We were on the fence about buying the Pokémon GO add-on, but suddenly we’re very happy we did.

After much speculation about what the Pokémon GO Plus accessory would and wouldn’t do for players of the smash-hit smartphone game, we finally got some answers when we purchased one for ourselves following its recent release. It turns out that there is a way that the unit can, in fact, be used like a pedometer in hatching your Pokémon eggs, and so our office’s most accomplished Pokémon Trainer, P.K., quickly grabbed our Pokémon GO Plus and took it out for a little field testing.

As you might have noticed, some members of the RocketNews24 team will go to great lengths to eliminate the need for any walking in hatching their Pokémon. Athletic P.K. isn’t quite so lethargic, but if he’s going to be the very best (like no one ever was), he can’t afford any efficiency losses in his Pokémon hatching operations, and so he was concerned.


See, the pedometer function was an eleventh-hour addition to the Pokémon GO Plus, coming after the manufacturer had originally denied it would be included in the final product. So P.K. wondered, if it was such an easy function to add, why wasn’t it in the plans from the beginning? And if it was a difficult addition, does that mean the quickly tacked-on function is inaccurate, and possibly doesn’t give you full credit for the distance you’ve walked?


To find out, P.K. headed over to Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the largest green spaces in central Tokyo. After looking at the park’s map and picking out a route, P.K. fired up Pokémon GO on his smartphone and started walking (with his Pokémon GO Plus still turned off).


Once he was done, he checked his incubator, and found that using just the smartphone version of Pokémon GO had brought him 3.05 kilometers (1.9 miles) closer to hatching his eggs.


Now back where he’d started, P.K. turned on his Pokémon GO Plus, put his smartphone into sleep mode, and walked the same course again.


Then he switched his phone back on, brought up his incubator, and found that…


…it had credited him for walking 4.06 kilometers!

Now, we have to point out that since Shinjuku Gyoen is a popular park, P.K. wasn’t the only person taking a stroll within its confines at the time. As such, there may have been a slight difference in how much zigzagging he’d done to get around other pedestrian traffic on his two circuits, but no way was it enough to account for a 33-percent increase in the distance registered. Also, he’d spent the same 30 minutes on both circuits, so it’s not like his walking speed was a major variable either.

In the end, we’re not sure why the Pokémon GO Plus can give you a bonus on the distance you’ve walked, but we, and our feet, are glad it does.

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