Guide: how to play Pokémon Go

Since it was launched several years ago, Pokémon Go has a very dedicated user base. In 2020, despite the global pandemic that affected the entire world, Pokémon Go generated more than $ 1 billion in revenue, an impressive figure considering that the game has existed since 2016. And to this day, the game continues to have new users, making it one of the most popular mobile games ever. Even with all of the above, it is never too late to start playing Pokémon Go . The studio behind the game, Niantic, has spent the past five years refining the experience and introducing new ways to participate in community events. With that in mind, below we will explain everything there is to know about how to play Pokémon Go, one of the most successful and popular augmented reality games.

Pokémon Go on the App Store

Pokémon Go on the Play Store

Create an account and choose your first Pokémon

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Contributor

To start playing Pokémon Go , the first thing to do is go to the App Store or Google Play and download the game, for free. Once installed, you will have to customize the avatar and choose one of the following pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. The choice is just a matter of personal preference, as it will then be possible to meet the other types of pokémon as you go through the game.

Visit PokéStops and Gyms to collect items

Once you have the first pokémon, it is time to fill the inventory with items that will be useful to catch some new pokémon. In Pokémon Go , there are two ways to obtain new items: either by collecting them at PokéStops or by buying them with in-game money (coins that are obtained by playing) or with real money.

PokéStops are marked on the map with large blue icons. When you are in range of one, the icon will display the image of the structure it represents; To interact with it, you have to touch the image or slide your finger across the screen. This will cause a handful of items to appear floating above the screen and whether those items are touched or not they will all be added to inventory.

The other main structures that will be seen on the map are the Gyms. In these places you can have your Pokémon measure themselves in combat with those of other players, as long as you have the necessary level. In Gyms it is where you build your Pokémon team to try to beat the team that is defending the structure, and if you succeed, it will be your Pokémon that the rest will have to defeat to take over the Gym. However, you don't have to worry too much about this yet, as the game will clearly tell you when you are in a position to compete. And in addition, in Gyms you can also get new objects, such as in PokéStops.

Gyms and PokéStops are replenished with new objects every five minutes, so it's a good idea to constantly enter them in one place, since the more times you get to one, the more objects there will be. For now we will not delve into the details of Gym battles, but it is important to know that coins can be obtained by defending one. There is a daily limit of 50 coins per day, so the idea is to reach that maximum.

Looking for pokémon

As you explore your neighborhood looking for PokéStops, it is very likely that you will find a good number of Pokémon. Most of the time these arise randomly, although some appear in certain places more frequently than others. You can keep track of the pokémon using the Near Radar feature on the right at the bottom of the screen, which will let you know where a specific pokémon appears.

Pokémon Go also includes a feature called Sightings, which will give you clues related to nearby Pokémon; that yes, does not include specific directions to find them. Some pokémon are also exclusive to a single territory, such as Mr. Mime, who only appears in Europe.

Catching pokémon is simple

Once you find a Pokémon and want to catch it, the first step is to get close enough to interact with it. And when it is inside the circle around the player's position, you have to touch it on the screen to start a battle; this will open a new screen where all the action will take place.

To catch a Pokémon, you have to launch a Pokéball by sliding your finger from the bottom up on the screen. If done correctly, the Pokéball will hit the Pokémon and trap it. Ideally, the Pokéball should be thrown when the player's circle is as small as possible, since the more precise the throw, the greater the chance of catching it. Just make sure the Pokéball lands inside the circle to increase the chances of catching the creature.

The difficulty of this process is indicated by the color of the circle around the pokémon. Red means that it is more difficult, green means that it is an easy target. And you can also try using higher level Pokéballs – like Great Balls – if you have trouble trying to catch a particular Pokémon.

Another option is to use Frambu Berries to increase the chance of a successful launch. There are also the Golden Frambu Berries, but these should be used against legendary pokémon or those that you do not want to escape you. There are several more items that help when trying to catch new Pokémon and combining higher level Pokémon with different types of Berries is the key to catching special Pokémon.

A more advanced technique is to spin the Pokéball before launching it. This twist will give you more experience if the launch is successful.

Complete Investigations

Once you are familiar with visiting PokéStops and catching Pokémon in general, it is time to complete some Investigations. The objectives of these missions are simple: catch a certain number of pokémon or make three consecutive perfect throws, which will be rewarded with high-level items or rare pokémon.

The missions are found in the Poképaradas and they rotate every month. Some can be done very complex, but the game explains quite well what to do, so it is best to make the most of them.

Raids and League Fighting Go

Taking Gyms and catching new Pokémon is the basis of the more casual Pokémon Go experience , but there are users who are looking for something more; For them, the Fighting Go League was added in 2020, in which players can face each other in real time for a place on the leaderboard. Once the League is unlocked, you will have to assemble a team of Pokémon – according to certain special League rules – and then compete online against people around the world.

Raids, meanwhile, are for team play with other people. In Raids, teams of multiple players team up to try to catch a single powerful Pokémon. Upon completion of a Raid, players will be rewarded with a large amount of experience, in addition to the Pokémon in question being added to the inventory.

Inventory management

While most of the time one spends in Pokémon Go involves walking and catching creatures, a lot of time is also spent managing inventory. In Pokémon Go the inventory space is limited, so you will have to be constantly reviewing the objects and the pokémon you have. One of the easiest ways to have more space is to transfer pokémon to Professor Willow and for each of them he will give you Candy, which are used to evolve the pokémon. For this reason, you have to make the habit of transferring duplicate Pokémon as soon as possible, which will also allow you to complete the Pokédex.

Play with friends

When participating in Raids, Gym battles or other activities, it is always best to do it with friends as almost everything in the game can be carried out in a group. In addition, it is possible to share objects or even the pokémon with other people, in addition to exchanging gifts to raise the level of friendship with a person and receive more experience. The online activities of the game are always interesting and since in 2020 it was somewhat difficult to share with other people face to face, these connectivity options have been very useful.

One of the most popular Pokémon Go activities is the Pokémon Go Fest, which is normally held in major cities around the world. These events involve massive gatherings of players who also hand out exclusive prizes, and while they weren't held in 2020 for obvious reasons, the festivals are to be expected to return in the future.

Don't let the game overwhelm you

Pokémon Go can overwhelm first-time players with so much content. The recommendation then is to go step by step, reviewing all the features of the game calmly; Thus, everything that is done in Pokémon Go is much simpler. The order of activities should be the same as we have explained in this guide: go to Poképaradas, catch Pokémon and compete in Gyms.

Once you become familiar with the main game cycle, it will be time to enter the Combat League, which is a good experience for which it is not necessary to go for a walk but can be done perfectly from home. And then when you already have a significant pokémon collection, consider joining a Raid with more people. There is a lot to do within Pokémon Go , so the best advice is to take the time to enjoy it.

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