A wild beta appears! Pokémon Go arrives in the US

Pokemon Go trading

Pokémon Go, the hotly anticipated augmented reality mobile game, is now ready for testers in the US.

Niantic Labs, a game maker that used to be a part of Google, announced today that Pokémon Go is available to download for those who signed up to be testers.

The company is also currently testing the game in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Pokemon Go battles

Pokémon Go lets players use their phones to catch Pokémon in the "real world" using augmented reality technology. The game places digital representations of Pokémon IRL for you to collect and add to your Pokedex.

Specific types of Pokémon can only be found in specific areas. For example, water-type Pokémon will show up near bodies of water. Hopefully you won't have to climb through a forest to find Venusaur, which Niantic Labs says no beta tester has found yet.

To add a bit of intrigue to the game, Niantic Labs also announced that players can collect Pokémon Eggs. "Trainers will get a good workout as you must walk a preset distance in order to hatch the Egg and find out what Pokémon will emerge. Incubators are provided to help with this process," says the development team.

Pokemon Go evolution

Beyond simply finding and catching Pokémon, Pokémon Go lets players join a team and battle one another. There are Gyms in the game, just like the original Gameboy version, and players can battle and claim Gyms from each other.

If the gameplay sounds familiar, that's because Niantic Labs also made Ingress, a popular location-based mobile game where players fight to control real-world territories.

Pokémon Go is expected to launch some time this summer for Android and iOS.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.