Pokemon Go's new AR+ mode will let you sneak up on 'mon for bonuses

When Pokemon Go launched in the summer of 2016, it was the closest we'd ever come to feeling like honest-to-goodness Trainers. Even so, it had its limitations. While the game allowed players to turn on their mobile devices' cameras for an augmented reality experience, Pokemon didn't really behave like they were in the real world. If you moved, the rendered Pokemon would sort of glide along with you, breaking the illusion. Well, no more.

A new mode dubbed "AR+" is now available for Pokemon Go players who are using an iPhone 6S or later model with iOS 11 installed. Like the standard AR mode, AR+ uses your camera to show a Pokemon as if it were physically in front of you. But AR+ also adds scale, awareness, and more bonuses for those who use it.

'Scale' simply means that Pokemon seen in AR+ mode will exist at a fixed point in the environment. This means you can walk around wild Pokemon, or get up close for a better look. If you walk up to a large Pokemon like Charizard or Gyarados, it'll fill your screen - you may need to tilt your head back a bit to see all of it. Walk up to something small like a Weedle, and you may be tempted to try and squish it with your shoe.

Pokemon seen in AR+ will also have an awareness meter, which fills up the closer a player gets to them. If it fills all the way, the Pokemon will flee - so you'll have to find that sweet spot of getting close enough to make sure you don't miss your Pokeball throw, but far enough away that you don't scare it off. Of course, sneaking up on an unsuspecting Pokemon may be the best option, because there are new bonuses in AR+ mode as well.

Should you get extra close without startling your target, you'll not only have increased chances of earning a Great or Excellent throw bonus - you'll also get a new Expert Handler bonus as well. This is a particularly tricky boon to get, but if you do, you'll earn yourself some extra Stardust and XP for your trouble.

The feature is iPhone only for now, but hopefully it'll come to Android soon.

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.