Pokemon has been a phenomenon since the early 1990s and with the release of their newest game, an app called Pokemon Go, they have only further climbed the legendary ladder.

Pokemon Go incorporates your real life world with the amazing little pocket monsters. You can choose to use the augmented reality or a pre-drawn backdrop for your catching and battling adventures. With AR mode, you can even take pictures of the wild Pokemon you hunt and capture. This AR element, combined with the fact that it gets you out into the real world, is just one reason the game is becoming so popular.

By walking or biking around your town and abroad you will be notified of Pokestops and gyms via the app, as well as wild Pokemon that you encounter in your path. Pokestops are places of interest like artwork, statues, historic areas, ‘welcome to’ city signs and parks. Once you get close enough, you can receive items like pokeballs and potions for free just for checking it out. Gyms are where you can battle against other teams and try to take it over for your chosen team, either valor, instinct or mystic. But that comes once you reach level 5.

Currently only the first generation of Pokemon are available for capture, but Niantic has speculated that they may be releasing the next generation of Pokemon sooner rather than later. However that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to do now. There are a ton of Pokemon to catch, hatch and battle, all while learning more about your real world surroundings and the people in your town.

Here are some quick tips for starting in Pokemon Go:

  1. Always stay safe and aware of your surroundings.
  2. Never trespass or go into dangerous areas chasing a Pokemon or trying to reach a stop.
  3. Don’t stress too much if you lose a Pokemon you really wanted to get. There will always be another chance.
  4. Go prepared. Always go out hunting with a full battery and if you have a spare phone battery or portable charger, you might want to bring in as well. Hydrate yourself and bring snacks if  you will be out awhile, too.
  5. Understand candy requirements for evolutions and that transferring Pokemon you don’t want deletes them but gives you candy from the Professor.
  6. Grab all the Pokestops you can. You will replenish Pokeballs and other essentials at these stops.
  7. If a gym is friendly, you can train your Pokemon there for experience and to open a slot to add your Pokemon as a defender.
  8. If a gym is owned by another team, you can battle to bring down its prestige to take it for your team.
  9. Pokemon never die. They only get injured (and need potions) or faint (and need revives).
  10. Some people save evolving until they are a higher trainer level, when you get Pokemon with a higher CP in the wild and from eggs.

So there you have it: just some basics on Pokemon Go! There’s so much more to learn and more fun to have with the game and with friends while playing the game. Enjoy.

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