Pokémon GO: A Beginner's Guide

October 2016

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality and location-aware game that brings the Pokémon universe to the world around you. The game allows players to capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the "real" world. Pokémon GO is free to download on iPhone and Android devices and offers some in-app purchases.

Ready to begin your quest to become a Pokémon master? This article will explain the basics of the app and give you tips on how to get started with Pokémon GO.

Getting Started with Pokémon GO

Once the Pokémon GO app has been downloaded and installed, launch the application. You will be welcomed by Saul, a Pokémon master, who will guide you through the application, teach you how to catch Pokémon using Poké Balls, and get you started on creating your account.

The first step is creating an avatar. You can design your avatar using any combination of hair, skin, and eye color and then choose from a number of outfits. Once your avatar is created, the application will place the avatar at your current location along with a map of your immediate surroundings.

Next, you will be guided through the steps of catching your first Pokémon. The first catch will be quite easy and will be close to your starting location. Once you come into contact with the Pokémon, simply throw one of your two empty Poké Balls to catch it.

Your first catch will officially start the game. It's now time to start walking...

Finding Pokémon


PokéStops allow you to get fresh Poké Balls and other items for free. These stops (indicated by blue squares on your map) are usually found at local points of interest, such as monuments and notable landmarks.

A PokéStop will change shape as a user approaches it:

To take advantage of the PokéStop, simply swipe your finger across the screen, and then tap on the items that fall to collect them:

Pokémon Gyms

Once you've reached Level 5 in Pokemon GO, you will be asked to join one of three teams: Red, Blue, or Yellow. Once you've joined а team, you will be able to run your own Gym and assign a Pokémon to protect it. Pokémon Gyms can be found at real life locations (including monuments, pieces of art, etc.):

Each Gym has its own level of prestige, based on the team's comprehensive experience level. Teams can take control of these gyms by battling your Pokémon.

Empty Gyms

You can take control of an empty gym by simply assigning one of your Pokémon to that arena.

Friendly Gym

A friendly Gym is strengthened by assigning one of your Pokémon to its defense. This can increase the Pokémon's prestige and level:

Rival Gym

Challenge a rival Gym to lower its prestige and level:

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