Pokémon Go is taking the world by storm. Nintendo’s stock (NTDOY) is up 60% year to date after skyrocketing 33% on Monday due to the mobile app’s recent release and growth in popularity. As childish as running around trying to catch fictitious animated animals may be, grown men and women alike are wandering around their respective cities doing just that. If you’re like me and never played anything Pokémon related before, but still want to see what all the buzz is about, you’re going to need some advice.
My first tip, and it’s a doozy-
TIP 1: Protect Yo’self
If you didn’t start the game using a Pokémon Trainer account, sign the fuck out of your Pokémon app, then go here to remove Niantic’s access to your Google account. Change your Google password while you’re at it (better safe than sorry). Create a burner Google account, and start all over. Giving an app access to your Google account is never a good idea. Ever heard of hackers? They’ll get access to your shit. This is 2016 people. Don’t just blow by the terms and conditions of everything you download and accept them, ESPECIALLY when you’re linking said application to something as sensitive as your Google account. You should know better than that. Hat-tip to Joseph Bernstein at Buzzfeed for pointing this one out. Make sure you read TIP 2 before signing in with that burner account.
TIP 2: Start off with Pikachu
I know, you’ve likely already spent days catching like a hundred Pokémon and you don’t want to start over, but there’s a saving grace, and its name is Pikachu. Once you’ve created your burner Google account and signed back into the app and chosen your stupid Pokémon trainer outfit, you’ll be prompted to catch 1 of 3 Pokémon. There’s a little dragon, a turtle, and a dumbass reptile with a cabbage on its back. While it may be tempting to go Game of Thrones on this bitch and catch the Charizard, hold up. There’s a trick to get Pikachu instead.
Go for a run. Seriously. If you don’t want a Squirtle, Charizard, or a Cabbage Monster, start running away. The 3 Pokémon will appear 3 more times. The 4th time you get far enough away from the four-legged produce and the 2 cooler fictitious animals, Pikachu will become one of the choices. Cop yourself a Pikachu and rejoice that Niantic no longer has access to your Google account.
TIP 3: Catch ’em all
As you play the game, you’ll likely get frustrated coming across the same Pokémon all the time. As a beginner, I didn’t even know how to catch the little fuckers. Basically when one pops on your screen, you tap on it, and then fling the ball on the bottom of your screen at its head. If you hold onto the ball before you fling it, you’ll notice a circle on the Pokémon’s dome that shrinks and grows. Early on in the game, it’ll always be green, but the circle can also be shades of yellow and red. Green means it’s easy to catch, red means it’s difficult to catch (and might get away after you imprison it in your little pokéball). Aim for the center of the circle, and if you hit you’ll catch the little monster.
Catch every Pokémon you come across. As you gain experience, the Pokémon you catch will have better statistics, and you can trade your old fictitious animals in for digital candy that’ll help your Pokémon grow and evolve. There are also badges and other digital rewards for catching specific Pokémon, so seriously, catch ’em all.
TIP 4: Spin Pokéstops for Free Shit
I think this tip may have popped up in-game, but I totally missed it. You get free shit by visiting Pokéstops and spinning the little circle thing when you’re near them. You can go back to the same Pokéstops again and again if you wait a few minutes inbetween spins. You get Pokéballs, Eggs, and other cool things you’ll need to go further in the game. Always click on the Pokéstops and spin the thing.
TIP 5: Train & Evolve your Pokémon Before Taking on a Gym
You can’t go to a gym until you’re Level 5, but I’d recommend waiting even longer if you don’t want your fictitious digital animals to get absolutely worked. Your 10CP Rattata is going to get knocked the fuck out if you try to take on a gym at level 5. Go take a walk, catch some Pokémon, train and evolve them before trying to take over the augmented reality world you now live in.
Once your pocket monsters are strong enough to take on a gym, you should try to do this at least once a day and then add one of your Pokémon to the gym once you’ve defeated it. Sometimes other people on your team will take over gyms and you can just add your Pokémon without doing any of the work. This maneuver may be bush-league, but I do it all the time. If they’re not happy to have my level 880 Tentacruel holding it down, fuck ’em.
Once you’ve added your Pokémon to a gym, go to the store and claim the rewards in the top right corner. You can claim rewards for each Pokémon you leave at a gym in a 24 hour period. You’ll get stardust and some coins. It’ll take forever for the coins to mean anything, but eventually you can use ’em to buy cool shit (bookbag upgrade, see you in a month or so).
TIP 6: Always be Incubating
Those eggs you’ve been collecting can turn into Pokémon or other cool shit. I had no idea and was just carrying around 9 eggs thinking they’d just hatch. Always have an egg in the incubator. You do this by pressing the Pokéball, clicking on Pokémon, then clicking on Eggs at the top right. Incubate that shit so it’ll hatch. Oh, and keep in mind that the app doesn’t keep track of the distance walked (you have to walk at least 2 kilometers to hatch an egg) when the app isn’t open. So, yea, you’re going to have to be hunting for Pokémon and Pokéstops in order to hatch that thing.
TIP 7: Use Lucky Egg & Incense at the same time, and Evolve
Leveling up reaps major benefits in Pokémon Go. You’ll catch Pokémon with higher CPs and you’ll get cooler shit (better Pokéballs, potions etc.) the higher your level. The best way to level up is to use a Lucky Egg, which doubles your XP earned for a half hour. You might as well use Incense at the same time to attract more Pokémon and gain XP as you catch them. While you’re at it, evolve a few Pokémon while that Lucky Egg timer is still ticking to get huge XP bonuses. If you’ve been playing for a while, you’ve likely caught a few hundred Drozees, Pidgeys, Spearows, Zubats and/or Rattatas. Evolve those mofos while you’re using a Lucky Egg and you’ll be a Pokémon master in no-time.
I’ll add more tips to this page as I play the game. I really just wanted to get the word out about the potential security issues with Niantic having access to your shit. Feel free to share more tips and tricks in the comments section, and if they’re legit, I’ll add them.