Niantic just fused Pokémon Go with basketball in NBA All-World

The game uses AR technology to allow users to explore a virtual overlay of the real world, playing ball and collecting swag along the way

The NBA All World logo with the Earth as a background
(Image credit: NBA All-World)

Pokémon Go has long ruled the roost when it comes to AR-based gameplay. Its creator, Niantic, claims to have mapped the world "down to the centimetre" to create immersive gameplay that fuses cartoon with reality.

The game was a huge success when it launched, causing mass hysteria as swathes of people went on the hunt for virtual creatures. Even those who weren't Pokémon fans were sucked in – myself included. The series had passed me by as a child, but the active nature of the game, coupled with the inherent collectability of the characters was addictive.

Now, Niantic have brought the concept to an entirely new arena. In an official partnership with the NBA, Niantic have released their newest game: NBA All-World. The concept is virtually identical to Pokémon Go, but instead of capturing creatures to fight for you in virtual gyms, NBA All-World sees you recruit players to your team by beating them in virtual 1-on-1 games.

And, when you aren't showing off your skills on the court, you can collect a host of different items, from energy drinks to keep your team alert, to sneakers and clothing. There will even be special drops from certain brands for limited edition pieces.

Spots in the game will once again map to real-life landmarks. Basketball courts in real life will have virtual courts on them too, while clothing stores that have items in game are more likely to have virtual items nearby. Even banks will have virtual currency for players to collect.

Just like Pokémon Go, the game is free to play. New users will be put through a short tutorial in order to learn the ropes. It's a fairly intuitive process and shouldn't take you too long to complete. Then, the world is your oyster.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.