We were very curious what all the hype was about Pokémon GO, so over the weekend we downloaded the app to try it out for ourselves.
It took a little experimenting and some googling (the instructions in the app aren't as helpful as one would hope), but in the end we figured out how to play and had a great time doing so.
If you haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to check it out. Here are some tips and instructions on how to use the Pokémon GO app.
How to Play Pokémon Go
After you install the the Pokémon Go app, you will be asked to register. You can either register with a Google account or create a Poékmon Trainer account. Initially there were some security concerns with using a Google account, but those have been fixed.
That being said, we decided to create one Poékmon Trainer account that we will use as a family. Creating the account was simple we just filled out some basic information (username, password) and then we created our player.
Customizing the player was fun and we got to choose between a male or female character with various options for hair color, eye color, clothing, accessories and more. Once we selected a screen name we were all set and ready to catch some Poékmon.
Understanding the Map
When you begin the game your player will be located on a map. While there are some very basic instructions in the app, you'll need to figure out much of the functionality on your own.
As you walk around your player will move on the map and you will encounter a variety of different objects including:
- PokéStops – Locations were you can earn various items for your inventory.
- Gyms – Locations where you can train your Pokémon or fight other the Pokémon of other players.
- Rustling Leaves – According to my research, these indicate areas where Pokémon are commonly found. That does't gaurente that you will find one there, but it's often worth checking out.
- Nearby Pokémon – Indicates which type of Pokémon are near you.
- Your Inventory – A quick way to view the Pokémon you have captured, your eggs (if you have them), the number or Pokéballs you have left and the other items in your backpack.
- Pokémon – They will appear on the map at various times, giving you the opportunity to catch them.
What is a PokéStop
PokéStops are specific locations where you can earn items for your inventory. Some of the items we've found include: Pokéballs, Eggs, Incense, Food (to feed the Pokémon).
Pokéstops in the distance have a cube at the top, but when you get close to the Pokéstop it will change shape. At this point, click on the Pokéstop to open it.
Once it is opened, swipe left to right (or right to left) to uncover the items. They will float in bubbles out of the Pokéstop. Click on them to add them to your inventory.
What is a Lure and How to Find a Lure
If you stop a Pokéstop that has pink confetti floating around it, that means a lure has been placed. The lures attract more Pokémon to the Pokéstop and last 30 minutes.
So if you see one placed, quickly walk over and have fun catching the Pokémon.
Helpful Tip: You can purchase lures (in the Shop section of the app) so you can drop them at the Pokéstops. You will also earn lures are you level up in the game. We earned a lure when we got to level 8.
How to Find and Capture Pokémon
Once a Pokémon appears on your map, you have a few seconds to catch him. First, click on the Pokémon. Doing so, will switch to the camera view where you will “see” the Pokémon appear on your screen in the location where you are.
It's really fun to take pictures of the creatures.
To catch the Pokémon, swipe up on the Pokéball to send it flying. If you hit the Pokémon they will be trapped in the ball. They can struggle to get out (and you can attempt to catch them again). If they can't get out, you'll officially caught a Pokémon.
All the Pokémon you catch will be added to your Pokédex. To view your Pokédex, from the map click the Pokéball at the bottom of the screen and select Pokédex.
How to Hatch Eggs in Pokémon Go
From time to time, at various Pokéstops you will find eggs and incubators (you can purchase them as well). You can view all your eggs in your Pokédex. To view your Pokédex, from the map click the Pokéball at the bottom of the screen and select Pokédex.
Once you have eggs and incubators, you are ready to begin hatching your egg. First you'll need to select an egg and pick the incubator you want to place it in.
After you place it in the incubator, it's time to start walking. The app will track the distance walked and once you hit the distance listed the egg with begin hatching.
So far we'e hatched two eggs, one that required us to walk 2.0 km and one that required us to walk 5.0 km.
How to Use the Gyms in Pokémon Go
Once your player reaches level 5 you can either train or fight your Pokémon in the Gyms. We have yet to try this out, but once we do I'll update with any tips we have.
Have you used the Gym? If so, leave a comment below and tell us what tips you have. Thanks!
Safety Tips for Pokémon GO
If used appropriately, Pokémon GO can be really fun. However, as with anything, there are still a few safety precautions that you should take.
- Don't play while you are driving. Don't stop in the middle of crossing a street to catch a Pokémon. We were easily able to access PokéStops and Pokémon from across the street, so there is no need to stop to play in the middle of the road.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you are in an unfamiliar area, make sure you are watching what is going on around you. There have been reports of criminals targeting known Pokémon hotspots because they know people may be distracted.
- Keep in mind that business owners have not asked to have Pokémon, PokéStops, or Gyms on their property. While many businesses are welcoming Pokémon GO players, please be respectful.
- Also, please respect private property and don’t go walking around in people's yards hunting for Pokémon.
Overall, we had a great time playing the game and hope to catch many more Pokémon on our upcoming family adventures!
What about you? Do you have any tips or suggestions for great places to catch Pokémon? Let us all know in the comments below.