Pokemon Go's New AR+ Mode Is Live

Pokemon Go's newest feature is live.

Pokemon Go announced that its AR+ mode is now active for any player with an iPhone or iPad. The AR+ mode, which was officially announced yesterday, utilizes Apple's advanced ARKit to provide a more realistic and immersive augmented reality experience than ever before.

The AR+ mode comes with a demo that appears when a player tries to catch a Pokemon for the first time after the new feature was added. Basically, players find a flat piece of ground while using Pokemon Go's AR+ mode. A cluster of virtual bushes appear, one of which contains the Pokemon players are trying to catch. Once the Pokemon is revealed, players can slowly approach the Pokemon for a chance at an "Expert Handler" bonus, which gives out 100 extra XP and extra Stardust if the player is caught.

It's noted that the Expert Handler bonus isn't given out automatically just for turning on the AR+ mode. Players have to approach the Pokemon without triggering its detection meter (indicated by a small speech bubble next to the Pokemon that turns red when the player is spotted) until the "Expert Handler" label appears next to the Pokemon.

From our test run with the new mode, getting closer to the Pokemon makes it a little easier to hit a "great" or "excellent" throw. However, it's significantly more difficult to toss a curveball while using the AR+ mode.

Pokemon Go has teased more AR features in the future, including some for Android devices. The game's holiday event also begins later today, so get ready for a busy few weeks of Pokemon catching!