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Pokemon GO Data usage: How much you’ll use, and how to limit it

Pokemon GO is the newest craze to hit smartphones, having seemingly reignited the app market and certainly put Pokemon back on the mainstream map. Everyone’s playing it, and there’s a similar sense of interest and awareness among the non-gaming crowd. Nintendo sure does know how to get people active and engaged!

While the game is fantastic for getting people out and about — read our Pokemon GO Guides for more information on the experience — it’s not without its problems. For one, it drains battery life, so if you’re out and about you should definitely make sure you have a full battery and/or are stocked with a spare one.

Second, it has the potential to dig into data usage if you’re playing too much.

Well, by “too much” we mean for, like, 10 hours in a row.

Pokemon GO Guides

Pokemon Go – How much data does it use?

The reality is that Pokemon GO doesn’t actually use all that much data. On Vodafone’s 4G network in Melbourne, Australia, I consumer roughly 20MB of data for an hour of play. That’s not a lot, even if you only have 1GB of data a month (there are 1000MBs in 1GB). That means it would take you 50 hours of Pokemon GO action to reach your data cap.

Now of course, for some people that 20MB might still be a lot, especially if you use your phone network for internet at home, and/or if you’re a prolific Instagram’er and Facebook’er. If Pokemon GO and your GPS are constantly active in the background, you could really dig into your data usage when coupled with Facebook streaming (because for whatever reason, videos load automatically on that app).

There are ways to limit your data usage even more, and even cut it out all together. There are data packages of only 500MB or 1GB, which throughout a month might not be enough for your Pokemon GO shenanigans.

Pokemon Go Data Usage reduction tips

Close all other apps using data

This really only applies to Android, as it’s not possible to do this specific task on iOS smartphones. Closing background apps that use data such as Google Play Services can drastically reduce the amount of data you use while playing Pokemon GO. The game will still run as normal and may even run better with less going on in the background.


Look for Wi-Fi spots

Many city hubs, bars and cafes offer free Wi-Fi. This is particularly common in the US and Europe, although less so in Australia (at least in Melbourne). My experience in Los Angeles is that you could walk down the street and wi-fi hop between hotspots. I know that there are a number of Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots in downtown Melbourne, around 170 according to the Telstra website.

Have any tips to save on data usage while playing Pokemon GO? Tell us in the comments below!

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