Pokémon Go: How to save power, end crashes, and fix server errors


July 30, 2016: Pokémon Go has removed the battery saver option. Yeah. Ugh. Don’t panic, though, we have a few tips below that’ll still help you stay ahead of the power curve!

What do you do when Pokémon Go drains your battery or crashes and you can’t play? We’ve got a few tips!

In grand Pokémon tradition, Niantic’s new augmented-reality game has a few glitches, crashes, and bugs scattered in-between Pokémon Gyms, Pokéstops, and the creatures themselves.

These glitches run the gamut from momentary pauses in gameplay to getting stuck in a gym with your opponent at 1HP, and they take away from what is otherwise a delightfully fun game. It’s somewhat to be expected, given the massive amount of people currently interacting with Niantic’s Pokémon Go servers right about now, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic button you can press inside the game to instantly get it working again, but we still have some a few tips for when you run into a bug or crash while playing Pokémon Go. Here’s how to get out of crash mode as quickly as possible and return to catching ’em all.

How to stop Pokémon Go from draining your battery

Catching Pokémon may be delightful, but all of that location-awareness can wreak havoc on your iPhone’s battery. Here are a few ways to keep that from happening quite so rapidly.

Turn down screen brightness

Among the biggest drains to iPhone battery life are screen brightness, GPS, and poor cellular or Wi-Fi connections. You need both GPS and Wi-Fi on to play Pokemon Go, and you need a data connection no matter where you go, so there’s not much you can do about the radios. Screen brightness, though, has some wiggle room.

Yes, you will need to be able to see the screen, especially in bright sunlight, and that can often mean you need to have it on full brightness. But only when you’re actively using it. When you’re not, you can turn the brightness all the way down. If and when a Pokémon shows up, you’ll feel a vibration, and then you can turn the screen brightness back up catch away!

Turn off AR

Augmented reality is a huge part of the game’s appeal, to be sure: There’s something delightful about seeing a Psyduck appear on your kitchen table. But AR requires turning the camera on, which puts extra strain on your battery. If you’re out and about and focused on catching a bunch of creatures, you may want to focus your iPhone’s longevity on that aspect, rather than on where the Pokémon were caught.

Get a battery case

It’s not the best nor cheapest solution, but a battery case or power pack will go a long way to keeping your battery from exploding while hunting for Pokémon or battling at gyms.

  • Best battery cases for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6
  • Best battery cases for iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Best battery cases for iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5
  • Best power packs for iPhone on the go

How to play Pokémon Go when you get a server error

No one with a Pokémon addiction wants to see the fateful “Our servers are experiencing issues” message when they log in to their account over their lunch break. Unfortunately, that’s what many users are getting. It’s hardly a surprise: No matter how much beta-testing Niantic did before launch, millions of people want to play Pokémon Go, and most of them are awake and playing at the same time of day.

If you get an overloaded server message, chances are your server is currently capped and no more Trainers can sign in until someone else signs out. You can always wait and manually try to sign in again after a few minutes, but the quick and dirty way is to force a reboot.

  1. Return to the Home screen (if you can) by pressing the Home button.
  2. Double-press the Home button to enter the multitasking screen.
  3. Swipe to the Pokémon Go card, then swipe up on the card to force quit the app.
  4. Relaunch Pokémon Go and sign in.

How to fix Pokémon Go crashes

Not sure whether your game has frozen or your internet connection’s just being terrible? Look for the spinning white Pokéball in the upper left corner — the game uses the icon to signify to the player that Niantic’s servers are being refreshed.

If your graphics freeze but that Pokéball icon is spinning, chances are the game is just trying to connect back to its central server, and everything should catch up within a few moments. (You can also check your iPhone’s status bar at the top of the screen to see the strength of your internet connection.)

If instead, your animations resume but your buttons don’t do anything and the Pokéball continues spinning, your game may have lost connection to the server and needs a reboot.

I’ve seen this happen several times over my last few days playing the game, but it seems to regularly happen in gyms when you bring an opponent down to 1HP. You may also catch this glitch when first launching the game, where you’ll see no Pokémon nearby — nor any in your personal collection.

First, try to leave the app and come back

Sometimes a quick close and re-opening is all that you need to reconnect to Niantic’s servers and get back to the game.

  1. Return to the Home screen, if you can, by pressing the Home button.
  2. Open a new app, and take a few minutes to do something else. (Or better yet: Explore the area where you’ve been searching for Pokémon without your eyes glued to a screen!)
  3. Double-press the Home button to enter the multitasking screen.

  4. Swipe to the Pokémon Go card.
  5. Tap on the Pokémon Go card to reenter the app.

With luck, you’ll see the Gyarados loading screen and return to gym battling and creature catching in no time.

If there’s an unfixable bug, reboot and bug report

If your game crashes, you’ll unfortunately need to reboot Pokémon Go to get back to catching creatures. You may lose immediate data, but unfortunately, it seems like the only way to fix the bugs at present is to dump everything and restart. (On the plus side, if you crash during a gym fight, any damage your Pokémon have taken will be rescinded, and you’ll return to them at full health.)

Here’s what to do if you run into an unfixable crash.

  1. Return to the Home screen (if you can) by pressing the Home button.
  2. Double-press the Home button to enter the multitasking screen.
  3. Swipe to the Pokémon Go card, then swipe up on the card to force quit the app.
  4. Relaunch Pokémon Go.
  5. Visit the Pokémon Go bug report page and let Niantic know about your issue.

How to fix other issues

Maybe you’re not running into crashes, per say, but you’ve found glitches with items, trainer progress, or location: If so, you might want to check out Niantic’s known issues page, which offers solutions for several of the more prominent glitches and bugs in the game.
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