We were told it was coming, but it’s finally out – at least in Brazil and South Korea. Eligible Trainers can now submit new locations using a new nomination system in Pokémon GO.
The system is in beta, and the program should be rolled out to other countries soon, starting with Level 40 players. As with other new features, the system will probably be opened up to lower-level Trainers in stages, with the developer blog saying this is to prioritise players who have invested significant time and dedication in Pokémon GO. Fair enough, really.
There are a few other limitations you should know:
- You must be a Level 40 Trainer (not a child account)
- You can nominate a limited number of locations to begin with
Assuming you are eligible to make nominations, you will see a New PokéStop button on the Settings page.
Tap the button when you are at the location you wish to submit, and you’ll be guided through the process which is as follows
- Go to the location
- Move the orange PokéStop symbol to the exact point on the map where the object or location is and tap Confirm.
- Take a photo of the object.
- Take a photo of the surrounding area for context.
- Add a Title and Description
After that you can preview your nomination and then tap Confirm when you’re happy with everything.
The final stage is to enter extra information explaining why your nominated location is important, what Trainers can expect to see there and generally help the reviewers to decide whether to approve or reject the request.
What can be a PokéStop?
Here are some guidelines for good – and bad – submissions:
A good nomination will be:
- An interesting location with cultural or educational value
- A public park
- An interesting piece of architecture, statue, mural, artwork
- A public library
- A public place of worship
- A train or bus station, or airport
The location doesn’t have to be freely accessible to the public. It can be within an attraction that charges an entry fee and / or which closes at certain times of the day.
The following nominations are ineligible:
- An interesting object at your own house or another private residence
- A school or location where child care takes place (nurseries, playgroups etc.)
- Anywhere without easy public access
- Temporary objects or structures
- Gravestones (unless it is a famous person)
- A point of interest that could impede the working of hospitals, fire stations or the police
- General natural features such as mountains, landscapes etc
- Over-18 locations such as an off-licence, shooting range etc
You can read the full detail of what makes a high-quality PokéStop.
Tips for getting your PokéStop nomination approved
All submissions are reviewed by volunteers who use OPR – that’s Operation Portal Recon. It’s a crowd-sourced system used to create Portals in Niantic’s Ingress game, but will now also be used to vet Pokémon GO requests.
You can help your submission stand out by not just following the rules above, but also by using these tips to get your nomination approved:
Take a great photo: It should be sharp and clearly show the location or object. When you take the second picture, ensure that it shows the location in context. That means standing much further back, but keeping the point of interest obvious in the photo. Ensure that there are no people in the photos, or that no-one can be recognised if you can’t avoid it.
Write your own descriptive title which is accurate. This will usually be the name of the location, such as “Twin Pine Park”.
Don’t leave the description blank. Spend the time to explain what the location or object is.
The extra information you enter at the end of the process is only for the reviewers, and should give them more context to help them decide how to rate your submission – it gets between one and five stars.
Lastly, note that even if your nomination is approved, it doesn’t guarantee it will become a PokéStop in Pokémon Go. It may become a Portal in Ingress, or be used for another game.
Similarly, you can’t request that the location becomes a Gym. That is an automatic designation based on several factors which haven’t been disclosed.
Keep up to date with the latest news about Pokémon Go.