Last week, Niantic Company officially launched Pokémon Go and world went crazy for it (or close enough). Your social media(s) and nearly all news outlet has been writing about Pokémon Go in some ways so it's darn near impossible to NOT have heard of this. The anticipated release of Pokémon Go has been met with wild success of course, as the company launches its second augmented reality game after their first game, Ingress, back in 2012. Rumor has it that a lot of landmark areas in Pokémon Go are based on data collected from Ingress but more on that later.
Below you won’t find a complete guide to Pokémon Go but for beginners (or if you’re just a curious reader), here’s how you can catch em’ all without wiping out your smartphone battery, how to properly throw a Poké Ball, and other tips to get you started.
How to save your phone’s battery and become a Pokémon master
Having trouble logging in/signing up for Pokémon Go - servers busy?
How to be Ash Ketchum and start your adventure right with Pikachu
You’ve been throwing your Poké Balls all wrong btw
Ok we’ve got the basics covered (kind of), so… how do you level up faster?
Training or battling at the gym
Where are all the legendary Pokémons?
Pokémon Maps to help you locate specific Pokémons
For iPhone users, playing the game without adjusting any measures on your phone will lead to a 10% battery warning in the matter of 2 hours. Pokémon Go utilizes your phone’s GPS, graphics card and camera to bring you that augmented reality magic, so it comes to no surprise that your phone battery will die faster than you can say “look, a Aerodactyl!”. So to prevent you from missing out on that wild Vaporeon just straight hanging and ready for the taking, here’s a few things you can do:
When you’re out there doing a Poké God’s work, whenever a Pokémon appears, your camera will be turned on. Just hit the slide button in the upper right hand corner to turn off AR unless it's a Pokémon you already have and you just want to grab a picture with it IRL.
The game is designed with a battery saver. When enabled, battery saver with automatically dim your screen and slow down the rate at which the game functions while you walk. To enable this feature: tap on the Poké Ball on your screen > settings > tap on the empty circle next to ‘Battery Saver’.
This feature will go active when you walk like your normally do, with your phone facing the ground.
So this one is pretty obvious, to prevent your phone from draining even further, just dim your phone’s screen for the game. Combine with the methods here to prolong your phone’s battery life even more.
Hardcore Pokémon Go players - you should probably invest in an external battery pack. Here are a few suggestions:
Anker PowerCore 10000 With Quick Charge 3.0 - a name brand external battery charger with quick charge, it's small and light for your Pokémon adventure, and contains 10000mAh. To compare, the iPhone 6s+ has a battery capacity of 2750mAh. Anker PowerCore is currently on sale for $21.99 at Amazon.
JOTO Slim iPhone 6s Plus Phone Case Battery - another option is a built-in battery case for your phone. This will run you a little higher at $35.99 for this specific phone case but check out all the available options you have on Amazon. If you don’t mind carrying a lightweight external battery with you, we highly recommend the Anker PowerCore above. It’ll last you way longer at 10000mAh plus it's cheaper too.
As a new and popular game, Pokémon Go servers are overloaded with thousands and thousands of players. Plus, these players are going at it all hours of day, I mean, you’ve seen those clips of folks running amuck catching creatures at 11pm at night. Our best best advice? Relaunch the app, there are people logging into and out of servers constantly so you should be able to get access after a few relaunches.
Be patient, you can do it. As a matter of fact, this Amazon CTO has offered to help Niantic with their server issues.
We have yet to try this out but apparently, you CAN get Pikachu as a starter Pokémon. Notice at the beginning of your game, you’re prompt to pick either Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander (which I have no doubt in my heart that 96.89% off y’all probably picked Charmander). Instead of picking one of the trio, try this:
1. Walk away from the trio at the beginning and notice they will continue to reappear wherever you walk, causing your phone to vibrate. The folks over at imore recommend walking away from the trio and continue the walk somewhere on the sidewalk in your area.
2. Walk for a short distance. Stop. Wait for the trio to appear. Continue this step for 3-5 times and a Pikachu will appear!
Already started? No big deal! You'll still have your chance to find Pikachus out in the wild. You're embarking on your journey into the world of Pokémon afterall.
Throwing Poké Balls and seeing what Pokémon are nearby was a source of mild confusion for me when I first played. So here’s the deal. On the screen when you’re playing, notice the lower right hand corner where you’ll see the silhouette of a few different Pokémons.
Click on that area and a small pop-up will appear telling you what Pokémons are nearby. The footsteps below each Pokémon signifies which ones are the closest (1 paw being the nearest). Pokémons that are filled in means you have already caught them but you should still continue to catch them on repeat in order to level up (something I have not even started on obviously as you can see, I, the 3iRaven is at a measly level 2).
Once you’re near a Pokémon, AR will switch on and you’ll be able to capture. Make sure you’re standing closer and then press and hold the Poké Ball > wait for green circle on the Pokémon to get as small as possible > swipe to throw Poké Ball. When timed and thrown correctly, you’ll gain extra experience!
If you press and hold + spin the Pokéball and swing it to your upper right, that there, friends, is a curveball. Throwing curveballs will help earn you extra experience (not by much but still).
P.S. Pokémons with a yellow circle surrounding them = has higher CP (Combat Power) which also = harder to catch so prepare to get extra Poké Balls or work on leveling up so you can get access to berries and better Poké Balls. Pokémons with red circle? Way, way harder to catch! At some point in the game when you’ve leveled up enough, you’ll get access to treats you can throw at Pokémons to reduce their circle color which will make capturing them a lot easier. Look out for these treats!
Easier said than done if you live in the suburbs like me. But on your next trip to downtown, open the app. There are WAY more Pokémons in the busy downtown areas and not to mention TONS of Pokéstops.
Spin at every Pokéstop you see (not just ones you stop by out of necessity) to gain experience, and if you wait 5-10 minutes it will turn blue and you can spin again.
Stardust raises CP (Combat Power): earn 100 Stardust for every Pokémon caught.
Candy used to evolve Pokémon (some required specific candy to evolve): common Pokémons will be easier to evolve but others like Magikarp for example, will cost you 400 Magikarp Candies before you can get a Gyarados. For every Pokémon you catch, you’ll receive 3 candies specifically for that Pokémon.
Importance: both are crucial to preparing your Pokémons for gym battles.
Incense: draws Pokémons to you for 30 minutes.
Lucky Egg: doubles all EXP earned for the next 30 minutes.
Some of you may have already figured it out but for those who haven’t… first off, you can trade lower CP Pokémons with the Professor in exchange for candy which will help your Pokémon evolve. You’ll gain more experience for every Pokémon evolved.
At the beginning of the game, every player automatically gets 2 incense. To save your money, keep these and wait till you’re around level 9 when you can get your hands on a lucky egg. Even better
If you have a lucky egg on you, wait till you have enough Pokémons to evolve and then activate the lucky egg for double experience! Or if you can’t wait, pair and lucky egg with incense and catch as many Pokémons as you can in 30 minutes for an EXP boost. If you’re more familiar, awesome! If not, you can check out more details on how best to use your Lucky Egg on android central.
If you live in, say, Italy or India, home to tons of landmarks… you’re in luck. In Pokémon Go, players can visit landmarks for free EXP.
Gym and battle concept was a bit confusing, in other words, more complex than gym combat on handheld game version. In the handheld version, you enter gym, battle gym leader lackeys, win and leave with a shiny new badge. This is where the game truly differs. In Pokémon Go, you have the option to join one of the 3 Pokémon Trainer teams.
“If a gym is white, that means no team currently owns it so you can give it a Pokemon and instantly take control. That Pokemon will live in that gym until it is defeated by an enemy trainer, at which point it will return to your collection to be used again.
By this point, finding a white gym is unlikely. A gym will usually house one or more Pokemon, depending on how many trainers have combined to take control of a gym for their team. As a gym levels up, more Pokemon can be added to defend it from outside attack. How you approach a gym will depend on whether it's controlled by an enemy team or by your own.” - Cnet
So as you can tell, Pokémon Go gym battles can be done individually but you get the upper hand if you take a gym as a team. With multiple players on the same side controlling a gym, it will be that much harder to take. Better make some friends!
Here’s a detailed chart of how gym battling works from a Beta user:
Let’s start with the fact that Pokémon Go shares similarities to Niantic’s first AR game back in 2012, Ingress. Niantic likes to host city wide events in major cities for players. In the game trailer (as shown in Youtube video above at 1:56), it seems like everyone will have a limited time chance during an event to catch a legendary Pokémon.
I’m inclined to believe Niantic will gradually roll out city-wide events for Pokémon Go like they did for Ingress which will bring out large Pokémon Go communities and give everyone the chance to not only capture the legendary Pokémon but also… network. Pokémon Go is largely an MMO and community-focused game first and foremost, so it should come to no surprise that you and your group of Pokémon Masters will join hundreds if not thousands in these limited time events (which will likely happen in major landmark destinations in cities near you. So keep an ear out for updates which could involve in-group battles to amp up the competitive atmosphere.
P.S. If I told you Moltres, Articuno and Zaptos exist in Pokémon Go but you must scale the height of Mt. Everest for Articuno, visit an active volcano site for Moltres and stand exactly where Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela for Zapdos, would you do it? No idea where on earth ditto would be but I suspect where ever the world's biggest mirror is.
Several Pokémon maps have already surfaced and with these, you can easily find your rares and ultra rares without exactly wandering into the wild. Check it out:
So... how far along are you on Pokémon Go? Got more tips for us? Is something amiss? Let us know in the comments below!