How to Play Pokémon Go – Tips & Tricks (Guide)


Pokémon Go has been released and plenty of
players are already enjoying it, including us. But the game doesn’t do a whole lot
to teach you about its basics, mechanics, and other aspects. So we’re here to break
it down and go over some tips so that you can enjoy your Pokémon Go experience right
away or when it’s available. Pokémon Go is a free augmented reality mobile
game on iOS and Android where the main goal is to catch Pokémon in your neighborhood.
For now, only the Pokémon from Generation 1 are available to catch. However, what’s
available for players to catch is dependent upon their location. While catching Pokémon
is the main focus, there are other goals as well, such as visiting Poké Stops and Gyms,
strengthening and evolving your Pokémon, and hatching eggs. Pokémon can be found in a variety of places,
as long as the Pokémon Go app is open. Pokémon will appear on the game’s GPS map and your
phone will buzz to indicate when a new one is nearby. If you want to catch it, simply
tap the Pokémon to initiate the capture phase. It is also possible to use the item Incense
to temporarily increase the chances of a Pokémon appearing while walking, or alternatively,
you can install a Lure Module at a Poké Stop by tapping the blank area above the landmark
emblem. This will temporarily lure Pokémon to that Poké Stop–and not just for you,
but other Pokémon Trainers too! As for finding new Pokémon outside your immediate area–well,
you’re going to have to get out there and explore! Aye, that’s a tough one! So as we’ve already
mentioned, the types of Pokemon you can find change depending on the region. But if you’re
looking for a specific Pokémon in your area, there is a “Nearby Pokémon” icon in the
bottom-right corner of the map that will show up to nine Pokémon that are close, along
with footstep symbols, which display how close you are to that Pokémon. Three steps means
it’s within a kilometer, two steps a hundred meters, one step means it’s within just
ten meters, and no steps means you will encounter it soon. If you want to find a specific Pokémon, tap
its icon to highlight it. This will change the Nearby Pokémon icon to that particular
Pokémon and its footsteps, making it slightly easier to pinpoint as you roam around. The
map will also show shaking grass at times which indicates a Pokémon should be around
that area though it’s not always a guarantee. Unlike traditional Pokémon battles, you don’t
actually fight the wild Pokemon in Go. Instead, you just throw Pokéballs until one actually
hits the Pokemon and captures it–but it only counts if it hits the Pokémon first before
it touches the ground. Now during battle, a circle will appear around the Pokémon that
comes in three colors; green, orange, and red, which respectively represent easy, medium,
and hard catches. This dictates how likely a Pokémon is to break out of a Pokeball–and
if a more difficult Pokémon escapes several balls in a row, it might run away. Fortunately,
there are several items that can help better the odds of a successful capture, such Great
and Ultra Balls, as well as Razz Berries that can be fed to the Pokémon to make the next
Pokéball thrown have a higher chance of capture. The colored circles serve another purpose
though; it’s not just capturing the Pokemon that matters–but how well you time the throw.
So normally, each capture nets you 100 XP by default, though you’ll get a 500 XP bonus
if it’s a new Pokemon. But you can increase that XP count even more the closer that colored
circle is to the center of the stationary white one at the time of capture: So you’ll
receive a “Nice” bonus of 10 XP if it’s close, a “Great” bonus of 50 XP, if it’s
even closer, and an “Excellent” bonus of 100 XP if its dead center. And if that’s
not enough, you can net another minor bonus of 10 XP if you catch the Pokemon with a curveball–which
you can do by shaking the Pokéball until it sparkles and then immediately flicking
it. You can also double the XP you receive if a Lucky Egg item is used and in effect. Well, you can evolve them to start! Besides
experience points, catching a Pokémon will always net the player 100 Stardust and 3 Candies
for that specific Pokémon’s evolutionary chain. These items are required to make your
Pokémon stronger, increase HP, and eventually evolve, both of which increase their Combat
Power, or CP for short, and the higher the CP, the stronger the Pokémon. But there is
a bit more to it, namely in relation to the Stardust. When you look at your Pokémon’s CP, you
will see an arc that a white line is filling in. This is the Pokémon’s potential and
it is broken up by percentages. Every 20% the amount of Stardust needed to increase
the Pokémon’s power will increase as well. The first 20% is 200 Stardust, 21 to 40% is
400 Stardust, and so on until the maximum of 1000 Stardust. However, even if you have
the right amount of Stardust, you won’t be able to increase your Pokémon’s CP past
a certain percentage until your trainer level is high enough. The higher the level, the
farther you can push its power on the scale. While 1 piece of Candy is used for each power
increase, the Candies are mainly used to evolve Pokémon. Different Pokémon require different
amounts of Candy to evolve, but it’s usually either 12, 25, 50, or 100. The lone exception
is Magicarp which requires 400 of its Candies to evolve. Evolution will increase the Pokémon’s
CP but it will not affect the CP scale percentage. Whatever it was at before evolution is where
it’ll stay afterward. CP is used exclusively at Gyms which is the only place battles can
occur. While Pokémon gain CP, Trainers gain Levels.
