The moment is finally here: you can sign up for the Pokémon GO field test in the US. It’s worth noting up front that this is in fact a closed field test, meaning it’s private and the details of it can’t be shared. For the uninitiated, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) smartphone game that lets you use your phone as a window into a world overrun by Pokémon. By physically traveling around the world to actual real-life locations, like bodies of water and big points of interest, you interact with other Pokémon trainers as you catch and train your Pokémon.
Back in March at SXSW, YouTube user Eric F. leaked exclusive gameplay footage of the game that was shown during a panel by Niantic Labs CEO, John Hanke, and the flood of information has been relatively consistent ever since. Just a few weeks later, the first official gameplay details were revealed and confirmed. As a gamer and anime fan that grew up with Pokémon, this is the type of game I’ve been waiting a long time to play, I just didn’t know it until Nintendo announced it.
While most of the footage seen has been nothing more than an incredibly detailed and gratuitous marketing campaign to get people excited without really showing much true gameplay at all, the hype machine is still in full force. This is the first opportunity that people in the US will really get a chance to try it out for themselves.
You have to have an Android or iOS device and you must have a Gmail or Google-powered email account. It’s also important to note that this is, for all intents and purposes, a closed beta test. That means that things will break, there will be bugs, and it may stop working from time to time. This isn’t a demo, it’s a test, and your role as a tester is different than your future role as a player.
According to the Pokémon GO US Field Test signup page, “Field testers will be selected based on a variety of factors which may include OS-types, experience in real world games, and an element of luck. Selected participants will receive an email with detailed instructions and requirements.” It also states that data will not transfer over to the released version of the game at launch.
Now it’s time to head over to the signup page, cross your fingers, and hope you’re selected!