The Oregon Trail's new Apple Watch app tracks steps for in-game progress

The Oregon Trail Header Apple Arcade
The Oregon Trail Header Apple Arcade (Image credit: Gameloft)

What you need to know

  • The Oregon Trail comes to Apple Watch for the first time.
  • The new StepTracker app uses Apple Health data and turns your steps into in-game progress.
  • The new game is available for free in the App Store on your Apple Watch.

Fans of The Oregon Trail can now take the game into the real world thanks to a new Apple Watch companion app. The new app, dubbed The Oregon Trail: StepTracker, does exactly that — it tracks your steps and then translates your movement into the game proper.

The Oregon Trail has proven to be one of the most popular Apple Arcade games around and you can download it now on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. But this new addition is all about Apple Watch, with wearers encouraged to install the game and "experience the journey of The Oregon Trail in the 1800s in real life."

Using real-world data from walking, running, jogging, or rolling a wheelchair, StepTracker turns that movement into in-game steps, taking gamers down The Oregon Trail as if they were really there.

Developer Gameloft is quick to point out that this isn't just a step tracker, though. It's a real bonafide game.

Players will find more than just a simple step tracker: other features include digital representations of real-world locations, statistics and progress data, daily summaries, avatar customization, in-game rewards, and more. Players can walk the full 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail, with five journey legs, 64 locations, seven forts, 15 river crossings, and eight pony express stations, meaning there is a lot to see and do as they "journey" along the trail. The impressive graphics of The Oregon Trail are also front-and-center, with players able to see the animated environments change as they follow the trail from Independence to Oregon. If players walked 10,000 steps every day, it would take more than a year for players to complete this epic journey.

The Oregon Trail: StepTracker is available for download now and is completely free. You don't need the main game installed to get your hands on this, either.

If you want to upgrade your Apple Arcade gaming experience, check out our list of the best game controllers for mobile gaming.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.