Pokemon GO

Essential Tips For Pokémon GO

Starting Out has Never Been so Easy … ?

I won’t take credit for these tips – I’ll leave that the guys over at pref.com who published them originally. However, I will add a few of my own comments as a newbie having tried the game for a while. I will add that there won’t be any more updates after end July 2016 as I have now deleted the game. There just wasn’t enough depth to it for me and I’d prefer to read a book!

  1. If you see a Pokémon with no footprints on the “Nearby” list, you can summon it by tapping your screen, and it should pop up nearby within a few seconds. [Footprints have now been removed which makes finding nearby Pokémon more hit and miss (or more requiring of incense and lures). See 6 below.]
  2. If you walk away from the first three starting Pokémon at the beginning of the game you will have the opportunity to catch a Pikachu. [Not always true, though many have reported this. I walked about 200 meters in 3 directions but still only saw the same three Pokémon, one of which was a Charmander anyways.]
  3. If you lock your screen, the game stops, so if you decide to go for a run and log some distance toward hatching an egg, you have to leave the app open and your screen unlocked. Unless…
  4. If you have the Pokémon GO Plus device it WILL stay active and allow you to catch Pokémon, use Pokéstops, etc. without unlocking your phone if you have the extra cash to spend on such things and don’t mind walking around with a weird bracelet. For the rest of us, in order for the game to work you have to have it open and in front of you.
  5. There IS a Battery Saver option that will help with this issue. What Battery Saver does is turn your screen off but keep the app open when you turn your phone upside down, as in the top of your phone where your ear goes towards the floor. Pokémon GO will drain your battery like no one’s business so this is a neat feature to keep your game going while you walk around and hopefully feel the notification vibration that a Pokémon is near through your pocket. [I also switch off the AR (augmented reality) option to save a little extra juice. Of course, if you’re paranoid you’ll do this too. Note that Google privacy issue has been closed with the latest app update. Other issues are less clear.]
  6. The footprints show you how far away a Pokémon is. Every footprint denotes 50 meters of distance. A Pokémon with one footprint underneath is is between 50 and 100 meters away from you. Three footprints show that the Pokémon is less than 200 meters away. The greyed out Pokémon are ones that are not in your Pokédex yet. [First time I’ve heard actual distance mentioned. I have read this article about how to use the ‘near me’ feature which actually makes the task sound more like a police grid search for evidence in a field! I’ve also only ever seen 3 footprint Pokémon and I’m darned if I’m going out on a mapping expedition for Big Brother, or at least waste an hour of my time wandering around like an amnesiac sheep.] [Footprints have now been removed which makes finding nearby Pokémon more hit and miss (or more requiring of incense and lures). It is rumoured that footprints were causing a big hit on the central servers (see 16, 21, 22 and 33 below), so they may one day reappear. This is feasible as constantly updating up to 9 Pokémon locations within every open app (ie millions of players) by pushing data from the central servers is a huge pressure. I wouldn’t expect footprints for a while until they figure out a way to better manage this load.]
  7. If you select any Pokémon via the “Nearby” screen, you will target it and have a better chance of catching that species specifically.
  8. The teams are based off the three legendary birds found in the first game: Instinct (Zapdos) focuses on hatching eggs. Mystic (Articuno) focuses on evolving Pokémon. Valor (Moltres) focuses on battles. [According to other posts, this has no bearing on the game. Pick a colour, or choose the same team as your friends. If you do the latter, you won’t be able to battle them at gyms.]
  9. Unlike the old games, battles are NOT turn-based. Instead, you swipe left and right to dodge and can tap on your opponent to do as much damage as fast as possible. The only ‘tactic’ outside of evasion is keeping an eye on your special meter. When the bar or bars are full, you can use the special move your Pokémon has to inflict additional damage.
  10. Ownership of a gym depends on a “prestige” meter, which decreases as you defeat their Pokémon in battle. If you defeat one of the defending Pokémon, you remove 1000 prestige, and you remove another 500 bonus prestige for beating every Pokémon without losing in one match. So if you don’t have a Pokémon strong enough to beat all of the Pokémon in a gym, you can still seriously diminish this gyms defence.
  11. Also, don’t forget that you have 6 Pokémon to beat the gym with. 6 mediocre Pokémon can beat 1 strong Pokémon, so you can easily peck away at a gym, even if your Pokémon are weaker than theirs.
  12. Clicking the pencil next to a Pokémon’s name allows it to be renamed and apparently there’s no language filter as far as we can tell.
  13. Evolution revives and heals knocked out Pokémon. Don’t waste your revives and potions if you don’t have to!
  14. It is better to power up your Pokémon after they’re fully evolved as it gives you more Combat Power, or CP. [My view is that it’s a hybrid that works. You want to evolve a Pokémon which has a highly developed CP curve – so its CP is near the end of the curve. This will lead to the best increase in the next evolution. However, I wouldn’t fill the CP curve before evolving, just nudge it in the right direction. Powering up the CP curve at lower evolutions is cheaper than at higher evolutions, so you can get a better result with strategic power ups in the earlier evolutions. I also suggest waiting out the catching process to get the highest CP version of the Pokémon that you can before powering up or evolving. Patience is a virtue.]
  15. You can get a daily bonus (in the form of XP) by assigning your Pokémon to a gym. The more Pokémon you have assigned to gyms, the higher this daily bonus will be, and will grant you extra Stardust and Coins. To claim your prize, go to the Shop and click the blue shield icon. Check back every 20+ hours (so long as your Pokémon have not been dethroned) to receive more (the amount may vary depending on how many Pokémon you have in the gym, or their Combat Points).
