Pokémon Go is currently the number one ranked game on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in the countries that it’s currently available in.
Even though it’s not currently available on the South African versions of these app stores, you’re bound to see masses of people running around the streets of your neighbourhood trying to catch all 150 Pokémon.
If you’re a Pokéholic, here a few things you need to know about the game:
Just the start
When you start playing the game, you get to choose between one of three Pokémon as your starter pick, unfortunately, that does not include Pikachu.
If you’re determined to fulfill your Pokémon fantasies and absolutely need to have a Pikachu, then there is a way to get one.
When you’re given the option of catching either Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, tap the “Run Away” icon on the top left-hand side of the screen, once you’ve run away from the Pokémon, the game will then give you a few more options to catch one of the same Pokémon as your starter Pokémon. You’ll need to repeat the process of running away a few times but eventually, the system will realise that you’re not keen on catching one of the aforementioned Pokémon and give you a fourth option, namely Pikachu.
Catch ‘Em All
Catching Pokémon isn’t as easy as it seems.
Pokéballs don’t always land on the Pokémon, which they need to in order to catch them, nor do the Pokémon always stay in the Pokéball when you catch them.
Once you’ve tapped on a Pokémon, you then get the chance to throw a Pokéball and catch it.
In order to stand a better chance of catching the Pokémon, tap and hold down on the Pokéball and only flick it at the Pokémon when you see the green / yellow / orange or red circle around the Pokémon narrow down to its smallest circumference.
Searching for Pokémon is not the easiest thing, but looking for rustling grass helps. The bar on the bottom right-hand side of the Pokémon map screen - which shows the outline of Pokémon - shows which ones are closest to you, however, the number of footprints underneath each Pokémon can vary from 0 footprints to 3. The more footprints, the further away the Pokémon is from you.
Your trainer level in the game as well as your location and even time of day, all affect the type and number of Pokémon you find.
Unlike the traditional Pokémon games, you cannot battle trainers. The only place that you can battle is in a Pokémon gym.
Battling Pokémon in gyms is not taken in turns.
Your Pokémon can perform special attacks once they’ve built up enough power. Simply check the stats of your Pokémon to see which special attacks they can perform and how much power is needed to perform them. When battling, hold down on your Pokémon until you build up enough power and then let go.
Gyms are found in various locations and can be controlled by a trainer. In order to take a gym over, you would need to battle the trainers multiple times in order to lower the reputation of the gym. Once the reputation reaches zero, you’d be able to claim the gym for yourself.
If you’re able to successfully defend the gym for 24-hours, you’re rewarded with coins and other prizes which can be found by tapping the shield icon in the Pokémon store.
Taking it to the next level
Leveling up or evolving your Pokémon requires the use of special species-specific Pokémon candy and stardust.
One of the best ways to get candies is to trade in your duplicate Pokémon.
In order to do this, tap on the Pokémon, scroll all the way down to the bottom (past the map which shows where you caught it) and click on Transfer.
This transfers the Pokémon to Professor Willow and gives you one candy in exchange.
Beware when transferring your Pokémon as not all Pokémon of the same type have the same special attacks, so it may be worth keeping one or two of the duplicates and not transferring all of them.
Pokémon Go, while not currently available in South Africa, has become one of the most downloaded games with over 7.5 million downloads in the US alone.