How To Play Pokémon Masters Early

If you’re already playing Pokémon Masters, then you’re either a resident of Singapore or you’re already aware of how to access the game from a region outside of the country where DeNA and The Pokémon Company have decided to launch the early access preview. For anyone else that has yet to get a hold of the new Pokémon game for mobile, getting your hands on a copy isn’t too hard, and you can have the game installed and ready to play in less than ten minutes, give or take.

First things first, to get the game and to play it it’s going to require a VPN, so you’ll need to head over to the Play Store and download something like TunnelBear or an equivalent to move forward. Unfortunately there’s no way around the VPN. You can’t simply install the APK and play the game.

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TunnelBear VPN with Singapore server selected

To be clear, you can install the game with just the APK, but the preview version is region-locked, so you’ll need to have the VPN to play it. This is especially true as the game will go through multiple checks that require a data connection either for downloading more game data or simply loading to a new part of the game. That said, if you can’t find the APK anywhere and you’re looking to install it from the Play Store proper, which is recommended, then the next step to make this easy is to create an entirely new Google account for the specific purpose of grabbing this game.

Once you’ve created a new Google account, you will need to first go to your phone settings, then to apps, and then find the Play Store. Open it, then tap on the force stop button, then the clear data button to clear out the cache and data from the Play Store app. Your accounts and information for payments, as well as anything you’ve purchased will not be deleted or inaccessible after doing this, rest assured. You may also need to tap on the storage option here before you see the buttons for deleting data and clearing the cache.

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Play Store app info page/storage sub-menu with clear data button

Once you have the cache cleared, open up whatever VPN app you installed and make sure you connect to a server located in Singapore. It’s entirely possible that not all VPN apps will have Singapore as an option, so you may need to try a few. Again though, Singapore is an option in TunnelBear so you can save yourself the hassle of searching if you don’t have a preference.

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One quick thing to note, is that TunnelBear only allows you so much free access a month, and since you need the VPN active to play it’s worth keeping this in mind as it means you will only be allowed to play so much before either stopping for the month, or upgrading, or finding a new VPN app to do the same job.

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It might seem a bit tedious, and it is, but if you really want to play early it’s worth it as the game is rather fun. It’s also recommended that when the game tries to download more game files, which should happen two separate times after the initial boot-up, you can disconnect the VPN and download the game data on a regular connection so long as the data has already started downloading and there shouldn’t be any issues, though you will probably need to reconnect to the VPN again after that to start playing.

Once you have the VPN connected to Singapore, go back to the Play Store app and change your account to the new account. Pokémon Masters wasn’t coming up in a search earlier this morning even when connected to the Singapore Play Store after the early access preview was live, so to get around this you can go to the Pokémon Masters website and click on the Google Play button, which should then take you to the Play Store app with the option to download the game in its early access state. From here simply tap install and let it do its thing.

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Pokémon Masters Play Store listing page

Once the game’s installed, you may be able to launch the game from your app drawer with the VPN still connected and active, but you may also run into the message that pops up if the game detects that you’re not in the correct region (which in this case is Singapore) that tells you the game is in maintenance and that the game will need to restart.

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The game is in fact not in maintenance and will just restart over and over, so if you see this message then you will need to keep the VPN connected but open the Play Store, go to your my apps section from the slide out menu on the left, and then find Pokémon Masters and launch it from its Play Store page by hitting the open button.

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If you get to the DeNA splash screen after the Pokémon logo, then you should be good and able to proceed with the game setup, which includes creating a character name, customizing your character, and going through a short tutorial before playing.

Pokémon Masters start screen

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can link your Nintendo account but this will also likely cause the game to detect that you’re not in the correct region, so after linking to your Nintendo account you will need to close the game out from the recents menu, and relaunch it from the Play Store with the VPN connected to continue.

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To get to the option to link to your Nintendo account you will need to first go through the short tutorial, and once you’re inside the Pokémon Masters League building and able to see different trainers you can talk to, you should see a button in the bottom right corner that looks like a Pokédex. Tap this and inside you’ll find a button that says account towards the bottom, and if you tap that then there will be a button inside this menu to link your Nintendo account, which will then take you to the web browser page to select which Nintendo account you want to link.

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Create/Link a Nintendo account 

That’s it, if you did everything correct then you’re ready to play Pokémon Masters, and although this is an early access preview, any data or save information along with your character will transfer over to the full game when it launches which is supposed to be August 29. Get to training!

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