Pokémon Go hunters gather for raids across St Albans

Pokemon Go players gathering around St Albans

Pokemon Go players gathering around St Albans - Credit: Archant

Monster-hunting Pokémon Go enthusiasts have been gathering on St Albans street corners to try and catch ‘em all.

Pokemon Go players gathering around St Albans

Pokemon Go players gathering around St Albans - Credit: Archant

The hit Niantic augmented reality app, which saw its popularity explode upon launch in July 2016, has introduced a new feature - up to 20 players must congregate together to capture high level creatures.

So-called raids occur when a boss Pokémon takes over a gym and players must club together to defeat it. Gyms are places players, called trainers, must go to practice fighting with their Pokémon.

Members of the St Albans Pokémon Go community have seized the opportunity to expand their beastly collections, and have started to meet up.

A co-admin of the St Albans Raids Facebook group, Kate Leather, said: “We already had a thriving PoGo community in St Albans, but the new legendary Pokémon in particular require the combined effort of many players to beat, although it’s then down to the individual to try and catch them.”

Another admin, Callum Roderick-Jones, explained that trainers in the St Albans community are diverse - he said it was a “sharing experience” to make new friends.

Player Mark James added: “If anyone is concerned by a group congregating nearby then we’d be very pleased to hear about how we could change our gatherings to mitigate any issues.

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“We recently made contact with a care home about a resident who displayed discomfort at seeing Pokémon Go players standing on the street through his window, and we’ve taken steps to ensure this won’t cause problems in future.”

In April this year, Forbes reported there were a whopping 65 million Pokémon players each month. In just one month after its launch last year, between July and August 2016, YouGov found 6.1 million UK adults had downloaded and installed Pokémon Go - a staggering 13 per cent of the population.

So many people accessed the app after launch that it experienced some issues, with overloaded servers crashing and glitching, but the teething problems were quickly resolved.

It is hailed as a healthy game, encouraging players to walk around their local area in order to capture Pokémon and progress through the app.

Find out about nearby meetings by joining the St Albans Raids Facebook group.