5 reasons you should buy a Pokémon Go Plus — and a couple reasons not to!

Pokemon Go Plus
Pokemon Go Plus (Image credit: iMore)

Update: In addition to spinning normal PokéStops, Pokémon Go Plus will now also spin the Photo Discs on Gyms. That means you no longer have to stop, tap the Gym, tap the disc icon, and then spin. You can simply click once and get all your items — even while raiding.

Pokémon Go Plus is a small Bluetooth accessory made to work with the Pokémon Go app on iPhone or Android. It's plastic, but feels well made, has a rumble pack inside so it can alert you to nearby Pokémon and Poké Stops, has a changeable battery and optional wrist strap, and a single, light up button that lets you catch and spin with a click.

So, should you get one?

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1. Level up faster — a lot faster

You can set Pokémon Go Plus to notify you when a Pokémon spawns within range. Then, you can click to try and catch it. The Plus will only shoot a single Poké Ball, and the Pokémon will only be caught or run away, but you can still stock-pile a silly amount of common Pokémon in a really short time.

Not only does that give you 150 XP (100 catch + 50 first throw) for each catch and 25 XP for each miss, it gives you large amounts of candy you can use to mass-evolve Pidgey, Weedle, Caterpie, and other low-cost Pokémon for 500 XP a pop. (And all of that doubles if you use a Lucky Egg at the same time.)

I managed to go from level 38 to level 39 in just over two weeks, thanks to Pokémon Go Plus and a 25 pack of Lucky Eggs.

2. Get more stuff from stops

Pokemon Go Plus

Pokemon Go Plus (Image credit: iMore/ Rene Ritchie)

You can also set Pokémon Go Plus to notify you when there's a PokéStop within range. Then, you can click to spin it. The Plus spins just like the app, and you get the same potions, revives, berries, Pokémon eggs, and evolution items you would otherwise, just faster and with less effort.

It even sometimes seems to work at slightly faster speeds than the Pokémon app does, though ranges can vary a bit.

If you're in an area with a ton of PokéStops, or you're on a bike, bus, or are the passenger in a car, it can help you keep up with all the spinning, and that means even more items for you to stockpile.

3. Double dip on trips

Pokémon Go Plus mostly works independently from the Pokémon Go app. So, once it's connected, you can play with the Plus and the app at the same time, essentially getting two-for-one on many actions.

For example, you can spin PokéStops with the app while clicking to catch Pokémon with the Plus. You can even click-to-catch while evolving, which would otherwise lock up your screen and lock out new spawns.

Manually catching Pokémon is about the only time Plus takes a breather. Otherwise, it gives you way more bang for your time.

4. Freedom from the screen

Conversely, you can also use Pokémon Go Plus without having to use the app. That means your phone can stay in your pocket and your eyes and attention can stay on what matters — the wilderness you're hiking through, the traffic flow around the street you're walking down, the person at lunch you're supposed to be having a conversation with. (Wait, forget I said that last one.)

Also, keeping your head up is as good for your posture as keeping you eyes on the world around you is for your quality of life — and survivability!

5. Clicking is stress-relieving!

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 (Image credit: iMore)

There are all sorts of squeeze-balls and spinners meant to help occupy your fingers and soothe your stress levels. Pokémon Go Plus, with its click-click-clickiness can be much the same. At least when you're in an area with enough spawns and stops to keep it — and you! — busy.

It vibrates, you click, it vibrates, you click. It might seem annoying at first, but over time it becomes just routine enough to keep you occupied, but not too occupied. And that can be remarkably meditative.

But, wait…!

Pokémon Go Plus

Pokémon Go Plus (Image credit: iMore)

There are a few minuses to the Pokémon Go Plus that you also need to consider:

  1. It can use up a lot of Poké Balls. Hundreds a day. You'll need to keep spinning more (time-consuming), buying more (expensive), or switching to PokéStop-only mode when you run out.
  2. There are no second chances. You either catch Pokémon or they flee. That's it. And it'll only ever use a single Poké Ball. Not a Great or Ultra Ball, never a Razz Berry or Pinap Berry. So, if you want to increase you odds or your candy, you'll need to catch manually.
  3. All Pokémon are hunted as equals. Pokémon Go Plus will shoot that single, non-berried Poké Ball at a Dragonite same as it would at a Pidgey. So, get ready for the potential heartbreak of seeing "Tyranitar Fled" or "Unown Fled" in your Journal if you're not attentive and careful.
  4. Sometimes it fails to lock on. Every once and a while a Pokémon or PokéStop will come within range and Pokémon Go Plus will just stare at you like it's asleep with one LED open. Then you'll have to rush to catch or spin manually, or miss your chance.
  5. Connectivity can crap out. After about 30 min. Pokémon Go Plus seems to disconnect for no apparent reason and, every once in a while, it seems to stop working even while staying connected. So, you'll get to know the eject/reconnect screen in Settings really well.

Should you buy a Pokémon Go Plus?

If you want to catch more Pokémon and spin more PokéStops more easily than ever before, so you can level up faster and stockpile more items than you ever thought possible, and you're willing to put up with the connection issues and all the fleeing, then yes, absolutely, get a Pokémon Go Plus.

I waited until level 38 to get mine. Don't be dumb like me.

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Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.