Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, which allows players to Capture and Battle virtual creatures (Pokémon) in the real world. In the future it will allow more options like trading Pokémon. Pokémon Go can be played on Mobile Devices and requires both GPS and an Internet connection to play (And an additional battery :P).
Before you download Pokémon Go, be sure to check if your device meets the necessary specifications and requirements.
Pokémon Go requires an Android or iOS Device with GPS and Internet access (WiFi or Mobile Data) to play. Android devices must have version 4.3 or higher and iOS users must have an iPhone 5 or better.
The game can be downloaded in either the Google Play App Store (Android users) or the iTunes App Store (iOS users). Depending on your device, search “Pokémon Go” App and Install it. Be sure to have enough free storage space to download and the App.
You have the option to zoom in and out of the map while traveling. In addition, you can choose to turn on the Battery Saver mode (fails in some phones), which is very useful for conserving power (especially if you don’t have a backup battery).
You are the controller. Simply start walking and your virtual Trainer will travel along with you. Use your touchscreen to interact with the Menu.
You can master the map easily. In the map you will see Pokémon, and Locations on your Map like PokeStop and Gyms. The controls are simple enough to be masterized in a short period of time.
If you have intend to use the Pokémon Go Plus, make sure to keep your phone's Bluetooth setting on.
When connected wirelessly, you will be able to capture Pokemon without needing to look at your smartphone.
At the very beginning of the game, you have the opportunity to create your own Pokémon Go Trainer. He or she will serve as your unique avatar as you travel the world. Anyways the customizations are small, and you can change them in options anyways.
You will be given the option to name and customize your Trainer with a variety of different cosmetic options. You may customize your Trainer’s Gender, Face, Hair, Eye Color, Hat, Shirt, Pants, Shoes and Backpack.
Before you explore further, here is a little information on the Main Screen. Above you will see your current map position (we will the the map later), and a compass telling you where is the North. At the bottom of the screen you will see few icons. From left to right, Trainer Avatar, a Pokeball and small list with the pokémon close.
Trainer Profile: Here you can see your current Trainer level, XP required to reach the next level, Badges/Achievements and more. You will get achievements for walking certain distances, catching a required number of new Pokémon, visiting a set number of Pokestops, winning a certain number of Gym battles, etc.
Pokeball: This will give you access to the Pokédex, the shop, your pokemon list, and a bag with the items that you already have. When you capture a Pokémon, the Pokedex will populate with an image and reveal detailed information about that particular Pokemon. The shop will show you the items that you can buy in the shop with pokecoins. The Pokémon menu will allow you to see all of the Pokémon you have captured so far. Each Pokemon will show as a small image with its corresponding CP value. Selecting a Pokemon will show further details including Type, height, weight, Moves, etc. (more about these later). The bag with items, as you travel and progress in Pokémon Go you will be able to obtain items. These Items may include Pokeballs, Potions, Eggs, etc. that will automatically be added to your inventory. Pressing the Items icon will provide you with quick access to your inventory.
Pokemon close: Pulling up the Pokémon menu will allow you to see all of the Pokémon that are close to you. Each Pokemon will show as a small image, if you have already captured it or a gray color silhouette if you didn't.
After taking your first steps, you will notice different points of interest on your map. These locations include Pokémon, Pokéstops and Gyms. Each serves a different purpose and can be interacted with in a different way.
Pokémon will generally reside in locations similar to that of their Type. For example, Water Type Pokemon will be more heavily populated near Lakes, Oceans, etc. while Grass and Bug Type Pokemon will be found more often near Woods, Parks, etc.
If a wild Pokémon is nearby it will show up on your screen. Simply continue walking towards it and then interact with it to begin the encounter. The game will automatically shift from the bird’s eye map view into a one on one encounter mode between you and the wild Pokémon.
To capture the Pokémon, throw a Pokéball at the Pokémon by swiping your finger towards it. If done correctly, you will see the Pokéball fly towards the target. Each wild Pokémon will have a colored ring around it, which represents how difficult of a capture it is. There are colors scaling from green to Red to tell you how difficult is to capture the pokémon. Anyways you will see playing that sometimes you waste 10 pokeballs with green pokémon and just one with orange/red. You will want to use more powerful Pokeballs such as Great Balls and Ultra Balls to capture stronger Pokémon. Berries can also be used (once per failed capture attempt) to make a Pokémon easier to capture. A Berry will actually change the color of the capture ring when used. A wild Pokémon with ??? CP over its head means that it is too powerful to capture based on your current Trainer Level. It is possible to capture these Pokémon, but very difficult. Leveling Up your Trainer will make powerful Pokémon easier to catch.
