Everything You Need to Know About Pokémon Go

Everything You Need to Know About Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go has in a matter of time captured America by storm. Since it was launched a week ago, it has made $14 million for its creators and is breaking all sorts of records and topping download charts. Through its “augmented reality” integration, the game seems to have an unprecedented addictive capacity that has set its own record in the gaming universe. The game is one of its kinds, in a world of its own. Using your phone’s GPS, Pokémon Go figures out your actual location and makes you search for creatures (Pokémon) by walking around in real life.

You end up looking at the world through your smartphone’s screen and camera, where Pokémon appear as if they are in the real world. When Pokémon appear, you can catch them all, train them in gyms as well as build your strength in battle. The game also tries to draw users into cool landmarks around their cities by making Pokémon appear in large numbers in those places so that people can interact and explore their environment. With so much excitement surrounding the launch of this amazing game, we have gathered everything you need to know about it. But first, let’s know a thing or two about the companies behind this awesome gaming tech.

It All Starts with Nintendo

Pokemon pikachu soldiers

Pokemon pikachu soldiers

Pokémon was created in 1995 by a Japanese developer Satoshi Tajiri. The idea was born from the fact that Satoshi was an avid insect collector since his childhood, and so he came up with the concept of “pocket monster” which later became Pokémon. The franchise started with a set of video games which were developed by Satoshi’s company Game Freak and published by Nintendo. The games were massively successful and made Nintendo dominate the market in the late ‘90s.

Enter Niantic Labs. Niantic was a company created inside Google to focus on augmented reality mobile games. Niantic Inc created their first game, Ingress which was published in 2012 and was very successful. Niantic then spun out of Google last year when Google did its restructuring which turned it into an Alphabet. In September last year, Niantics announced that they were co-developing a game called “Pokémon Go” with Nintendo and the Pokémon Company. The Pokémon Company is just a venture which was created to manage the licensing of the Pokémon characters, of which Nintendo owns a third. Actually, Nintendo entered into a $30 million partnership with Niantic and the Pokémon Company to develop the game.

How Do I Get Started

First, you will need to download the Pokémon Go app available for Android and iOS in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The app is free to download. If you are not in one of the three regions, hang tight. Niantics has promised to roll out to the rest of the world as time goes by. Once you are in, you will get a brief introduction from the dreamy Professor Willow who will walk you through everything you need to know about the game including how to ‘catch em all’.

There is a smaller section about the map icons that you’ll need to learn, and after that, the game leaves you on your own. There are three regular tasks in Pokémon Go: Catching Pokémon, visiting PokeStops, and gym battles. We will get to these sections later.

How Do I Catch Pokémon

Pokemon Go hands onCatching Pokémon is very easy. As you walk around, the little creatures will appear on the map. If you see leaves or little flurries, it signals the presence of a rarer Pokémon nearby. The tiny bar on the lower right corner of your phone’s screen should guide you to know when Pokémon are in the vicinity. When you see three “footprints”, it’s an indication that Pokémon are far way, one footprint means Pokémon are just around you, could be right behind you.

The game uses augmented reality that makes Pokémon appear as if they are in the real world. The GPS-powered map will help you locate the creatures, and when you spot one, the game launches your smartphone’s camera giving you a view of the creature in the real world. Then you can catch it by swiping to throw a Pokeball at the creature before it escapes. You will also notice certain Pokémon cluster in certain spots, for example, grass Pokémon in parks, fire Pokémon near a gas station, and ghost Pokémon when darkness sets in.

pokeballThe more the Pokémon you catch, the more points you accumulate. Once you have accumulated enough points to reach level 5, then you can train your Pokémon in the nearest Gym (will touch on that later). Pokémon are found at different Combat Power (CP) levels, which determines how powerful the creature will be. To boost a Pokémon’s combat power, you will need 2 resources: a Pokémon’s candy which can be acquired by catching duplicates of the Pokémon you want to level up, and Stardust, a generic item you obtain with each Pokémon you catch. As your level increases, you will encounter more powerful Pokémon in the wild, and your combat power will increase exponentially.

Discover why Pokemon Go is driving peoples nuts here

You mentioned PokeStops

pokemon-11If you have been playing Pokémon Go like the millions of gamers out there, you may have noticed the blue pin looking items on the maps. In case you didn’t know, these are the PokeStops. PokeStops are essential landmarks placed around the world. They are mostly stationed in places of interest such as in public buildings, cultural spots, statutes, and other important places which will be marked on the map. By tapping the PokeStop icon on the map, the game should give you a handy picture of the nearby PokeStops and also directs you where to go.

