If my office is on the second floor, and my friend's is on the 31st (same building), will we see the same pokemon? Or will she see more flying-type and less ground-type, and will I experience the opposite?

2 Answers 2


Elevation does not matter in terms of visible Pokemon or interacting with Pokestops and gyms. The same things will be available to both of you.

Pokemon Go is essentially a 2 dimensional game. This is made clear in-game by the circle that pulses around your character as you play, which indicates the range of what you can interact with based on your location. Other evidence that indicates this is the fact that your character stays on the ground and the game world lacks any sort of elevation indicator. Also, while buildings are displayed on the map, they have no concept of height.

If altitude was a factor, then the circle of influence would actually be a sphere of influence and the game would have to indicate your elevation above the ground in some fashion in order to inform the player of their current state/location. The lack of these indicators makes it clear that elevation is not important enough for the player to consider during play.

  • I hadn't even considered pokestop/gym interaction.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 18:54
  • Adding a third dimension would require a bit more processing power. ;) Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 19:09
  • Not really processing power... More like hardware evolution... There's no way a phone could track your height, there's nothing in the phone to do so.
    – Karlyr
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 20:06
  • Well, your phone can act as a barometer, right? It's not ideal, since all it can do is check for atmospheric pressure. But it could generalize that to estimate roughly what altitude you're at. But it wouldn't be perfect, and I doubt there's really any useful gameplay that Niantic could gain from implementing such a thing.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 20:11
  • 5
    GPS alone can measure 3-dimensional positions if you are connected to 4 or more satellites. Compare the measured position to ground level at the same latitude/longitude and you get the height above ground (needs a map containing ground level information though)
    – hoffmale
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 22:02

Height above ground does not matter, as noted in the answer from Ellesedil. But it is apparent that height above sea level of the ground may matter. At least anecdotally, some pokemon - particularly Dragonites - seem to spawn in mountainous regions. It's not necessarily believed that the game actually uses elevation per se here, but perhaps map data that says "mountain" (as it's known that map-defined regions are used to define the biomes).

  • Is this personal anecdote, or can you give a reference?
    – Jerry
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 13:31

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