Google Maps now lets you find and catch wild Pokémon

Google Maps now lets you find and catch wild Pokémon

April Fools’ Day has already arrived in Japan and as expected, Google has a deluge of jokes and Easter eggs to check out online. You can check out our constantly-updating list here.

One of our early favorites is the new Pokémon Challenge for Google Maps which, at long last, lets anyone with a smartphone or tablet earn the all-important title of Pokémon Master.

So. Much. Tech.

Some of the biggest names in tech are coming to TNW Conference in Amsterdam this May.

From an iOS or Android device, you simply need to launch the Google Maps app and tap the ‘Search’ option at the top of the screen. You’ll see a new ‘Press Start’ option and a blue PokĂ©ball icon, signalling the classic quest that awaits every aspiring PokĂ©mon trainer.


In our quick playtest, Google bounced us across to the PokĂ©mon Lab, suitably located at the CERN research facility in Switzerland. As you swipe around the map, you’ll see colorful sprites for individual PokĂ©mon, which you can then catch and add to your PokĂ©dex for safekeeping.

There are some nice throwbacks to the original games too; the PokĂ©dex has full artwork for each monster and when you tap on a PokĂ©mon the classic phrase ‘a wild PokĂ©mon appears’ is displayed prominently at the bottom of the screen.

Presumably Google has Nintendo’s blessing to put all of this together. The promotional video above shows off an incredible AR mode similar to PokĂ©mon Snap on the Nintendo 64, but that’s almost certainly just Google having a bit of fun. We can all dream though, right?

➀ Blog Post (Google)

Don’t miss: Google Naps: a parody of Google Maps that helps you find the best places for a snooze

And: The Pirate Bay kicks off April Fools’ Day early, announces device to ‘embrace your entire mind’


Read next: Microsoft's Bing expands Snapshot feature to surface doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate listings

Shh. Here's some distraction