Pokémon Go uses your cellular data when you’ve enabled location services, which uses GPS for the game. Unless you have unlimited data usage while you’re out and about catching Pokémon with your mobile device, you should probably keep track of your data usage. There are also a couple of things you can do to minimize battery use and your mobile device’s use of cellular data.
Also see our article How to Hatch Eggs Faster in Pokémon Go
We’re going to talk about ways to minimize and keep track of data usage while playing Pokémon Go.
Whenever and wherever Wi-Fi is available for you to play Pokémon Go, definitely take advantage of that. The Wi-Fi also gives you a GPS signal for this location-based mobile game. It also saves your mobile device from running through your data plan (though, unless you’re a hardcore Pokémon Go gamer and play eight hours a day every day or more, you won’t be using excessive data).
Use a Data Tracking App
On my iPhone, I have a data tracking widget to keep track of data usage—we’ve got a 7 GB family shared plan. I’ve been playing Pokémon Go for ten days, mostly through a Wi-Fi connection but at least once a day for a couple of hours on our mobile provider’s network. I’ve individually only used 0.428 GB, which equals 428 MB of data usage. That’s actually a lot less than I was expecting and is a welcome discovery. When I tap on the data tracking widget, it opens another page which displays all of our individual mobile devices and each person’s data usage.
Restrict Background App Refresh and Cellular Data Usage
You can limit your apps only to update and refresh background data and services while connected to Wi-Fi, or disable them from using cellular data and Wi-Fi altogether. While playing Pokémon Go, you need to have the location services enabled and on, whether on Wi-Fi or your mobile data plan.
You could, however, restrict or turn off other apps from using background app refresh and cellular data. On your iPhone, go to > Settings > Cellular > Scroll down to “Use Cellular Data For.” Next, you can toggle the button near each application you want or don’t want to access cellular data.
To control background app refresh on an iPhone, go to > Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Then, toggle the button to the off position so background data won’t be used by your apps while on Wi-Fi or Cellular, which also helps preserve battery life on your iPhone.
Close Out All Apps That Are Running
When you’re not playing Pokémon Go, shut the app; whether you’re actively using it or not, it still uses data. This goes for all other apps you’ve got open—they are still running on your mobile device and could be using data without you even realizing it. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m constantly checking to make sure all apps are closed on my phone unless it’s the one I’m using at the moment.
So, by following these basic guidelines and making sure you stay within the boundaries of your allowable data usage set forth by your mobile provider and possibly your family, you should be good to go. By doing the steps as mentioned above, you’ll also help conserve some of your mobile device’s battery and data usage.