If you have been hiding under a rock (which is okay, there are scary things out there and I hide away sometimes too), then you have probably missed the biggest phenomenon to hit the world in years, Pokemon Go. If you have been playing the game and have a few questions regarding any of the game’s features, then look no further, because we have everything you need to know and the ultimate guide to becoming a Pokemon Go Master!! *cue Pokemon theme song*
In case you don’t have the game, I put together a guide on how to download it here. If you’re still not sure about all the Hype Digikids unpacks it here.
Before we start, let me explain an average session with Pokemon Go so that you know if you are doing it right or not. Upon loading into the game you will be welcomed to a map of your area, as you walk around, you will see the character on the screen walk in that direction too. You will explore your area and stop past PokeStops to collect Poke Balls and Eggs, and every now and then catch Pokemon which appear around you by tossing Poke Balls at them. Pretty simple right? Well, although the process sounds simple, there is so much in the game that is not explained at all, so I am going to explain it for you.
Choosing your starter Pokemon
Like all Pokemon adventures, you will get to choose from one of four Pokemon. Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Pikachu. Although Pikachu does not appear when you start the game, simply walking away from the three starter Pokemon at the start, will trigger his appearance and he will be catchable. Once you have started your Pokemon Go adventure and have already chosen a Pokemon other than Pikachu, do not stress. Pikachu, as much as we love him, is more common than the other three, so you will bump into him somewhere soon.
Walk this way!
Pokemon Go is all about walking and exploring the world, so get your shoes on and walk. Let us go through all the things that rely on you walking about.
These PokeStops are scattered around your world. It seems to be a trend that they are placed at landmarks like churches, parks, shopping centres and monuments. These stops will be the most important thing in the game as you will need them to gather new Poke Balls and eggs. When you see one on your map, walk towards it and tap on the icon. Spin the circular module in the middle of it and it will throw out Poke Balls and Poke Eggs. You will sometimes get other items like revives and potions to heal your Pokemon from them too.
PokeStops refresh every 20 minutes or so, so you can head back to the same church every time you need to fill up on Poke Balls and other items. Here is what each item does:
Poke Ball – Used to catch Pokemon
Revive – Used to revive fainted Pokemon as a result of battle
Potion – Used to heal damaged Pokemon as a result of battle
Incense – Used to draw Pokemon to your location. Lasts 30 minutes.
Poke Eggs – Hold a Pokemon inside. Use an Incubator to hatch.
Leveling up in Pokemon Go is vital to the game’s progression. Every time you catch a new Pokemon or level up in a certain rank, you will earn XP. The higher your trainer level, the higher the Pokemon’s CP that you will encounter. When you hit level 12, you will start to find Great Balls at PokeStops rather than the standard Poke Balls. These balls will have a greater chance of capturing a Pokemon for example. You will also get multiple Incubators when you level up, which will let you hatch more eggs at the same time.
Sure Charmander might be cute, but we want Charizard and we want him now! The road is long for evolving certain Pokemon, as the process requires that you catch a certain amount of the same Pokemon to earn Poke Candy, and transferring duplicates. In order to evolve a Pokemon, you will need to have a set amount of that Pokemon’s Candy. When you catch a Pokemon you earn 3 candy, and transferring them to the Professor will give you 1 candy. This, in theory, means that each Pokemon is worth 4 of that Pokemon Candy.
In a nutshell, Zubat for example, a Pokemon I am sure you all have, will need 50 Zubat Candies to evolve into Golbat. This means that you will need to catch a ton of them and then transfer the ones with the lowest “CP” to the professor so he will give you 1 candy for each too. Even if you catch a Golbat, it will also give you Zubat Candy, as the evolved Pokemon grant you the base Pokemon’s candy, to make your life easier.
When you are out and about in the game you will see a Pokemon tracker at the bottom of your screen. This tracker basically shows you the distance you will need to walk to find specific Pokemon in your area. Three steps is far, while no steps means that the Pokemon is right next to you and if you tap on the Pokemon, it will appear. This tracker is a great way to see what is around you to catch and as you are walking about, what is in the distance.
Pokemon Gyms are another great feature of Pokemon Go, but they are hard to explain at first, so bare with me. Once you reach level 5, you will unlock the ability to participate in gym battles, but not before you swear allegiance to one of the three factions in the game. The three factions are Team Instinct, Valor and Mystic, each with their own colour: blue, red, and yellow.
Think of factions like Game of Thrones houses, you swear allegiance to one, and help this faction take over gyms in the game. Pokemon Gyms are the huge buildings on the map, you will not miss them. If a Pokemon Gym is controlled by your faction, then you can fight one Pokemon in the Gym and help gain Prestige Points. The higher the Prestige Points, the more Pokemon can be stationed at the Gym at a single time. This makes the gym harder to capture when an opposing faction tries to take control. If you successfully beat the Pokemon, then you will be able to place a Pokemon at the gym to protect it.
What if your faction does not control the gym though? Well this is when the true battle begins. As you fight an opposing faction’s Pokemon Gym, you will go up against all the Pokemon which have been stationed there. The more you beat, the more Prestige Points the Gym will lose, and the less Pokemon will be stationed there at that time. Once a Gym reaches zero Prestige Points, the Gym can then be claimed for your faction. No blood spilt!
And that friends is Pokemon Go. Augmented reality combined with a show we all love makes one kick ass mobile game. Now go! We gotta catch em all!
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