Nintendo and Niantic’s Pokemon app has captured the hearts of Pokemon fans everywhere, even though the game is still not officially available in Europe yet. If you haven’t tried the game out yet, here are some quick tips on how to get hold of it and how to catch ’em all.
How to Install
Pokemon Go is available on Google Play and the iOS App Store in the US. If you have a US App Store account then it’s pretty easy to get hold of a copy without resorting to any ‘funny business’, though Google Play is a little more complicated.
- In your settings, under Security, change your Android OS to install apps outside of Google Play (Unknown Sources). It will be slightly different on different phones, but should look something like this;
- Now visit APK Mirror on your phone (Use Google Chrome) and find the Pokemon Go APK file here.
- Click on “Download APK” button.
- The file should appear somewhere in Downloads where you’ll be able to click on it to install.
- Create a US App Store account. You can do this on your phone, though it may ask for billing details. The easiest way to do this is to go here to Apple’s official App Store account setup page and do it online. You will need to use a different email address to the one you may have for your own iTunes account.
- Choose United States and be prepared to add a US address.
- Follow the prompts and then, when set up, go back to your iOS Device.
- Go to the App Store on your device and scroll to the bottom.
- If you are signed in, click on your email and choose ‘sign out’
- Sign in with your newly created US account and it will ask you to change store, click on this option and the store will change automatically to the US store.
- Search for Pokemon Go in the App Store and download.
- You can now go back to the App Store and follow step 5 go sign back in to your original account.
- If you need to add funds for in-game credit, the game will now let you do this in your local currency
At the time of writing we’re expecting a proper UK and European launch in the next week, so if you’d rather hang on until then, it won’t be long to wait.
Important Note: Because the game constantly uses GPS and Internet, you will find that your battery may run out faster. It’s also worth checking your internet usage as some people have found that it eats through their data.
First you’ll need to sign in to either a Google account or Pokemon Trainer account. If you or your child are under a certain age then you’ll need to use the Pokemon Trainer account, which you can set up over at Pokemon.com. Parents will require an account to set their children up as trainers.
Once signed in, you’ll find yourself in a map which should show the roads and paths around your area. If you don’t see any Pokemon or Pokestops straight away, don’t worry.
Pokestops are areas of interest on maps which have several functions. It’s worth trying to find one as soon as possible. They can be found at churches, famous buildings, landmarks and even shops.
What do Pokestops do? Swiping the picture on a Pokestop will give you Pokeballs, required for catching Pokemon. As you level up, they will also provide you with other items such as potions and food. The most important reason for visiting a Pokestop, though, is that they will level up your character with XP when you visit them. They reset every 15 minutes or so, so you can visit the same one frequently.
Another reason for Pokestops is to set lures which attract Pokemon to your area. Other players can also see when lures are set and it will encourage them to the same area.
Catching Pokemon is the ultimate aim of the game, as you’d expect. Wondering around in different areas; grass, near water and on paths, will net you different types. Once you get near to one you’ll feel your phone or device vibrate.
Catching a Pokemon involves finding it on the screen, either in AR mode, which shows the real world around you at the same time as the Pokemon, or just on the screen. Once found, you need to hold down the Pokeball that appears at the bottom of the screen until a circle (green, amber or red, depending on how hard the Pokemon is to catch) becomes smaller. The smaller you can make the circle, the better. Launch the Pokeball with a flick and try to hit the Pokemon just above the circle to catch it.
Sometimes a Pokemon will escape the ball. If that happens it’s just a case of trying again until they’re caught, though you can choose to walk away by pressing the walking icon in the top left.
Important Note: Catching Pokemon requires a good internet connection. If the connection drops or is too slow then it may quit the game or get stuck while in the process of catching a Pokemon. Always try to stay in areas with a good internet signal.
You may notice larger buildings on the map with large circular flashing lights and a Pokemon on top. These are Gyms.
You need to be at level 5 before you can join a Gym. Even then you’ll find that most opponents are quite strong and difficult to beat without training your own Pokemon.
When you first visit a Gym you will be asked to choose a team from one of three; yellow, blue or red. They each have different attributes but these don’t make a difference in the game, it’s just a chance to join up with a team.
Once you do get enough strong Pokemon to beat the Gym leaders then you can take over the gym and start earning coins.
Eggs are often found at Pokestops and need to be hatched. You will get a single incubator at the start of the game. Head over to your Pokemon page (under the Pokeball item at the bottom of the screen) and click on the eggs tab to see all your eggs. Clicking on one gives you the option to add it to an incubator. More incubators can be bought with coins later in the game, allowing you to hatch more eggs at once.
Under each egg is a distance in Kilometres. This is the distance you’ll need to walk to hatch the egg. Other transport is only counted if it’s at walking or running speed, so cars and busses may not be counted unless they’re going slowly enough.
Eggs can provide you with better Pokemon, especially those with a long distance on them, so it’s well worth taking the time to hatch them.
Evolving and Levelling Up
If you want to fight in Gyms then levelling up and evolving your Pokemon is essential. To level up you’ll need Stardust and Candy, the actual amount needed is displayed in the stats for that particular Pokemon in your collection (just click on the Pokemon to check).
It’s worth focusing on a few at first rather than trying to level up all of your captured Pokemon. This means you can use the candy you’ve received from capturing other Pokemon.
Always try to level up as much as you can before evolving your Pokemon as it gives them a bigger boost.
The main currency in Pokemon Go are coins. These are not earned until you start winning in gyms but you can use real currency to buy them in-game. Coins can then buy more Pokeballs, incubators for eggs and other items.
Other forms of currency in the game are Stardust and Candy. Stardust is earned for each action you perform, from finding Pokemon to holding gyms and finding Pokestops. Candy is obtained by capturing Pokemon and is unique to the type of Pokemon you catch. If you have many of one Pokemon type in your list it’s worth selling a few back to the Professor, by clicking on it and scrolling right to the bottom of the stats. This will give you a piece of candy for that Pokemon type to use in levelling up or evolving a Pokemon.