Begin­ner’s guide to Pokémon GO

Don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween a reg­u­lar Poké Ball and a Great Ball? Sarah Ja­cob­s­son Pure­wal’s guide will help

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

By now, you must be fa­mil­iar with Pokémon GO, the lat­est Pokémon game that uses VR and real-world lo­ca­tions to send play­ers on an IRL quest to catch Pokémon. But con­sid­er­ing it’s a global phe­nom­e­non, Pokémon GO is lack­ing in begin­ner in­struc­tion. This may be on pur­pose – it has a huge so­cial el­e­ment, and fewer in­struc­tions means more peo­ple turn­ing to each other for help.

But if you’d rather not ask your 10-year-old neighbour for the ba­sics, we’ve put to­gether a begin­ner’s guide that will an­swer all your ques­tions

about hunt­ing down Pokémon, nab­bing items, and sat­ing your de­sire for world dom­i­na­tion by con­trol­ling all of your neigh­bour­hood gyms.

Pokémon, Pokémon, and more Pokémon

How to find Pokémon

When you first start the game, you will see three starter Pokémon spawn/ap­pear in your area: Bul­basaur, Char­man­der and Squir­tle. You can pick one of these Pokémon to catch, and once you catch it, the other two Pokémon will dis­ap­pear. But find­ing your next Pokémon isn’t quite so easy – you’ll need to ven­ture out­side to find more Pokémon. They tend to spawn in ar­eas that are well-pop­u­lated, like parks, tourist at­trac­tions, and shop­ping cen­tres. You’ll also find dif­fer­ent Pokémon in dif­fer­ent ar­eas – wa­ter-type Pokémon will only show up near bod­ies of wa­ter, for ex­am­ple, while grass-type Pokémon can be found in parks.

In the lower-right corner of your screen, you will see a small white bar with sil­hou­ettes of Pokémon that are close to your cur­rent lo­ca­tion. Tap this bar to see all nearby Pokémon; tap a sin­gle Pokémon to track it. These Pokémon will have paw prints un­der­neath them de­not­ing how close (or far) they are from you: One paw print means close, while three paw prints mean fur­ther away. These

paw prints will de­crease/in­crease as you get closer/ fur­ther from the Pokémon.

How to catch Pokémon

To catch a Pokémon, you’ll need to hit it with Poké Balls. This is easy – tap the Poké Ball and flick it to­ward the Pokémon. Each Pokémon will have a cir­cle that is green, yel­low, or red: Green means the Pokémon is eas­ier to catch, while red means it’s dif­fi­cult. As soon as you put your fin­ger on the Poké Ball, the cir­cle will start shrink­ing; if you hit the Pokémon while the cir­cle is larger, it will be eas­ier to catch.

You can in­crease your chances of catch­ing Pokémon with higher level Poké Balls (you’ll get ac­cess to Great Balls at level 12) and by us­ing Razz Berries, a treat that en­tices a Pokémon to stay. You can also get a 100-point Ex­pe­ri­ence Point (XP) bonus by spin­ning the Poké Ball when you toss it.

How to run from Pokémon

You can run away from a Pokémon in­stead of catch­ing it by tap­ping the run icon in the up­per left corner of the screen.

What is Star­dust and where to get it

Star­dust is used to power up your Pokémon’s Com­bat Power (CP) level. You can get Star­dust

by catch­ing Pokémon, hatch­ing Pokémon from an egg, or by con­trol­ling a Gym.

What are Can­dies and where to get them

Can­dies are used to power up your Pokémon’s CP and to evolve Pokémon into stronger, more ad­vanced crea­tures. You can get Can­dies by catch­ing Pokémon, by trans­fer­ring Pokémon to Pro­fes­sor Wil­low (your in-game guide who helps you learn how to catch Pokémon), or by hatch­ing Pokémon from an egg. Can­dies are spe­cific to the Pokémon you re­ceive them from, but evolved forms of Pokémon take their un­evolved forms’ Can­dies. For ex­am­ple, Pikachu Can­dies can only be used to power up and evolve Pikachu, but Pidgey Can­dies can be used to power up and evolve Pidgey, Pid­geotto and Pid­geot.

