I’m going to be very blunt here: The AR (Augmented Reality) mode for Pokemon Go is a royal pain in the ass. Having to hold your phone and its camera steady while trying to catch anything but the most basic of Pokemon is awkward and you’ve got to spin around like a twonk trying to actually find the Pokemon because they’re never where you expect them to be. That’s why I was so thankful that the AR mode refused to work on both the Celebi and the Mew quests for me.
That being said, the whole AR mode thing does LOOK rather nice. You can get some very nice screenshots of people getting ready to catch Pokemon who have appeared in all sorts of unusual places. Of course it takes bloody forever to get the Pokemon in question in a decent position that doesn’t look like they’re flying, but you can get some cool shots with some patience.
But if you’re someone on a limited data package or a lower end phone or someone who doesn’t have a good camera on their phone in general, then you probably won’t ever bother with AR mode. The most you’ll do is take a screenshot of a Pokemon on that same old boring green, grassy background.
Now though, we have Camera Mode. Meaning we can take pictures of all our cool Pokemon, not just wild ones. Which means it’s time to take all the stupid pictures we wish we could have taken.
Honestly the Camera Mode though is kinda basic. It’s literally just whatever camera your phone has with a Pokemon of your choice slapped in the middle of the screen. If you tap on the Pokemon then it does its combat animation, otherwise it just does its normal and idle animations. You can take photos and they’re saved wherever your phone normally saves photos. Pokemon Go will most likely ask you for permission to be able to access your pictures the first time you use camera mode, so it can save any pictures you take.
Some Pokemon though are way more photogenic than others. By far the most photogenic Pokemon is Meltan, simply because it’s so small and expressive and has a slightly humanoid charm about it. Sure, it’s a silver Ditto with a nut for a head, but it still seems to have some sort of emotion.
Bigger Pokemon though just don’t work well, because they often go off the screen and are just too big. Lugia for example has its wings cut off, when really its wings are its best feature. You gotta work harder if you want a cool picture with a big Pokemon. I think it’s made worse because, unlike the AR mode when catching Pokemon, whatever Pokemon you use in Camera Mode is always in the center of the screen, meaning you have to work around it.
Speaking of AR though, you know what would be cool? AR mode for raids. And maybe gym battles as well. Because currently the only AR stuff we see are the basic idle animations and maybe an attack or two, but it’s only ever one Pokemon at a time – either a wild, uncaught Pokemon or one from our ever-expanding collections. Being able to see a raid played out in the real world via AR would be awesome and wouldn’t be affected by desired effectiveness either because you don’t need to be accurate with a Raid, you just need as much damage as possible.
Anyway, the camera mode is awesome, and I’m going to take lots of stupid pictures with it.