So, you’ve downloaded Pokémon Go, you’ve caught your first Pokémon, you’ve hit a variety of nearby Pokéstops and you’ve spotted a gym or two. Now what? If you’re like many who are getting caught up in the BIGGEST CRAZE we’ve seen in eons (and yes, bigger than Cronuts or the newest Snapchat filter), then you might be feeling a bit stuck. But don’t worry. We’re here to help! We’ve got 20 tips for you to make the most of your Pokémon Go experience (Pokémon diamond ring optional).
1. Be prepared. Wear good walking shoes, bring water, your wallet (there are often Pokéstops by yummy cafés or cool bars) and an external phone charger. Pokémon Go is a big drain on your phone’s battery, so if you go out for a grand Pokémon Go session, odds are that while your Pokédex is getting bigger, your charge is getting smaller.
2. Follow the paw prints. One paw print means they’re close (10 to 25 meters), two means they’re relatively nearby (25 to 50 meters) and three means they’re somewhere in your mapped area but you’ll have to trek to get them (50 to 100 meters), but if there are no paw prints, then that means they’re REALLY close, like less than 10 meters. For those of us who skipped the class on metrics, 10 meters is roughly 33 feet. You’ll know that you’re getting closer when the paw prints go from three to two to one.
3. Look for the shadows. In the menu that shows which Pokémon are near, you’ll see shadows of some. Those are the Pokémon you haven’t met yet. GO AFTER THEM! Start walking in various directions to track them.
4. Explore your city. Different types of Pokémon congregate in different areas. While your hood might be full of Zubats, another might be populated with oodles of Spearows. There are different levels of Pokémon, from the common (the before-mentioned Zubats) to the very rare. You need to get out and explore your town in order to catch a wide array of pocket monsters. For example, nature Pokémons will be cold chillin’ in the woods, forest and parks, while the water type of Pokémon will be hanging out by bodies of water.
5. Play at different times. People are noticing that varieties of Pokémon appear at night versus the day. But make sure to keep your safety in mind — don’t go searching for creatures in the middle of the night by yourself.
6. Not all Pokémon are as easy to catch as others. When you’re attempting to catch the Pocket Monster in question, you’ll see a brightly colored ring around the creature in green, orange or red. Green is easy-peasy while orange and red are both way harder. But you could always use a Razz Berry to make it less difficult.
7. Use a Razz Berry on hard-to-catch Pokemon. It’s one of the items you’ll collect while visiting Pokéstops. When you “feed” this to the Pokémon, it’ll make it way easier to catch. But this is a perk you won’t get until you hit Level 8.
8. Watch the circles. When attempting to catch a Pokémon, wait until the circle around them is at its smallest point, then flick your Pokéball at them. You can earn points depending on the radness of your capture (like 10 experience points for a curve ball).
9. The game doubles as a step-tracker! You can keep track of how much land you’ve traversed via the Jogger medal area on your player page. The distance will be in kilometers. This means that for every km, you’ve walked 0.6214 of a mile.
10. Level up by battling at gyms. The gym battles can be frustrating and seemingly impossible to win. When you click on a gym, take note of the number that appears next to the Pokémon — the higher the number, the harder it will be to beat, especially if another team (Valor, Mystic or Instinct) is in possession of the gym. To win a gym battle, select your Pokémon with the most CP points (you can up that number with the use of Stardust and Candy).
11. If you have duplicate Pokémon, trade ’em in! Go to your Pokémon collection (via the Pokeball on the main screen) and select the duplicate Pokémon (pick the one with the lower CP number). Scroll down on the Pokémon’s info page and you’ll see a “Transfer” button. Hit that and you’ll give your extra pocket monster to the Professor (the handsome ringleader of the game), and in exchange you’ll get candy (which you can use to evolve the Pokémon in your Pokédex).
12. Play with your friends. Don’t go it alone. Bring a couple of friends, so you can more efficiently track down the Pokémon. Let’s say that there’s a Lickitung three paw prints away; you can divide and conquer with each of you going in a different direction until one of you finds him. Then you can all converge and, yes, catch them all!
What level Pokemon Go are you on? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Nintendo)