UPDATE: This post is outdated and Leapdroid can now run Pokemon Go without manual installation and tweaks. Link to updated post.
Pokemon Go has caught the world by storm, but for one reason or another some of us just can’t play Pokemon Go on our mobile devices. But for those who still want to start their Pokemon journey and don’t have a viable device, try playing on a PC! While this method may not necessarily be supported by Niantic, it still can be done.
Just as a note before we begin many articles have stated that playing GPS based games like Niantic’s Ingress with GPS spoofing applications can lead to permanent bans.GPS spoofing refers to using applications to manipulate your device into thinking you’re somewhere where you really aren’t. For example, instead of sitting around at home, your device can be manipulated to think you’re in New York City. With that note out of the way lets get to the guide!
*This Guide is geared towards Windows PCs and Leapdroid Android emulator and is only to get Pokemon Go running on Leapdroid version 1.0.0. I will be updating this post as new developments occur.
[Updated on 7/18/16]
- added GPS/Location Services section
To get started, first download Leapdroid, link here. You can use another emulator if you like, but this guide only covers Leapdroid as I have only tested with Leapdroid. For other emulators a quick Google search should have you going. Next is to download Pokemon Go APK file, links are Here or Here. At the time of writing this, the provided links have worked for me, but do note there have been reports of malware infected APK files of Pokemon Go floating around the internet, so proceed with caution.
Once you have Leapdroid installed and Pokemon Go downloaded, run Leapdroid, either vm1 or vm2. If it is your first time using Leapdroid, go through the initialization.
At this point I would also recommend creating a new Google account if you plan to login to Pokemon Go through a preexisting gmail. I am not sure how the Pokemon Go’s terms of service read out, but I recommend creating a new account because of the potential of your account being banned if this method is not supported by their TOS as some sources have stated that GPS spoofing is considered cheating, thus punishable.
Once Leapdroid is running, hit the Windows key on your keyboard or click your Start button and start the Run prompt . Type “cmd.exe” in the Run prompt and hit enter. With the command prompt open, type ‘cd “\Program Files\Leapdroid\VM” ‘ and hit enter. Next, type ‘adb install + <apk filename>’ where the apk filename can be generated by dragging and dropping the Pokemon Go APK file into the command prompt. Once typed, hit enter and the command prompt should attempt to install Pokemon Go onto Leapdroid. The command prompt should tell you if you were successful or not.
Note, make sure the APK file has no spaces as that can lead to detection issues, I recommend renaming the APK file to “PkmnGo”.
Last but not least, click the menu button on Leapdroid and start up Pokemon Go!
TL;DR Installation Steps can be found on Leapdroid’s official website. Link Here! Just click “How Do I Install Android APK’s From Windows?” under the frequently asked questions.
- Download and Run Leapdroid
- Download Pokemon Go APK
- Follow Leapdroid’s APK installation steps
- Run cmd.exe
- type ‘cd “\Program Files\Leapdroid\VM”‘ without the ‘ marks
- type ‘adb install + <apk filename>’ where apk filename is generated by dragging and dropping the APK file into the command prompt
- Wait for success
- Run Pokemon Go through menu of Leapdroid
Since Leapdroid emulates a tablet and that we don’t have actual service or GPS, the game might not register where your actual location is. This problem is address by other Emulators like Blustacks by installing GPS spoofing APK’s and patches which I believe can also be applied to Leapdroid, however, GPS spoofing is against Niantic’s terms of service and can lead to permanent bans.
I had hoped my location services would work through wifi and I would be able to go find public hotspots to play on a tablet, but after logging in, the game thought I was in the middle of the ocean. I plan to look into some alternatives to GPS tracking so that playing Pokemon Go on a laptop can be done legitimately, but that will probably be in a future update. As of right now, I was able play the game and catch my first starter just fine with the exception that I couldn’t move my avatar and that my location was way off.
In an attempt to emulate real location data on Leapdroid opposed to GPS spoofing, I made this additional section to detail some attempts I’ve made.
In order to obtain location data on my emulator, I downloaded applications called GPS Tether Client and GPS Tether Server, links Here and Here. I installed the server onto an old Android Device, Kyocera C5155 and GPS Tether Client on Leapdroid. Through that I was able to start a server on my mobile device and connect to the corresponding IP the on the client side. While the client was able to pick up my coordinates that corresponded to my mobile device, running Google maps led to Leapdroid crashing after a few flickering black screens. Pokemon Go had no real response besides failure to connect to their servers. If anyone was able to get this method working, please let me know! I will be trying to figure out this method, so updates hopefully will come!
Hope this guide helps! Don’t forget to stay safe on your Pokemon journey!