Those levels mark when certain things become available. The best example is how Gyms cannot
be claimed until the player has reached level 5. But this level also marks when new items
become available such as Potions and Revives, both of which are necessary now that battles
can take place. Each level will give the player more of these items as well as allow you to
further increase the power of your Pokémon. In short, Pokémon Gyms are essentially control
points for players to claim on behalf of their team by assigning it a Pokemon. It’s here
that battles take place and currency can be earned. However, Gyms can’t be accessed
until you reach Level 5. And once you access one for the first time, you’ll be prompted
to pick one of three Teams: Team Valor, Mystic, or Instinct aka Teams Red, Blue, and Yellow.
Each has a leader and are represented by one of the Legendary Birds though it mainly serves
as a way for players to divide themselves into groups. Each group can attempt to claim
a Gym as their own which will net them Poké Coins for use in the Shop. The coins are earned
based on the number of gyms under your control though, and unfortunately, you only earn 10
coins per Gym with a max of 10. This makes earning Poké Coins rather tricky since it’s
the only way to obtain them in-game. The other option is to purchase them with real-world
money in the form of microtransactions. The Shop holds all the items we’ve mentioned
before along with Egg Incubators, an upgrade to your Bag to hold more items, and a Pokémon
Storage Upgrade to hold more Pokémon. Gyms that are unclaimed are shown as Silver,
but if it’s any other color, it’s controlled by that Team. To claim an empty Gym, simply
tap the icon on the left side of the screen to pick one of your Pokémon. That Pokémon
will then defend the Gym, but you will be unable to interact with it unless it’s been
defeated so there’s no way to further evolve it or increase its CP. Now when under a Team’s
control, the Gym can gain levels in the form of Prestige, which is earned when the controlling
Team wins battles against challengers. Obtaining Prestige will increase the Gym’s Level and
allow for more players from your Team to place their Pokémon in the Gym in an effort to
better defend it. On the other hand, if you challenge a Gym,
you’re able to choose up to six Pokémon from your collection. Battles are incredibly
simple, mainly consisting of the player tapping the screen to have their Pokémon attack,
and swiping left or right to dodge enemy moves. Yeah, it may be simple, but dodging could
really save your Pokémon! Now every Pokémon has two attacks; their primary move and a
Special Move that’s charged during battle, which is automatically used as your next attack
when ready. A Pokémon’s special attack can be different even within the same species.
One Pidgey could have Aerial Ace while another has Air Cutter. However, winning a battle does not automatically
make the Gym yours–instead, it’ll lower its Prestige Points–and it’ll remain in
their possession until their Prestige reaches zero. Now it is possible to challenge a Gym
again right away in order to quickly accomplish this although your Pokémon’s damage does
not recover. The only way to currently heal your Pokémon is by using Potions or Revives,
which are obtained through Poké Stops and leveling up your Trainer. It’s also possible
to battle against your own Gym in order to test the defenses, raise its Prestige, and
earn XP. Of course, the higher your Pokémon’s CP, the better chance it has in battle. Poké Stops are places of interest near you
where you can get free stuff! Who doesn’t like free stuff?! They can be buildings like
churches, small local monuments or historical signs, and even public art projects. They
are marked by a blue landmark emblem that enlarges once you are within range. By tapping
on it, you can see what the point of interest is and sometimes even get information about
it. Swiping across the marker causes it to spin and drop random items like Pokéballs,
Pokémon Eggs, Potions, and Revives, as well as a small amount of experience points. After
using a Poké Stop, its color will change to purple to show that it’s already been
used. However, it only takes a few minutes for it to refresh, allowing you to continually
get new items if you so choose. When you receive a Pokémon Egg, you can look
at it in the Pokémon screen under the Egg tab. From here you can place it in your incubator
which begins the process of hatching it, and is powered by you walking. The distance is
different for each egg, and we’ve seen them range from two kilometers to ten so far. Once
you begin Pokémon Go, you will have an incubator right away that can be used an infinite number
of times. It is possible to find or buy more but they have a limit of three uses. Finally,
eggs will only hatch if the player is walking. Thanks to the GPS, Pokémon Go is able to
determine your speed so trying to cheat by riding in a car, train, or plane will not
be counted toward the required distance. In addition, the app must be open while walking
or it will not be counted. Medals are the achievements of Pokémon Go.
They track how far you’ve walked, how many Pokémon you’ve caught and their types,
how many Gym Battles you’ve won, and various other aspects. Each medal has a bronze, silver,
and gold requirement that gradually increases the number needed to earn that achievement.
Upon earning a medal, you will also obtain some XP. And that covers the basics of Pokémon Go.
It’s not too difficult to learn once you’ve got the hang of it and can be addicting in
its own way. Let us know if you have any tips of your own in the comments. Thanks for watching
and be sure to subscribe to GameXplain for more on Pokémon and other things gaming!

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