Pokémon Go hasn’t even hit Singapore yet, and already one guy’s been fired because of it.
Well guess what, despite the developers’ insistence that the game will not be available in Singapore anytime soon, there are rumours that it could hit Southeast Asia any day now. Any. Day. Now.
I happened to be in the right place at the right time and have been playing the game for a few days now. The first weekend I had the game installed on my phone, I walked 20km. That’s like walking from Marina South to Woodlands.
Despite the app being free, the game has also cost my household at least $50, since someone ran out and bought an extra battery pack and portable charger, “just in case” his phone runs out of battery and impedes his Pokémon hunting.
Just because we know you guys are already waiting for the moment you can wander around Singapore with your eyes glued to your smartphone in search of that elusive Charizard, here’s how your newfound obsession will help you save—and make you spend—money.
You no longer need to pay for exercise
One of the most obvious health benefits of Pokemon Go is the fact that it forces you to walk around, which is better for your health than sitting slouched in front of your computer or hunched over your smartphone.
I’ve walked more in the past week than I have all year thanks to this game. Even when you’re not actively hunting Pokémon, it’s likely you’ll make regular trips downstairs to collect freebies at Pokéstops or drop your Pokémon off at the gym.
That means you can cancel your membership at that gym you hate going to! The only reason to keep it is if there’s a Pokémon gym located at Fitness First, which I think is unlikely since based on my observations at this point, the game seems to avoid placing Pokéstops and gyms inside high-rise buildings.
In all seriousness, seeing as so many Singaporeans lead sedentary lifestyles and even kids choose to spend what little free time they have in front of their computers and mobile devices, I think Pokémon Go might actually make people a little healthier.
Hours of free entertainment
If you have a significant other who needs to be entertained every weekend by “cafe hopping” or worse, shopping, Pokémon Go is now a cost-free alternative.
The problem with wandering around Singapore with no aim in mind is that it gets tiring pretty quickly thanks to the heat.
Well, I can guarantee that when you’re fixated on tracking down that super rare mewtwo that keeps showing up on your list of nearby Pokémon but never seems to get any closer, it will take more than 35 degree weather to deter you from your quest.
Time passes surprisingly quickly when you’re glued to the game. You can easily kill several hours just wandering around the map, and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Do note that in order to keep this form of entertainment free, you’ll have to avoid the temptation to purchase pokéballs, incense and so on at the store.
Be careful not to exceed your monthly mobile data allocation
You can’t play Pokémon Go without wifi or mobile data, so you want to monitor your data usage when you’re playing to ensure you don’t get that dreaded sms from the telco gleefully informing you that you’ve busted your quota for the month and are going to pay through your nose for every subsequent byte.
It’s been estimated that playing the game consumes about 2 to 8 MB per hour. Sure, you can continually close the app after checking for Pokémon, but it’s a lot less fun that way, since you won’t get alerts when there’s a new Pokémon.
Be prepared to spend to extend your battery life
There’s no way to put it nicely. Pokémon Go sucks battery faster than ERP gantries suck your money.
You’re probably going to activate your GPS so your character can be tracked on the map. And GPS a huge battery sucker. Remember to turn off your GPS when the game is not in use. Even without GPS, you can easily see your phone battery drop by 20% after playing for an hour or so.
Really hardcore players might decide to buy a spare battery (if you have a model with a removable battery) and/or a portable battery charger.
Don’t just buy the first powerbank the guy at Best Denki shoves at you—the price of these things can vary considerably so do your research beforehand. We compiled a list of some of our favourite powerbanks some time back, and even if you thought you wouldn’t need it back then, you’ll need it once Pokémon Go is released in Singapore.
Are you planning to download Pokémon Go when it finally hits our shores? Tell us why or why not in the comments!
Image Credits: Sadie Hernandez