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Pokémon GO Routes Explained & How To Create Routes

Niantic revealed at a Summer Game Fest event that Routes would be coming soon and we've detailed what they are in Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO Routes Explained & How To Create Routes
(Picture: Niantic / The Pokémon Company)

Trainers have been looking for more creative ways to explore their environments and discover new locations, spawning hotspots and hidden gems in Pokémon GO. For years, Trainers have been calling for an exploration feature that will reward you for creating new walking paths called Routes.

This was recently available to demo by attendees at the Summer Game Fest in an event with another future feature called Showcases. So, we've explored Professor Willow's data files to learn about Routes, including what they are and how to create them in Pokémon GO.

What Are Routes In Pokémon GO?

pokemon go features guide routes explained how they work
Trainers can create in-game content to share with the Pokémon GO community by walking or running in real-time. (Picture: Twitter / Pokémon GO)

Routes are a new in-game exploration feature where Trainers can record their Trainer paths with fellow Trainers and the larger community. These routes can be anything from your daily walking commute to running and hiking trails or a scenic walk around your town, city, or local park.

Trainers have widely requested this feature since the game's launch, allowing Trainers to create in-game content to express themselves without restricting their creativity. However, some items will be disallowed when using the feature, like routes going through forbidden and suspicious locations.

Additionally, Routes that may be deemed inappropriate and offensive that could have your account suspended or banned, like being shaped like body parts and symbols, will be suppressed according to the developer. Routes are considered a free-form type of content despite Trainers having believed it might function similarly to Ingress Missions, which Niantic's Senior Product Manager, Chad Jones, stated in an interview with Dot Esports:

If you're walking around a new area, there's a huge difference between exploring on your own and having somebody there for you, like a guide that can take you to areas you may not know about. Magical moments, secret gardens, hidden staircases, cool art murals that are in back alleys, stuff you wouldn't know about unless somebody showed you. With Routes, you're going to be able to share that knowledge and access it by following the footsteps of fellow Trainers.

How To Create Routes In Pokémon GO?

Trainers can begin creating Routes by booting up the game, selecting Routes, and choosing a PokéStop or Gym to start making a route. All you need to do is start walking, and the game will map out or outline the route, which all routes can be found within the Trainer Avatar profile.

pokemon go features guide routes explained how to create how to make
Trainers can create their routes using either a Gym or a PokéStop as a starting and ending point. (Picture: Niantic / The Pokémon Company)

Additionally, all routes can start and end at the same PokéStop or Gym and can be any length between 100m and 20,000m according to datamined information by PokéMiners. You can name your routes to anything you wish, add tags, and opt to have your Trainer Name listed on the route or prefer to remain anonymous.

Route Badges can also be added to your created routes sourced from active PokéStops and Gyms. Once created, these routes will have to be approved through a moderation process in which the route's GPS coordinates will be analyzed and reviewed using satellites, and you can discover other created routes when exploring the world.

Trainers can earn various rewards when they walk a specific Route, which Niantic will release more details soon. While you could earn XP, unique bonuses, and more, Jones elaborated that Routes will elevate various communities.

The idea is that there are Pokémon you're able to catch along Routes, so there's that benefit, and you're actually getting the buffs that are applied to you as well. It actually becomes a very good source of XP. So again, like you're in a rural area, walking around, and you need better sources of XP, Routes become something that can hopefully become fundamental to the gameplay in a way that really elevates it for various communities.