Pokemon GO: How to save Battery Life and Data while you Play

You may have heard by now about Pokemon GO, a phenomenon that is causing people of all ages to go outside to play for a change. To play the game effectively, you need to move from place-to-place to grab goodies at Pokestops, hatch eggs and fight over Pokemon Gyms. What a time to be alive!

pokemon-goRepublic Wireless is built around having ready access to WiFi, and being away from it can be costly for both data and battery consumption on your smartphone. Some players have reported their batteries dying in 45 minutes or less, and being away from WiFi can rack up costly data usage. We understand the need to catch ‘em all and as such we want to give you a brief how-to guide on ways to save so you can become the Pokemon Master you were meant to be!

Pokemon GO constantly uses your GPS coordinates with high accuracy mode, and it also has to connect to the servers in order to receive necessary updates on Gyms, Stops, and Pokemon in your area. By default, it also uses the Google Maps API to overlay the information onto a map for the player.

Constantly downloading Google Maps information to your device while playing the game can cause performance issues, increase data usage, and eat up your battery. Downloading an “offline map” is a great workaround as it gives you a “locally saved” version of the same map.

Users have reported an increase in battery life, and decreased data usage by doing this:

  1. Make sure you are connected to WiFi to prevent data usage
  2. Open Google Maps
  3. Go to the Settings (three horizontal bars in the upper left of Google Maps)
  4. Tap “Offline areas” and hit the blue plus sign and choose the area you want to download
    • Note that as you increase the size of the area the storage size of the map will get exponentially larger, we recommend a map no larger than 300 MB in size
  5. Once finished downloading, that area’s map will then be available instead of Maps constantly refreshing.
  6. Enjoy increased battery life and cutting a significant portion of the data usage required to play the game!

The brightness of your phone’s display can also have a drastic effect on battery life in any state, so adding Pokemon GO on top of that can really be a drain. Reducing your device’s display brightness down to 50 percent may give a noticeable increase in your battery life.

Setting the brightness to minimum could increase your total battery life by up to 30 percent!

  1. On Lollipop devices, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers
  2. There should be a slider along the top of the screen that appears. Slide this to the left to lower the brightness of your display to the desired amount
    • Note that lowering it too much while outside could cause your screen to become difficult to read. Just lower it to what is easiest without causing eye strain.

Turning the volume off for your phone can also conserve battery by not constantly having the speaker output sounds while playing the game.

  1. While in the game, you can do this by pressing and holding the VOL DOWN button until the speaker is no longer outputting game sounds.
    • An alternative is to turn “Music” and “Sound Effects” off from the in-game Settings menu. We recommend at least leaving “Vibration” enabled!

The phone should vibrate when Pokemon are around, so sound isn’t necessary to play the game.

Also, the game itself has a battery saver mode that will turn on a “screensaver” while the phone is upside down (intended for being in your pocket on-the-go).

  1. From the home screen of the game, tap the Pokeball
  2. Press “Settings” in the top-right of the screen
  3. Tap “Battery Saver” to check the battery saver box
  4. Now, when the phone is upside down, such as when it would be in your pocket, it should display a black “Pokemon GO” screensaver (pictured below) to save battery.
    • The game will still vibrate when pokemon are near.
Pokemon buttonSettingsBatterySaverScreenshot_20160711-144708

Finally, purchasing an external battery pack will allow you to re-charge your device while on-the-go! Some of the larger battery packs have enough juice to charge a phone 5-7 times. With that sort of power, you could go on an all-day Pokemon hunting adventure without running out of juice. Just make sure you keep yourself refueled too with food and lots of water!

Bonus tip! For current members with 1.0 or Refund plans and new members who purchase the Moto E  2nd Gen. or Moto G 3rd Gen., try these steps:

If you’re not seeing your data consumption lighten up and your battery is still draining, users have seen improvements with turning off data access for Google Maps straight in the Republic Wireless app:

  1. Open your Republic Wireless app
  2. Tap the Cell Data settings tab
  3. Tap the bottom “Cell Data Used” banner
  4. Scroll down to the Google Maps entry
  5. Turn the Cell Access toggle to “off”

Enjoy those Pokewalks and be sure to share your greatest Pokemon catches with us on our Twitter, Facebook page, or Blog Post!

Please note that Pokemon GO is not compatible with the Defy XT, Moto E 1st Gen, and Moto E 2nd Gen devices.

Note: Niantic Inc. advises that, to run the app at optimum capacity, your device should be on at least Android Version 4.4.4 with 2GB of RAM.

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  • Leroy Johnson

    NOBODY cares.

  • Maniac

    Pokemon Go does indeed use the Google Maps API, but using offline maps or shutting off Google Maps data will *not* affect your data usage in Pokemon Go. It caches the maps separately.

  • Trapdoor

    “Screensaver” only works if phone has an accelerometer. If you can’t use AR mode, the screensaver won’t work.