Pokemon Go update ends support for thousands of Android devices

Philip Trahan
pokemon go android logo with sad pikachu
Niantic / Google

With its latest update, Niantic announced that Pokemon Go is ending support for the mobile game on older Android devices.

As technology advances, some things inevitably fall behind and mobile games like Pokemon Go are no exception.

Considering Pokemon Go was released in 2016, smartphone technology has come a long way since then and Niantic has needed to change and adapt development with it.

As a result, the mobile game developer announced that with version 241 the Android 6 OS will no longer support Pokemon Go, potentially closing thousands of accounts.

Pokemon Go ends Android 6 support

Pikachu appearing in the Kanto Cup in Pokemon Go
Pokemon was first released in June of 2016 and as a result, has grown and changed quite a bit since its launch.

Niantic announced the change via its official help website on June 14. Niantic revealed that players running Android 6, ‘Marshmallow’ would need to update their phone’s OS to continue playing Pokemon Go.

The developer clarified that “Only devices with Android 6 installed are affected by this change. Apple users and Android users on Android 7, ‘Nougat,’ or above are not affected and do not need to take any action.”

Niantic cites the reason for this change as a step to help streamline the development process “and focus resources on supporting newer operating systems and technologies.”

This isn’t the first time older Android owners were affected by Pokemon Go updates, as trainers still using 32-bit Android devices were phased out in June 2020.

Those Android 6 users affected by version update 241 will have to upgrade their OS to Version 7 or above to continue playing Pokemon Go.

Google released Android 6 in 2015 so there are no doubt thousands of players still using older devices either as their main or supplementary device to play Pokemon Go.

While this news may be unfortunate for some who have not been able to update their devices to more modern versions, it’s natural that Niantic wants to ease the Pokemon Go development process where it can.

Thankfully, the company offered a guide for those affected to check which OS version they are using and the proper steps to upgrade if possible, so those who may be affected should check out the support article for more information.

Though Google released Android 7 ‘Nougat’ only a year later than ‘Marshmallow’ it sounds as though trainers will be able to play Pokemon Go using that OS for longer than Android 6.