Despite its augmented reality elements, Pokémon Go can feel a bit lonely at times, as there’s no in-game social tools. Thankfully, there’s a new messaging app that brings everyone together to “catch ’em all.”
The goal of the augmented reality game is to catch Pokémon, and it uses your smartphone’s GPS to show you which way you’re heading — whether it’s to a PokéStop, a local landmark that gives you Pokéballs and other items, or to a nearby Pokémon thanks to a tracker. But once you hit level 5 in the game, you’re able to choose a team and challenge gyms. There are three teams: Mystic (blue), Instinct (yellow), and Valor (red).
Each team has a team leader that gives an explanation of what it stands for, and they all represent one of the three legendary birds: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, respectively. Once you join a team, the goal is to control and defend gyms from your rivals — but oddly the game did not release with any built-in messaging features that connects players together.
Thankfully, others have stepped up to fill that void. With Messenger for Pokémon Go, all you have to do once you install the app is add your username, choose your team color, and then close the app. It will now appear as a chat head — a blue Pokéball with a cross on it — and it functions just like Facebook Messenger.
The neat thing about the app is that it mimics the game’s design, so it actually looks like a feature of Pokémon Go when you’re playing. Tapping on it opens up the chat, and you’ll be able to see messages from people up to 30km away. You can tap on the gear icon at the top to reduce this radius down to 5km, or 3.1 miles. You can also send your location out, which is handy if you want to show other trainers where you caught that Gyarados.
The app also lets you delete messages you send, but rumor has it that the game will have an update soon that allows for team-specific chats. Reddit user leonistawesomeee says a trainer from his town is the creator of the app, and that team chats are only a few days away. We have reached out to the app’s creator and will update this post with confirmation.
Team-specific chats would allow for players to coordinate which gyms they want to challenge, and which ones need defending from rivals.
Messenger for Pokémon Go seems to be far more useful than GoChat primarily thanks to the floating head feature — unfortunately, only Android users can take advantage of it for now. We have asked the developer if he’s planning an iOS version. Either way, the rise of these messaging apps show that there is clearly an interest and need for a built-in feature in Pokémon Go.