To trans­fer a Pokémon to Pro­fes­sor Wil­low, tap the one you want to trade, go to the bot­tom of the screen, and tap Trans­fer. You will lose this Pokémon for­ever (so you should try to trans­fer Pokémon with lower CP), but you will get one Candy.

Should you level up a Pokémon or evolve it first?

Lev­el­ling up your Pokémon usu­ally takes one or two Can­dies and some Star­dust, while evolv­ing

your Pokémon takes any­where from 12 to 400 Can­dies. But you’ll get bet­ter re­sults if you evolve your Pokémon be­fore lev­el­ling them up (this takes some hold­ing out – it’s tempt­ing to spend that Star­dust), be­cause evolved forms of Pokémon take their un­evolved forms’ Candy and have higher all-around stats.

How high can a Pokémon’s CP get?

You can see your Pokémon’s CP by open­ing its profile screen. The arc above your Pokémon shows how high its CP can po­ten­tially get – fur­ther along on the arc means your Pokémon is near­ing its max­i­mum CP level. Pokémon’s max­i­mum CP de­pends on their type (some Pokémon are just nat­u­rally stronger) and on your level as a trainer. As you level up, your Pokémon’s max­i­mum CP will in­crease.

How to re­name a Pokémon

Open your Pokémon’s profile screen and tap its name to re­name it.

How to get eggs, hatch an egg and why you can’t hatch an egg while driv­ing

You can get eggs from PokéStops, which are re­al­world lo­ca­tions that let play­ers grab items. Eggs come in three va­ri­eties: two-, five- and 10km. To find your eggs, open the Pokémon screen and tap

the Eggs tab at the top of the screen. To hatch an egg, you will need to put it in an in­cu­ba­tor (do this by tap­ping the egg you want to in­cu­bate and tap­ping Start In­cu­ba­tion) and then walk two-, five- or 10km.

In or­der for your steps to count, you must have the app open while you are walk­ing. Step-count­ing stops work­ing over cer­tain speeds, so trav­el­ling in a car will not count to­ward your egg-hatch­ing.

Catch­ing Pokémon in a car

Yes. But you should not play Pokémon GO while driv­ing.

If you’re in a mov­ing ve­hi­cle and you spot a Pokémon on your map and you tap it, the Pokémon will re­main in your view long enough for you to catch it (even if you’re trav­el­ling at free­way speeds). You can also grab items from PokéStops in a car, if you tap them and start spin­ning them be­fore you reach them (you’ll have to be quick). You can’t bat­tle a gym while mov­ing, though.

PokéStops, items, and lures Where to get dif­fer­ent items

You can get Poké Balls, eggs, po­tions, su­per po­tions, re­vives, Razz Berries, Great Balls, Ul­tra Balls, and Mas­ter Balls (pow­er­ful types of Poké Balls) from PokéStops. You will get some in­cense, lucky eggs, lure mod­ules, and egg in­cu­ba­tors as

you level up, but these “pre­mium” items can also be pur­chased in the shop. Here’s a quick run­down of what these items do:

Poké Ball: Used for catch­ing Pokémon. Just toss these at Pokémon you meet in the wild. Egg: These con­tain Pokémon. You will need to put an egg in an in­cu­ba­tor and walk a cer­tain dis­tance (each egg will tell you how long you’ll need to walk) for it to hatch. You will also re­ceive Star­dust and Can­dies upon hatch­ing. Po­tion: Re­store 20 Hit Points (HP) to Pokémon in­jured in gym bat­tles. Will only work if Pokémon have not fainted. Su­per Po­tion: Re­store 50HP to Pokémon in­jured in gym bat­tles. Will only work if Pokémon have not fainted. Re­vive: Re­vives a fainted Pokémon and re­stores half of its HP. Great Ball: Un­locks at level 12. Used for catch­ing Pokémon. These special balls have a higher rate of cap­ture, so you should use them on hard-to-get Pokémon. Ul­tra Ball: Un­locks at level 20. Used for catch­ing Pokémon. Has a higher rate of cap­ture than a Great Ball. Mas­ter Ball: Un­locks at a higher (cur­rently un­known) level. Cap­tures Pokémon ev­ery time. In­cense: At­tracts Pokémon to your lo­ca­tion for 30 min­utes. Works best if you are mov­ing. Lucky Egg: Dou­bles your XP for 30 min­utes. To rack up XP quickly, use a Lucky Egg in an area where you are likely to meet a lot of Pokémon (near a lure mod­ule or while us­ing in­cense), or right

