Pokémon GO remains one of the most popular mobile games of all time. The simple formula of Game Freak’s biggest franchise has proven to be a huge success when adapted to smart devices. With Niantic committed to improving the experience, the game only gets bigger every day. More Pokémon, more features, and more research tasks are added to keep people coming back for more.
Many people are playing Pokémon GO, but those players have also had to learn a lot of things along the way. There are all sorts of tricks and tips to get to higher levels and catch all of the Pokémon. It’s not an easy task to be a master of the game, but there are ways to rise through the ranks. On top of that, there are all sorts of quirks and challenges to Pokémon GO that most people discovered through playing. It’s unfortunate because a lot of time and stress could’ve been saved had they known how to overcome those obstacles before downloading the game.
There’s more to Pokémon GO than meets the eye. With its surprising amount of depth, it can be easy to find yourself frustrated or disillusioned with the game. Now that the game is getting much bigger, we’re exploring 25 things we wish we knew about it before we downloaded it. With it being a free download, these are things you may want to consider before you put it on your smart device. Who knows? You might get stronger Pokémon as a result.
25 Download Size
A lot of Pokémon GO exists over an online network, but it still takes some storage to have the game on-hand as well as storing some of its assets. The game is far from massive, but it still takes around 350 MB right now (which is 150 MB less than half a GB). Still, people who are struggling for space might want to get around to deleting some of their apps before they try to make space for this game. It’s also important to have extra storage for any updates.
24 Battery Drainer
If there’s one thing Pokémon GO is notorious for, it’s draining phone battery. The game eats through a full phone battery in just a few hours. It’s important to bring an extra charging bank with you if you plan on playing the game for a while. On top of that, there’s a battery saver option in the settings that turns the screen off while the phone is held upside down (while still running the game). Keep in mind that the older your phone is, the less you’ll be able to play.
23 Works Better In Populated Areas
Despite the whole premise of Pokémon revolving around exploring the wild to try and find elusive Pokémon, Pokémon GO doesn’t work the same way.
It functions the opposite, rewarding players who either live in or frequently travel to heavily populated areas.
Those who live in rural communities are going to have a harder time finding a lot of Pokémon, let alone getting their hands on a rare creature. Those who live in the middle of nowhere are basically out of luck.
22 Big Data Usage
Pokémon GO runs over an online server, which means that most people will be using mobile data to play as they walk around town. That’s not a huge deal to those who have unlimited data plans, but frugal players might find themselves in between a rock and a hard place. It’s possible to play the game using Wi-Fi, but without access to any proper points, it may prove more difficult in the long run. If you want to get serious about the game, consider an unlimited data plan.
21 Not All Pokémon
Currently, there are over 800 Pokémon in the franchise across seven different generations. However, Pokémon GO doesn’t have all of them available to capture. As a matter of fact, the game only started out with the original 151 minus the legendary Pokémon. Now, the first four generations are all available in Pokémon GO, which means that there are over 400 to capture and add to the Pokédex. We suspect any remaining Pokémon will be added to the game at a later date.
20 CP Instead Of Levels
Most seasoned Pokémon players are used to the level-up system from the core games. However, Pokémon GO doesn’t use that system, instead opting for a different mechanic altogether. CP is how a Pokémon’s strength is largely determined. As players level up, they can encounter Pokémon with higher CP. However, CP doesn’t translate to how Pokémon evolve. You could find a Rattata with over 500 CP while capturing a Beedrill with only 23 CP. It’s all based on the player’s level and the luck of the draw.
19 Poké Stops Spin Once
If you don’t want to spend any money on Pokémon GO, then the only way to get more items like potions and Poké Balls is to visit Poké Stops. These are significant real-world locations that have discs in Pokémon GO that can be spun for extra items. However, it’s not practical to sit on those spots and wait for them to spin again. Poké Stops only spin occasionally, then go on a cooldown. It’s best to find a place with a few Poké Stops that a player can walk around.
