What is Pokemon Go and how to play it (without going crazy)?
The news about Pokemon is what is drowning your feeds right now, right? Yes the highly expected Pokemon app has been launched finally.
Currently Pokemon Go app is available on Android and iOS – limited to US, Australia and New Zealand. But the app will be soon expanded to Europe and Japan.
The game has already received massive attention and users are reportedly going crazy over playing it.
How to get started with Pokemon Go
You can download the app from your app store (Android or iOS) if you live in the location where it has been launched. Once logged in, you will receive a short intro to the game and tips on how to play it.
Basically you have three starter options – to catch Pokemon, visit Pokestops and gym battles.
Once you have created a character it allows you to wander in your neighbourhood and Pokemon characters will pop up as if they occur in your real world.
What you’ll actually see on the screen will be something like an animated version of Google maps.
How to catch a Pokemon
Here’s where the fun begins. Open the Pokemon app on your phone and start walking around. You will see the animated map on your phone.
The app will alert you (with a buzz) if a Pokemon appears in the nearby are.
You can go to Pokemon catching mode by tapping on the map. The app will also show how easy it is for you to catch that Pokemon by using color coded rings – green representing “easy”, yellow representing “intermediate difficulty” and red representing “the most difficult” levels.
There are Pokemon of different kind, and with different Combat Power Levels (CP). The CP of a Pokemon determines how powerful one will be.
And, the different Pokemon are found in different places.
You can increase the CP of a Pokemon (that you’ve caught); you will need resources like stardust and specific candy.
Stardust is nothing but an item that you gain with every Pokemon you catch. And Pokemon specific candy is nothing but candies that increase the CP and also makes your Pokemon evolve – which you will need when you start encountering wild and powerful Pokemon as your own strength increases.
What are Pokestops
As you move around in your locality, you will encounter landmarks (in the app on your phone) that are called Pokestops.
The map will help you identify these Pokestops by displaying a spinning Pokeball icon when you get close enough to such a location. Tapping on that icon enables you to obtain items like potions, revives, eggs, and poke balls.
All these items have their uses. Eggs, for instance, can be hatched by walking around. Potions and revives can be used to heal and energise Pokemon after they have been damaged in a face-off with other Pokemon.
Some Pokestop items can only be purchased using Pokecoins. Pokecoins can be either earned by battling in the gyms or bought via in-app purchases.
So although the game is free, you should expect some in-app purchases.
What are gyms?
Gyms are places where you can battle other trainers. These are located at specific places attached to your real world locations (in your area).
Gyms are also places where you can train your Pokemon.
As far as a gym is concerned, the aim is to increase the prestige point associated with the gym.
You can raise a gym’s prestige point by training a Pokemon against other members of your team. This applies if a gym is held by your faction.
If more than one (rival) factions are for a gym, a battle has to be won to hold it.
If you and your Pokemon fight against the rival faction and defeat the Pokemon stationed there, you can reduce the prestige point of the gym and bring it to neutral status and then acquire it.
You can then station your Pokemon to hold down the fort.
Battling in gyms increase the CP of your Pokemon and gives it experience.
How to battle and level your character up?
Your character in the game levels up by earning experience – which is in turn gained by playing the game involving the common game activities. This includes catching Pokemon, battling in the gym and visiting Pokestops.
With clearing each level, you will be gifted with items. And when you reach level 5 you can choose from the three color-coded factions so you can battle in the gyms.
The three color coded factions are Valor (Red), Instinct (Yellow) and Mystic (Blue).
When you battle face-off with a Pokemon you can use two types of attacks – light attack and a special attack.
A light attack can be done by simply tapping on the rival Pokemon. A special attack however requires that your meter is filled where you can tap and hold to unleash it.
While you are face-off with a Pokemon, be aware about the type of Pokemon, since water Pokemon will be effective face off against fire, fire Pokemon will be effective against grass and so on.
Battles will last until any one of the Pokemon faints.
The different items you can get, their uses and how to get them?
Revives – can be bought in Pokestops and can be used to revive a fainted Pokemon
Potions – A damaged Pokemon can be healed with potions. There are potions, Super Potions and Hyper Potions according to your level.
Lucky Egg – This can be obtained in Pokestops or purchased with pokecoins.
Egg incubator – By default you will be given one free egg incubator which has unlimited use. Additional incubators can be obtained in Pokestops or purchased with pokecoins. As the name indicates, incubators are for hatching eggs (that result in rare Pokemon!). Eggs in the incubator hatch after walking a specific distance (which depends on the type of egg).
Pokeball – This is the major tool you use to catch a Pokemon, and it can be either obtained from Pokestops or purchased with Pokecoins. As your level increases you will have the chance to get Great Balls (level 12) and Ultra balls (level 20) which are quite effective in catching Pokemon.
Incense – You can get this from Pokestops or purchase with Pokecoins. After using the incense, for the next half hour, your chances of encoding a wild Pokemon increases.
Lure module – You can get this from Pokestops or purchase with Pokecoins. A Lure module can be used on a Pokestop and by doing so, you increase the chance of other players (near that Pokestop) encountering a wild Pokemon at that Pokestop.
Razz berries – Razz berries unlock at level 8, and you can find them in Pokestops when they are unlocked. You can use Razz berries to prevent a Pokemon from running away.
Don’t forget to stay safe while playing Pokemon Go!
This is the most important bit of this post. Wandering around your neighbourhood or even distant places is seemingly fun.
— Chris Brown (@AlphaZealot) July 13, 2016
Most users enjoy the experience and love that this game, unlike other games, help you to move out in fresh air. I agree.
Conventionally, video games tie us to a spot. But this one is different – it lets you wander to places.
People have hopped on bicycles (to catch Pokemon faster) and even rented a Kayak to claim a gym!
— Kelsey Thomson (@Kelchup) July 10, 2016
So this sounds all exciting. But don’t forget the safety rules.
It is not at all safe to wander around without paying attention to the surrounding or the traffic while you are looking, head down, on your phone.
And it is not at all safe to drive while you are catching Pokemon.
— Think Atheist (@ThinkAtheist) July 13, 2016
Make sure you monitor toddlers and teens! They could get lost or invite unwanted attention and danger.
Having said that, there’s nothing wrong in having fun catching those Pokemon.