Play Pokémon Go on Windows
Play Pokémon Go on Windows with BlueStacks
BlueStacks simulates an Android smartphone on your Windows PC, enabling you to play mobile games on your desktop – including Pokémon Go. You don’t even need to leave your desk.
Before we get started, remember that the game’s developer Niantic is cracking down on apps that let you play Pokémon Go in non-standard ways, and there’s a risk that your account could be blocked temporarily or even permanently. It’s best to create a new account specifically for playing on the desktop, and not make any in-app purchases.
First, download and install BlueStacks. You’ll be prompted to give it access to the Google Play Store – do this. Pokémon Go uses GPS data from Google Maps, but that won’t be a problem because Bluestacks includes a tool that can spoof your location using Google Maps. Click the location icon in the left-hand menu, then search for a postcode and double-click to mark a point on the map. Once you’re happy, click the Play button in the bottom right.
Now click the ‘Android’ tab at the top and wait a moment for it to load. If you can’t see Pokémon Go under Trending Apps, you can search for it instead.
The app might take a while to load, particularly during peak times, but be patient – it’s not frozen. Log in or create a new account, then enter your date of birth and click through the introduction. Set up your character and you’re ready to go.
You can navigate using the WASD keys and hold the Shift key while moving to run (bearing in mind that the game might assume you’re driving). Clicking your mouse is the equivalent of tapping the screen.
You’ll want to turn off the camera, since you’re not actually exploring outside, which can sometimes cause the app to freeze. If this happens, close Bluestacks and search your PC for REGEDIT. You might be nervous about editing the Windows registry, but it’s a very small change that will only affect BlueStacks.
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREBlueStacksGuestsAndroidConfig, then click ‘Camera’ and change the ‘1’ to ‘0’. Click ‘OK’, close REGEDIT and re-open BlueStacks. You’ll now be able to turn off the camera option without the program freezing and catch your first creature.
BlueStacks is a great tool for trying new apps without downloading them to your phone. It doesn’t support everything in the Google Play store, but it’s updated frequently and more are added daily.