If you’re a bit late to the party, this is a simple guide to get you started with Pokémon Go. Some things may apply to you and some may not, but pick and choose what works best for you.


1. Free Money

I’m getting this one out of the way because it only applies to Android users. There’s an app called Google Opinion Rewards that pays you to answer surveys. Now, don’t get excited, thinking that you’ll be rolling in money in no time because you only get between 18 and 32 cents per survey. There won’t be a plethora of surveys, only two or three a week, but they add up over time. You can then use this money to buy supplies, like an emergency where you need a Pokéball immediately. Or, save up for another app of your choosing; I won’t judge you.

2. Let’s Get Started

There are three teams: Mystic (blue), Valor (red), and Instinct(yellow, the best team) However, you can’t choose your team until you reach level 5. These teams are important because they determine who owns a gym (and whose car you need to decorate with plastic wrap). Valor and Mystic seem to hate each other, while Team Instinct is just here to have a little fun. If we’re looking at the rivalry in a different light, think of it like this; Valor and Mystic are the Gryffindors and Slytherins of the game while Instinct is your lovable Hufflepuff.

3. Pokéstops and Goodies

Pokéstops will be your best friend. These are how you get your supplies like Pokéballs, Razz Berries, and eggs to hatch into Pokémon. My best advice is to go find a mall. There will be half a dozen of them within walking distance of each other.

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4. Level Up

In the game, you have two options; you can power up your Pokémon or you can evolve them. My suggestion is to power everyone in your army into the high 400s and up before you evolve them. There’s a different CP (Combat Power) for every Pokémon, ensuring that a little guy can become a heavy hitter once he evolves. Remember that you might not be allowed to power one up until you reach a higher level. It’s perfectly OK to wait a little while before you continue. Just keep catching everything and trade the lowest ones off for more candy.

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5. Hook, Line and Sinker

Finding Pokémon takes a bit of exploring (if they’re in the bottom right sidebar, then they’re in the area) and catching them is pretty straightforward. When you’re a low level player, usually the Pokémon will have green rings around them to show that they can be more easily persuaded into staying in the ball; some will have orange to red rings. These are harder to catch and may pop back out of the ball, forcing you to try again). At stops, you can collect Razz Berries that can be used to bribe these little buggers. I am not promising that using a berry guarantees you a successful catch, because it won’t always help, but if they have orange to red rings, it’s a good idea to try anyway. Finally, in your bag, you’ll find incense and lures. Incense can be used on yourself, while lures are used at Stops. Both lure Pokémon to their respective locations, and both last for 30 minutes, so use them wisely. I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting that you drop them at stops near a children’s hospital for the benefit of kids that can’t go out to play the game. I think it’s a great idea, but it’s up to you on what you want to do.

6. Need at Least Two Years’ Experience

Experience points are a pain in the neck but obviously they’re worth it; you can’t level your Pokémon without them. You get 100 XP when you catch a Pokémon (that you have already registered in your Pokédex), and if you get a “good”, “great”, or “nice” throw, you’ll get a few bonus points. These types of throws can be achieved by landing the Pokéball you throw inside the colored circle on the Pokémon. This also applies to curveballs, which I cover in the next point. You can get more XP from powering up or evolving your Pokémon, visiting a Pokéstop, finding a new Pokémon and registering it to your Pokédex, and even hatching eggs.

7. Throwing Curveballs

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t attempt curve balls, but note that if you’re not careful, you’ll go through Pokéballs pretty darn quick. If you want to practice on a Pidgey or something, go for it, but don’t waste your arsenal on something with a higher CP. Make sure you keep your swipe up the screen as straight as possible or you’ll throw it into the sunset. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw it slightly off to the side of the Pokémon and bank it to reach your prize.

8. Spray Bottle

During battles, your Pokémon will lose health points (HP) when hit. There’s a spray to bring their HP up again and there’s a pill called a Revive that restores them if they’ve fainted. My recommendation is to not keep more than 15 to 20 of each and delete the rest to make sure you have room in your bag for more supplies. You’ll get more at stops, so don’t worry about using them up. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s better to power/evolve your Pokémon after the battle to fix the damage. You’ll get more experience points (XP) this way, which is good for both you and your minion.

9. Walking Your Eggs Off

You’ll acquire the occasional egg in your adventures, and you begin the game equipped with one incubator that will never run out of uses. You can buy more, or receive them from levelling up. The only way to make the incubators work is to go for a walk. I know, the horror. How dare someone create a game that forces you to walk for your prize. Everything is done in km, so keep that in mind when you’re out and about. If you’re just starting the game, count yourself fortunate because before the most recent update, the app wasn’t always tracking your progress. I walked about 3km one time, only to find that it had only logged 1.2km. You don’t have to keep an eye on it anymore, but don’t forget to leave the app open. It doesn’t work if you put your phone in sleep mode. Some people will go cruising in their car to get their “walk” in. I’ve also seen someone attach their phone to a ceiling fan with string and switch the fan on and another person put it on their Roomba. Try to actually go for a walk. You need sunshine, trust me. There are hordes of other nerds out there, getting some sunlight and meeting people. Join them and make nice. The egg mileages are 2km, 5km, or 10km. The longer the distance required, the more likely you are to get something more unique. I personally don’t care how common my hatchlings are, since everything can be sent off for candies.

10. Facebook for Nerds

There are Facebook pages for Go users based on your city/town/county/state. You can meet new people that way and find out where the Pokémon rich areas are. It is a serious community. I follow the one for Macon and we’re always screenshotting things for each other or asking if anyone else is having an issue with the app. Sometimes we warn the group about someone that’s hanging around a PokéStop that looks shady. There isn’t a page for CSU yet, but I know the CSU Anime Haven has been making posts about it on Facebook.

11. Let the Games Begin

Gyms are nifty little places. If you want to earn coins to buy supplies, you need to station one of your little soldiers there. Every round you win, you get coins. Each gym has been taken over by one of the three teams, so you can station a Pokémon at a gym to help defend it if it’s run by your team, or you can try to win it back in a battle. You’ll get the Hero of the Day Award if you win a gym back. You can watch these things all day and they’ll change hands several times. If you see smoke circling the gym where the Pokémon usually sits, it means someone is fighting and trying to take it over. The battles are a bit odd, since they are not turn based like other Pokémon games.

12. Look Out

There’s a warning on the loading screen for a reason. You really need to keep an eye on your surroundings. The handful of issues people have faced are rare, but it’s better to be safe. Go in groups for safety if you know someone in the area. There have been reports of two men who walked off a cliff, people being hit by cars, and others experiencing car wrecks. I’m not saying you’re going to walk off a cliff anytime soon, but be wary. I don’t want to see anymore reports of people getting hurt or robbed because they weren’t paying attention and I definitely don’t want those victims to be my classmates.

13. Don’t forget

that this is a game and it’s meant to be fun. I know that if you’re competitive like I am, you just want to kick everyone’s pants, but it’s just a game. Don’t lose sleep over it or fight anyone. Have fun and make friends. Maybe go ask our Anime club if they would like to get together with you and some friends to go hunting around campus.


I’m not saying there will ever be a live action film, but if someone makes one, I nominate Rupert Graves for Professor Willow because their looks are eerily similar. Just throwing that out there.


Author: The Bent Tree

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