Image via Niantic

Pokemon GO Route Guide: How Routes Work

Routes are the latest mechanic added to Pokemon GO.

Routes are a new feature included in the latest update for Pokemon GO. Routes are specific paths that you can follow until the end to earn a Route Badge. Similar to a Gym Badge, it’s an individual Badge to signify you’ve completed it. Not only that, but you can create your own routes. Here’s how routes work and why you should explore them in Pokemon GO.

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How Routes Work in Pokemon GO

Why Use in Routes?

Their purpose may not be obvious, but routes add another layer to play with. Specific paths are plotted by other players and following them earns you various rewards. Following routes is part of the Special Research From A to Zygarde and it’s likely that following routes will become Field Research tasks as time goes on.

Here are the current bonuses and rewards you get for exploring a route:

  • Route Badge & Badge progress.
  • Earn buddy candy quicker.
  • Incense more potent when you’re exploring a route for the first time.
  • Extra XP for completing a route once a day.
  • Extra XP for completing a route once a day, for seven days.
  • Earn a Heart with your buddy when walking a route together.

How to Follow a Route

It’s fairly straightforward to find and start following a route in PoGO.

  • Launch Pokemon GO.
  • Open the Nearby menu.
  • Select the new Routes tab on the right side of the menu.
  • Pick a route that looks good to you.
  • Select the Follow button.

Once selected, a blue flag will appear above the PokeStop that the route starts at. If you’re not close enough to it, a notice will pop up letting you know you’ve moved away from the start. When you’re near the route you’ve chosen, the game will start tracking your progress along the path.

Image via Niantic

Along the way, you’ll be able to encounter Pokemon as you normally would. You’ll also be able to collect Zygarde Cells if you’ve obtained the Zygarde Cube during From A to Zygarde. If you don’t have it yet you can’t hold the Cells.

To complete the route, you need to follow the colored path exactly as shown. If you need to diverge from it, or have to stop to do something else, you can pause the Route. Next time you want to take a walk, you can resume the same route by going to that exact location and unpausing it. This allows you to save your progress towards completing it. You want to make sure you don’t take any shortcuts or anything as it may not count you completing the route even if you make it to the end point.

When you reach the end, you’ll be rewarded your items as well as your Route Badge. If you’ve already done that route before, you’ll level up your badge instead. You’ll also be able to rate the route, which helps determine if it was easy to follow.

How to Create a Route in Pokemon GO

If there are no routes near you, which can be the case since this is still a new feature, you may want to create your own. The process to create a route is pretty simple.

  • Choose a Poke Stop or Gym as the beginning point.
  • Hit Record on the Route prompt.
  • Walk the path you want as the route.
  • End the record when you’re happy with your route.
  • Fill out information about the route.
    • Can you begin from either point?
    • Can you go in reverse on the route?
    • Elevation
  • Add Route Tags.
  • Confirm the Route.

Once confirmed, the information is sent to Niantic to be reviewed. As soon as it’s accepted other players can start following it. If this is a route close to your home, like the one near me, you’ll be able to collect extra rewards for walking a path you may normally take.

That’s all there is to know about routes in Pokemon GO. Whether you’re walking new ones as you explore a new area, or creating routes in the neighborhoods around you, exploring them is a great way to earn rewards. If you’re looking for more on PoGO, like Battle League tips, how to beat certain Raid Pokemon, or what rewards are available from an event, check out our full Pokemon GO guide hub.

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Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.