Luckily, you don’t always have to go there. Instead, you only need to be pretty close to it. Once you are close, the PokeStop will change shape on your Pokémon Go screen. The map icon will also change into a spinning pokeballs icon, allowing you to collect items such as eggs, revives, portions, pokeballs, etc. Afterward, the PokeStop will turn purple to indicate that you have already used it. You can then go to another PokeStop to pick up additional essential free items or you can wait for the current one to refresh which should take around 5 minutes. However, some items can only be purchased with pokecoins, which can be bought as in-app purchases or you earn them by winning Gym battles. Using PokeStops will definitely change your Pokémon experience, giving you all you need to become a Pokémon master.

What about the Gym Battles

pokemon-go-gym-fightGyms are primarily arenas for battling other trainers’ Pokémon. It’s very hard to miss the gyms icons since they are the largest icons on your map. Once you have gone to the nearby PokeStop, or a place of interest where a gym is situated, you can ‘enter’ it on your phone. You have to be at level 5 or above in order to interact with the gyms. Once you enter into the gym, you have to declare allegiance to one of the three teams available—Valor (Red), Mystic (Blue) or Instinct (Yellow). A gym has multiple defenders and your victory at battle helps whittle down the gym’s prestige points.

What you also need to know is that there are two kinds of gyms: friendly and rival gyms. You can battle in both of them but the motivation behind the battle will differ. Think of friendly gyms as an exercise and the rival gyms as combative. In the rival gym battles, your mission is to lower your opponent’s prestige level. The first thing to do is to select the gym you wish to face. After selecting the gym, you will see a set of information including the level, name, trainers stationed there as well as their prestige level and combat power. Whenever you defeat the trainer stationed to defend the game, you knock some points off the gym’s prestige level. Once the prestige level drops to zero, you can possess the gym. This makes the gyms battle a fight for territory as well as a fight for honor as you claim the gym for your team.

pokeman gym 4To make that happen, you will have to know how to schedule the attacks since you’ll be getting into real battle. You are supposed to choose up to six Pokémon, preferably the ones with the highest combat power. Then use the button on the lower right corner to engage in battle. Fights are one on one, no holds barred, so you will want to make use of every opportunity to attack. Battling in gyms raises the combat power of your Pokémon and gives them experience.

How Many levels Can I reach?

Leveling in Pokémon Go gives you items that make you better enjoy the game. For example, once you reach level 12, you will be upgraded to a Greatball instead of the regular Pokeball. Though your item bag has a cap of 350, you can exceed this number by receiving level rewards. Leveling up requires XP which can be gained through catching Pokémon, evolving Pokémon, winning gym battles, and visiting PokStops. Additionally, you will be gifted with items every time you reach a new level. Though the level cap on Pokémon is still unclear, users have reported levels of over 25. Speculations suggest it may go as high as level 100.

What about the Wearable device, the Pokémon Go Plus

pokemon-go-plus-deviceThe Pokémon Go plus is a small wearable device that lets you enjoy Pokémon Go while on the move without having to look at your smartphone. The device that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth notifies you about the events in the game using a LED vibration. Whenever you are within the range of a PokeStop, the Pokémon Go plus begin to blink and vibrate. You can also press the Pokémon Go plus button to search for PokeStops.

When a Pokémon is close, the light on the Pokémon Go plus begins to flash and vibrate so as to notify you of the nearby creature. You can also press the button on the Pokémon Go plus to throw a Pokeball. The device will then vibrate and flash to notify you whether you were successful in catching the Pokémon.


The Pokémon Go is a game that will never fade in the books of the greatest games of all times. When thugs begin to use a game in order to lure in victims, that is when you know that the game is incredibly influential. Since its initial rollout on July 6th, the app has already garnered more downloads than Tinder, and it will soon have more daily mobile users than Twitter once it rolls out to the rest of the world. The technology employed in this game is superior and it might take some time before other players delve into the roots of augmented reality for gaming.


About Author


Tech enthusiast, Financial Analyst, Certified Copywriter, Blogger, and a coffee addict. Kenneth has many years of experience in freelance writing. His posts have also featured in some of the high profile websites like Wondershare and Droid Turf. You can connect with him on Linkedin.