If you woke up sometime this week wondering if you were in a time warp, be at ease. The fact that a Clinton is running for office, Tarzan is in theaters and Pokemon is literally everywhere is no cause for alarm. Pokemon Go released this week and wonder of wonders, people are getting out of the house and actually walking around neighborhoods! You have seen the memes and listened to the news but if you are considering your own foray into the Pokemon Go world, there are a few things you should know to be successful.
Don’t worry if you are not a 90s child. It is easy to get started and as an added bonus, you will be getting some exercise.
It is entirely possible to get Pikachu as your starter! When you first begin playing, you will be offered the standard Bullbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander. While you may be tempted to scoop them up and be on your way, if you can practice a little restraint, there are better offerings on the way. Simply walk away from the tempting trio and wait for them to relocate to your position, then move again. Do this approximately four times and Pikachu will join the group. Now this may sound simple, but it does take restraint and a bit of walking to accomplish this task.
Now if you have already chosen your starter, the only way to get a Pikachu will be to hunt one down in the world, which is proving to be a bit of a challenge.
Each player is given a limited number of Poke balls (traps required to catch a Pokemon). In order to obtain more, you will have to make your way to a Poke Stop. A Poke stop is a local location, generally something significant either historically, locally or socially. For example, your local pool or on a grander scale, historical monuments. At these locales, you can find important game items such as potions, eggs, balls and more. They will appear as blue poles with cubes on your app map, and as you get closer, the cubes become disc like. Now simply swipe on your screen to see the location information and receive your items.
Poke Gyms are similar to stops in that they are generally significant locations, churches, places of business and even police stations have been noted to be both stops and gyms. As you may imagine the gym is a place to battle and obtain experience. When you “enter” a gym (note: you often do not actually have to enter the building), if it is occupied, you will instantly enter battle using your chosen team of Pokemon. You have to be a level five to access Poke Gyms.
It is possible to get together with friends to take over and level up a gym. As an aside, if you live near Wichita Kansas, you might find it amusing that the Westboro Baptist Church is a Poke Gym.
Have you walked five hundred miles and still struggle to find new or interesting Pokemon? Perhaps it is time to talk about lures. You can obtain two different items that will allow you to sit and sip latte and let the monsters come to you. The first type of lure is incense. This will only work for you alone and can be used at any location while lure modules must be used at Poke Stops and can benefit any trainer in the vicinity. Either of the lures can be purchased but can be found or awarded during level ups.
Tracking takes a little time to master, as you will soon discover. Your map will show when a Pokemon is in the vicinity but the game makers were a little vague when it comes to showing you which direction to walk. If you will look to the right of your screen, you will see a small box. It is here that you will be notified when monsters are near. Their images will be grey outlines, unless you have already captured the creature before and will have tiny footprints underneath, one or less means you should be able to see the monster, 2-3 means they are in your immediate vicinity.
One trick to discovering if you are on the right path is to keep the box open as you begin to wander, as you get closer to a Pokemon, the number of footprints will decrease or if you are moving away, the outline will drop to the bottom of the box. As mentioned above, there is a bit of a trick to successfully tracking!
These are but a few tips and tricks to get your Pokemon Go game off to a good start and headed in the right direction. This application has opened up a whole new world, both literally and figuratively, and will likely have a long lasting impact on the mobile gaming industry. Remember, it is all in good fun and always use common sense when you are out and about.