The epidemic sweep of Pokémon Go has taken over the nation. Everywhere you look, there are Pokémon waiting to be caught!
The app was introduced in the U.S. on July 6, for both iOS and Android devices. It shot to the top of the “free” charts on the App store overnight—- because who doesn’t want to be a Pokémon Master? Since then, the augmented reality gaming experience, developed by Ingress makers Niantic Labs, has consumed the lives of countless smartphone users.
As you get ready to explore your surroundings in search of Pokémon, you should understand a few training basics to help you "catch’em all."
Here are 5 things you need to know to become a Pokémon Master:
1. Its FREE... and offers in-app purchases. You don’t have to pay a cent to download and play. But if you feel like getting ahead of the competition, you do have the option of purchasing PokéCoins in the “Shop” option-- which you can use for premium items.
2. How to catch your first Pokémon. Professor Willow will get started with a Pokémon! He introduces three on the map: Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. Tap on the desired Pokémon, and then swipe your screen upwards to toss the Pokéball at the Pokémon. GOTCHA!
3. Know the common phrases. All Pokéman have a legend that outlines their basic information. To learn about your Pokémon, click on them to read their bio. Here are some to get you started:
- CP (Combat Power/ Combat Points) - Determines the power of your Pokémon
- HP (Hit Point) – Determines how much damage your Pokémon can take in battle before fainting
- Power Up - Increases your Pokémon’s CP and HP
- Evolve - Take your Pokémon to the next level by evolving it into a bigger, stronger, and better version
- Transfer - If you have several of the same Pokémon, you can opt to transfer the ones with the lowest CP/HP to Professor Willow for Pokémon candy
- Pokémon Candy - The more of the same Pokémon you catch or “transfer” to Professor Willow, the more candy you acquire to help “evolve” or “power up” your Pokémon. The stronger, the better!
4. Tips for your journey into the 'REAL' world.
- Check your data plan - This is important unless you’re ok with paying overage charges. You probably won’t be around Wi-Fi for the majority of your catches.
- Bring a portable charger: Chances are you won’t be around an outlet, so it’s best to have a backup.
- Phone brightness: Lowering it helps extend battery life on your phone.
- Wear comfy shoes: You’re going to be doing a lot of walking—- especially to hatch those eggs-- so you might as well be comfy in your quest to be the best trainer.
- Catching “unique” Pokémon: They mostly hang out near landmarks—- think sculptures, monuments, schools, etc.
- Pokéstops: From afar, they look like blue cubes. But when you get closer, they begin to spin. It’s like your one-stop shop to acquire and replenish items like Pokéballs.
5. Stay safe and always be on alert. While it’s tempting to keep your eyes locked on your phone at all times (heaven forbid you miss catching a Raichu), you need to be aware of your surroundings outside the digital world. You don’t want to accidently bump into a pole, walk into oncoming traffic, or trip and fall and possibly shatter your phone— then you really won’t be “master of them all.” You’re also prone to dangers, like the robberies that happened to teens in Missouri.