18 The Impracticality Of Gyms
Gyms are the big methods of battling in Pokémon GO. Certain locations in the game are marked as gyms that players from certain teams can take over. Other players can challenge those gyms, but it’s usually impractical to do so.
The best players in each area will likely have already taken over those gyms.
You could use all your items and Pokémon to take the gym over, but it won’t be long before you lose it once again to someone stronger than you. What’s worse is that the rewards aren’t all that great for conquering a gym.
17 Inventory Management
Some players will have access to a lot of Poké Stops or will have a better idea of how to stockpile their items. This will often lead to players having full bags, which makes them unable to spin Poké Stops, thus preventing them from getting new items and even fulfilling certain research tasks. If your inventory is limited, it’s best to micromanage it based on the items you use the most. However, if it’s becoming a serious issue, it’s possible to purchase upgrades for your inventory.
16 Hatching Eggs
Much like in the regular Pokémon games, players can be given Pokémon eggs in Pokémon GO that hatch after a certain number of steps is reached. However, it’s crucial to know how that works. Pokémon GO doesn’t track individual steps when on a smartphone. Instead, it calculates how much distance someone travels in a short amount of time. This means that walking in a small circle for five minutes isn’t going to get you any closer to hatching your egg.
15 Collecting Pokémon Candies
Evolving Pokémon is much different in Pokémon GO than the regular games. Instead of raising a Pokémon’s level until it evolves, the mobile game uses character-specific Pokémon candy. If you collect enough of that candy, then a Pokémon can evolve. Candy can only be obtained by catching, transferring, and walking with a Pokémon of a particular species. This means that players will have to be mindful of the Pokémon they want to evolve and catch accordingly. It can also lead to some frustrating grind sessions.
14 Different Berries
When it comes to catching difficult Pokémon, Pokémon GO doesn’t leave players completely in the dark.
Berries were brought to the game to ease the burden.
There are Razz Berries to make a Pokémon easier to capture, Pinap Berries to double the amount of candy rewarded with a successful capture, and a few more. It’s worth noting to understand what your main goal is when catching more Pokémon so you can plan which berries you want to use. That way you don’t needlessly waste them.
13 The Game Doesn’t Always Run Well
Pokémon GO is a game with a lot of players. With so many people logged into the server, it can be strenuous on the game. This leads to slow load times for the map and difficulty in processing certain actions. It’s common to run past a Poké Stop and spin it only to find that the game didn’t register it. The same can be said for tapping on a Pokémon to capture it. The game isn’t always as smooth as it should be, and it can cause people to miss out on some rare Pokémon.
12 You Can Only Work With Players On The Same Team
When it comes to taking down a gym, it’s best to do it with a team of friends. That way, you can all support each other and throw in multiple Pokémon to defend it. However, you have to be on the same team with your friends in order to do this. If you’re on Team Valor and your friends are on Team Instinct, you won’t be able to properly work together to take down gyms. Furthermore, you can’t put your Pokémon in your friend’s gym if they’re on a different team.
11 Event Pokémon
Every once in a while, Niantic hosts special in-game events for Pokémon GO to allow players to catch some special creatures. Most holidays come with the chance at catching a Pikachu wearing an appropriate hat. Other times, they introduce a new Pokémon and increase the chance a player will encounter it for a limited time. It’s important to keep an eye on updates from the developers so you don’t miss out on catching an exclusive Pokémon. You’ll get bragging rights for some time.
10 Legendary Raids Are Tough
Legendary Pokémon are some of the rarest and most powerful creatures in Pokémon GO. That said, to find most of them, you need to encounter them in a Raid Battle and take them down.
However, that’s a lot harder than it sounds.
All Legendary Raid Battles are extremely difficult. Even with all six of your strongest Pokémon, you won’t stand a chance at getting a new legendary. The only way you can hope to come out on top is if you tackle a Raid Battle with a strong team of friends.
