Pokemon Go is testing a new Reality Blending snapshot feature that enables Pokemon to move behind objects

(Image credit: Niantic)

Niantic has announced a limited release of a new Reality Blending AR feature coming to Pokemon Go that enables Pokemon to move behind objects in the real world. 

"We are now introducing a new way for your buddy to become part of your world like never before," Niantic's official post states. "By taking advantage of the latest AR functionality on devices like the Samsung S9, Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and Google Pixel 4, we are developing ways your buddy can appear more realistically within the world around you. We are excited to announce that we are testing the new Reality Blending feature in snapshots for Pokemon Go." 

The new "cutting-edge AR feature" is set to roll out for testing to a small number of trainers selected at random who have certain Android devices. The test will start with those who have a Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S10, or Google Pixel 3 and 4, with plans to release the feature on more devices in future "so more trainers can share even more experiences with their buddies in the real world." 

In Niantic's post, you can see how the feature will work in practice, with a gif showing Bulbasaur going behind a tree using the Reality Blending feature alongside how it currently works without the feature enabled. Of course, the feature isn't limited to real work elements outside. You can also test the feature indoors and see Pokemon go behind your couch or bookshelf. 

Niantic has also announced it is currently working to develop a "dynamic 3D map of existing PokeStops and Gyms" in order to continue to "develop and refine AR features in the future". Trainers can currently opt-in to a feature called "PokeStop Scan", which can be used to record a video of a PokeStop or Gym's real-life location from different angles. The feature will be available to trainers who are level 40 in early June and will then be available to players of other levels at a later stage. 

"These videos will allow us to generate dynamic 3D maps of PokeStop locations. This can give us a better understanding of how virtual objects persist and where they are in relation to one another, which will help us improve the game's overall AR experiences. In addition, the 3D objects allow our devices to further understand what they are looking at in order to augment reality in real-time." 

For those interested in taking part, it's important to take note of Niantic's Privacy Policy. Niantic also states that players should follow local health guidelines when considering contributing: "Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokemon Go." 

In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic recently added daily tasks that can be completed from home

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.