Pokémon Go finally has a way of submitting the real-world locations around you to be included in the game – although, right now, there are a few caveats.
The system is still in beta and is currently being trialled only in Brazil and South Korea, with further regions to follow. You’ll also have to be the game’s top level, 40, to be entrusted to take part. (After two years, I finally got there last month!)
That said, it’s only a matter of time before the system becomes more widely available – other features have rolled out this way in the past – and you can already read up on the rules for getting a local location approved.
A handy FAQ from developer Niantic lays out which locations it will count as eligible – and which are no-nos. As you might expect, good locations mean unique, interesting places or outside oddities which are publicly reachable. So, a local church or cool statue in a park.
What’s not allowed? Anything on private property, any residential building, anything adult-orientated (no sex shops or gun ranges), anything in or near a burial ground, anything mass produced (your local roundabout is probably not getting accepted), anything copyrighted, or anything temporary. So, no photos of your cat.
The above images from r/SilphRoad user SemogAziul show how the submission process looks in-game. Currently users are allowed seven suggestions per week.
After selecting a location you’ll need to write a brief description and snap a photo to include with it. The submission then gets sent to a team of players of Niantic’s original AR game, Ingress, which has had this feature for a while and shares in-game locations with Pokémon Go. Finally, Niantic will then give successful submissions the nod, and then maybe, just maybe, they’ll appear in the game.