Half a decade after Pokémon Go took the mobile gaming world by storm, it continues to be an obsession of millions of players around the world. If you're among that number, but have exhausted all your local streets and hangouts, then it may be time to level up and see how getting a fake GPS for Pokémon Go can help you pick up bigger and better beasts.
In essence, changing - or 'spoofing' - your location with an app such as a VPN could open up a world of new cities and streets for you to virtually explore. Let's face it... what are the chances that there's a Lucario just loitering in your location? And a Mewtwo is hardly just going to fall into your lap.
Using a fake GPS with Pokémon Go is the first tool you need to help you enjoy the benefit of PokéStops on the other side of the world. Keep reading to understand how to get started and which VPN is the best for helping you catch them all. It isn't the most straightforward workaround you can get, but it's handy information to know for the hardiest of Pokémon hunters.
How can a VPN help you get a fake GPS
What is a VPN, we hear you ask? In short, it's a simple app that you can get for your phone that not only keeps you secure and anonymous online (handy when you're using public Wi-Fi or cellular data), but also allows you to change your IP address and appear like you're somewhere else in the world entirely.
But not all VPNs let you change your GPS, too. In fact, there's only one premium app that has this function integrated.
Surfshark is an excellent, affordable VPN with fake GPS.
Most top VPNs can be teamed up with a third-party app to help you get a fake GPS, but Surfshark does it all within the service itself. It's not perfect (see below) but it might just be what you need. And if you decide it's not for you, you can always take advantage of Surfshark's 30-day money back guarantee.
How to use Surfshark to spoof your location
Once you've signed up for Surfshark - and we'd seriously recommend doing so through the site rather than the Play Store, so you can ensure you get the cheapest price - download the app to your Android.
Then head to the 'Settings' menu in the app and then straight to 'Advanced'. Hit the 'Override GPS location' toggle and then go through to your handset's settings when prompted. In your phone settings, go to 'About phone' and then tap 'Build number' a few times (and potentially enter your password) until it tells you you're in developer mode.
Head back to the Surfshark app and 'Open settings'. Scroll to find 'Select mock location app' and then choose 'Surfshark' from the options. Back to the Surfshark app and you should be told that the setup is complete.
Now, when you choose a VPN server location from Surfshark, it will automatically spoof your GPS, too.
The above steps may sound complicated, but they're really not if you follow them closely. And they're certainly easier than trying to set up a fake GPS in collaboration with another VPN (as explained below).
Using a fake GPS for Pokémon Go: what else do you need
We'd love to say that once you go through the above steps, you're ready to start hunting for Gible and Doduo. But it's not quite that simple - the Pokémon Go creators do go to lengths to prevent such easy hunting, and you're still likely to be met with a GPS error.
To get around this, you'll need to download one of the best Android emulators - we rate the free BlueStacks emulator as the number #1 - which will then also allow you to change your system location.
There's also the issue that Surfshark's fake GPS doesn't have a joystick incorporated, which will inevitably lead to further frustrations. So you may want to experiment with GPS Joystick apps as well.
Get a fake GPS for Pokémon Go with other VPNs
If you already have an Android VPN and you don't fancy splashing out on a new one just for Pokémon catching (we can't say we blame you), then you really don't need to.
But things do become complicated as you'll have to team it up with a third-party fake GPS app. There are lots of choices out there on the Play Store, with both paid-for and free options to pick from - as explained above, you'll want to choose one with an incorporated joystick.
Once you've got that sorted, we'd point you in the direction of your VPN's online support services or, if you've chosen your VPN well (hopefully via our dedicated guide to the best VPN), get in contact with its customer support live chat and they should be able to guide you through the process for spoofing your GPS.
Other top VPNs for a Pokémon Go fake GPS
ExpressVPN is the world's #1 overall VPN
ExpressVPN might not have that inbuilt GPS spoofer, but it ticks all the other boxes. It's fast, secure, easy to use and has really handy 24/7 support (although its online Pokémon Go guide is excellent). Try the best with a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee, or sign up for a year and get 3 months extra free.
NordVPN - fake GPS from the world's biggest VPN
Pushing ExpressVPN hard to our top spot is NordVPN. It plays an excellent security game and is also really easy to operate (although its Android app could do with a facelift). Again, there's loads of online and live chat support available to help you on your way to a fake GPS.
Fake GPS for Pokémon Go on iPhone
We've talked above about how to get a fake GPS on Android and its uses, and maybe you're an iPhone user wondering why we aren't discussing iOS.
Frankly speaking, Apple has made spoofing your location on iPhone incredibly difficult. The App Store doesn't really deliver on effective fake GPS apps and you generally have to resort to either jailbreaking your iPhone or picking up an individual device that you'd plug in to your smartphone. So only dedicated Pokémon hunters need apply!
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Adam was formerly the Content Director of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversaw many of the articles TechRadar produces about antivirus software, VPN, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts - from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews. Adam has now dusted off his keyboard to write articles for the likes of TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide.