Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game in which players may capture and train Pokémon by exploring real-world environments. Pokémon may be found anywhere, though the species that appear depend on the player’s location; for example, a player living near the ocean will find more water Pokémon than someone who lives elsewhere. The player’s device will vibrate when a Pokémon is nearby, and once close enough, the player may throw Poké Balls in an attempt to capture it. Pokémon may evolve once the player has captured multiples of that species.
Monuments, landmarks, museums, and other significant locations may be designated as PokéStops, where players will be able to pick up items and Pokémon eggs. Eggs must be kept in an incubator, and incubated eggs will hatch after a certain number of steps have been taken. Other locations are designated as Gyms, and are controlled by one of the three teams the player can join when starting the game. If a Gym is empty, a player may leave one of their Pokémon there to claim it for their team. The other teams may then challenge an AI-controlled version of that Pokémon to lower the Gym’s Prestige; once Prestige hits zero, the winning team will gain control. Members of the team controlling the Gym can raise its prestige by training their Pokémon there.
Players are represented by a customizable, anime-style avatar. The avatar appears to mark the player’s location on their personal map, and may also be seen by other players when challenging a Gym.