What is an AR Game? (Plus 5 Things You Need to do Before Playing Wizards Unite)


An Augmented Reality (AR) game is one that uses geographical location to place a fictional world on top of our real one. The first of its kind on mobile was Shadow Cities, which dropped on iOS in 2011. While it wasn’t extremely popular, it helped start the ripple effect for AR games.

The more widely known Pokémon GO really the set waves rolling as far as AR games are concerned. Now, in 2018, there have been dozens of announcements for different AR games being released this year in all different fandom realms and franchises. So what is the appeal in this type of game? What really makes it different from playing a game sitting on your couch at home?


The appeal is in getting off the couch and experiencing more of the world while playing a game you love. With so many desk jobs, kids sitting at school all day, even delivery and truck drivers–a lot of jobs today are centered around sitting down.

And since not all entertainment comes free these days, the options come down to: paying for entertainment (movies, theme parks, bowling,) sitting at home to enjoy entertainment you’ve already purchased (tv, console games,) or trying to find free entertainment (playing outside/hiking, swimming, sledding).

Eventually, you’ve done everything there is to do and you want to do something new. AR games give you that extra entertainment and make just walking around in circles actually fun. AR games lead you to places you may never have visited before. They show you places you might not have noticed in 5 years of living somewhere. They help guide you around unfamiliar places and make re-exploring the same places exciting.

But even more, they bring people together. When people love the same game they play at home, sure they may talk about it. They may even get together somewhere to try and sit down and play, but you never really get to meet random strangers that love the same thing you do.

With AR games, you bump into strangers all the time that are also having fun playing. Sometimes you can have a fun match; other times you may help one another find something super rare. Either way, you know you know you’re both having fun playing a game you’re enjoying.

The community that comes together with AR games is something like I have personally never experienced before, and it’s a wonderful experience to be a part of.

That being said, if you’ve read this far, chances are you’re interested in playing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite or some other AR game. You might be wondering what could help you get ready to play before they release. If you are indeed new to AR and would like some helpful tips, I encourage you to watch the video down below.

Until next time, use your magic wisely, and keep an eye out for dementors!

Gitta Lovegood – The Portkey Adventures

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