It doesn’t matter if you are a Pokémon fan or not. You need to try Pokémon Go- the latest trend in the mobile industry. If you are following the news you already know how popular Pokémon Go has become in the last month or so.
Millions of players are playing Pokémon Go daily and it has already beaten the likes of Twitter and Tinder in terms of daily active users and number of app installations respectively. It has also gone past the average time spent in an app beating the likes of WhatsApp.
Its popularity has already been answered around the web, but that’s not the point of the article. The point of the article is to guide you through the amazing world of Pokémon Go.
This guide is aimed at the beginner who is about to play Pokémon Go for the first time. A beginner will have many questions including what is Pokémon? Not everyone is familiar with Pokémon and how it works, and that’s why we take a dig at the topic.
If you are a developer and wondering about Pokémon Go’s development, check out live development videos about Pokémon Go Trading Marketplace development here.
So without any further waiting, let’s get started with Pokémon Go Guide for Absolute Beginners.
Pokémon and Pokémon Go? What is it all about?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game developed by Niantic. Niantic has been in the business of making AR games for the past three years. They developed Ingress, a similar game to Pokémon, but one that is inherently complex in nature. Pokémon Go has been installed in more than 5% of the Android devices and is going strong. In the game, you need to catch Pokémon using balls known as Pokéballs. There are other game mechanics including gym battles, PokéStops, etc., which we will cover in the rest of the guide.
Before we move further, let’s understand augmented reality. Augmented reality is all about using your surroundings to enhance the game experience. In more technical terms it superimposes computer-generated video, audio, or image to the real world and makes your experience in a completely different way.
The Pokémon brand has been there for the past 20 years. It has made millions of fans until now, and the brand name has helped Pokémon Go reach millions of players already!
From the Wikipedia article, “Pokémon is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. While the franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, and is centered on fictional creatures called “Pokémon”, which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport.”
In Pokémon Go, you become the Pokémontrainer and try to capture all the available Pokémon.
If you are new and don’t know where to start.,the first thing you need to know about Pokémon Go is that it is not released worldwide, but is seeing incremental release cycles around the world. To find out if it has already been released in your country just go to this link. If you see a green sign(i.e. released), you can proceed to your mobile OS app store, iPhone or Android and download it from there. Oh yes, it is free, and you don’t have to pay to download the app.
Once installed, you can proceed to the game and start playing.
Note: App not available in your country? You can either wait for the release or go to 3rd party websites to download the .apk(for Android) or .ipa(for iOS) and install it on your device. Niantic, for now, is not doing any regional checks, which means that the app will work without any limitation.
Caution: Downloading .apk or IPA file from 3rd party websites can lead to problems. Please check thoroughly before downloading as there are reports of the installation files being infected. If you are worried about security, then it is better to wait for the official release.
Creating Avatar and GPS
When you start up the app for the first time, it will ask you to create your avatar. Avatar creation is straightforward as you need to select the sex, the hair color, and other avatar attributes. Once done, you can now proceed to the main game screen!
The game will showcase a map. If you are not able to see the map instantly, wait for a few seconds before it gets updated with all the information. If the map is not loaded with your avatar, double-check whether or not your smartphone GPS is working. Try to switch it off and on and that should do the trick.
Getting Your First Pokémon
If everything worked fine until now, you would be able to see three Pokémon on your screen. The three Pokémon are Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur. Choosing one of them will start your journey. Before you choose one, it is a good idea to understand the types of Pokémon.
Currently, there are many types of Pokémon in the game. They are water, grass, steel, ghost, bug, rock, poison, flying, fighting, normal, ground, psychic, dark, fairy, dragon, and ice. Among all the types, the three available Pokémon are water (Squirtle), Fire (Charmander), and poison/grass (Bulbasaur).
Wait, you can still get a Pikachu, an electric-type Pokémon as your first Pokémon. All you need to do is walk away from the initial place then come back to the same location. On third or fourth try, you will be able to see Pikachu on your map. Go catch it!
Capturing Pokémon With Pokéballs
The core mechanics of the game revolve around capturing Pokémon. You can catch them using the in-game element, Pokéball. When a Pokémon alert arrives on your mobile, you need to walk the avatar to the location and point your phone camera at the location. The Pokémon should appear jumping wildly. Point your Pokéball to the circle surrounding the Pokémon and throw the ball with the right curve. If you did everything right, you would be able to capture the Pokémon.
Note 1: Higher-level Pokémon have higher chances of fleeing the scene. Don’t get disappointed and try capturing it again! It is just part of the game!
Note 2: To make sure you don’t miss any nearby Pokémon in the future, turn vibration on. By turning the vibration on, you will be able to do other tasks and still not miss a single Pokémon!
Improve your chances
You can improve your chances of capturing a Pokémon by using in-game items such as Lure Modules and Razz Berry. Razz Berry improves your chances of catching a particular Pokémon. Lure module, on the other hand, attracts Pokémon toward a PokéStop.
Tip: Turn off your phone camera if you don’t want to get distracted by the background and save battery at the same time.
Leveling up is all about progressing in the game. You need to do different activities within the game such as capturing a Pokémon, winning Gym matches, evolve Pokémon, etc. Each level has its own rewards, and you can check the full list here. As you gradually progress through the game, you will unlock different items and other key aspects of the game. For example, when you hit level 5, you will unlock Gym battles where you can battle other Pokémon. Potions and Revives are also unlocked at level 5.
You can gain experience points (XP) in the following ways:
- Capture Pokémon
- Evolve Pokémon
- Hatch Pokémon eggs
- Doing Gym battles
- Get free items at PokéStop.
Progressing through the game from level 1 to 20 is easy and less time consuming. But, after you hit level 20, leveling up becomes harder due to high XP requirements. The steep curve has already been seen as a drawback to the game progression system, and many players have already started leaving the game at high levels.
Another cool part of the game is evolving Pokémon. You make your Pokémon more powerful by using candies on them. The power of a Pokémon is gauged by Combat Points (CP) points. The higher the CP points, the better the Pokémon.
To get started, you need to capture as many Pokémon as you want. But don’t just evolve them yet! The idea here is to save your candies for the higher level CPs that you will later capture. To get candies, you need to capture tons of Pokémon and exchange the low CP ones with Professor Willow for candy.
Want to receive free items and capture Pokémon? Then, you need to go to PokéStops. PokéStop is a marked place on the map where you can get free items and also increase chances of capturing Pokémon by using Lure modules. To get free items, you need to walk to the landmark and swipe left to right. Once done, free items will flow. You now need to tap on them to take them! If you are feeling lucky and want to capture Pokémon, you can use Lure Module to increase the Pokémon’s activity in that zone. Other players can also take the advantage of the Lure Module and capture Pokémon!
Even though the game revolves around capturing and evolving Pokémon, you can still battle Pokémon in Gyms. Gyms are special places where you can fight other players’ Pokémon and engage in healthy competition. Also, it should be noted that Gyms are colored according to red, blue or yellow. The color signifies different teams in Pokémon Go. Grey color means the Gym is empty, and you can capture it. Once captured, you can defend the Gym against other players from different teams.
Fighting another Pokémon is rewarding even though most of the combat is automatic in nature. To ensure that you have better chances, use higher CP Pokémon. During the battle, your Pokémon will lose health, and you need to use in-game items to replenish its health.
That’s all for now. Pokémon Go is great for casual players who want to engage in social interactivity, exploration, and also want to feel nostalgic.
Featured photo credit: depositphotos via depositphotos.com