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Starting over in ‘Pokémon Go’ is harder than catching a Vaporeon

Pokémon Go trainers: Have you had enough of the game and its ensuing bedlam? Do you fear for your phone’s battery? Or did you run out of Poké Balls while learning the ropes and would like to start over with a fresh batch of 50? Do you regret following your Instinct, or do you see yourself as more of a Mystic? Maybe you really need that starter Pikachu. Since you can’t reset your account, you’ll just have to delete it. Well, it’s not that simple.

Deleting your in-game account takes a few steps, and even then it doesn’t register right away. You can’t do it within the app itself, either. So let’s go through the steps.

Related: Police arrest man who threatened to ‘purge’ Pokémon Go players

  1. First, go to Niantic’s support site and navigate to the Pokémon Go page. Then click on “Support” and search for the instructions for deletion. We simply typed in “delete” and clicked on one of the results: “How do I delete my Pokémon GO account?” Click on the “contact us” link. Or skip all that and click here.
  2. Next, fill in the required fields (i.e., all of them) and check off all the boxes. We’re not sure what Niantic expects us to write in the blanks, so we kept it simple. You can also attach a file, though that shouldn’t be necessary here.
  3. After clicking “Submit,” you will get an email informing you that your request was received. The message also stresses that this is a permanent process, and you can still opt out if you’re having second thoughts.
  4. To complete the termination, you have to reply to the email with the word “DELETE.” You lose everything associated with the account, and won’t be able to reuse your nickname. Consider all this before you reply.

We rarely see such involved cancellation operations, but then again Pokémon can be serious business.

Related: Is Pokémon ruining reality or augmenting it? Who cares, just enjoy the chase

Even after you get through all that, you’re not done. As stated on the Niantic website (and repeated in the email for cancellation confirmation) “Account deletion requests currently take several weeks to review and process.” I personally cancelled my account nearly two weeks ago to start anew, and I can still access it.

“Why not simply create a new account,” you ask? As you’ve probably noticed, the Pokémon Go servers haven’t been handling the massive influx of players so well. You can use a different email address, but there’s a good chance you’ll hit a wall in the form of an error message while creating a new Pokémon Club Trainer account. We’re still encountering such obstacles from simply initiating the process, and even when we do get through, we receive different messages blocking further progress.

As of now, you can’t create multiple profiles on one account, so if you want to use the same Club Trainer account, you’ll have to go through the above steps and wait. You could register through your Google account, but then again you might not want to take the chance, even after Niantic and the Pokemon Company released a statement playing down the risk to your security and data.

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