Pokemon GO revolutionised augmented reality (AR) gaming for smartphones. Now, Niantic has revealed that the game will be adding the AR+ functionality. But what does this new funtion do? According to Niantic:

Pokemon are now fixed to a point in space, meaning you can walk up close to a Pokemon to see to how they’ll look in the real world. Imagine looking up at a massive Onix or walking around a gigantic Snorlax blocking your path! This feature brings us one step closer to truly realizing Pokémon the way they are supposed to be represented in the real world. Pokémon GO AR photos will never be the same again!

It also makes sneaking up on Pokemon a little bit harder. This is because this new functionality allows Pokemon to be more aware as trainers get closer. And if a trainer gets too close, they run away.

You can sneak up close to earn an Expert Handler bonus, but think twice before running right up to that Charizard! You’ll need to be extra cautious so you don’t scare it away. An awareness meter will appear next to the Pokemon, and if the meter fills up, the Pokemon will flee. If it does, you can try tapping on the tall grass nearby, which may cause the Pokemon to reappear and give you an additional chance to catch it.

Niantic also teases a new “Expert Handler Bonus. here’s how they describe what it is:

While in AR+ mode, you’ll finally have the chance to prove it! If you’re able to catch a Pokemon while in close proximity, you’ll have a better chance at earning Great and Excellent Throw bonuses, as well as an all-new Expert Handler bonus that awards even more XP and Stardust.

Looks like Niantic is tweaking the game big time. And with the recent Gen 3 additions, it promises to add even more in the days ahead.