5 Tips For Playing Pokémon Go

Nintendo and Niantic dropped the ball on everyone this past week and released Pokémon GO on mobile platforms across the US and Australia. Within the past 72 hours, new Pokémon trainers have wandered outside for the first time, on the hunt for new Pokémon to catch. Let’s face it, this game is fun and is a great free outlet for people to enjoy the fandom without investing in Nintendo products or games. Let’s be even more honest, it’s mostly adults walking around, getting their exercise with their faces in their phones and re-living their childhood dreams! But, for your own safety and enjoyment of this app...here are some tips to keep you going in Pokémon GO!

Yours truly, creating her character :3 
1) Keep an eye on your battery and data. I’ve only played on an iPhone and so far it really eats up the battery. But there are a few steps you can take. Other than the typical method of keeping other background apps closed, be sure to go into the settings on your phone and turn the camera off for a generic background when catching Pokémon. Yeah, having the camera is fun, but it may be good to turn off sometimes if your battery shows a low percentage. There is also a battery save mode in the settings of the app, it will make the app run on very low power. This is best for long walks to get to Pokéstops and when hatching your eggs!

Your data should be okay if you plan on playing this game for several hours during the day. Initially, it was believed that this app would take up a lot of data, but users are finding out that's not the case. However, I would consider updating your plan if you find your play time running up your phone bill. For the most part, I've noticed that the game runs best with wifi anyways, so another method is to play in public or shopping areas with open wifi.

P.S. Ironically, the day before Verizon updated plans and offered more data and benefits to their phone users. Come on...they knew this was happening!!!

2) Don’t forget to use your items! It’s fun to go out and explore to catch your Pokémon, but utilizing the items like incense and the lures will help Pokémon come to you faster. You will level up faster as well. When you’re not wandering around, make sure to look over your winnings and level up/evolve your Pokémon. Need more items? Run out of Pokéballs? Try and visit a Pokéstop since spinning them can release a lot of useful, and sometimes rare, items. More prestigious Pokéstops and public areas are often treasure troves for the best loot. They refresh every five minutes as well, so you can revisit them frequently.

3) Be aware of your surroundings in this game. Not only for Pokéstops and gyms, but also for the environment you're in. Water Pokémon can often appear near places with water, and plant Pokémon often appear in grassy areas, woods, etc. If you're having trouble finding Pokémon at all in your local wilderness, take a trip downtown or to a park...Pokémon fill the streets in more heavily populated areas.

I'm also putting this tip down for your own PHYSICAL safety...

Do. Not. Play. This. Game. And. Drive. It’s tempting, I know. It’s a much faster way to travel to the Pokéstops and the Pokémon you want. But that’s also just an accident waiting to happen. Don’t be that person. It's only acceptable if you're in the passenger seat.

A wild Golbat appeared! 
4) Pay attention to the stats of your Pokémon, and level them up properly! CP (Combat Points) are important, but also review the individual powers of the Pokémon since they are all unique and can come in handy during battles. Try to get a good balance of the two...as you level up, the CP of the wild Pokémon you catch will increase. If you need more candies, have an abundance of a certain type of Pokémon, or keep on catching weaker Pokémon, you can turn them over to Professor Willow for extra candies.

My Eevee has a low CP of 15, but an awesome body slam...try to find a good balance between the two.
5) Learn how to battle with your Pokémon and the gym mechanics. This is the main goal of the game and the best way to level up. You can choose from three teams: Yellow (Instinct), Blue (Mystic) and Red (Valor). Don't just focus on capturing all of the gyms you see, but also maintain your team's gyms by sending some of your stronger Pokémon for people to battle. Training at the gyms and maintaining your team's gym will increase its "prestige," which will then make it harder for opposing teams to take over your gym.

To fight, you simply tap your Pokémon for its basic attack. A meter will fill up on your screen as you do this. If you press and hold on your Pokémon when the meter is full, it will unleash its special attack. When the enemy Pokémon is on the offense, which is indicated by the white pulsing marks around the Pokémon, swipe to either side to try and dodge the attack. If your Pokémon is defeated, it can be revived with a "revive" item and can also be healed with a potion.

As you can probably tell by now, the game is still in its infancy. Fans are criticizing the lack of ability to trade, and the seemingly constant "server down" notifications. There is also a major glitch happening with the gyms: OP Pokémon and their trainers dominate, and even when challengers bring the gym leader's CP to zero, they still remain undefeated. These bugs are a pain but for the most part, this game is still enjoyable. I don't think the creators of the game expected it explode this much, but I think that many of the complaints about the game will be corrected soon. I can't wait to see how much this app will grow and what kind of features (and Pokémon!) will be added next.

Are there any other tips and tricks you've discovered in your Pokémon GO adventures? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by: Rae Swain
Check out my Twitter @Kraeraenyeh 
Also check out my Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/kraeraenyeh

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  1. Tried it myself but didn't like it. It is so much work and always the same Pokemon for me. Can't take that much time from life to roam around on the road.

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