Relax Pokemon Trainers, Pokemon GO Won’t Drain all of Your Data Plan

Pokemon GO, by Niantic Inc., has taken the mobile gaming world by storm. Even though Pokemon GO is used almost three times as much on wireless networks, compared to the most popular social networking apps that are used more on WiFi, it still uses less than 1/3 of the costly mobile data that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat consumes. According to data from the CrowdSource Community—where millions of global consumers anonymously donate real-time app usage and performance data on more than 6 million app versions—Pokemon GO’s social-app-like constant usage does not drain massive amounts of mobile data as people believe.

Within a week of its release, Pokemon GO has become a revolutionary phenomenon due to its nostalgic powers (80’s and 90’s kids could attest to this, myself included) and mobile augmented reality (AR) gameplay experience. The nostalgia and AR gameplay of Pokemon GO got players to “travel across the land, searching far and wide” in hopes of becoming the very best Pokemon trainer.

However, being a Pokemon trainer can be difficult when you’re bounded by the realities of a limited monthly data plan. Users have taken to Twitter and Facebook to voice their concerns about Pokemon GO’s data consumption as the AR game is built on Google Map’s API and is constantly connected to GPS for location services—a real cause for concern. Due to this, users are torn between wanting to “catch em all” and being a responsible adult by not playing off their entire monthly data plan.

As Pokemon GO’s mobile data consumption is a large concern among users, we’ve decided to look at all things mobile—the portion of Pokemon GO’s data usage that is over carrier networks and its mobile data consumption compared to other popular and frequently used apps, especially social apps. As Pokemon GO is in another tier of its own when compared to the games in the same category, and takes on more social aspects (people are outside exploring more now), it’ll be best to see how it stacks up to social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in the United States.


Sitting still is not an option when playing Pokemon GO. As you have to travel to be in range of Pokestops and Pokemon gyms, this means that you won’t be securely connected to your unlimited home Wi-Fi.


According to data anonymously contributed to the App Quest Community, users are utilizing 70.05% of data usage for Pokemon GO over carrier networks, putting it at the top compared to Instagram (25.71%), Facebook (24.86%), and Snapchat (22.65%). To put this into context, the amount of usage Pokemon GO is over mobile networks is 2.72x, 2.82x, and 3.09x more than Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, respectively. Seeing how much data usage Pokemon GO consumes over mobile may be daunting, but this simply illustrates that Pokemon GO is used more so over mobile than Wi-Fi networks.


Even though Pokemon GO uses data more-so over mobile networks than Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, you’ll be surprised to learn that it isn’t a massive mobile data drainer as you may have thought.

As you are wandering out into the world collecting items at Pokestops, catching Pokemon, and battling gyms for your dedicated team (Team Valor, anyone?), your monthly data plan won’t take a critical hit.

On average, users drain 19.40 MB/user/day on Facebook, 8.61 MB/user/day on Instagram, and 7.73 MB/user/day on Snapchat. Pokemon GO alarmingly consumes much less mobile data than Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, clocking in at 2.60 MB of mobile data per user per day. If you’re an avid user of either Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (or all three), and never once was worried about their data drain, Pokemon GO won’t, and shouldn’t be an issue.

In the meantime, Pokemon GO trainers can continue playing Pokemon GO without worrying too much about their data plan, and if you’re a T-Mobile customer, you’re in luck. Starting July 19th, T-Mobile users will have unlimited mobile data specifically for Pokemon GO for an entire year.

So to all the you Pokemon trainers out there—go on, venture out into the world and “be the very best, like no one ever was”.


While you’re playing Pokemon GO, it is always a good idea to keep track of your device’s overall health so you can fully be prepared for any Pokemon you come across and any battles that come your way. To best optimize your device’s battery drain, mobile data usage, and storage front, download True Booster today (free on Google Play) so you’ll be ready for your next Pokemon GO adventures.

* Data collected are based on anonymized Android data contributed to the App Quest community.