Pokestops are real world locations that can be visited to obtain items. Usually it is a known place (church, museum, or maybe a shop!). A PokéStop is shown on the map as a marker that looks like a floating Pokeball.
As you get closer the Pokestop marker will change shape. Tap the PokéStop to interact with it. Next, spin the core of the PokéStop and it will dispense items. Tap or swipe the items on the screen to collect them. After 5 minutes you can get items again.
Visiting Pokestops is the best way to obtain free items in Pokemon Go. You may find Pokeballs, Potions, Eggs, Max Revives, etc. You will also receive a small amount of XP. Visit as many PokéStops as you can. If you live out of a big city, this is what you will miss more.
Collected items will automatically be stored in your inventory and can be used throughout your journey. Each item has a different purpose.
Pokeballs: Acquired from Pokestops and used to capture and store wild Pokemon.
Potions: Acquired from Pokestops and used to heal a % of a single Pokemon’s depleted HP.
Max Revive: Acquired from Pokestops and used to revive fainted (0 HP) Pokemon.
Berries: Can be used on wild Pokemon to make them easier to capture.
Eggs: While more rare than Pokeballs, Eggs can also be acquired from Pokestops. Eggs can be carried around and after walking a certain distance your Egg(s) will hatch into a Pokemon! The species of Pokemon that hatches from the Egg will be randomized.
Gyms are real world locations that Teams battle for control over. A Gym is shown on the map as a floating marker with platforms (the number of platforms represents the Gym Level, which also represents the number of potential defending Pokemon at that Gym). You will able to attack or train in Gyms when you are lvl 5 (When you choose a team, see below).
Pokemon can be trained at a friendly Gym to increase the Gym’s Prestige and Level. Defeating Pokemon at an opposing Team’s Gym will lower the Gym’s Prestige and Level. When battling at Gyms, you can either Dodge or choose to use one of your Pokemon’s Moves.
If you plan to play with friends, choosing a Team is very important. Players of the same Team will need to work together to defeat/take control of opposing Team’s Gyms and defend friendly Gyms.
If you wish to play alongside friends, make sure to discuss with them first before choosing a Team.
When you visit a Gym you will have the option of either Training (Battling friendly Pokemon) or Challenging (Battling Pokemon from an opposing Team). The battle mechanics are similar in both game modes, but in training mode you can attack with just one pokémon while you use 6 in battles. You can change you pokémon in battles in any moment.
The battle will start and you will face off against a defending Pokemon (controlled by AI, rather than by an actual player).
To win a battle, you must use your Pokemon’s moves to reduce the HP of your opponent’s Pokemon down to 0. Both Pokemon will have their HP bar visible during battle. The attacking Pokemon will have its blue Stamina (Energy) bar shown right below its HP.
To select your pokémon, keep in mind that the greater the CP value of your Pokemon, the greater amount of damage it will deal during battle.
To attack you will use moves: Using a mix of Fast and Charge Moves will result in greater success during battle. Build up your Stamina bar with Fast moves and then unleash powerful Charge Moves to take out large chunks of your opponent’s HP. You will get the hang of this after only a few battles.
Swiping either left or right on the screen will allow you to Dodge opposing attacks. Dodged attacks will result in 0 damage taken.
Winning Training battles will award you with Trainer XP and increased Prestige for your friendly Gym. Winning Gym battles will award you with Trainer XP and decrease the Prestige of the opposing Gym.
Training successfully at a friendly Gym will result in increased Gym Prestige at that Gym. When a Gym gains enough Prestige it will Level Up.
The higher a Gym’s level, the more Defensive Pokemon slots it will have. The more Defending Pokemon a Gym has the less likely it is to be defeated by enemy teams.
When a Gym is defeated enough times its control will become Neutral. Neutral Gyms can be taken control of by any Team. Once captured, it is then the controlling team’s job to defend that Gym against the other two teams.
