Pokémon Go has become a phenomenon since it first launched in Australia and New Zealand on 5 July, before becoming available in the US on 6 July.
The new augmented reality game for iOS and Android from Niantic Labs and Nintendo has seen massive growth since its US launch.
Niantic had to pause the global roll-out of the game, as the massive demand was putting strain on its servers.
Only recently did it officially expand Pokémon Go into Europe with a launch in Germany.
Even though the game isn’t officially available all over the world, it still works in places like South Africa if you can get your hands on it.
This is because Pokémon Go draws on the location data that Niantic has collected for its other augmented reality apps, specifically Ingress, a game that it developed under Google.
There are a few ways to get the game outside its officially supported regions, but we highlighted the easiest methods below.
Install Pokémon Go on iOS from South Africa
Short version: Create a US iTunes account and sign in with it on your iPhone.
To download Pokémon Go on an iPhone, you will need a US-based iTunes account.
Getting one is as simple as selecting the United States as your region when you create the account.
Since Pokémon Go is a free download, you won’t have to worry about linking a virtual credit card or buying US iTunes vouchers.
Once you have your new US account, go into the iTunes section of Settings and sign out of your normal account.
After you have logged into your US account and downloaded the game, you can switch back to a non-US iTunes account.
Install Pokémon Go on Android from South Africa
Short version: Just grab the installer from APKMirror.
Tricking Google into believing you are from the United States is a little more difficult.
However, if you’re willing to live dangerously, you can simply side-load the APK for Pokémon Go.
Proofpoint has warned that it has spotted malware called DroidJack in unofficial versions of the Pokémon Go app.
Although the infected APK was not found “in the wild”, it is a reminder that installing software from third-party sources is always a risk.
Even more so in the case of an extremely popular app like Pokémon Go where the release has had to be limited. It’s like catnip for scammers. Remember when WhatsApp voice calling was invitation-only? Same thing.
That said, if you use a service like APKMirror, you should be relatively safe.
According to APKMirror, the version of the app it has for download is verified as safe to install, as it has been signed by Niantic.
“The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way,” it said.
Official download links
When Pokémon Go officially launches in South Africa, you should be able to simply follow these links to download it:
- App Store (iOS)
- Google Play (Android)
- Windows Phone (you’ll have to sign this petition and hope for the best)