Pokémon GO field-testing kicks off today in the United States

Pokemong Go teaser 001

Having previously launched in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, beta testing for Pokémon GO kicks off today in the United States as its developer, Niantic Labs, began sending out beta invites this morning to customers who signed up to field-test the work-in-progress game.

In a blog post, Niantic shared a few previously unknown tidbits about the forthcoming mobile game, which is being developed collaboration with The Pokémon Company and will take place in the real world.

Exploring PokéStops

In this game, players will be tasked with exploring PokéStops in the real world to collect more than a hundred different catchable Pokémon. Players can then trade or use in battles the Pokémon they’ve caught.

“By using their own Pokémon’s attacks and dodging incoming attacks by swiping left and right on the screen, Pokémon GO players can defeat the defending Pokémon to reduce the Gym’s Prestige,“ reads the post.

Players can also join teams and participate in Gym battles, located in public spots around the world, like historical venues, monuments, public art installations and more.

Gym battles

Once the Gym’s Prestige reaches zero, the defending team loses control of the Gym, and the victor’s Pokémon can be assigned to defend the Gym.

“When a team has control of a Gym, team members can increase its Prestige and level by training their Pokémon with other defending Pokémon,” developers explain.

“As the Gym gets to a higher level, the defending team gains the ability to assign more Pokémon to defend it. They can also team up with friends and battle together at a rival Gym to take down stronger Gyms faster.”

Pokémon GO Plus

Players will be even able to use a wrist-worn Pokémon GO Plus wireless gadget, sold separately, that was designed to notify them via LEDs and vibration when they approach a nearby Pokémon that can be collected.

Pokémon Go will be released later this year on a freemium basis, with optional In-App Purchases for those wishing to buy PokéCoins to gain additional power-ups.

You can sign up to become a beta tester at the Niantic Labs website.

Source: Niantic Labs