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‘Pokémon Go’ is playable on PC, with a catch

Pokémon Go is already a huge hit, but there are some would-be trainers who would prefer to assemble their team from the comfort of their home. Given that the game revolves around the idea of moving around in physical space, that’s not so easy — but one committed fan has come up with a workaround.

You can play Pokémon Go on your computer, but first you’ll need to set about installing an Android emulator. YouTube user Travis D came up with this method, and he uses BlueStacks, although a host of alternatives are available.

Of course, simply downloading an emulator and Pokémon Go itself isn’t enough to make the game playable on your PC. The game relies on the player moving around to find new Pokémon, so the trainer then needs to root the emulated device and install an app that’s capable of spoofing their GPS location.

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This set-up makes your rig the center of the Pokémon universe, and handily circumvents the battery life issues that have been affecting the progress of certain players. However, it’s not an ideal solution, as faking your GPS location is apparently enough to warrant being banned from the game.

Players found to be spoofing their location have been suspended, which means being prevented from catching Pokémon, competing at gyms and even earning rewards from Pokéstops. However, these repercussions usually haven’t been permanent — most players have regained those abilities after a few hours. It’s hard to say how far you can push the game before a permanent ban is handed out.

Pokémon Go might technically be playable on your PC, but it’s a risky proposition. Most trainers will stick to catching Pokémon using their smartphone, at least for the time being. However, it will certainly be interesting to see whether Go makes its way to a future Nintendo handheld.