9 Community Day
Pokémon GO has a few small events known as Community Days. These events typically feature a single Pokémon (like Charmander for example) and increase the encounter and spawn rate of that creature for a few hours. On top of that, there are increased chances of finding a shiny version of the specific Pokémon. Community Days usually feature Pokémon that are typically harder to find, so it’s always a good idea to take the opportunity to stock up on some candies or farm out some evolutions.
8 Research Task Rewards
As you play Pokémon GO, you might notice an icon at the bottom right of the screen that takes you to some field research tasks. Each day you complete a task, you’ll get a stamp. On the seventh day you complete a research task, you’re rewarded with a box that usually contains a rare Pokémon. Many times, these rewards give out legendary Pokémon. While you won’t be pulling a Mewtwo from these, it’s likely that you could get an Articuno or an Entei. It just depends whatever Niantic is using as the reward for a certain time period.
7 Special Research
On top of field research tasks, there are also special research quests that allow players the chance to find an extremely rare Pokémon like Mew. However, those challenges are tedious and can take a while to complete. Often, there are 10 different sets of three challenges each. They can be as simple as catching 10 Pokémon or as frustrating as finding several Ditto. Know that completing those special research quests will take a serious commitment from players. They’re only for those who are up to the challenge.
6 Saving Candy Is The Best Strategy
When players start out with Pokémon GO, it can be all too easy to just use candy to evolve their Pokémon as soon as they get the chance. However, that’s not the best strategy. CP is limited by lower levels, so it only makes sense to evolve Pokémon once the player is much more experienced, thus getting the most out of their candies. Furthermore, if players save their candy all that time, they’re guaranteed several evolutions by the time they can find stronger Pokémon.
5 How to Check A Pokémon’s Stats
Despite having a different level-up system with CP, Pokémon GO still takes a similar approach to the core games with how it has different stats for each Pokémon (it differs within species too). However, you can’t check them in-game, meaning that most people will just have to guess which of their Pokémon are stronger than the rest.
There are outside tools like the Silph Road that can tell you how effective your Pokémon is based on its stats.
You don’t want to keep feeding candy to a weak Pokémon.
4 Dodging During Battles
Battles in Pokémon GO work a bit differently than in the core games. Instead of a series of moves in a turn-based setting, players must tap on their Pokémon to execute their basic attack. In the midst of frantically tapping to deal damage, there is also a way in which players can dodge attacks from enemies. Right before the enemy is about to land a hit, swipe on your Pokémon to the left or right. If done properly, it can make your Pokémon last a lot longer in the fight.
3 You Can’t Train Pokémon
The premise behind the regular Pokémon games is that you catch a Pokémon while it’s weak and train it by having it battle other trainers and wild Pokémon. This isn’t how growth works in Pokémon GO. As a matter of fact, training Pokémon is nonexistent in the game. You can increase a Pokémon’s CP by feeding it candies of its own kind, but the CP reaches a limit after a few candies. It’s much more effective to simply catch a Pokémon that’s much more powerful.
2 Tracking Pokémon
With Pokémon GO having players walk around the Earth searching for new creatures, the game implemented a tracking system that can make finding them a bit easier. In the tracking bar, Pokémon will appear next to a picture of a nearby Poké Stop or Gym. The way the game works now, it’s only a matter of going to that location before the Pokémon goes away. You’ll almost always find what you’re looking for. That’s the best way to hunt down Pokémon as well.
1 Acquiring Coins
Pokémon GO supports in-game purchases with the use of Poké Coins. These coins can buy extra items, new clothing for your avatar, increase your inventory, and increase your Pokémon storage space.
You can buy them with real money, but there’s another way to get them.
Having your Pokémon stay in a gym will grant you Poké Coins. After they’re defeated in battle, you’ll get coins based on how long they were in there. It can be a fairly long method, but those coins add up after a while.