How to play Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go is the hottest game right now. Everyone talks about it, and spends around 44 minutes to play it. As this new game gains popularity, its company Nintendo‘s stock skyrocketed 33 percent on July 11, 2016.  Nintendo’s shares have climbed 60 percent year to date.

The company is now valued at 2.87 trillion yen, or $28 billion, a 63.7% jump from its $17.1 billion closing valuation on Wednesday (July 6). (Pokemon Go was released in Australia and New Zealand on July 6, and then in the United States the following day.

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokeman Go is an augmented reality-infused smartphone game launched last week, and gain popularity over the weekend. It is different from the traditional game that does not require you go outside.  Pokeman Go requires you go to the streets to try to catch ’em all.

In this post,  I will describe some tips to help you improve your skills in playing pokemon go. 

Pokemon go

How to get started?

Fist of all, you need to install the pokemon Go app. It is available for iOS and Android in US, Australia and New Zealand.  It is reported that it will launch in Europe and Asia ‘within a few days’. 

Once you’ve logon in, you will be welcomed by Professor Willow, who will give an introduction of the game.  He will told you that “This world is inhabited by creatures known as Pokemon”. They can be found in every corner of the earth. Some run accoss the plains, others fly through the skies, some live in the mountains, or in the forests, or near water. He has spent his whole life study and their regional distribution. You will be his assistant for his research.  Your job is to find and collect Pokemon from everywhere.  Now choose your style for your adventure. 

Some tips to help you play better.

  1. check pokemon nearby by learning to read the feet

Check the bottom right that usually has some Pokemon there. Tap it, it will show you the pokemon nearby. In terms of distance, it uses footprint rather than numerical distances. 1 foot means that pokeman is close, 3 feet means far but walkable. No feet means you are on top of it.  

The pokemon you have seen are in full color.  Those you have not seen are in dark color.   To find the silhouette that appeared, try to turn around while check whether the feet increases or not. If the feet increases, it means you are moving far away. 

2. Tips to throw the pokeball

To catch a Pokemon you need to hold your thumb down on a pokeball and throw it to the pokemon’s head. This is fine in the beginning. However, it is more complicated to catch tougher or rarer Pokemon.

The first trick is to watch the circle that appears over the pokemon. See how it changes from big to small then disappear. 

When to throw the ball, You need to consider three factors. The size of the circle, whether you can throw the ball inside the circle, and the color of the circle.  

It is recommended to throw the ball when the circle is small, as smaller circle means the probability of capturing it is higher. However, the smaller the circle, the harder to hit. You need to practice to find the balance. 

The color of the shrinking circle also matters. Green means it is easy to catch, yellow is tougher, and red is super hard. 

3. Choose Poke Stop

Poke Stop reset every few minutes, and you can get items each time you hit one. A good strategy is to find the nearest place with many stops near each other. Catch one then walk to get another. Once they reset, you can catch em all again. Some players may throw lures on some stops to attract additional Pokemon. These stops are also worth to go. 

Different times = different Pokémon. Anecdotally, I’ve caught most of my rarer stuff in the evening.

4. Try different locations.

Change locations help to get different kinds of Pokemon. Go to parks and major landmarks at first. Also remember that  Pokémon spawn more frequently in certain places. For instance,  Water Pokémon near bodies of water, grass Pokémon near parks, etc.

5. Keep Catch the pokemon you already have

There are three benefits to catch the pokemon you already have. 

First, you can get a few pieces of candy  each time you catch a Pokémon. They are required to evolve a Pokémon. 

Second, you get another piece of candy when you transfer your extras.

Third, you get a mad stash of XP EVERY time you evolve a Pokémon, even if it is the one you’ve evolved before.

6. Use Lucky eggs efficiently

Lucky eggs double ALL the XP you get for 30 minutes. You might find them at Poké Stops, otherwise, you can buy them. 

The trick? Wait to evolve all of those pidgeys until you’ve got a lucky egg active. Instead of 500 xp, you’ll get 1000. Then use the rest of your time to hit that efficient Poké Stop route you found earlier, and hit some gyms for it.

7. What are the different items, and how do I get them?

  • Pokéball / Great Ball / Ultra Ball — Pokéballs are your bread and butter tool for catching pokémon. Great balls unlock at level 12 and are better at capturing pokémon, while ultra balls, which unlock at level 20 are even more useful for high-level pokémon. All three can be obtained at pokéstops once you’ve reached the right level, and regular pokéballs can be bought with pokécoins from the Store.

  • Potion / Super Potion / Hyper Potion — Potions allow for pokémon to be healed in between battles.

  • Revives — Allow for revival of pokémon that have fainted in battle.

  • Lucky Egg — An item that doubles the experience you gain in the next half-hour after use. Can be obtained at pokéstops or bought using pokécoins from the store.

  • Razz Berries — A higher-level item obtained starting at level 8, Razz berries can be used on higher level pokémon to help prevent them from running away. More can be found at pokéstops once they’ve been unlocked.

  • Egg Incubator — Egg incubators are used to hatch eggs, which can contain rare pokémon. You’re given one incubator for free that has unlimited uses, while additional, three-use incubators can be found in pokéstops or bought with pokécoins. Eggs hatch after being incubated for a certain walking distance that depends on the specific egg (usually between two to five kilometers).

  • Lure Module — A temporary use item that can be applied to a pokéstop that increases the chances of encountering wild pokémon at that pokéstop for all nearby users. Can be found at pokéstops or bought using pokécoins form the store.

  • Incense — A temporary use item that increases the likelihood of encoding wild pokémon for the user of the item for the next half-hour after use. Can be found at pokéstops or bought at the store with pokécoins.