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Pokémon GO: A Player's Guide Levels 1-5

In just one week's time, Pokémon GO has become a global phenomenon, uniting children and nostalgic adults alike. This guide will give you some tips and tricks for starting out with Pokémon GO, and answer questions such as "how to get Pikachu as your starting Pokémon," "how to get Pokéballs," and "how to make Pokémon eggs evolve."

Whether you're a total newbie, or just looking for ways to take your Pokémon game to the next level, here are some techniques and tips for success that can help you have the best interactive experience possible.

Download Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is available for download from the App Store and on Google Play. Once your app is downloaded and installed, you're ready to begin!

Get Started with Pokémon GO

Once you've been introduced to the application and your character has been created, the application will show you a virtual map of your surroundings. It is now time to catch your first Pokémon.

By default, you will be asked to choose between one of three Pokémon to be your first catch: Bulbasar, Charmander, or Squirtle. Catching your first Pokémon will officially start the game.

Catch Pikachu as First Pokémon

For those nostalgic for the famous Pikachu, here's how to avoid the other "starter" Pokémon and start your Pokémon journey with the famous little creature. To do this, when the three default Pokémon appear on your screen, simply change your location, and move away from the Pokémon.

Once you move away, the three Pokémon will follow you, prompting you to catch one of them. Ignore this and continue to avoid these Pokémon an additional three times. Upon the fourth turn, another Pokémon will appear on your screen: Pikachu!

Now that you have chosen the Pokémon with which you'd like to start the game, you have to capture it.

Capture Your First Pokémon

Tap on the screen to enter the Capture mode. You can use augmented reality (AR) to "spot" the Pokémon in your environment, and to know where you need to go in order capture it (note that the application must have access to your phone's camera).

Once the Pokémon is in range, use your finger to "throw" your Pokéball towards the Pokémon.

Upon capture, you will be congratulated, and the Pokémon will be logged into your Pokédex.

Collect Items at Poké Stops

Poké Stops are points of interest at which it is possible to recover various objects to help you in the game (i.e. Poké Balls or eggs). As your Level increases, new items will become available.

Poké Stops are symbolized by blue cubes on the game. When you're close to a stop, the stop will "activate" by changing shape. You can access a Poké Stop by simply tapping on the blue icon, and then swiping across your screen to "spin" the picture that is displayed.

As the Poké Stop spins, objects will appear on screen in bubbles. You can "catch" them by tapping on each object, before they escape your screen. Objects that are "caught" will be be logged directly into your inventory.

The Poke Stop will then close and turn to purple. As you move away, you will notice that the stop will resume its original cubic form.

After accessing a Poké Stop, the game requires that you wait at least 5 minutes before accessing another. Any Poké Stop in purple is not available for you to access.

You'll also notice that there are some Poké Stops that are surrounded by flower petals. These petals create a "lure" that brings Pokémon in and around the Poké Stop, and giving players the opportunity to capture multiple Pokémon in one fowl swoop:

Be sure to stock up regularly at Poké Stops. Equipment is used up quickly, so Poké Stops are necessary to continue the game.

How To Track Pokémon

To start, try to familiarize yourself with the menu at the bottom right of the game screen, indicating any Pokémon close to you. Those "close" will appear in order of distance from your location. As you move away, it will descend the list, and conversely, as you approach it, it will rise).

For the most part, Pokémon appear according to their environment. So it's likely that any water Pokémon will be found near lakes, oceans, or pools.

How To Hatch Eggs

Eggs are retrieved at Poké Stops and are classified into 3 categories: 2km, 5km, and 10km. In order to hatch an egg of 2km, you need to walk 2km. The greater the distance, the greater chance that the Pokémon hatched is a "rare" catch.

To start incubating an egg, touch the Poké Ball shaped button at the bottom of your screen and choose POKEMON in the menu that appears. Next, drag the page to the left to access the EGG tab. Any eggs waiting to be incubated or hatched will be displayed.

Next, simply select the egg you want to hatch, and follow the on-screen instructions:

By default, you are in possession of an incubator that gives you unlimited use. However, this incubator only allows you to hatch one egg at a time. Further on into the game, you can buy an incubator that allows you to hatch up to 3 eggs at once.

Note: Once you've achieved Level 6 and Level 15 status, you will receive a second incubator, valid for 3 uses:

Once you have walked a sufficient amount, a hatching screen will appear. It's now time to witness the birth of your new Pokémon!

Transfer, Power Up, and Evolve Pokémon

Powering up a Pokémon, will assign the creature with more battle points. This will make your Pokémon stronger. Evolving a Pokémon gets your Pokémon to the next stage of its evolution (if there is one). You can see the various stages of development for each Pokémon in your Pokédex.

Powering up and evolving your Pokémon will require Candy and Stardust (both are automatically given to you each time you catch a new Pokémon).

Sweets: each Pokémon (and his / her evolution (s)) has its own candy you collect in each capture Pokémon and transferring a Pokémon to Professor Saule, which in turn gives you a treat for the corresponding creature.

How To Transfer Pokémon

Another way to get candy is to transfer Pokémon to Professor Willow in exchange for sweets. To do this, click on the Poké Ball in the bottom of the screen, and choose Pokémon. Next, click on the Pokémon that you'd like to transfer.

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select Transfer. Then select Yes to complete the exchange.

After transferring your Pokémon, Professor Willow will give you some species-related candy. Use this candy to power up your Pokémon of that category.

Note: On the Pokémon information sheet, the number of candies is unique to each creature. The amount of stardust available is comprehensive.

How To Power Up Pokémon

To power up and/or evolve one of your Pokémon, tap on your avatar in the bottom right of your screen. In the menu that appears, go to Pokémon.

Next, choose the Pokémon that you'd like to power up. The Pokémon's data sheet will open. You can power up your Pokémon by simply tapping the button on your screen. The ability to power up your Pokémon is contingent on your Pokémon's evolution, your level, and the availability of candy and stardust.

How To Transfer a Pokémon

To transfer a Pokémon, touch your avatar in the bottom right of the screen, select Pokémon in the menu that appears, and then choose the Pokémon you'd like to transfer.

The Pokémon's data sheet will open. Scroll to the bottom of the form and find the Transfer button. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the transfer.

At the beginning of the game, you must devote yourself more toward the capture of Pokémon, the recovery of objects with Poké Stops, and hatching eggs. This will increase your level in the game, and open your avatar to more exciting adventures and possibilities.

Pokémon GO Tips

Please note that due to the newness of the game, many of the below sites are far from being comprehensive. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Pokémon GO Interactive Maps

The Pokewebgo community is a free application for locating rare Pokemon, Pokéstops, arenas, and other meeting places. Use any of the available filters to locate different markers. Note that Pokewebgo is a collaborative map, so multiple users in one area may be using the tool at the same time. While far from complete, Pokewebgo is a useful tool that allow players to help each other in the game.

Pokecrew is another interactive map tool that was designed for user collaboration. Using this map, users can find, report, and share local Pokémon sightings.

Pokémon GO Guides

There are also an array of guides that can help players to become a true Pokémon master.

IGN is a great source for any and all Pokémon GO-related queries, and tips. The site includes Pokémon GO basics such as how to get started, how to use items acquired at Pokéstops, guided maps, as well as some tips on how to catch various Pokémon. Other articles include small cheats, advice for trading Pokémon, and how to succeed in battles.

Prima Games is another great site that offers advice for beginner players, to more experienced players. Information ranges from the extremely simple, such as "how to install the application" to more technical questions such as "how to evolve a Pokemon". Text, images, and videos will help you to become a good trainer!

Image: © 2funki4wheelz - Pixabay.com


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