When you first encounter a wild Pokémon it will have a CP value hovering over its head. CP stands for Combat Points and is a major factor in determining how powerful that Pokemon is. The higher a Pokémon’s CP, the more difficult it will be to capture and the more damage it will do in battle.
HP stands for Hit Points/Health Points, and represents how much damage a Pokémon can take in battle before it is defeated. You will want to keep one or two Pokémon of the same species with the highest CP and HP values (Especially those that have Evolution capabilities).
Each Pokémon will have either one or two Types, depending on the species of Pokémon. Certain Types of Pokémon are vulnerable to certain Move Types, while other Types may be resistant to the very same Move Types.
For example, a Fire Type Pokemon will take more damage from a Water Type Move, while a Grass Type Pokemon will take less damage from a Water Type Move.
Moves in Pokémon Go are attacks that your Pokémon can use in battle. Each Pokémon will have two Moves. One Charge Move and one Fast Move.
Charge Move: A powerful attack that can be performed during battle, but requires Stamina (Energy) to use. Charge Moves can be performed by pressing and holding.
Fast Move: A quick attack that can be performed without using Stamina (Energy). When used it will replenish some of your depleted Stamina (Energy). Fast Moves can be performed by tapping.
Move Types: In addition to Pokemon Types, each Move will actually have an individual Type as well. For example, a Normal Type Pokemon may have a Normal Type Fast Move and a Dark Type Charge Mov
Many Pokemon have the capability of Evolving in Pokemon Go. When a Pokemon Evolves it advances to a much stronger form. Evolving a Pokemon requires a certain amount of Candy.
Candy is collected by capturing Pokemon. When a required number of Candy is collected, you will have the option of evolving a single Pokemon. Candy is specific to the species of Pokemon captured
Evolved Pokemon will show a significant increases in CP. You can capture evolved forms of Pokemon in the wild, but Evolved Pokemon of the same species will generally have more CP. In addition, when choosing to Evolve a Pokemon, make sure to pick the one with the highest CP to maximize CP potential. Stardust and Candy can be used to Power Up a Pokemon, increasing its CP and HP.
While individual Pokemon cannot Level Up in Pokemon Go, your Trainer can. By gaining Experience Points (XP) your Trainer will Level Up and become more powerful.
There are many opportunities to gain XP in Pokemon Go. The main ways include Capturing Pokemon, Evolving Pokemon, Winning Gym Battles, Visiting Pokestops, etc.
After gaining enough XP you will advance to the next Trainer Level. Each Level will require more XP, thus Leveling Up becomes more difficult later on in the game.
Although it may take a while to reach the max Trainer Level, Leveling Up your trainer is the best way to build up a stronger Team and progress further in the game.
As you continue to gain XP and Level Up you will notice that the CP of nearby wild Pokemon increases along with you. Not only will you begin to see powerful Pokemon in the wild, these Pokemon will become easier to catch.
For example, a Pokemon that used to be a Very Difficult Catch a few Levels ago, may now happen to be only a Medium Difficulty Catch.
In addition, to being able to capture higher CP Pokemon, you will be given item rewards as you Level Up. For example, you may receive a few Great Balls for reaching a certain Level. A few Levels later you may be rewarded with a few Ultra Balls or even a rare Master Ball. Keep progressing to earn those rewards!
In battle, choosing the correct Pokemon Type(s) and Move Type(s) is critical to your success. As mentioned above, a particular Move Type may deal significant damage to a particular Pokemon if that Pokemon is at a Type disadvantage.
If the Pokemon has a Type advantage it will take less damage from Moves of that Type.
There are 18 different Types in total, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Do you know that Bug Type Moves are Super Effective against Grass & Psychic Type Pokemon? Or that Bug Type Pokemon are vulnerable to Rock, Fire & Flying Type Moves?
Be sure to check out the Pokédex to learn how to gain that significant advantage in battle.
Being that every Type of Pokemon has a weakness, it is impossible to build a Pokemon Team with zero weaknesses. However, what you can do is choose to use Pokemon with Types that will complement each other.
For example, instead of using only Bug, Grass and Ice Type Pokemon (all weak against Fire) add a Water Type Pokemon to your Team. Fire Moves are Not Very Effective against Water Pokemon and Water Type Moves are Super Effective against Fire Types. Choosing Pokemon with this strategy in mind will help to minimize your Team's weaknesses, ultimately making your team more powerful.