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From Pokéstops to Pikachu: everything you need to know about Pokémon Go

Stashed in: Candy Crush!, Art!, Virtual Reality!, Anime!, Mario and Friends, Gamers!, Pokemon, Apps, Imzy, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality!

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What is PokémonPokémon is, simply put, a phenomenon that began as an RPG for Game Boy 20 years ago. Inspired in part by Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri’s childhood love of insect collecting, the game involved catching mysterious creatures known as Pokémon before training them to go into battle. This is the format that has seen Pokémon diversify into anime, manga, card games and various console games throughout the years.

What is Pokémon Go?It’s a “real world adventure”. That means it uses GPS and augmented reality (AR) to allow you to hunt and train Pokémon as you’re out and about in your neighbourhood. AR functionality uses your smartphone or tablet’s back-facing camera to display Pokémon as though they are actually in front of you. Or on your stove:


I want to catch that Pokemon on the stove!

Seriously though Pokemon Go is a phenomenon. 

And now Pokemon shame is a thing.

Pokemon shaming meme imgur oY1j4Qh.jpg

Ha! I like it. :)

Wow, more users on Android than Tinder:

Top app on Android and iPhone:

The answer is Pokémon Go, the new smartphone game from Nintendo and Niantic Labs. According to data tabled by Digital Vision, two days after the app’s launch, Pokémon Go was installed on 5.16% of Android devices in the US and had roared to the top of the iTunes app store’s free app charts. Nintendo’s stocks are reported to have risen to their highest value since 1983 and demand for the game was so high, with servers crashing regularly, that Amazon’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, even offered to share the traffic load.

Imzy is obsessed, too:

Seems like fun.

How do I ‘catch them all’, as it were?

As you walk around, Pokémon will appear on the map. (If you see little flurries of leaves it means there might be a rarer Pokémon nearby.) The little bar at the lower right corner of the screen is a loose guide to which Pokémon are in the vicinity, with three “footprints” meaning it is further away and one meaning it’s probably – in panto terms – right behind you. 

Tap on the Pokémon and it will appear in front of you, then you throw Pokéballs by swiping; the best time to hit the Pokémon is when the coloured circle around it has shrunk. 

What if someone else catches the Pokémon before I do?

That’s the beauty of the game: there are plenty of Pokémon to go around. Already I’ve helped strangers find local gyms and Pokéstops, or informed them of a Psyduck infestation nearby. In fact, far from causing Pokémon-related clashes, the game seems to be bringing people together.

Do I have to leave the house? 

Well, no. In theory, you can spend a lot of Pokécoins (and actual coins) buying Incense that lures Pokémon to your living room. But with anecdotal evidence that Pokémon Go is helping depressed and lonely people get out and about, coupled with studies that show walking in nature is beneficial to your mood, why not go for a stroll?

Where do I find Pikachu?

That beloved electric mouse, the brand ambassador for Pokémon since back in the day, isn’t one of the “starter Pokémon” that you find when you begin the game. Some reports have suggested that if you plough on past the starter trio – in a tribute to the good old days of Pokémon Yellow – you may be able to run into Pikachu.

What do I do at the Pokémon Gym?In Pokemon Go, improving your Pokémon’s stats by training them is a twofold exercise: first, you can “power up” using a combination of Stardust (an item you receive whenever you catch a Pokémon) and the breed-specific “candy”, which will increase your Pokémon’s combat points, making them stronger.

Second, you make them fight. Early on in the game, you pick a team – red (Team Valor), blue (Team Mystic) or yellow (Team Instinct) – and your team will dictate which gyms are friendly and which are combative. Once you hit level five, you can take your Pokemon to battle at gyms, either friendly ones that are held by your team (think of this as exercise) or enemy ones where you can battle with local champs (think of this as a prize-fight). 

Here is a good guide to fighting and training in Pokemon Go; a successful stint at the gym can capture the gym and earn you Pokécoins. 

What are these Pokéstops everyone keeps talking about?Pokéstops are like lucky dips for aspiring Pokémon trainers. Attached to places of interest – churches, memorial plaques, statues – they will “drop” loot like Pokéballs, snacks for Pokémon and medicines for battle-worn Pokémon. 

Tap on the Pokéstop when it turns into a series of concentric circles and then spin the central one, then enjoy your loot.

Do I need to spend my hard-earned dollars in order to get Pokécoins?

Absolutely not; “microtransactions” (in-game purchases) are an optional extra in Pokémon Go. You can visit the in-app shop to bulk buy Pokécoins, which you can in turn use to stock up on extra incense or potions – but most other items can and will drop from Pokéstops.

Do I have to listen to that bloody music? 

No. Switch off music in the Pokémon Go settings and then listen to whatever you want. Might I recommend Land Of Confusion by Genesis or Rockaria by ELO, to really amp up the excitement levels. 

Help! I’ve caught so many Pokémon I can’t keep track of them! 

Two things will help you here: you can “transfer” duplicate Pokémon back to Professor Willow in exchange for the “candy” that helps to evolve Pokémon into their more powerful form. 

Or, once you have a Pokémon whose stats you’re keen to improve, you can rename it; I’ve gone with the names of my favourite pro-wrestlers because I’m very cool like that:

  • More users than Snapchat
  • More users than Tindr
  • Faster adoption than Napster
  • Found dead body
  • Solved crime
  • Holocaust museum complains
  • Arlington cemetery complains
  • Ground zero museum complains
  • Auschwitz memorial complains
  • Restaurants complain Pokemon only for customers
  • Server outages
  • New business models with paid Pokemon placement in real world
  • Surge in Nintendo stock price and valuation
  • Handful of car accidents,
  • Dozens of tripping over things
  • 1 stabbing refused to go to hospital
  • More people now searching for Pokemon Go than pr0n
  • Craigslist complains taking over personal ads
  • 14 million twetts
  • 2 cheating hacks
  • 1 movie announcement
  • McDonalds partnership
  • 1 cheating boyfriend caught
  • New Pokemon trainer services
  • Funeral parlors complain
  • Half a million complaining Canadians
  • Found a hidden gun
  • Woman finds a Squirtle in her bed
  • One pokemon found while wife having baby
  • Local public tourism and public art visits explode
  • 1 rescue of a lost todder

Good Pokemon Go tips:

10 more tips for mastering Pokemon Go:

See also:

10 quick tips for becoming a Pokémon Master | TechCrunch

Wait till the circle is small before you throw your poke ball:

Also, turn off the AR. It's just a distraction. :)

Pokemon Go has more engagement than Facebook (33 minutes per day vs 22):

Also more Daily Active Users (25 million) than Candy Crush at its peak, making it the biggest game of all time. 

"American art museums cautiously embrace Pokémon Go"

Institutions including MoMA in New York are seizing the opportunity to get gamers through the doors, though some museumgoers are unimpressed.


A lickitung Pokémon at Morikami museum in Delray Beach, Florida. Photograph: Supplied

Who knew this would be the thing that gets kids wanting to visit museums? :)

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