VG Tribune

Pokemon GO Overheating Your Phone? This DIY ‘Cooling Lifehack’ Could Fix That

July 26, 2016 / 10:38 AM

By: Matthew Williams

CoolingUnit

*Attempt this at your own discretion. VG Tribune is not responsible for any potentially shorted-out smartphones that occur as a result of this lifehack.

From the game servers to individual smartphones, Pokemon GO has been a technically-strenuous app that is pushing the limits on mobile hardware. When was the last time the servers were up for more than 24 hours without requiring a ‘maintenance’ period? Does your smartphone constantly overheat while playing, causing the app to suddenly crash? If you answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these, then you are not alone.

For the latter issue, this can become extremely frustrating. An overheating phone is a daily struggle of mine when playing Pokemon GO – especially since I live in Texas, where the temperature can easily reach 100+ degrees during the summer. Couple that with the app’s unquenchable thirst for power (especially on an Android device), and my phone bites the dust within ten minutes. For a game that requires you to explore, this is simply unacceptable.

While there are several comprehensive articles already on the internet that cover the essentials needed to play Pokemon GO, none of them (to my knowledge) have managed to prescribe a solution for cooling down overheated smartphones. Fortunately, there is a ‘Do-it-Yourself’ solution that will keep your smartphone chilled while you catch em’ all.

The solution: a cooled, lightly water-dampened face towel*. By nuzzling this in between your hand and smartphone, the cooler temperature of the face towel will keep your phone’s temperature down to normalcy, which can greatly extend the playability of the app before it crashes.

By applying this cooling method, I was able to get between 1.5-2 hours of consistent gameplay in the sweltering Texas heat before needing to recharge my phone. The greatest thing about this solution is: it’s extremely cheap! No rooting, mods, or virtual hacks needed – just use this one ‘lifehack’, and you’ll be ready to catch Pokemon in the most extreme temperatures. Follow the steps below to mimic what I did.

1.) Get a normal sized face cloth, like the one below. 

IMAG1768

2.) Place the face cloth under water and let it get soaked. Once the face cloth is completely wet, ring out the excess water to make it damp

IMAG1769

3.) Start folding the damp face cloth in halves, until you find a good fit where it will fit snug in between your hand and smartphone. 

IMAG1771

4.) The final product: a damp face cloth that will keep your phone cool while you are out playing Pokemon GO

PhoneCoolingUnit

I do offer some caution when attempting to use this lifehack, though. Notice how I said ‘damp’ and not ‘wet’ above? The difference between a ‘damp’ vs. ‘wet’ face cloth is in the action of ringing out the water from it. If you attempt to re-create this lifehack, be sure to ring out the water from the face cloth before applying it between your hand and smartphone. Simply applying a face cloth that was submerged in water to your phone could short out your phone; by ringing out the water, a damp face cloth has an exponentially less chance of doing that.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, easy, and rather safe way to cool your phone down while playing Pokemon GO, this solution is right up your alley. This may be the best solution we get, at least until companies start developing cooling units for mobile phones.

About the author /


Matthew, a graduate from Texas Christian University, now works as a Senior Digital Analytics Consultant for Ernst & Young. With a passion for video games (mostly retro and survival horror) and data, Matthew is pursuing a career in game analytics.

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2 Comments

  1. De

    I use an oven pad with a soft-side ice pack inside the pocket. When you hold the pad upside-down, the ice pack is right underneath the phone. I carry extra ice packs in an insulated lunch bag, which also holds my battery brick and cord.

    • Matthew Williams

      Hi De,

      An icepack is also a great idea for a DIY cooling hack! I haven’t played Pokemon GO in a while, so I’m curious to see if Niantic made some performance enhancements to their game that prevent the game from overheating. If it still overheats, I’m going to try out your recommendation.

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