Pokémon Go can be daunting for players new to the Pokémon franchise, and veteran Pokémon trainers unfamiliar with the differences from the normal Pokemon gameplay. Here’re some of the more important Things Pémon Go Doesn’t Tell You about controls, mechanics, and other useful tips.
PokeStops Refresh Often
If you happen to live, work, or just be in an area near one of the PokeStops, you’ll notice that the color changes from blue to purple once interacted with. If you hang around the area for a bit, you’ll find it goes back to its blue color after 5 or so minutes, allowing you to easily stock up on Poke Balls, and gain 50 xp a pop, which is useful if you find yourself stuck someplace where Pokemon are not appearing.
Pokémon and PokéStops in Motion
Whether you’re on a bus, in a car, taking a train, or whatever — you’ll find that you can still play Pokémon Go on the go and your avatar will faithfully run down the streets to keep up. This can be both a blessing and a curse, because you’ll often pass through several potential PokéStops or Pokémon.
It’s important to note that when interacting with PokéStops, if you leave the area, you won’t be able to finish interacting with it — and interaction is often best saved when you’re slowing down or stopped in a moving vehicle. However, any Pokémon that is encountered and engaged will stay with you, letting you catch them at your leisure (so long as they don’t flee).
And of course: please don’t play Pokémon while driving.
Trainer Level Influences Rarer Pokémon
As exciting as exploring new and unknown places for Pokémon are, you won’t have to brave the most dangerous places on Earth to find rare Pokémon – instead your personal level will dictate the rarity of Pokémon that appear. To start, you’ll often encounter basic Pokémon (Zubats, Charmanders, Weedles, etc) but as you gain in level, there will be a better chance of finding both Pokémon with higher Combat Power (CP), and rare Pokémon in general.
Tougher and rarer Pokémon will often be harder to catch – a green ring means an easy catch, yellow harder, and then orange and red. Difficult Pokémon may often break out of a Pokéball, or even run away. Consider using Items to make it easier before trying against these Pokémon.
Egg Hatching Distance Measuring
When trying to incubate a Pokémon Egg, you’ll have to travel a distance of several kilometers (varying from 2 to 5 to 10). While you might be tempted to simply drive the distance, there’s more to it than distance traveled. Pokémon Go uses both your phone’s pedometer as well as the GPS to calculate how far you’ve actually walked, and appears to limit your distance traveled if it clocks you going at high speeds. Distance traveled is still counted fairly accurately if done on a skateboard, as long as you don’t go too fast.
Note: The app must be active to count your steps. This means if you go for a walk, the app must stay running and you must be logged in and playing for it to count your steps.
Get Free Items for Defending Gyms
Once your trainer is level 5, you can finally visit Pokémon Gyms and battle against other trainers. If you visit a Gym with your team’s color – or take over one of the opposing color, you can store your Pokémon there and become a Gym Defender. Immediately thereafter you can check the Shop tab and click on the shield icon to access your Defender Bonus for free PokéCoins and Stardust. Check back every 20~ hours (so long as your Pokémon have not been dethroned) and to receive more (the amount may vary depending on how many Pokémon you have in the gym, or their CP).
Battles Are Not Turn Based
Contrary to most Pokémon games, Gym Battles in Pokémon Go are not turn based – though attacks can’t be literally spammed either. To attack, simply tap the screen, and your Pokémon will deal its first attack as soon as it’s able. To deal a special attack, you will need to hold down on the screen and release. In order to perform a special attack, you will need to charge the meter below a Pokémon’s health until a bar is full – different special attacks have different meters. To dodge, swipe to the sides before the attack hits.
You can tell which move is the Pokémon’s basic attack and which is its special by the order the moves are listed in. For example, this Ekans will use Acid, and will only be able to attack with Sludge Bomb when one or both of the bars are filled by using Acid first.
Pokémon Close By Can Be Summoned
When on the map, in the bottom right corner you can find a tab that lists any nearby Pokémon. Most of these Pokémon should have a number of 1 to 3 footprints under them, with 1 equaling close and 3 equaling farther away. However, sometimes you may find that a Pokémon listed has no footprints – if this is the case, track that Pokémon by tapping on it, and it should pop up on the map in a few seconds.
You can also track any nearby Pokémon by tapping on it and monitoring the list of nearby Pokémon.
Note that simply seeing a patch of moving grass on the map doesn’t always mean a Pokémon will immediately pop up if you’re close enough – but some will often appear if you walk around the area long enough.
Make the Most of the Battery Saver
Pokémon Go includes an option in the settings to initiate a Battery Saver mode, but it doesn’t really explain what that does – in fact, simply turning it on won’t do much of anything.
To make use of Battery Saver, once turned on, simply turn your phone upside down, and the screen will darken to display a faint Pokémon Go logo. The game will still be on, and will still track your movements – you just won’t see it. However, you will still get a notification or rumble if you approach a Pokéstop or a Pokémon appears, so you can quickly pull the phone out of your pocket to interact!