I have been trying to catch Pokémon this morning, and have had no luck so far. Eventually I ran into my first Pokémon, but unfortunately, the timing could not be worse.

I'm inside a kebab store, waiting for food, and let's be honest - while catching Pokémon in augmented reality is kind of cool, it certainly does not look cool to unaware onlookers. Raising my phone to locate the Pokémon, people are already looking at me funny. It also occurs to me that it may look like I am recording with my phone1, which can lead to some unpleasant misunderstandings.

There's a Doduo in my kebab store!

Of course, there are many other situations where I would not want to be spinning around, holding my phone up. It would be convenient to turn this feature off, while still being able to play the game, even if it is a major mechanic. Sometimes catching Pokémon in real life just isn't convenient.

How do I disable the augmented reality mechanic for catching Pokémon, so I don't look like a complete idiot at inappropriate times?

1Given the context, I guess I kind of am.

  • 29
    "Excuse me miss, there appears to be a doduo on your chest. Hold still please?"
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 2:28
  • 8
    "Dude... Are you taking a picture of me?" - "Nah, just catching a Pokémon, mate!"
    – Gigala
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:05
  • 2
    Please don't engage in rollback wars. If you wish to debate this particular question's wording, take it to Arqade Meta
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


When you encounter a pokémon, one of the icons that appears will be labelled AR. AR stands for Augmented Reality. Simply select this toggle to turn it on or off.

This took me a while to notice, but when in its 'off' state, pokémon go plays in a pre-rendered scene, as opposed to using the camera and gyro.

In laymans terms, the pokémon will always be straight in front of you. You do not have to move the phone around sporadically in order to keep the pokémon on screen, and can play pokémon go as if it was a typical phone game.

Turning off "Augmented Reality"

  • 18
    Note that you may not enable or disable AR at a Gym battle. You must set that beforehand.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 16:53
  • 2
    @KazWolfe, as I have found out, you can not really toggle AR "beforehand". Regardless, you have to deliberately choose to engage in a gun battle, so they are far less likely to 'pop up' at an inconvenient time.
    – user106385
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 2:18
  • 3
    You choose to have AR on or off before the gym battle -- imgur.com/a/RWncY
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 2:32
  • 2
    @Timelord64 Gun battle? I thought guns were banned in pokemon (outside of kanto). Then again... maybe not.
    – Pharap
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 16:37

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