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Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go Beginners Guide: How do I start playing it?

If you are a Pokémon fan, or have been following the TV cartoon series since years, or decades probably, you very well know what to expect from Pokémon Go. But if you are someone new to all this and want to try it out, here’s the beginners guide that will have several basic-level tips and guides to make you understand about the game and the gameplay.

It isn’t easy at all if you are new to Pokémon, and you might even be confused by one of your friend’s status on Facebook saying “Caught 6 Pokémon while walking in the morning”. What’s with catching Pokémon? Why should I do that and what will I get with it? Let’s introduce you to the world of Pokémon Go, which was introduced by Niantic and Nintendo a few days back.

Pokemon Go

Who am I in the game?

You are a Pokémon trainer. As simple as that. Or call yourself a Pokémon catcher and trainer, as you would catch Pokémon and train them at the gym.

What can I do, and what should I do in the game?

This is what someone would ask if playing the game for the first time, not knowing what the game is all about. What you can do in the game – catch Pokémon, battle with competitor Pokémon at gyms, use the items you get, evolve creatures, and all of this while not sitting at a place but by moving around. Not getting it? Don’t worry, it was hard for me too for the first time.

Pokemon Go Professor Pokemon Go Medals

Here’s how you do that – WALK!

Pokemon Go CatchOr if you are getting addicted – get someone to drive and sit beside, move around. That’s crazy for some to hear.. I mean, who would go places to places only to catch those Pokémon? But there are already several incidents where we’ve seen people being a reason for road accidents while playing the games.

But to play it genuinely, you have to walk. Walk around your place, go on for miles and on the way, you’ll find Pokémon to catch. They’ll be sitting anywhere, or sometimes when you walk, they are attracted and come closer to you.

Remember the game “Paper Toss”? It’s a similar way how you catch a Pokémon. The round ball that you toss at the Pokémon is called Pokeball. Once you hit it, you caught it. You’ll be gaining XP, gaining numbers, and then, the levels go up.

To begin with, Professor Willow will introduce you to the game and gift you one of the Pokémon – Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur. You’ll get a small idea from there itself, and then, as I said, walk and keep learning.

Are all the Pokémon the same?

Pokemon Go CharacterNot at all. While every Pokémon is different, the level of hardness to catch them also varies. One of the three colors of rings is seen around the Pokémon, Green indicating that it is the easiest, Yellow indicating that it is at a medium level, and Red is the most difficult one to catch – it can dodge, jump and try to avoid the Pokeball you aim and throw at it.

Around every Pokémon, you see a CP number. What is it?

It is called Combat Power. These levels indicate the strength of your Pokémon character. This will come to use when you train and make your Pokémon fight against the others at the gym. You can try and raise the CP level of your Pokemon. Candy and Stardust are two things that will help gain the CP level, and while you catch the duplicates of the same Pokémon, the CP level keeps going up.

I need a specific Pokémon. My favorite is Pikachu. Should I do anything different for that?

If it was that easy, you would have already conquered and held the nearby gyms. Finding a specific Pokémon is not easy. On the map, while you are walking, the bottom right bar shows which are the nearby Pokémon that you see and can catch if you keep walking more.

Is walking the only way to lure and catch Pokémon?

No, this is where you get introduced to Pokéstops. To get not just Pokémon but also other items, you need to visit these Pokéstops. They are significant locations on the map, and the place where I am at, I can see several Pokéstops at local temples, water tanks, colony arches, etc.

Once you are at a Pokéstop, you will be able to rotate the center circular picture and will see some items that you can collect. Apart from that, I really don’t know if that is how it works but you will see Pokémon easily around these stops. If there are any Pokéstops around your place, why not try checking them out.

I am asked to buy some items and I cannot obtain them for free. Do I need to really pay for it?

If you are really interested, you will have to pay via. in-app purchase option. But you don’t really have to if you have Pokécoins to purchase the item. Now, what’s a Pokécoin? These are coins that you gain by winning battles at the gym.

Everything is coming down to the gym. What is it?

Pokemon go GymGyms are the prime locations where you can do a lot. Join a team, fight battles, gain Pokécoins, and hold that gym under your control. You will be challenged by either other Pokémon from your team members, or from the other teams.

It is similar to a fortress where the soldiers from different teams battle to conquer it and then, these soldiers are stationed there to keep it under their name. The others come in and battle to neutralize the fortress and then one who has the higher CP and HP can win the fortress. It keeps going on and on.

While battling at the gym, you cannot just conquer it but also increase the XP of your Pokémon. So, just catching and collecting Pokémon won’t suffice and you will have to do more than that to be active in the game. After all, what will you do even after catching all the Pokémon around?

You just mentioned about teams. I am alone playing my game, why should I join a team?

Teams are important while battling against the other Pokémon at the gym. There are three teams and you will be able to choose one only at the gym. Once you choose a team, you are permanently a part of it. Also, you cannot just visit a gym and choose the team right away. You need to reach Level 5 for that. I’m sure you will reach that in a day or two, or push yourself to reach there in a few hours. Anyways, here are the teams:

  • red Team Valor
  • yellow Team Instinct
  • blue Team Mystic

I chose the blue Team Mystic because I like Blue. No specific reason.

I chose a team, reached a gym. How do I battle?

Battling at the gym is similar to how you battle in one of the combat games. Tapping on the opposite Pokémon will result in an attack that is low on power. Tap and hold to unleash any special moves or hits, which will be active only when the meter is filled.

On the other side of it, if you are being hit, you can dodge the hits by swiping left or right on the screen. If you are attacked enough and the Pokémon is injured, you can use the Potions that you got at the Pokéstops. There are revives too, which you can use, only if you found them at the Pokéstops.

I guess this should be enough for now. I’ll be following this up with several other guides that should help you do more and get involved in a better way in the game you might have already fell in love with.

Some extra tips to follow

Carry a power bank. This is very necessary, given that you might end up playing the game for hours and you know how awesome the battery life of phones these days is. Here, you are keeping the screen active all the while and using data connectivity and GPS, so the battery drain will be faster.

Want to save battery? Turn off augmented reality. The interface does look great with you looking at the Pokémon sitting on the roadside in front of you, but that eats up a lot of battery because the camera gets activated always.

Go on the bicycle for an easier hunt. If you feel like walking is tiring you, go on your bike and stop after every small distance traveled, and at the Pokéstops for sure.

Take care of yourself – This is very important. Even more important than catching the rarest of the Pokémon around. There are many bad guys around who might loot you at gunpoint, or you could be so very involved in the game and be a reason for a major vehicle accident. Be under the limits and stay safe.

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Comments 5
  1. A very well written guide, However, it seems that you’ve missed out covering about “Eggs” which can hatch by walking. It would be great if you can add it up.

  2. Hi,
    Nice post, explaining the basics of the game, my friends got the game but I have a problem in downloading the game, it says that the game is not available in your contry please help me.

  3. Quick basic details you are missing how to catch Pokémon nearby (explaining the step thing) rather remove the catching Pikachu as favourite Pokémon as it is very easy to catch pikachu in very beginning. Pokestop are basically portals, if you know about ingress then you might know what I am talking about. There is a way to check pokestop and gyms near your area in a map. Then there are lure and incense and etc modules.

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