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How much mobile data does Pokémon Go use?

Pokémon Go is a really fun game, and part of what makes it so interesting is the fact that you need to go outside and move around to play it effectively. That of course means you'll be out of the range of your home Wi-Fi network, using up mobile data as you walk around. Some "tricks" like downloading offline maps in Google Maps won't actually save you any data usage (though it's a great feature for Maps!), and unfortunately the Pokémon Go app itself can't really limit data usage much.

But if you're looking to cut down on the amount of data you're using overall when out-and-about playing Pokémon Go, we're here to help!

How much data Pokémon Go is using

Due to the free-roaming nature of the game and everything you can do with it, it's hard to put a specific number on the amount of data Pokémon Go is going to use when you play. How often you're hitting PokéStops, going to gyms and battling will make a difference in your data usage. Walking around for about an hour actively playing Pokémon Go, we saw less than 20MB of mobile data usage, which is really small in the grand scheme of the several gigabytes of data you likely use each month.

That being said, it's important to simply know that Pokémon Go is actively using data as you're out of the house, because it has to continually update to make the game work. That being said, let's reduce the amount of data you're using while you're playing!

Tips for saving data when playing Pokémon Go

Though the Pokémon Go app isn't really using all that much data, there are a few things you can keep in mind to both potentially reduce the app's data usage and also cut down on your overall data usage when you're out playing.

Keep your Wi-Fi on

This one's pretty basic, but is worth remembering if you're in a city with lots of open Wi-Fi access points: leave your Wi-Fi on and hop on open networks to save some data while you're out. If you're going to be stationary for a few minutes, there's little reason not to hop on that nearby Starbucks or McDonald's free Wi-Fi. It'll take a minute, but you'll save a few megabytes in the process.

The one potential issue here is how joining and leaving all of these Wi-Fi networks may affect the game's understanding of your location, but again that may be worth it if you're being super cautious about your mobile data usage.

Restrict background app data

Though there isn't really any indication that Pokémon Go is using copious amounts of data when you're not actively using it, Android phones allow you to forcibly restrict mobile data usage when the app isn't actively in use on your screen. You'll want to head into your phone's settings, look for the application or apps settings, scroll down and tap Pokémon Go, tap data usage and then restrict background data.

The settings and wording may differ slightly by phone, but by doing this Pokémon Go will only use mobile data while it's open.

Cut back on mobile data usage in other apps

Pokémon Go isn't going to use that much data on its own, but you will likely use a bunch more through various other apps while you're outside playing the game. If you're streaming music or podcasts while out playing, consider choosing an app that will let you download that data ahead of time instead of streaming it on mobile data. You should also double check that you don't have auto-updating apps turned on in the Play Store, and social media apps aren't pre-loading videos and images while on mobile data.

The more data you save in other apps, the more you have to play Pokémon Go with!

Be a T-Mobile subscriber

If you're a Pokémon Go player on T-Mobile, this game doesn't have to cost you any data at all! Here's what you need to do for free Pokémon Go on your phone:

  1. Open the T-Mobile Tuesday App
  2. Tap Unleash Pokemon Go
  3. Tap Redeem

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

48 Comments
  • You're gonna kill the cow Posted via the Android Central App
  • They killed it yesterday Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Killed, butchered and eaten
  • Lol
  • You lost me at Pokemon Go...
  • Doesn't matter, unlimited data for me. AT&T Galaxy S7 Onyx Black with Unlimited Data
  • Same! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Okay I have an android phone and i'm playing Pokemon Go at home but when I go outside with data turned on it says no GPS even though I have my GPS turned on. And I can easily use the Google maps as well
  • This is like listening to a radio station that has changed formats but hasn't told anyone yet.
  • Inb4 all the ******** come flooding in about how they are posting too much about Pokemon go. I really can't figure out why you're all so bothered by it, nobody is forcing you to read it and it isn't like you are getting notifications blowing up your phone about them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Some people come here on a regular basis for actual news and solid information pertaining to Android. PoGo is worth some attention, but this is ridiculous. It's frustrating to come here and have to sift through and scroll past (slowly - thanks intrusive ads) all of the noise created by AC's greed surrounding this topic. Plus, some articles are flat out misleading click bait - like this one. The title of this made me think, "hmm, that would be good info to know actually, let me check it out." Then I realized it doesn't answer the question in the title whatsoever. It lures you in with the title, then basically says, "Ok well we really don't know, short of this small sample of a test that makes it look like it doesn't use that much. But wait, don't leave, here are some general tips to save data unrelated to PoGo at all!!" That right there is the definition of click bait.
  • I've been using Android Central for over 5 years now. There have been many times where I have sat down and scrolled past an entire day's worth of news and not seen a single thing that related to me, but I garuntee you I have never once posted about how I was annoyed by this, because I wasn't. Just because something on this site doesn't fit your taste doesn't mean you get to bash the writers, they are doing their job just as I'm assuming you do yours. This app instantly became the top grossing app and over night became the #1 app in the store and they are doing what they have always done - reporting on the apps that are relevant to Android. If it makes you so upset that you have to scroll for an extra thirty seconds to check out which articles cater to your interests then I suggest you go see an anger managent counselor; and if you don't have the time to take those extra thirty seconds then you shouldn't be trying to squeeze in an article in the first place. A lot of us (myself included) actually appreciate the reportings that Android Central is dealing because of how minute the tutorial is in the game. You can complain all you want, until the hype is over surrounding this game, Android Central will continue to report on the app the way that they should as a news center. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I get your point, but Android Central is about all relative things (at the moment) concerning Android; i.e. popular features and apps, namely Pokémon Go. It even usurped YouPorn going by internet hits recently. Maybe there could be site filters so you can choose what you want to view. (Oh wait, there are!) Use them. P̶o̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶N̶e̶x̶u̶s̶ ̶6̶P̶
    H982 FKL
  • There are also site filters in place so that you can filter out posts by keywords, maybe you should take your own advice and use it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh there is a filter in the app! Yeah, no Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • I've seen you posting here a lot in the past 6 months and almost every comment I see by you is some smartass reply or arrogant opinion. until you can learn to go without either one, keep yourself off of my comments, because I assure you you won't be receiving a reply after this one until you grow up and learn how to hold a conversation like an adult and not some punk kid. Posted via the Android Central App
  • @Old_Zealand - See my response below. It's not about relevance. AC should definitely cover PoGo.
  • @tnt4 just read it ;) P̶o̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶N̶e̶x̶u̶s̶ ̶6̶P̶
    H982 FKL
