How Tos

Everything you need to know about Routes in Pokemon Go

What are Routes, how to create them and what they do

Everything you need to know about Routes in Pokemon Go
| Pokemon GO

Updated on December 12th, to add more information about the newest Routes Update.

Niantic has made it clear, by the updates they have been pushing into Pokemon Go, that this year will be a year focused on in-person events and things to do within the world of Pokemon Go - which is going to be more, than ever, about people walking around and getting outside. They've ramped up their game, created weekend local-only raids, and have continued to push updates that focus on going out and getting outside. With that theme currently at the forefront of the game change, Routes are starting to come to Pokemon Go.

What are Routes?

Routes are user-generated paths that you can walk along, earning some points for following the path that they've created. You'll also see increased spawns along the route. These Routes are submitted to Niantic, like PokeStops, who then approve them and place them onto the map.

  • Pokemon Go has been a hot topic recently, with recent confusion over Nightime Spawns

Although we haven't seen any Routes out in the wild, a limited number of people have been approved to create routes and send them to Niantic, to start the process.

How do I create a Route in Pokemon Go?

If your account is one that has been selected to test this feature, you will be able to see the Routes creation screen on your Avatar Screen, scrolling past the area that shows your current egg and how many steps you have done this week. It's in a section called Route Badges, which remains empty at this time, you'll also see an area for Created Routes.

Inside Created Routes, you can see badges showing the most recent Routes you have created, along with a button called List which showcases all of the routes you have made. Tapping List shows you routes that are under review, decayed and published, along with a button called Create New Routes.

You will need to tap this button to start your creation. Once you have started to create a new route, you will need to pick a PokeStop or Gym on the map as your start point and another as your endpoint. Routes need to be under 1km, but more than 0.1km - so they are walks on the shorter side.

Route creator in Pokemon Go

After you have selected your starting and ending points, you can tap Start Route, and start walking from the start onto the endpoint. On the map, you will see a dark blue line following you, which shows you the path you are creating. When your avatar ends up in the radius of the endpoint, the game will automatically ask if your Route is completed, and then you can edit some of the features of your Route.

During the Route creation process, you can pause walking - if you see a friend or want to grab a drink from a local shop - as well as resume. You can also just quit out completely.

When you are ready to submit your Route, the screen will ask for a description of the walk, a name for it, and some tags. There can be up to 5 tags added to a Route - things like "Raid Friendly", "Flat", "PokeStops" are all listed there, to help showcase some features of your Route. You will also get to tick two boxes; one asking if you want your name credited to this Route and another asking if the Route can be done in reverse.

The next page allows you to customise your badge, but the options are limited. You can pick the badge colour out of five choices, though at the moment they all save as Purple anyway, as well as the picture for your badge, which can either be the icon of the starting or ending PokeStop or Gym. Then you can submit it!

Creating a Route is actually pretty easy and straightforward, which is good to see as many people can use them. 

Some routes that you can follow

What happens once a Route is submitted?

Niantic has stated that Routes will go through moderation by AI as well as humans. Parts of the process include Routes GPS text data being checked by AI to ensure it doesn't go through a place that might not be safe to explore and if the language used in the Route is appropriate.

A human will then review the Route through satellite view, to ensure it works well as a Route. Niantic has stated that their goal is to approve or deny a Route submission within 24 hours io it being submitted, but at this time, our Routes have been submitted for longer than 24 hours, with no approval or denial yet.

Map in Pokemon Go

What do you get for walking Routes?

Currently, Niantic hasn't quite announced what will be given, specifically, for walking Routes. It's clear that you will get progression on your Route-specific badge. We imagine there will be XP rewards, passive bonuses and possibly increased spawns on routes - which would help rural communities.

Routes will surely be another great way of getting the local community out and about, possibly walking by really cool hidden gems and spots they may not have seen before. Currently, the page giving information about a Route does need a little work, but I am sure that is coming with the feature going out to more people.

Hopefully, Niantic can get the approval process to go down well, and add more customization features in the future - as these badges don't look as amazing as Gym badges in my opinion!

<img src="" alt="">

What about Mateo?

The newest addition to Routes is Mateo, a non-playable character who can be found at the end of your first walked route of the day. If you do exit a route, before completing it, it will count as your first walked route - so if you are looking for Mateo, you are going to need to ensure you are walking the full route in the first go. Mateo can be found at the very end, though he isn't there every time. Trainers are able to swap a gift they collected along the route with Mateo for one from another player someone else in the world. It's a cute little addition to help encourage players to finish their route!

Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter is a prolific indie game journalist with a focus on smaller indie gems. She covers thousands of game jams and indie games on her YouTube channel, letting every game have a moment in the spotlight. She runs, a calendar of all of the game jams going on in the world, and judges many jams and events. You can find her on Twitter as @Jupiter_Hadley