So as you get into the game you can pick your character and customise them and choose a name. This is your Pokémon trainer and will be displayed as you on the map. By clicking on your head icon in the bottom left of the screen you are able to access your journal which tells you many stats like your level and how much XP is left until the next level. Your level is important as it determines the combat power of the Pokémon you can catch. Experience points can be accumulated in several ways:
- Capture a Pokémon - 100
- “Nice” capture - 10
- “Great” capture - 50
- “Excellent” capture - 100
- Curveball capture - 10
- 2km egg hatch - 200
- 5km egg hatch - 500
- 10km egg hatch - 1,000
- Evolve a Pokémon - 500
- Discover a new Pokémon - 500
- Visit a Pokéspot - 50 or 100
- Train at a gym - Depends
- Battle at a gym - Depends
You can double the amount of XP you can get for 30 minutes by using a lucky egg. You unlock these at level 9, but you can also buy them from the shop. We recommend that you save some Pokémon evolutions to do during this time if you can, as you will get 2000 XP for a new evolution with a lucky egg activated.
Catching Pokémon is simple, simply swipe your phone screen to throw a pokeball at the pokémon. Too far or too short, and the ball will fail to capture the pokémon. You have to find the sweet spot, which seems to be hitting the pokémon with the ball. As soon as you touch the pokeball, a green, yellow or red ring will appear. A green ring means the pokémon is easy to catch, whilst a red ring means the pokémon is a little more difficult. Also an inner ring will get smaller and then big again and continue this cycle. For best results, try getting the ring as small as possible when the pokeball hits the pokémon for better chances.
• If you miss a pokémon with a pokeball, tap on the ball when it is rolling along the ground to pick it up.
• If you’re having trouble with the AR option, turn it off as it can make the pokémon easier to capture.
Pikachu starter easter egg:
• To get Pikachu at the start you need to ignore the other three starter pokémon. You can only do this at the start of the game!
• Now walk away from them four times.
• On your fifth time, Pikachu will appear as a starter and you can capture him at the start.
This offers no real advantage, only bragging rights over your friends as you have a Pikachu before them.
Pokémon can be evolved or powered up. We’ll start with powered up first. To power up a pokémon, you need stardust and some of that pokémons rare candy. You can see the requirements for it by opening up your pokémon list and clicking on the pokémon you want to power up. Next to the green power up button will be the requirements. When you power up a pokémon, they increase by a certain amount of combat power each time, usually in a ratio. They don’t increase massively though so it’s not beneficial to do this to every pokémon, only your select few.
Rare candy can be acquired from transferring the same pokémon to the professor. So when you get duplicates, it is worthwhile to transfer your lowest combat power pokémon to the professor for rare candy to power up or evolve your pokémon.
Evolving your pokémon is as simple as powering it up. Simply select the pokémon you want to evolve from the pokémon menu, and click on evolve when you meet the requirements. Evolving pokémon requires stardust again and a certain amount of rare candy’s. To be effective with evolving Pokémon, try and wait to see if you can catch a higher combat power one first as it will increase their overall combat power in the end.
PokéStops and Gyms
On your map, you will see blue pokéball icons which are spinning. These are pokéstops and are usually outside places of interest. From them you can get eggs, potions, pokéballs, revives, lures, incense, lucky eggs, razz berrys, great balls and ultra balls. They refresh around every 5 minutes or so and if the pokéstop has pink leaves swirling around it, then this means that a lure module has been placed on it. This means that pokémon will be attracted to the area, so if you’re out hunting then stay by it as pokémon will come to you! The picture below shows what lure modules on pokéstops look like.
Gyms are a good feature in the game serving several purposes. The main one is a way of battling other pokémon. To do this you have to be level 5 and to have picked a team which can be blue, yellow or red. If your team already owns the gym, you can train your pokémon there by battling it yourself, if you want to take it over you can attack it and lastly you can defend the gym.
Attacking a gym is as simple as tapping on the icon and then engaging in battles with the pokémon there. Each gym has a level with level 3 meaning that 3 pokémon can defend it. So to take over the gym, you need to take the gyms prestige down to zero by defeating all the pokémon there. You battle pokémon by tapping the screen for a normal move and by holding the screen for a special move. To dodge, simply swipe left and right.
Defending a gym can be a tough job, so make sure to put your best pokémon in there to defend it. Holding a gym provides a benefit. Each gym you help defend, grants you 10 pokécoins every 24 hours, which you can then use in the shop on items. You can only get a maximum of 100 pokécoins every 24 hours though.
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