  • I've also been reading AC for a long time (close to 7 years, but I had two accounts and lost access to the email on my original account). I didn't elaborate on the entire problem and didn't communicate well in my first comment above. Honestly I don't really have an issue with scrolling and ignoring what doesn't interest me. That's not what I meant to communicate and obviously the writers here can't cater to everybody's interests all the time - I don't expect that. I'm actually interested (or was) in knowing more about PoGo as I knew nothing about it until yesterday and I have three kids myself. AC's reporting on PoGo is so scattered and fragmented I've gone elsewhere to learn about it. That's what is frustrating. I like AC (dwindling), I like the writers (most). Instead of having a few clean sources for details about how to play the game, they have 20+ (pushing 30 now?) pieces to sift through to find what you want (if they have it). If you've ever seen my other comments, I've mentioned multiple times that I think the writers here are excellent and can provide great content. I'm not bashing them in any way, shape, or form. The reason I complain is because this type of "reporting" is beneath them. If you've been a reader as long as you say, then you know it hasn't always been like this. This is click bait (this article specifically), and the way they're popping out mini-articles on every tiny subject wreaks of exploiting their readers for ad revenue. SEO to make money is one thing, this is a whole other level that is beneath the quality of content they're capable of generating.
  • You got it tnt Posted via the Pokémon Central App
  • Nailed it. However, they don't care. They are more interesting in gaming Google Search than they are in serving their readers.
  • While I do agree with what you're saying about the conversion of this into a different topic, I also feel like that would belittle what they are trying to do; they are trying to help their audience (and make a little extra ad revenue on the side, but they are a business at the nitty gritty, and that's what businesses do) to understand the game better; and while they could just put Pokemon Go into one giant post and update it regularly, they aren't going to do that because
    A.) It doesn't generate as much revenue for them.
    B.) People are not going to continually go back to the same post over and over in an attempt to see if it has been updated with fresh content.
    The only viable option they have is to post things as they find them out themselves and distribute that information to the masses in the best way possible, which is to keep posting in individual articles. I can see how it can get annoying, and I'm not dismissing that fact, but the fact of the matter is, there is always going to be something going on that a large majority is going to like and some minority are going to dislike (take all of the 360 degree camera things that were unveiled at CES earlier this year, not a single bit of that information related to me, and they probably posted a good 15-20 articles regarding them, but I kept checking the site anyways and I scrolled past that.) You can't please all of your audience when your audience is as big as AC's is. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Cameron, I was replying to tnt. Sorry if there was any confusion ;) (I was saying reporting about PoGo is fine.) P̶o̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶N̶e̶x̶u̶s̶ ̶6̶P̶
    H982 FKL
  • All good, I was a tad bit confused by your reply because I was like "... If he knows that there are filters in place then he can use them to weed out the posts..." Posted via the Android Central App
  • This coverage has nothing to do with trying to serve their readers and everything to do with gaming Google Search for more ad views. That's it. It's a pure greed play and an obvious one at that.
  • How do you think that they make ad revenue if they don't cater to their readers exactly? It's called a target audience, and right now they have the chance to gain a lot more target audience while keeping their current ones through this game. I play Pokemon Go as a 21 year old man, I have friends that are doing articles for Pokemon go for their local paper and I have sent three of them to this site for information, they will take paraphrases from this site and then they will cite it, and guess what happens when those 200-500ish students who actually read the paper see that cite listing? Maybe 10-20 of them come to this site and then they tell their friends about this site. This isn't about making ad revenue, it's about expanding a target audience. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Idk. Maybe either the people that play the game are mainly in the age of the target audience, everyone plays Pokémon Go, or Mobile Nations are taking a multiple-pronged attack with WC, iMore, Tesla Central, and AC. P̶o̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶N̶e̶x̶u̶s̶ ̶6̶P̶
    H982 FKL
  • Maybe some of you forget this is a business with employees who have mouths to feed. If you don't want to know about a topic, skip it Keep moving. Nothing to see here. But if you support this site and simply clicking a link will help it keep it's employees employed, what the ***** is the problem? It's a freakin tech site. It's not going to change the world.
  • I get what you're saying, and I agree they deserve to make money. They've always pushed the line on SEO (since MN took over anyway), and I don't have a problem with that as long as the information is somewhat relevant and helpful. I don't expect them to have a single Pokemon article that is continuously updated, but there's balance somewhere in the middle. Look at this: http://www.androidcentral.com/pokemon-go/home 30+ articles in 48 hours. If you look at that compared to other reputable news sites (and not just Android news sites - IGN doesn't even come close to this level), and you don't see how they're blatantly exploiting their users for clicks and search results, then we'll probably have to agree to disagree on how they're handling their coverage. IMHO, a good portion of that could be consolidated into a handful of articles that are updated regularly, and even pushed to the top of their feed when updated. I don't know... all of my complaining about this topic is beginning to feel futile and I'm almost to the point of giving up on them and sticking with other sites for my Android news. I know, nobody cares... "don't let the door hit you..." etc etc. I'm not saying that as some sort of a statement or soap box, but simply as a point of exhausting around trying to get AC to hear their long time, loyal readers.
