Pokemon GO: A Beginner’s Guide
Pokemon GO is finally out in the Philippines! A lot of trainers are already adventuring outside the confines of their homes and villages to visit nearby parks and malls in hopes to capture more of these pocket monsters. If you’re new to the world of Pokemon GO, we’ve got a handy field guide so you can be the very best Pokemon trainer, like no one ever was!
You start the game with Professor Willow telling you to capture your first-ever Pokemon. You’ll be taken to the main game screen where three classic Pokemon show up: Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur. You can only capture one of them, so choose your starter wisely! These three were the very first starter Pokemon when the game was released for the original GameBoy handheld console.
But wait! You wanted a Pikachu as a starter like in the cartoons? Well, you can have it in Pokemon GO. The trick is to walk away from the three starters. Walk far enough and they will pop up close to you, ready for capture. Repeat this two to three more times and they will pop up with a Pikachu in tow.
To capture your starter from the main game screen (this goes for any Pokemon you encounter from now on), all you need to do is to tap on the Pokemon and you will be taken into a battle screen. Hold your phone so that the Pokemon is in front of you, and flick the Pokeball at it. You may need a couple of tries to get the ball to bump on the Pokemon, but practice makes perfect. Congratulations! You now have your very first Pokemon! Now, it’s time to go off into a grand adventure with your trusty companion at your side. But where do you go from here?
The game begins
From the main screen, you will be able to see certain landmarks. The small ones are PokeStops, where you can get Pokeballs, eggs containing Pokemon that you need to hatch, and other items to help you on your journey. The big landmarks are called gyms, where you can do battle with the Pokemon housed there to defend it.
PokeStops and gyms are usually real-life landmarks in your area. It can be a church, a water tower, or a fountain in a park. When you’re in a place outside your house, check the game regularly and take not of the stops and gyms. If you commute, take out your phone every so often to check out places of interest, but do so when you’re sure your phone is safe from muggers!
Walking around your place will often have you encountering wild Pokemon. These can be tracked in advance from the lower right portion of your screen, as the game alerts you of any nearby Pokemon. Walk around a bit and they will pop up near you. Be wary of wild Pokemon though, because some of them can easily break out of your Pokeball and run away!
PokeStops and in-game items
PokeStops reward you with loot when you access them. If you’re near a stop and it changes how it looks, tap on it. It will sort of zoom into a photo of the landmark it’s on. Flick across the photo to access your loot!
Eggs containing unhatched Pokemon can also be acquired from PokeStops. These eggs need an incubator, which you can buy in the shop section for Pokecoins, in currency used in the game. You can use real money to buy coins, but you can earn them from fighting in gyms. When you place an egg in an incubator, a kilometer bar will appear and you’ll have to walk to fill up the bar and hatch your Pokemon – an easy thing to do if you’re spending the day at the mall capturing Pokemon.
Incense and Lures serve to attract wild Pokemon to your location. Using an Incense does this for 30 minutes and only you can see the Pokemon, while a Lure is a Module you can only attach in PokeStops and gyms. The Pokemon attracted by the Lure can be seen by everyone, so it’s a great way to get a lot of players interested in a particular store or area that has been converted into a PokeStop.
Lucky Eggs are one-time use items to boost the experience you gain when hunting Pokemon. Capturing Pokemon levels your character up, and when you reach level 5, you can start battling in gyms and can even choose which team to join!
Teams in Pokemon Go are in-game factions people can join. Team Valor’s color is red, Team Mystic’s is blue, and Team Instinct’s is yellow. The three teams are important because gyms are controlled by whoever is the strongest team nearby. When your team controls a gym, you can go there and get items as well as practice your Pokemon to help them grow stronger. Going to a different gym allows you to battle the gym Pokemon that guard it, and defeating them will allow you and your team to control the gym. It’s important to have a mix of Pokemon of different element types and power levels to ensure a successful gym battle, so be sure to power up your Pokemon!
Power and evolutions
Capturing Pokemon gives you Stardust and that Pokemon’s specific type of candy. The more you capture the same kind of Pokemon, the more candy you’ll get. Powering up your Pokemon is the same as leveling them up. Using the Stardust and candy, you can increase their CP level as well as their HP and damage of the attacks they have.
Once you have enough candy (usually 50), you can choose to evolve the Pokemon. Evolving unlocks more attacks the Pokemon can use, as well as changes their appearance. When you have too many Pokemon, be sure to transfer them to Professor Willow so you can have space for new Pokemon! It’s a good trick to capture many wild Pokemon of the same type, power up one, and transfer the rest. That way, your team of Pokemon are streamlined, ready for gym battles.
Now you’re ready to go out there and become the very best, like no one ever was! Good luck, trainer! Stay safe!
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