You’ve probably heard about the Pokémon Go craze by now. You may have even downloaded the game and picked your favorite starter Pokémon out of Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and Pikachu. Some of you may be catching Pokémon for the first time, while others have been catching ‘em since 1996 (even having theme songs and Pokéraps memorized).

No matter where you are on your Pokémon journey, all of us are facing two major problems with Pokémon Go: the app eats up battery life and your data plan. One user said, “I took about a three or four hour trip around town to try and collect some Pokémon and noticed that I burned through approximately 6GB of an 18 GB plan.” Members of Congress are so concerned with the amount of data being gobbled up by the app that they’ve even opened an inquiry to Niantic, the makers of the app!

We want to be Pokémon masters too, so we’ve figured out ways to maximize catching as many Pokémon & getting as many items as possible, without burning through our precious data:

Choose your Pokémon hunting areas wisely

Find areas that have free Wi-Fi AND multiple Pokéstops, such as shopping malls & strips, entertainment venues, museums, train stations, even some entire cities have free wifi. You’ll find that more Pokémon tend to congregate around Pokéstops, anyway.

For maximum items: Choose areas that have multiple Pokéstops in close proximity to each other. Every time you click on a new Pokéstop, the app loads that location’s information and related photo, so less loading of Pokéstops = less data usage.  You can grab items from a Pokéstop every 5 minutes, so if you can find an area with 4 to 7 Pokéstops close to each other, you can rack up items pretty quick without spending too much data.

For maximum Pokémon: Use a “lure” item on a Pokéstop and chill for a bit, or use an “incense” item while making your rounds around Pokéstops. You’ll encounter more Pokémon while moving than sitting still with an active incense.

Power Leveling:  Want to keep your Pokemon Go game strong and keep playing from the comfort of your own home while in wi-fi thus saving your data?  Utilize a “lucky egg” and save your evolutions up.  Lucky egg’s will double all XP and each evolution can provide big rewards.  Lots of Pidgey, Weddle or Ratatta candy saved up?  Transfer your low levels for candy and evolve the rest for some great XP.

How to Stop Pokémon Go From Killing Your Data Plan - Digital Doc Repair
Lures, Pokéstops, and leveling up — Oh my! Photo courtesy of Charles Abban.

T-Mobile and some apps give you free data for Pokémon Go!

Good news for T-Mobile customers: In an announcement on July 14, T-Mobile said they will be providing free, unlimited data through the Pokémon Go app. Score!

There are a few apps that help you find free WiFi, such as Android apps “Venue Zone” and “Instabridge”, and iOS apps such as “WiFi Finder” and “Wiffinity”. Cnet.com provides a great article on finding free wifi around the world: How To Find Free WiFi

Treat your data plan like you conserve your phone’s battery, and WiFi = being plugged in.

Got a portable Wifi hotspot? Good! You’ll need it at much as a Pokémon trainer needs “Repel” in a cave full of Zubats — Carry it with you wherever you go!

When you get in an area with free WiFi, try turning off mobile data to prevent accidentally using your own data. While Pokémon Go does need an internet connection to work, doing this extra step will make sure you don’t accidentally use your own data.

Instead of Googling and watching data-gobbling videos for tips and strategies, keep popular Pokémon Go forums and communities bookmarked, such as /r/PokemonGo, Pokemon Go Pro or Pokemon Go Database.

Fully close the app when traveling by car

While the game requires you to travel in order to hatch Pokémon eggs, reportedly it will not count if your phone is traveling more than 20 mph.  So if you hopped in a car or bus, consider closing the app to prevent it from loading unnecessary maps and Pokéstops along the way.  Also, don’t Pokémon Go & Drive – A human life is not worth a few Pokéballs.

Monitor ALL your data usage regularly

How to Stop Pokémon Go From Killing Your Data Plan - Digital Doc Repair
Photo courtesy of Imgur.

Now that you have another app using your data, an increase in data usage means you’ll have to conserve data with your other apps. This could include turning off automatic app updates, or checking how much data is being eaten by other data-hungry apps, like Facebook and Youtube.

There’s a setting in your phone where you can see how much data has been consumed by each app, including Facebook, internet browser, Youtube, and more. This can help you see what else is using up your data, and you can decide to stop or uninstall apps you don’t need (but are apparently costing you!)


How to Stop Pokémon Go From Killing Your Data Plan - Digital Doc Repair
In your iPhone, you can toggle certain apps from using any mobile data. Photo courtesy of iPhoneHacks.com


Otherwise, set a data limit to stop your phone from using mobile data, such as 1 GB before your data cap. That way, you can save that remaining gig for essential internet use, like map navigation or messaging apps.

All in all, we hope that in your quest to catch ‘em all and be a Pokémon master, it does not become costly for you.  Save your data, save your money, and you’ll be happier than Team Rocket finally getting their hands on Pikachu.

How to Stop Pokémon Go From Killing Your Data Plan - Digital Doc Repair
Photo courtesy of Tumblr.