ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Now that the window to the Pokémon universe has been opened via our Twitter machines it's time to amass a collection of mons to put our friends to shame. But how do we embark on this grand adventure and how can we ensure that we're getting the most out of our experience with Pokémon GO?

Fear not, we've got you covered.

Wanna Catch 'Em All In Pokémon GO? These Tips Will Help You Do Just That

1. Be Prepared

The last thing we want is for readers to get all hyped for the release of Pokémon GO, only to discover that their phone isn't up to scratch. Here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • The latest Pokémon adventure will require users to have mobile devices with Android (Version 4.3 and up) or iOS (iPhone 5 and up) ready to rock.
  • You may wish to consider purchasing an additional portable battery pack, as reports on how this game slays battery life are pouring in.
  • Additionally you'll want to consider an improved Mobile Data Plan, unless you're already casually surfing at an unlimited rate, as similar reports indicate that Pokémon GO will bleed it dry.
  • Check out our full guide on compatibility and Pokémon GO if you need more help!

Now that your phone is at least willing to tackle this enormous mobile game, let's get to that catching shall we?

2. Know Your Pokémon Types

If you're a seasoned Pokémon veteran I apologize for insulting you with this second point, but for the uninitiated: Pokémon types are key to understanding and dominating the known world in Pokémon GO and any other mon game for that matter. Each type, of which there are 18, have various advantages and disadvantages against others and we personally love this chart when it comes to understanding these stats:

(Credit to Sheri-B on reddit for this one).

3. It Doesn't Matter Who You Pick As Your Starter

The contentious debate over the "right" starter Pokémon has been on going for years, but even though the option is available in Pokémon GO there's no need for debate.

In GO you’ll need to catch 20, 30, 40, 50 or more Pokémon to evolve your starter into something good. That takes a great deal of dedication, regardless of the type you choose. For example, you'll need 400 candies (which are obtained from catching Pokémon) in order to evolve a single Magikarp into its ferocious Gyarados form. Candies are also used to level up your mons, so saving them may prove difficult.

So essentially don't worry about your starter outside of personal preference and good looks. OH, don't forget you can name them too!

4. Catch Everything

There are plenty of reasons as to why we may ignore particular Pokémon, let's face it some of these things are ugly, but when it comes to GO it really makes sense to catch anything you come across. Capturing Pokémon rewards you with XP, and if it's the first time you've caught a particular mon you'll receive an added XP bonus. Additionally you'll be credited with Candy for each capture. Even if you let the pocket monster go after the capture, you'll still be rewarded with Candy, assuming that the Pokémon has an Evolution Line.

Here's how to capture the little critters:

  • In the bottom right of your phone is a list of nearby Pokémon. Click on that button and you'll be given a distance between you and the mon, measured in foot prints. If there are no footprints next to the creature, click on them and they'll appear.
  • Watch out for nearby rustles of grass. This handy visual indicator means a pocket monster is nearby.
  • Once you enter a battle with a Pokémon, you'll need to flick the Pokéball at the bottom of your screen straight at them. If you miss you may be rewarded with an additional try if the mon continues to fight, or they'll simply escape and you'll miss out on a capture. If you do manage to hit them on your first try, you'll see a familiar animation of the ball rocking back and forth which will either end in them escaping or a successful capture.

5. Pokéstops Are Your Friend

Common knowledge, but keep an eye out for Pokéstops in your area, they are one of the best best ways to obtain Pokéballs, Eggs and other items such as Potions and Max Revive. Eyes on the prize.

6. Keep An Eye On CP

For the uninitiated, every Pokémon has its own CP (Combat Power) level. This determines its strength and effectiveness in battle. For example, you could stumble upon a Pidgey with a CP of 40 and another of 60. Typically, Pokémon you evolve and train will have higher CP levels than their wild counterparts. Therefore, it's within your best interests to train for the individual monsters you have your eye on, rather than hoping you'll stumble upon them.

Also, when it comes time for evolution, you'll want to evolve the Pokémon with the highest CP. That way you can get the most out of the little critter.

7. Connect With Others

And I don't just mean on a personal level. Video games like Pokémon GO tend to have engaging and well-informed communities around them. Be sure to keep in contact with others on forums online to keep up to date with any updates, tips or gameplay changes that may develop. GO doesn't feature multiplayer at launch, so you won't be able to battle your friends unfortunately, but that's where gyms come in.

8. Gym Battles Are New & Exciting

In order to engage in gym battles you must be at least level 5. Once you have that achieved you simply approach them like you would a Pokéstop and the showdown begins. However, if you've played a Pokémon game before, the format for these bouts will take some adjusting to.

Matches generally consist of one-on-one fights against another trainer's team. Here's how they work: Every Pokémon has a combat power, which varies and can be increased using items. Battles are determined by whoever has the greater combat power. In order to attack your enemy you simply tap on the enemy monster as fast as you can and swipe to dodge enemies' moves. Don't make the mistake of thinking these matches are turn-based, that wouldn't work out in your favor.

Some other points to take into consideration:

  • You'll see that a Pokémon will be displayed as the owner of the particular gym that you're in. This is an indication of the first mon that was introduced to the gym once it was taken over, it's not actually the most powerful one in there.
  • Every so often you'll be able to return to a Pokéshop with some goodies to collect. Click on the little shield in the top right-hand corner and you'll be gifted some coins and dust based on how many Pokémon you have in gyms.
  • Sometimes you'll have to have multiple battles in order to fully take over a gym. After each victory, simply select to fight the gym again and repeat this process until it becomes neutral.

9. Watch Your Money

Pikachu Gold is Pokémon GO's currency. You'll earn it naturally simply by playing the game and capturing monsters. But you should be mindful of how you spend it as you walk around your neighborhood.

For instance, it may be very tempting to purchase more Pokéballs than you can carry, however, the Pokéstops are pretty generous when it comes to giving out Pokéballs, potions and even the odd revive, but incense and lures are as rare as hen’s teeth. So save your hard earned Pikachu gold for those instead.

10. Always Be Transferring

Pokémon GO is all about that candy. You'll need a lot of it to level up your favorites. Aside from catching a ton of the little mons in your area, you can also transfer them back to the Professor who'll reward you with a piece of candy for every transfer. This is an immensely helpful way to get you closer to those sweet, sweet evolves.

Have any tips for Pokémon Go you'd like to share?

Sources - (Header Image)


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