While Pokmon Go is at its core a very sociable game, it lacks the usual connected features – such as friends lists or leaderboards – you come to expect from a mobile game. There is, however, one way to show your Trainer to others, as depositing your Pokmon at a Gym displays nickname and Trainer’s appearance for everyone nearby to see.
There’s thankfully some options to change your name and look after you’re forced to make them at the start of the game, though with a few caveats. Meanwhile, Niantic has answered one of the more common questions in the game – whether you can change your Team – and while it’s not the answer you’d hoped for, their approach to Ingress provides some possible insight into how they might tackle it in Pokmon Go, if it were ever to happen.
How to change your username in Pokmon Go
Every player has to provide a unique nickname when they first start playing Pokmon Go, and as of the August 9 Pokmon Go update, it’s possible to change it, but only the once – so choose wisely!
To change your nickname in Pokmon Go, go to the Settings screen (tap the Pokball at the bottom, then the gear icon at the top right) and then scroll down to find the ‘Change nickname’ option.
You’ll be reminded that you can only do this once, so if you’re sure, go ahead.
This isn’t the first time Niantic allowed players to change their nickname; at launch, you could contact the company via a support page on the official Niantic website to request an edit, but only under special circumstances, such as if you accidentally enter your real name or other personally identifiable information.
How to change appearance of your Trainer in Pokmon Go
As of Pokmon Go’s July 31 update, players were able to edit the appearance of their Trainers for the first time after the game’s intro sequence – perfect if you weren’t 100% happy with your choice of hat colour after all.
To change your appearance, go to your Trainer screen at the bottom left of the Map view – the place where you can see your current XP level, Team choice and Medal progress – and tap the icon in the bottom right corner to bring up some more options, then select ‘Customise’.
You’ll be taken to the same customisation screen you were greeted with when you started Pokmon Go for the first time, with options to edit clothing, skin tone and gender. Once done, select the tick in the bottom right corner to confirm your changes, or back to return without making any edits.
Want to get the most out of Pokmon Go? These guides on training and leveling can help.
Pokmon Go Moves – movesets, move list, and highest DPS attacks
How to find out the best, most powerful moveset for your Pokmon.
Pokmon Go – How to get Candy, Candy costs for each Pokmon
How to get Candy as easily as possible, and how much you’ll need to spend.
Want more Pokmon Go strategies? Read our Pokmon Go tips, tricks, cheats and guides page for things you didn’t know about the game, and how to find nearby Pokmon, throw the perfect Curveball, when to evolve Pokmon and much more.
Can you change your Team in Pokmon Go?
The long and short of it is – no. On one of the game’s official support pages – the same location you can send a nickname request – it says “Unfortunately, we are unable to change make [sic] team changes at this time.” Like Trainer appearance, this could be something that might be added to the game in the near future, but have provided no further comment at this time.
Developer Niantic has allowed team changes with their previous game, Ingress, through an online form-based request on its official website. However, the ability to request a Faction change in the game came with some important caveats; only one faction change was allowed per player, and if it is accepted, then items earned and XP level would be reset. It’s not known whether something like this would happen if Pokmon Go were to allow Team changes, but it suggests the choice could be one-time only and would wipe a lot of your progress if you decided to make it.
So, in short – make sure you make the choice between Team Valor, Mystic and Instinct very carefully the first time!