Social networks, apps and games

Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO is a free smartphone game where users find and catch Pokémon to add to their collection. The game is designed to be played outside, with players finding Pokémon in different locations. Children under 13 need parental permission to download the game.


Official age rating


Parent age rating

What do parents say?

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...





Expert view of the risks...


Low Risk

Violence & hatred

Low Risk


Low Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Low Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Low Risk

O2 Guru top tip


On Pokémon Go usernames

Usernames are visible to other players on the map, so make sure your child doesn’t use a real name or personal information when setting one up.

Guru image for videos

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

Pokémon Go locations, called PokéStops and Gyms, are usually located in public places, like parks and churches. Make sure you talk to your child about where they’re going and at what time.  

Visit the NSPCC for more information on keeping children safe when they’re away from home. 


Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Pokémon Go

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.



What do children and young people dislike about Pokémon Go? 

  • Sometimes during the game people are able to see your location 
  • You have to be connected to the internet for it to work 
  • The risks of walking around places you may not know 

I like how you have to go look for them but it could lead you to somewhere you have never been before.

Girl, 12

What do children and young people like about Pokémon Go? 

  • Exploring outside and getting out of the house 
  • It’s fun to play with friends and family 

It's fun to play by yourself and with others, and you get outside more.

Girl, 12 



We asked parents about the following areas of Pokémon Go: 

Privacy settings 

You can turn off location sharing using the settings option in Android easily enough, although the game does need to use GPS. Interactivity with other players is limited.

Dad of an 11 year old girl 


You can't interact with other people to an extent that you would need to block or report them.

Mum of an 8 year old 

Safety and support 

A lot of the safety aspects are about physical safety - rather than online safety. Focus is on being aware of your surroundings, not trespassing etc.

Father of an 11 year old girl 

Signing up 

Registration is fairly straightforward. My concern would be younger children using parent's log in to access.

Dad of an 11 year old girl 

Stay up to date

Get emails on the latest social networks, apps and games your kids are using, so you're always up to date.

Sign up