How to play Pokémon Go without a data plan


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer

How to play Pokémon Go without a data plan

Pokémon Go has been around for almost seven years now, and the augmented reality mobile game continues to grow in popularity as new “trainers” arrive on the scene to find, capture, and battle colorful virtual creatures.

Since you need to physically move around different towns and cities to encounter these critters, playing Pokémon Go can be a great motivator to get outside and walk around, especially during the bleak winter months.

But in order to bring this augmented reality game to life out in the real world, you need a data connection … and not every Pokémon Go player has a phone with a data plan.

While you always have the option of downloading Google Maps so you can access them offline, that requires planning ahead and allocating storage space on your device.

So how can I play Pokémon Go without a data plan?

No data plan on your phone? No problem! Many Pokémon Go players with “unserviced” phones (or phones without SIM cards) play Pokémon Go in 120+ countries by loading a virtual SIM card (eSIM) onto their phone and using a prepaid data package.

How does an eSIM data package work?

As long as you have an eSIM-compatible phone or tablet, you can download an eSIM (virtual SIM card) and start using an eSIM data package immediately.

1. Shop by country (where you’re located right now)

2. Pick a data package (amount of data x how many days)

3. Install the eSIM on your device (It takes about two minutes)

Once you start using your new eSIM data, you’ll have data on your device to use for anything that requires an internet connection, like messaging, streaming music, email, or playing Pokémon Go. Because it’s a prepaid data package, you’ll know exactly what you’re spending (for example, maybe $5 for a week’s worth of data) and you’ll never be surprised by extra fees.

How much data does Pokémon Go use?

You don’t need much data to play Pokémon Go out in the real world, but you need some data in order to get the full experience. We find most players are pleased with how many play-hours per week they get from a 1 GB prepaid data package.

Depending on your device, location, and gameplay style, Pokémon Go uses anywhere from 0.003 GB of data to 0.025 GB per hour. That means you could probably get 40+ hours of game-play from a single gig of prepaid eSIM data. (If you’re curious how we know this, be sure to check out our full breakdown of how much data online games use.)

So whether you’re using an unserviced device or just don’t want to burn through your regular monthly data plan, a short-term, prepaid data plan is the perfect solution for playing Pokémon Go.