be­fore you are about to evolve sev­eral Pokémon (evolv­ing nets you 500XP). Lure Mod­ule: Can be pinned to a PokéS­top to at­tract Pokémon to that lo­ca­tion for 30 min­utes. Works for every­one near the PokéS­top. In­cu­ba­tors: Can be used to in­cu­bate and hatch eggs. You can use mul­ti­ple in­cu­ba­tors at once to in­cu­bate and hatch mul­ti­ple eggs.

How of­ten do PokéStops re­fresh?

PokéStops re­fresh (and will give you more items) ev­ery five min­utes.

The pink stuff around a PokéS­top

If you see a PokéS­top that’s shoot­ing off pink petals, some­one has placed a lure mod­ule there. Lure mod­ules at­tract Pokémon for 30 min­utes, and every­one who is near the PokéS­top will ben­e­fit (un­like in­cense, which only at­tracts Pokémon to one per­son). If you head over to a lure mod­ule, you’re likely to find a bunch of other friendly Pokémon GO play­ers hang­ing about.

To place a lure mod­ule on a PokéS­top, tap the PokéS­top and tap the white bar un­der­neath the PokéS­top’s name. If you have a lure mod­ule in your in­ven­tory, you can place this mod­ule in the mod­ule slot.

Be­ware of fol­low­ing lure mod­ules to shady parts of town in the mid­dle of the night, though – there may be armed rob­bers wait­ing for you.

Why are there no Pokémon/ PokéStops/Gyms near me?

Pokémon GO is, un­for­tu­nately, a lit­tle bi­ased to­ward cities, be­cause it re­lies on land­marks and points of in­ter­est. If you live in a small town, or out in the coun­try, you may not see a lot of Pokémon, PokéStops, or Gyms near you.

Gyms What is a Gym?

In ad­di­tion to PokéStops, you’ll also see Pokémon Gyms – usu­ally larger land­marks – around your city. Gyms are where you can bat­tle other play­ers’ Pokémon for con­trol, pride, and free PokéCoins. You can’t visit gyms un­til you are level 5 and have cho­sen a team.

What is a team, and why you need to join one?

When you get to level 5, you’ll be asked to choose a team. There are three teams: Team In­stinct (yel­low), Team Mys­tic (blue) and Team Valor (red). Once you pick a team, your job is to fight for con­trol of the Pokémon Gyms around your city – if an op­pos­ing team con­trols a gym, you can bat­tle them for dom­i­nance; if your team con­trols a gym, you can train at the gym or place one of your Pokémon at the gym to de­fend it from op­pos­ing teams.

If you con­trol a gym – or if you have a Pokémon de­fend­ing a gym (you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be the gym leader) – you will get a

de­fender re­ward of PokéCoins and Star­dust once a day. The main in­cen­tive to con­trol gyms is pride, nat­u­rally, but PokéCoins can be used to pur­chase items in the Shop.

Which team should you pick?

It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter which team you pick, but if you have friends play­ing the game you’ll prob­a­bly want to get on the same team so you can take over gyms to­gether. The best team, in my un­bi­ased opinion, is Team In­stinct.

How to claim a gym

You can claim an empty gym by as­sign­ing one of your Pokémon to de­fend it. To do this, tap the gym on your map and tap the as­sign but­ton in the lower left corner.

If a gym is cur­rently oc­cu­pied by an op­pos­ing team, you can claim it by bat­tling its cur­rent de­fend­ers. You can take six Pokémon with you into bat­tle. Each time you win a bat­tle, the gym’s pres­tige will lower – when the gym’s pres­tige is at 0, the gym will open up and you can as­sign a Pokémon to de­fend it.

