Pokémon Go is out and it’s awesome!
I’ve been loving the game so far. It motivates me to walk more, give me something fun to do with my wife, and its fun to compare my collection with my friends’.
Chances are if you want to play the game you’ve already downloaded it and tried it out for yourself (or you own a Windows phone).
For those of you that haven’t tried out the game yet, here’s how it works.
The Pokémon Go tracks your location on a stylized version of Google Maps. As you move around in the real world, your little avatar in the game world moves around as well.
Occasionally little Pokémon appear on the map. If you tap on the Pokémon you get taken into a little capture game.
The Pokémon are captured by swiping the Poké Ball to throw it at the little monster.
There’s a percent chance of catching the Pokémon based on its strength and rarity. You can increase the chance through accuracy, a timing mechanic, throwing curveballs, feeding the Pokémon a fruit before you hit it with a Poké Ball, or using a stronger type of ball like a Great Ball or Ultra Ball.
Poké Balls are slowly used up, but you can get more by clicking and using Poké Stops on the game’s map. Each Poké Stop drops about three items.
Pokémon are also acquired by hatching eggs. Eggs are hatched by placing them in Incubators (you only have one to start) and walking a certain distance, just like in the original video games!
Pokémon are leveled up and evolved by feeding them candies. You get more candies for a particular type of Pokémon by catching more of that type.
Your character in the game has a level as well. Your level goes up by doing pretty much anything in the game but progress slows down at higher levels.
Those are the basics. Now for the avalanche of links and advice for more advanced players!
List of rewards for leveling up: http://www.ign.com/wikis/pokemon-go/Level_Rewards_and_Unlockable_Items
Save evolving Pokémon until you have a Lucky Egg to get double the experience: http://gamerant.com/pokemon-go-guide-how-to-use-lucky-egg-to-level-up/
Don’t bother with powering up your Pokémon until you’re about level ~15. You just won’t be strong enough to handle gyms until then: http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/274816/how-to-efficiently-use-stardust-in-pokemon-go
There are two sites set up that allow you to search and locate Pokémon without having to wander around your neighborhood to find that rare one you’re looking for: http://pokehuntr.com/ and https://pokevision.com/
Gyms fluctuate super rapidly. I haven’t been able to hold onto two for more than a few minutes. It’s probably a better idea to take over a few gyms and collect a small defender bonus than to try to max out.
Move sets are important but no one really knows what’s best yet. Higher power is good but it also means your attacks are slower. Because move sets change when a Pokémon evolves its best to wait to Power Up your Pokémon until after they’ve evolved. The Power Up will cost the same either way.
Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) is in Pokémon Go! Having alternate types might be good to surprise other trainers though.
There are particular areas with rare Pokémon in them, but its likely that areas for most of the released Pokémon are close to where you live. No need to travel, especially with the ability to get Pokémon from eggs.
Pay attention to your surroundings when you play, don’t leave trash by Poké Stops, and don’t trespass onto people’s property while playing.
If you have so many Potions and Revives that you can’t get anything else from Poké Stops you can throw items out. It’s better to use the items for taking over gyms, but that’s probably too time-consuming for most players.
There’s no single source for Pokémon Go information at this point. A few Wikis have sprung up. I’ve started adding to the most developed one. You can too if you’d like! Pokémon Go Wiki
Thanks for reading! Now go catch em all!