Pokemon Go. It’s everywhere. And it’s estimated that the game has been downloaded over 75 million times! These 75 million users are not just kids either. Moms, dads, retired librarians, and even your boss are all playing Pokemon Go.

But just what is Pokemon GO? And how can you join the fun and get started?

What Is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is a mobile app game for Android phones and iPhones, released by Niantic. You can download it for free for Android on the Google Play store on for iPhone on the Apple store.

The game has received so much popularity primarily because it is one of the first games that requires people leave their house to play it! Players use their mobile device’s GPS to locate and then their camera to capture virtual creatures called Pokemon. By means of the camera, the Pokemon appear as if in the real-world.

Although some Pokemon are easy to find, others are difficult to track down and capture. But capturing Pokemon with your camera is only part of the game. The virtual creatures that you capture can then be trained and battled.

How To Get Started

First, make sure your mobile device meets the system requirements. According to the developer’s website, here are the requirements:

Android

  • Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1
    (Android N will not be supported until the official Android release)
  • Preferred resolution of 720×1280 pixels (Not optimized for tablet)
  • Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G)
  • GPS and Location Services
  • Intel CPUs are not supported

iOS

  • iPhone 5+
  • iOS 8+
  • Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G)
  • GPS and Location Services
  • Jailbroken devices are not supported

If your device meets the requirements, download the game for free for Android on the Google Play store or for iPhone on the Apple store.

Pokemon Go Lingo

Before you start running down the streets and through WalMart to capture Pokemon, here’s some of the basic lingo to understand.

  • Pokestops are real-world locations that provide you with important items such as Pokeballs, eggs, and potions.
  • Pokeballs are the primary item to capture Pokemon. You use a Pokeball when capturing, so you must replenish them to continue playing.
  • Gyms are battle locations for team-based play.
  • Eggs are an item that over time will hatch into a random Pokemon.
  • CP means “combat power”. It is a power ranking given to each Pokemon.
  • Candy can be obtained by capturing Pokemon. Different Pokemon require different amounts of candy to evolve them to a more powerful creature. You can use candy to raise a Pokemon’s CP level.
  • Pokecoins are the in-game currency. Although the game is free to play, you can purchase Pokecoins with real-world money. Pokecoins allow you to buy items such as Pokeballs and more. Yes, these items can be obtained for free at Pokestops, but if you can’t wait then this is a quick solution!

Pokemon Go Tips

If your past experience with mobile games is Candy Crush and Angry Birds then Pokemon GO can seem a bit intimidating. But gameplay basics are not really that difficult. Here are the Top 5 tips to get you going!

Tip #1 – Hang Out At Pokestops

Pokestops provide you with important items like Pokeballs and potions. Unless you want to spend lots of real-world money to purchase these items, then hit up Pokestops whenever you can!

In the game, your character must travel on the game’s map to visit Pokestops. These are displayed as blue cube icons if you have not yet visited it yet. Moving your character in the game, though, requires that you physically move in real life! So get moving!

Many do not realize, though, that Pokestops refresh every 5 minutes. So you can just hang around and continue to collect goodies. If the virtual Pokestop also happens to be a real-life chillin’ spot (such as a restaurant, park, or bar!) then just camp out for few hours and let the Pokeballs roll in!

Hang Out At Pokestops

Tip #2 – Understand Wild Pokeman Levels

Every Pokemon has a colored ring around it. This ring tells you how difficult it is to capture it.

GREEN ring = Easy difficulty
ORANGE ring = Medium difficulty
RED ring = Hard difficulty

Pokemon Difficult Level

Tip #3 – Save Great Balls & Ultra Balls

Beginners often waste Great and Ultra Balls on capturing common Pokemon. But common Pokemon can be easily captured with regular Pokeballs, whereas regular Pokeballs CANNOT capture elusive Pokeman.

So save those Great and Ultras Balls for the harder Pokeman later in the game!

Save Great & Ultra Balls

Tip #4 – Use Razz Berries With Pokeballs

In the beginning most Pokemon can easily be caught with just Pokeballs. But you may find a particular Pokeman stubbornly resisting your Pokeballs. The nerve! In this case, use a Razz Berry. It will increase your chances of capturing the creature and help you save your Pokeballs.

Razz Berries

Tip #5 – Capture All Pokemon For Experience Points

Since capturing Pokeman takes Pokeballs, and Pokeballs can only be obtained for free at Pokestops, and Pokestops require you put clothes on and leave the house… you might decide to ignore Pokemon you have already captured before. But there are many benefits to capturing a Pokemon, even if you already have it.

  • Each capture provides you with EP, or experience points. EP will level up your in game character, which is necessary to progress through the game.
  • Capturing a Pokemon gives you Candy. Even if you release the Pokemon later, you still get to keep the Candy, which is necessary for leveling up your Pokemon.
Capture All Pokemon For Experience

What other tips would you provide for new Pokemon Go players?

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