Nintendo’s new augmented reality game Pokémon Go encourages players to leave the house and explore their environment, and moving around is essentially required if you want to experience it to its fullest. But not everyone playing Go will always be able to walk around a neighborhood or city streets; perhaps you’re at work, school, or are just feeling particularly lazy and still want to catch ’em all. Are there ways to play the game while staying in one location?
The short answer is yes, although you certainly won’t be able to make the most out of Pokémon Go without going out and exploring the real world. Your easiest solution is to make use of the game’s incense items. When deployed, these items will attract nearby creatures so that you can remain situated and let the Pokémon come to you. The game starts you off with two of these, and you can purchase additional ones from the store.
When you activate the incense, a ball of gas will appear above your character’s head on the map, and a timer will begin. The item will be activated for 30 minutes, during which Pokémon will continuously come towards you. A typical session should net you around 6 or 7 Pokémon, and the ones that come to you will depend on your real-life environment (if you live near water, for example, you will encounter a higher rate of water Pokemon).
Keep in mind, though, that there is a risk associated with using incense at the moment. The Pokémon Go servers have been notoriously unstable, and if they go down while you’re in the middle of an incense session, you’re basically out of luck and will not be able to resume it when you get back into the game.
If you remain in one location but keep the game open, you should also be able to catch one new Pokémon every hour even without the use of incense.
That is basically the only legitimate way to get any sort of enjoyment out of the game while staying indoors. If the place you don’t want to leave happens to be a PokeStop, though, you can also use a Lure Module. This is basically the exact same thing as incense, except it attaches itself to the location itself, not to you specifically, and it’s a bit more powerful as well.
There do exist ways to trick your phone’s GPS into thinking you’re in another location, which you can either use by downloading an app on Android or by using a jailbroken device. But this is not recommended, as many players who have done this trick have been banned from the game. Or, if you’re willing to put quite a bit of time into finding a way to cheat, you can do what this guy did by actually attaching your phone to a drone, mirroring the phone’s screen on a laptop, and then “walking” around the whole neighborhood from the comfort of your porch. Now that’s commitment.
But really, there’s only so much that can be done to get around the fact that Niantic wants players to move around while playing Pokémon Go. All in all, you should not expect to get much out of the app without ever going outside and exploring, but if you want to get a little bit of advancement done in Pokémon Go during your downtime at work or school, incense is the perfect solution.