It seems like every smartphone owner and their dog is playing Niantic’s Pokémon GO.

Well, every smartphone owner and their dog as long as they are in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the United States because the game has a staggered release.

This has prompted countless aspiring Pokémon masters to side-load the game which has the potential to contain malware.

Thankfully though, we have a way for you to download the game and avoid the risk of downloading malware altogether.

To do this you’re going to need: an Android smartphone, at least 100MB of data and an active internet connection.

So, let’s get to catching them all shall we?

Step 1: Create a new Google Account

You’re going to have to head over to Google Account Creation and set up a new account. You are going to need to use an United States contact number. Though we don’t recommend Googling a random number and plugging that in, it is something that is possible.

Step 2: Download a VPN

Any VPN will do but we used Tunnelbear because it has a free account option that grants you 500MB of traffic per month. Score!

Step 3: Log in to your new US account on your phone

While your VPN is downloading and installing you can setup your new account on your phone. To do this go to Settings, and find the option labelled Accounts. Select Add,then Google and then key in your credentials.

Step 4: Turn off location tracking

This is one of the more important steps. Head back into Settings and look for an option marked Privacy. Within this menu you’ll find an option labeled Location. Select this option and turn off the setting marked Access to my location.

Step 5: Fire up the VPN

Now you’re just about ready to get hunting, erm catching Pokémon. Open your VPN and make sure you set it up so that it looks like you’re browsing in the United States. For those using Tunnelbear simply minimise the app as closing it resets the app and turns off the VPN.

Don’t forget to switch access to your location back on or you’ll just see a red bar.

Step 6: Switch Google Play accounts and GO

All of that done you can finally get to installing the app. Open the Google Play Store and switch your existing account (if its active) to your newly created US account. Once the store has refreshed you can type search for the game and start downloading it.

Once the game has installed you can switch your Google Play Store account back to your primary account and play the game in your area.

One final thing, head back to Step 4 and repeat the process. Only this time switch Access to my location back on

So there you have it. Now go forth impatient Pokémon trainer and be the very best.



Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.