Pokémon Go: How to get started

Pokémon Go: How to get started

On July 06, 2016 Niantic released its most advanced game “Pokémon Go”, and fans are already obsessed.

That’s because this isn’t your usual Pokémon game. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game, meaning that you have to get up off the couch and walk around to find cute little Pokémon creatures. You catch them, train them, and then use them in battles against other Pokémon.

Sounds great, right? Here’s how to get started.

Get Started

Pokémon Go: How to get started

Once you’ve downloaded the app you’ll have to register with your birth date. There are then two different ways to log into the game: through Google account or through the game‘s own Pokémon Trainer Club system.

You also need to make sure that you give Pokémon Go permission to access your location when you load the game up for the first time. It’s not an option: It’s a prerequisite, because Pokémon Go will need your GPS data.

Customize your character

Pokémon Go: How to get started
Character customization is limited to gender and eight other options: skin, hair, and eye color, and five pieces of clothing. The choices within categories are also very limited, but there are enough to make your Pokémon trainer your own.

After a brief introduction to the Pokémon researcher Professor Willow, you’ll get your starting Poké Balls and walk you through your first Pokémon capture.

Finding Pokémon

Pokémon Go: How to get started

Once you’re loaded into the game you’ll cut to a map that should instantly make clear why you were asked to give Pokémon Go access to your location. The Pokémon Go map isn’t Google Maps accurate, but you should recognize your neighborhood instantly. It certainly ought to be more than enough to let you navigate around and find your way to some Pokémon to capture.

You can tell where Pokémon may be hiding by watching the map for little tufts of green leaves swirling, as if the Pokémon are rustling around in the grass. These are only the roughest indication of where you might find a critter to trap, but it gives you a direction to walk.

The circle around your character indicates how close you need to be to a Pokémon to capture it. You’ll need to get a Pokémon inside that circle to be able to capture them with a Poké Ball. When a Pokémon is close enough to capture, it will pop up on the screen – as if you’ve just uncovered it. Tap on the Pokémon to try to capture it.

Pokémon Go: How to get started

You can find Pokémon anywhere out in the world. In the garage, on the beach, on the sidewalk, park benches, in the woods – anywhere you can think of.

You don’t have to be outside to find Pokémon. You can also find them in the kitchen, the bedroom, the living room, and even in a neighborhood coffee house. You’re more likely to find them outside, but even on a rainy day you might be able to capture some new.

Capturing Pokémon

Once you find a Pokémon on the map and tap on it, you’ll switch to an augmented reality view of the real world that shows you the Pokémon at the top of the screen and a Poké Ball at the bottom. Now it’s time to make your capture.

The best way to go about this is slow and steady, since you don’t have an infinite supply of Poké Balls. You can find them out in the world – more on that in a bit – and earn them by increasing your level, but otherwise they do cost real money to buy.

You can hold down the Poké Ball with your fingertip while you watch your prey. As you do, you’ll see a green circle within a white circle around the Pokémon. The green circle starts large, then shrinks, and then grows large again. What you want to do is hit your Pokémon with the Poké Ball while the green circle is fairly wide. That gives you the best chance to make the capture.

Just because you catch a Pokémon doesn’t mean it’s going to stay, so keep an eye on the Poké Ball after it’s captured. It will rattle a few times and give off stars if your effort was a success. If not, you’ll see the Pokémon reappear.

You can assess the Pokémon’s capture difficulty by the color of its circle. Green is the easiest to catch, while yellow, orange, and red are progressively harder. Larger Pokémon with higher Combat Power (CP) can take more than one try to catch.

Visit Poké Stops when you run out of Poké Balls

Pokémon Go: How to get started

Pokémon Go creates locations called PokéStops at local points of interest like monuments and notable landmarks. PokéStops are where you can get fresh Poké Balls and other items for free.

PokéStops appear as blue squares on the map. If you tap on the square, the screen will cut to a picture of the monument or the landmark.

Pokémon Go: How to get started
Just flick your finger across the picture. The picture will spin as if it were a coin and then spit out some items for you to collect. Poké Balls, Poké Eggs, healing potions and a lot more.Just tap on the items to add them to your inventory.

You can only visit a PokéStop and get the rewards once every 10 minutes.

Pokémon Go: How to get started

Items in Pokémon Go

Of course, Pokémon Go has things you can virtually collect. If you don’t want to work for it, you can pay real money, in the form of PokéCoins.

  • Lucky Eggs: Gives you double the XP for the next 30 minutes.
  • Lure Patches: Draws Pokémon to PokéStop.
  • Razz Berries: Make it easier to catch rare Pokémon.
  • Poké Eggs: These are eggs that can hatch into real Pokémon.

Evolving Pokémon

You can level up Pokémon using Candy and Stardust. And to do that, you need to catch more versions of the same Pokémon. So don’t think that because you have one Doduo, you don’t need another one.

Once you have enough Pokémon from one species, you’ll be able to use the candies to evolve them.

Battling At Gyms

Once you hit level 5 you’ll be able to join one three gyms: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue), or Valor (Red). The kind of team you pick doesn’t change the Pokémon you’ll find. But it doesn’t affect who you’ll be playing with and against in fights. Choosing a gym turns Pokémon Go into a team sport.

Along with your team, you can fight for a gym and take it over.

Just like PokéStops, gyms are also landmarks. And they’re the only place you can have battles. So chances are you’ll actually be looking at the person you’re battling in Pokémon Go. Isn’t that cool?

Entering the gym changes the game a bit. You can tap the screen to attack, tap and hold lets you start a special attack and swiping left or right dodges the opponent’s attack.

Go Catch Em All

That’ it. You’ve got the basics covered. Now go out there and catch ‘em all!

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