  16. Due to how every item and element of progress is synced with Niantic’s servers, when you visit a Pokéstop, you can simply hit the ‘X’ quit button and any requisite items will automatically be added to your inventory, meaning you don’t have to wait for the animation to stop. People have used this as a means to perform ‘drive-by Pokéstops’, as it’s especially useful in traffic. Please only use this as a passenger in a car. Don’t Pokémon Go and drive.
  17. That rustling grass animation on your map shows areas where Pokémon are likely to be spawn. It definitely does not mean there WILL be Pokémon there, but usually something will pop up if you hang out in that area long enough.
  18. The ‘game world’ is layered over our own, so fields are fields, rivers are rivers, and so on so if you’re looking for something specific try to go for where you think you would find it in real life.
  19. Some Pokémon only come out at night. [Sort of true. See 6 in this list.]
  20. Some Pokémon can only be found in certain areas of the world. In order to truly “catch ‘em all” you’ll have to literally travel the world. (Unless the heavily rumoured but unconfirmed trading feature is introduced in the future). [Having read the myths debunked above, I’m not sure about this, except that different Pokémon have different likelihoods of appearing in your neighbourhood.]
  21. Lots of people have been struggling with server issues and app crashes. If you experience a glitch, don’t just minimize the app. If you can close it completely, the app prompts a fresh connection to the server (rather like turning a modem off and back on) and this should get the app working again. [Usually works for me. Note that if this happens just after you trap a critter, unless it’s finished the ‘gotcha’ animation, you’ll probably have to go find it again as the catch never made it to the upload point in the process.]
  22. You may experience a glitch that forces you to close and re-launch the app while in a gym battle. When you go to re-start the battle, you keep getting kicked out before it even begins. This is because, on the server side, the timer for your glitched battle hasn’t stopped yet, and the app won’t let you enter a second battle simultaneously. If you wait just a few minutes, you should be able to re-start the battle.
  23. To start, you’ll often encounter basic Pokémon (Zubats, Pidgeys, Drowzees, etc) but as you gain in level, there will be a better chance of finding both Pokémon with higher Combat Points, and rare Pokémon in general.
  24. Tougher and rarer Pokémon will often be harder to catch – a green ring means an easy catch, yellow harder, and then orange and red. Difficult Pokémon may often break out of a Pokéball, or even run away. You can buy or find items like berries to help with this.
  25. When trying to incubate a Pokémon Egg, you’ll have to travel a distance of several kilometres (usually 2 or 5). While you might be tempted to simply drive the distance, there’s more to it than distance travelled. Pokémon Go uses both your phone’s pedometer as well as the GPS to calculate how far you’ve actually walked, and appears to limit your distance travelled if it clocks you going at high speeds. Distance travelled is still counted fairly accurately if done on a skateboard, bike, or jogging, as long as you don’t go too fast. [I have tried this and car travel does not count towards distance travelled. You have to be moving slowly for it to count.]
  26. The coloured rings dictate how easy or hard the creature is to capture, so if all you see is a green ring, wait until it’s at its smallest before throwing and you’ll always catch your prey. You can alter the size by holding your finger over the Pokémon to shrink the ring when it appears, which if you do so before tossing your ball out, will almost always connect.
  27. Orange and red rings mean you have to calm the Pokémon a little first, otherwise they’ll break back out, and you’ll just waste items along the way. Purchasing or finding Great or Master Pokéballs give a greater chance of catching these higher-ranked monsters without doing so, but you can also purchase/find Berries, that will turn their threat rings back to green, allowing you to snap them up with ease.
  28. Pokémon with ??? as “combat points” will not recognize you as a trainer, giving it a high escape risk. Definitely use items if you have them.
  29. Catches have 4 ratings, blank/good/nice/excellent, which give you 0/10/50/100 bonus XP on top of the XP you get for a catch. Also try to land the ball in the middle of the target circle. You will get extra points.
  30. Whether you’re on a bus, in a car, taking a train, or whatever — you’ll find that you can still play Pokémon Go on the go and your avatar will faithfully run down the streets to keep up. This can be both a blessing and a curse, because you’ll often pass through several potential Pokéstops or Pokémon. It’s important to note that when interacting with Pokéstops, if you leave the area, you won’t be able to finish interacting with it – and interaction is often best saved when you’re slowing down or stopped in a moving vehicle. [I have heard that Pokémon are also more likely to flee if the game thinks you may be spoofing your GPS. One possible trigger is travelling at high speeds as the game is designed for walking around your local area. I think the idea here also is to stop gamers racking up badges/hatching eggs just by sitting on the train.]
  31. However, any Pokémon that is encountered and successfully engaged while moving quickly will stay with you, letting you catch them at your leisure (as long as they don’t flee).
  32. To throw a curveball (which are worth more XP, but you risk burning through Pokéballs to do so), simply hold on the Pokéball and make a rotating motion until it sparkles. Once this has happened, let it fly – and most likely miss – but eventually you’ll get the hang of it.
  33. Technically, you should encounter more Pokémon while moving around. However, because of the load time and server catch-up, it sometimes takes a few minutes for an area to load completely. The best way to play is walking a good 100 metres or so, then taking five minutes and letting that part of the world ‘load in.’ (See the spinning Pokéball in the top left corner?) Chances are, a Pokémon will pop up at random intervals, so always take breaks in between bouts of adventuring around your local landscape to see what’s hiding. [The servers are *very* busy with millions of people joining and playing. The virtual world overlay takes some time to fully load – see 16, 21, 22 – so be prepared for a leisurely game]