  • How big was the sample size to determine the bandwidth consumption. posted via the Pokémon Central app
    -----------------------------------------------
    before you see the light, you have to deal with the darkness
  • Anecdotal evidence around Android Central. Like I note in the article, there's really no hard and fast rule about how much data it's going to use ... there are so many factors in it depending how you play the game. And also as I note, you're far more likely to use more data on your phone in other apps when you're out of the house playing Pokemon go than the actual Pokemon Go app itself. IOW — don't worry about data usage!
  • *woosh*.....!? Posted via the Android Central App
  • So you admit that the title is click-bait then? :) "How much data does Pokemon Go use?" Answer: "There's really no hard and fast rule about how much it's going to use." C'mon, do you really feel ok writing this type of stuff? ;)
  • Does it make a flippin difference? Do you have to pay someone to click a link? The title is valid no matter the answer? How much data does it use? We don't know. Valid answer. I bet you got pissed as a kid when the commercial asked, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?" I guess "The World May Never Know" was click bait. Again, this is not meant to be Pulitzer Prize winning reports here. As long as it pertains to Android in some way, shape or fashion it's valid.
  • Big picture? No, it doesn't make a difference. And I'll play along with your assumption of me as a person - I didn't have a choice in viewing that commercial unless I wanted to get up and go turn the TV off or change the channel while it was on. By that point the commercial would've been over. If, however, it had asked, "How many licks? Stay here to see the answer!". And then made revenue directly from me staying to see that answer, then yes, I would've been a bit annoyed by that. They just made a buck off of me by making me think they had an answer, therefore causing me to wait around for said answer, which directly affected their revenue, when they didn't actually have the answer in the first place. That's the problem. "Here, let me title this in a way that implies one thing, and then communicate something different altogether - thanks for the click and $$!" How that's not a problem to everybody, I don't understand. I bet you enjoy your world of half-truths and misleading communication.
  • Are you flappin serious? You allowed someone to make a buck by clicking a link. Someone mind you whom you seem to value their insight into Android or you wouldn't be here playing the loon. Did you truly need to know how much data a Pokemon uses? Really? Was you world somehow changed by not know this answer? To give you a valid answer, I had my team of crack Pokemon scientist go out into the field and measure data consumption on 239 of the top Android device produced over the last 22 years. We downloaded the game yesterday and were transported back in time to the year 1973. Granted, cellphone towers weren't all the great back then so the data maybe a little off but we have come up with a valid answer - 42.
  • Lol... and that's sincere, your comment really did make me laugh (in a good way). No I'm not completely serious. I told you I'd play along with your personification of me as a child, so I took that to the extreme. :) That said, it does still annoy men when the articles doesn't match up with what the title implies. It's a minor annoyance, not a world-changing annoyance (nothing on here is world changing obviously). But it's an annoyance nonetheless.
  • Glad I could give you a chuckle. Never thought you were a child especially since you knew the Tootsie Roll commercial. Posted via the Android Central App
  • None of you don't play stupid Pokemon go... S7 edge...Soon to be Note 7 edge
  • We all play it? Nope.
  • Test Posted via the Pokemon Central App
  • Seriously, this must be a joke now. You guys are doing this to irritate your readers right? Oh my goodness. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Way too many Pokemon go articles Posted via the Android Central App
  • From what I'm hearing, Pokeman Go is a monster with over 12 zillion downloads in the last 17 minutes alone!!! Why wouldn't every Android site in the universe be writing about it?
  • Writing and SEO spamming are two different things.
  • Oh for the love of God release a new smartphone somebody! Please help these poor writers find something else to focus on. Geez. This is embarrassing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just wait until August 2. This site will be renamed Note 7 Central Posted via the Android Central App
  • 78.70MB used since Jul 6. :/