money you might normally spend on entertainment on an average Saturday - maybe you go out for coffee or lunch, go and see a movie, go to a footy game or meet up for drinks with friends. Pretty much everything you would normally do costs money, and the expense of those weekend adventures can quickly add up.

But when you’re playing Pokémon GO you have the perfect excuse to get out and about and explore the city. You discover places you would otherwise never have visited, all without having to spend a cent.

Get fit for free

Another great feature of Pokémon GO is that it encourages players to go outside and get active. The lure of capturing Pokemon and taking over gyms can quickly turn even the laziest of couch potatoes into someone who can’t wait to get moving as soon as they finish work for the day. Instead of spending money on expensive gym membership, Pokémon GO lets you get your heart rate up for free - and have lots of fun doing it.

Meet new people

One thing that surprises many Pokémon GO players is the game’s social aspect. It’s quite amazing how good an icebreaker the game can be when you come across a fellow player out hunting for Pokemon, and it’s easy to strike up friendships with complete strangers you would otherwise never have even met. There’s no need to register for an online dating service or pay to sign up to a sports club to meet new people - this cool little game does it for you.

Do you need to save for a new phone to play Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is only compatible with certain devices. Android users will need to have Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1, while Apple fans need at least an iPhone 5 and iOS8 or higher to play the game. Unfortunately, Intel CPUs are not supported.

If your phone isn’t compatible with Pokémon GO, it might be time to purchase a new one - but how much money would you need to save playing Pokémon GO to help cover the cost? Well, that depends on the phone you choose.

An iPhone 6s will set you back around $1,000, or is available on Optus’ base-level plan for $72 a month. Expect to pay $900 for a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, or a $72 per month entry-level plan from Optus.

Once you’ve purchased your new phone you’ll probably want to save money to help pay it off as easily as possible. Happily, because Pokémon GO can help you reduce your entertainment expenses and explore your local area for free, you can start saving straight away.

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