When Niantic created Pokemon GO, the game was designed to be played in portrait mode. But this hasn’t stopped players of the hit mobile game from actively seeking out ways to play it in different ways than its developers initially intended.
This alternative way of catching ’em all on the go stems from a bug discovered by a Pokemon GO player a year ago. A user playing the game on iOS accidentally triggered a landscape Pokemon GO mode and other players latched on, figuring out how they could recreate the technical issue for their own amusement.
To activate landscape mode on an iOS device, players must first open Pokemon GO while holding their mobile device sideways. Then, they have to tap on the Poke Ball and head to the Settings menu. Next, they must select “Report a High Priority Issue” before selecting the “yes” option and this will cause the Safari web browser to open. Finally, players must hit the Home button on the device and open Pokemon GO again, and this time the app should load in landscape mode.
The process is a bit more complex for Pokemon GO players on an Android device. To trigger landscape mode, they must download another app called Set Orientation which is free from the Google Play marketplace. This app allows players to “force your device into a particular screen orientation” and reportedly works with Pokemon GO.
Playing Pokemon GO in this way is fairly popular, even if players are just doing it for fun and to see what all the fuss is about. Players who have entered the mode do warn that the game is much harder to play this way, as the icons are significantly larger and it cannot be played with one hand. Niantic has made several quality of life changes in updates for Pokemon GO in recent months, but as it’s not an official feature, so fans shouldn’t expect landscape mode to get any UI-related fixes.
Despite calls from fans to implement the mode properly, it seems unlikely that landscape mode will come to Pokemon GO in an official capacity at all. Niantic is currently working on things like PvP and trading features, so making a glitch a real feature is probably not going to happen.
In the immediate future, Niantic is also continuing EX Raid battle testing around the world with a view to make the feature available to more players soon. Rolling out this feature and ironing out the kinks surely take priority, meaning that unfortunately, the complicated methods detailed above will be the only way to enable landscape mode for the foreseeable future.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.