Exciting news! Back in March, Pokémon GO started field tests in Japan, and footage was leaked from a SXSW panel later that month. Now, its finally time for players in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand to get their hands on the most anticipated mobile game around.
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) May 16, 2016
The link to sign up was released this afternoon, with plenty of stipulations and conditions attached. The app players will test with is only a field test version Pokémon GO, and accounts and game data will not be transferred to the release version. Test players need to have an iPhone 5 with iOS 8 and above, or an Android with Version 4.3. Naturally, test players are also asked to maintain confidentiality about their experience and refrain from sharing content on social media.
Being chosen as a test player is based on a combination of “OS-types, experience in real-world games, and an element of luck.” If you are selected, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions and requirements. Game data and progression will be wiped multiple times during the course of the field test, without warning.
Most importantly, field test players will not receive any kind of premiums or monetary rewards, nor will they be reimbursed for cellular data usage. Rather, the experience is your reward. And, of course, pay attention to your surroundings while playing – Niantic cannot be held responsible for any “property damage of personal injury” that occurs while you’re out in the field.
Despite the above stipulations regarding confidentiality, a decent amount of information has leaked from the beta test in Japan – users who have been identified via screenshots have already been banned. So far, it’s somewhat generic-looking screenshots, and Google Play Store information that has been roughly translated from Japanese to English. For instance, when Pokémon are in the area, the player’s smartphone vibrates to let them know. In terms of differences, the most jarring change between the console games and the mobile version is the evolution mechanism. Pokémon are evolved by catching multiple of the same type, as opposed to leveling up through combat.
If all of that sounds good to you, go ahead and sign up. May the odds be in your favor!