Pokémon Go Plus: What the Nintendo accessory can and can't do for players

Source: Nintendo
Source: Nintendo
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A recurring feature for Mic staff to explore a particular theme in depth.

The Pokémon Go Plus is finally here. The new wearable accessory designed by Nintendo syncs with the app via Bluetooth and allows players to explore the world of Pokémon Go without ever having to look at their phone. So, is the the new accessory worth it? Let's find out.

What Pokémon Go Plus can do

Once paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the Pokémon Go Plus allows players to

-encounter and catch Pokémon you've previously caught with the click of a button

-access Pokéstops

-collect Pokéballs, Pokémon eggs, berries and other items from said Pokéstops without having to glance at your phone.

It's a powerful tool for players interested in collecting both Pokémon and items, and offers users incentive to casually play the game while moving about the real world. Instead of remaining glued to your smartphone, the Pokémon Go Plus accessory will simply vibrate whenever Pokémon and Pokéstops are near. 

What Pokémon Go Plus can't do

The accessory definitely has some limitations. You can't

-catch new Pokémon you don't already own

-physically see the Pokémon you are catching

-use advanced Pokéballs

-battle gym leaders 

-check which Pokémon are nearby.

Those are some pretty major drawbacks, unfortunately. Catching new Pokémon and battling with your team are some of the most rewarding parts of the game. Which begs the question ...

Is the Pokémon Go Plus worth the price?

Unless you're a seriously dedicated Pokémon Go player, the answer is a firm no. 

The accessory costs $35, which is used to connect to a free-to-play game. It doesn't really make sense, especially given the severe limitations of the add-on.

Not to mention the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon will soon be available on the Nintendo 3DS for $39.99. Unlike Pokémon Go, Sun and Moon are full fledged Pokémon adventures complete with a story mode, trading, friend-to-friend battling and more. If you're prepared to drop $35 for a simple accessory, you might as well purchase a proper Pokémon game. 

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Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

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