Hello Highlanders and fellow Pokémon trainers! Niantic’s Pokémon Go has been out for about a month now, and in the first few weeks it took us all by storm! Unfortunately due to some bugs in the game, some players are quitting. If you’re like me and still catching Pokémon, then hang tight! I’ve been a hardcore Pokémon fan since 1999, playing the games and watching the anime, so I know a lot about Pokémon, and I hope to pass on my best tips for playing Pokémon Go to all of you! Whether you are new, or have experience playing, I hope everyone can find something useful.
1) Get out and GO! – If you’ve played the games, you’re used to sitting and playing for hours. Pokémon Go is completely different because you have to move around outside to catch ’em all! While you’re outside, you have a greater chance of finding Pokémon than you would inside your house.
2) Explore new places – A great feature of the game is that different types of Pokémon are found in different geographical areas! For example, water types are common in Edgewater, while electric types can be found in Manhattan.
3) Pack your backpack – If you’re walking around campus you might not need to worry about this, but on extensive trips you should be prepared! I usually carry a water bottle, snacks, cash, and my two portable chargers!
4) Save your battery – Niantic recently added back the battery saver feature. Go into the game’s settings and turn this on. As you’re walking, turn your phone upside down and the screen will darken. Your battery will be saved, plus you will still be notified of nearby Pokémon!
5) Know the hotspots – In order to progress farther, you have to catch lots of Pokémon and save their candy. You save up these candies to evolve and power up your Pokémon. If you know where specific Pokémon spawn, then you can easily get their candy. Rutgers Newark has lots of Bulbasaur, and I’ve mentioned other spots, but how do you find more…?
6) Join the conversation! – There is a Pokémon Go subreddit, and there is even a Pokémon Go NJIT Facebook group. Usually people talk about what places spawn the best Pokémon (my personal favorites are Manhattan and Newport).
7) Pikachu can be your starter! – When you first begin you can choose between Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander. Keep walking and ignore them a few times until eventually Pikachu appears!
8) Evolving Eevee – Eevee is a mystical Pokémon that has three different evolutions: Vaporeon, Jolteon, or Flareon. In the original anime, there existed three brothers who had these forms of Eevee. If you name your Eevee “Rainer”, “Sparky”, or “Pyro”, it will evolve into its respective form. (Don’t put the quotation marks when naming them!)
9) Hatching eggs – Eggs hatch based on net distance traveled while you have the app open. That means if you walked down Summit St, and then walked down Warren St, the game wouldn’t take the total distance you traveled, rather it would use the distance from where you started to where you currently are (kind of like a hypotenuse). So try to walk in straight lines! Don’t forget to put your egg in an incubator before starting to hatch!
10) Use Incubators wisely – Everybody gets one Incubator that can be re-used infinitely, but you can also purchase Incubators good to hatch 3 eggs. My advice is to save the infinite Incubator for 2km eggs, and use the other ones on 5 and 10km eggs. Think about it, you can use the infinite Incubator 2.5 times (or 5 times) for each time you use one of the limited Incubators on a 5 or 10km egg.
11) Use Lucky Eggs wisely! – Many trainers are quick to evolve their Pokémon. What I do, is I save all my Pidgey/Caterpie/Weedle. Then, I use a Lucky egg to receive double the experience, and I evolve them all at once! This grants you lots of extra experience.
12) You don’t have to spend real money – Pokémon Go offers a way to earn pokécoins without spending actual money. If you take control of a gym, you earn 10 pokécoins for each gym in which you have a Pokémon. However, you can only collect your reward once every 21 hours, so be wise!
13) You should spend some real money – Although you don’t have to buy things, I highly suggest it. By spending $20, you can get some good items like Egg Incubators, Lure Modules, and even expand your storage space as a decent starter set.
14) Anyone can take a gym! – Players can’t technically fight each other (yet). When you get into a battle, you are fighting against the computer. When the fight starts, the computer always attacks first. Whenever the screen flashes yellow, swipe left or right to dodge. When they are resting that’s your chance! Tap the screen for a quick attack or when your blue bars are filled up, tap and hold the screen for a special attack.
15) Appraise your Pokémon – Some trainers use an online calculator to determine the individual stats of a Pokémon, but there is an easier way to do that! When you appraise your Pokémon, your team leader will tell you how good or bad your Pokémon is. If your Pokémon “can accomplish anything” then it’s really strong! Otherwise, you may want to keep searching for a better one.
Well trainers, that brings me to the end. There are so many things I would like to tell you about Pokémon Go, but these are the 15 most important things I believe you should know about the game. Hopefully you found this article useful, and good luck catching ’em all!