Pokemon Go Plus peripheral makes catching pocket monsters easier

A new accessory for Pokemon Go aims in part to solve the problem of players constantly staring at their phones while walking through public spaces.

App updates let players choose a Buddy Pokemon to travel with

The Pokemon Go Plus accessory will allow players to catch Pokemon more easily without staring at their smartphones. (Niantic/The Pokemon Company)

A new accessory for Pokemon Go aims to solve the problem of players constantly staring at their phones while walking around in public when it arrives in stores Friday.

Pokemon Go Plus is a small device that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. When the app recognizes that Pokemon are around, a button on the centre will flash. Press it, and the game will try to catch the Pokemon — without you having to use your smartphone.

The Go Plus will vibrate if the catch was successful. It can also be used to gather items from Pokestops in a similar manner.

It only detects Pokemon that you've previously caught, however. If you want to catch a new Pokemon that shows up in the wild, you'll have to do that on your smartphone.

The Go Plus is shaped like a Pokeball — the balls players throw to capture wild Pokemon — mashed up with the pin logo on Google Maps.

While Pokemon Go is free to play with optional microtransactions, the Go Plus attachment will be sold in stores and online for $44.99 in Canada.

Update also adds Buddy system

The Buddy system update allows players to pair up with their favourite Pokemon. (Jonathan Ore/CBC)
Niantic updated the Pokemon Go app on iOS and Android this week to add Go Plus functionality, but it also added a few new features that will benefit players who aren't planning on buying the attachment.

Chief among them is the Buddy system, which allows players to choose one of their Pokemon to tag along with them on the in-game screen. It's not unlike the cartoon, where the main character Ash is accompanied by his ever-loyal Pikachu.

Walking with your Buddy Pokemon will generate Candies, in-game items that can be used to power up your Pokemon. Usually you can only find Candies by catching wild Pokemon of the same type. The Buddy system will allow you, then, to slowly power up your Pokemon even if there aren't similar types in your vicinity.​

A child carries a Pikachu on his shoulder as he plays Pokemon Go in Mexico City on Aug. 21. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)


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