Gym pres­tige

Gym power is de­ter­mined by pres­tige – the higher a gym’s pres­tige level, the harder it is for an op­pos­ing team to con­quer it. Ev­ery time the gym’s de­fend­ers win a bat­tle against an op­pos­ing team, the gym’s pres­tige level gets higher. And ev­ery time the gym’s de­fend­ers lose a bat­tle against an op­pos­ing team, the gym’s pres­tige level low­ers. If the gym’s pres­tige level is low­ered to 0 (by

mul­ti­ple lost bat­tles), the gym opens up and can be claimed by any team.

Gym pres­tige can be in­creased if friendly team mem­bers train their Pokémon at the gym (more on train­ing be­low). As the gym’s pres­tige in­creases, more de­fence slots will open up, al­low­ing more friendly team mem­bers to as­sign their Pokémon to de­fend the gym. (You can only as­sign one Pokémon to a gym.) Higher-level gyms have more slots – a Level 6 gym can have six de­fend­ing Pokémon, while a Level 10 gym can have 10 de­fend­ing Pokémon. With each gym level in­crease, the max­i­mum pres­tige level also in­creases. So a Level 1 gym has a max­i­mum pres­tige level of 2,000, but a Level 3 gym has a max­i­mum pres­tige level of 8,000.

How bat­tling works

To bat­tle an un­friendly gym, walk up to the gym, tap it, and tap the bat­tle but­ton in the lower right corner. You will see six of your Pokémon pop up – you can swap Pokémon out by tap­ping them. You may not al­ways want to take your strong­est Pokémon into bat­tle – some Pokémon types have ad­van­tages against oth­ers.

Once you’ve picked your team, tap Go to en­ter the bat­tle. You have three moves at your dis­posal: Stan­dard at­tack, special at­tack, and dodge. You’ll want to start off with stan­dard at­tacks, which you can per­form by tap­ping your en­emy. You’ll also want to lib­er­ally use dodge, which you can do by swip­ing to the right or the left. Once you’ve per­formed enough stan­dard at­tacks to power up your special at­tack (you can check this by look­ing

at the blue bars un­der­neath your name), tap and hold to per­form your special at­tack. If you have mul­ti­ple blue bars, you can per­form this at­tack mul­ti­ple times.

Why is this en­emy Pokémon im­pos­si­ble to beat?

You may en­counter a known bug where an en­emy Pokémon has 1HP but re­fuses to die. If you en­counter this bug, shut down the app and re­open it. You will have to restart the fight, but all of your Pokémon will be re­stored to full health.

What hap­pens when a Pokémon get in­jured or faint

If your Pokémon get in­jured, you can re­store their HP with Po­tions and Su­per Po­tions, which you can pick up from PokéStops. If your Pokémon faints, you will need to re­vive them with a Re­vive, which can also be found at PokéStops. You can­not use items dur­ing a bat­tle.

How to train a Pokémon at a friendly gym

You can ‘train’ your Pokémon at a friendly gym (a gym owned by your team) by fight­ing against the Pokémon de­fend­ing it. To do this, walk up to the gym, tap it, and tap the train icon in the lower right corner. You can only take one Pokémon into bat­tle when you train. Ev­ery time you win a bat­tle

against a friendly gym, that gym’s pres­tige raises. If you lose a bat­tle at a friendly gym, its pres­tige is not af­fected.

How to drop a Pokémon at a friendly gym?

If you en­counter a friendly gym with an empty slot, you can drop one of your Pokémon there to help de­fend it. Walk up to the gym, tap it and tap the as­sign but­ton in the lower left corner. When you drop a Pokémon at a de­fend­ing gym, you will lose the abil­ity to level it up or evolve it un­til it’s de­feated and comes back to you.

You will not get a no­ti­fi­ca­tion if your Pokémon faints or is in­jured in bat­tle and the gym is taken over by an­other team, but it will show up in your ros­ter to be healed. If the friendly gym does not have an empty slot, you will need to train (win against the gym) un­til its level raises and a slot opens up.

What you get for be­ing a gym leader

Gym lead­ers and gym de­fend­ers get Star­dust and PokéCoins ev­ery 21 hours. If you are con­trol­ling or help­ing to de­fend a gym at the 21st hour, you will get these ben­e­fits by go­ing to the Shop and tap­ping the shield icon in the up­per right corner. The high­est CP Pokémon de­fend­ing a gym de­ter­mines the gym leader.

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