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Review by a Noob: Pokemon Go with Tips


With the U.S. release of Pokemon Go this week, millions of people downloaded the app in order to catch them all, myself included. But, to make a quick confession, I did not grow up with the same love and understanding of Pokemon as the rest of my millennial counterparts, so getting this game was certainly a different experience for me.

So, to give a description to the basis of my understanding prior to getting Pokemon Go, I knew a small selection of the names of different Pokemon, like Eevee, Pikachu, Squirtle, Mew, etc. I knew you used Pokeballs to catch Pokemon, and that you can battle your Pokemon versus other trainers. That pretty much sums it up.

I downloaded Pokemon Go, because so many of my friends were playing it and were so excited, so I hoped on the bandwagon. Honestly, the game is more fun when you can tell your friends excitedly that you caught your favorite, or got the Pikachu starter glitch. I designed my trainer and picked my starter (before I knew of the Pikachu glitch) as Charmander and went on my way to catching them all.

The servers have been awful since launch, where it will randomly cut out for no reason and you can’t catch them all for a few minutes to a few hours.They have gotten a little better, but who knows what will happen when the release goes beyond US, Australia, and New Zealand. For my friends who do not have the game yet, the game will release once the servers have been fixed and stabilized, so there is no specific release date. But trust me, you want stable servers, cause it’s sucks when you lose your Growlithe because the server crashed.

Here are some helpful tips when first getting started:

  1. Pokestops are places you can visit and get freebies, such as more Pokeballs, eggs, incense, revive, and potions. Pokestops have about a 5 minutes cool down, so you can go back multiple times in a day to get the goodies. Also, you do not need to go IN to the place to get the loot, so do not trespass or loiter where you don’t need to go.
  2. The app must be open to do anything, from hatching eggs to spawning Pokemon. There is a battery saver mode in the settings, but every time you log out of the app the settings reset, so you have to check it.
  3. When you reach level 5 and go to a gym, you will be given the chance to join one of three teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, or Team Valor. You can’t change teams later, and the point of the teams is to see who you align with when battling for gym takeover. However, the amount of people on a team does not give an advantage in team takeover; the battles for gym are balanced. So, teams are more of a point of pride than anything else.
  4.  Your phone will make noise and vibrate when a Pokemon appears, so you don’t need to be looking at it to know it is there.
  5. There is a glitch where, after you catch the Pokemon, the ball freezes and you can’t do anything. This doesn’t not mean you didn’t catch it. Just wait for a little and then restart the app, check your journal and see if you caught or not. If you caught it, awesome! If not, it either ran away our will re-spawn by you and you can try again.
  6. You can suggest/ request removal of locations for gyms and pokestops (which were originally formed through the other Niantics game Ingress), and change your username. This found in the support page of the Pokemon Go website.

Last note: do not catch and drive! I almost got hit by a car because the driver insisted on stopping at the worst time ever at a Pokestop.

UPDATE 7/15/16: The game has been released in more countries, including the UK and Europe. Also, server issues have been fixed for the most part for the US.

Who was your starter and what team did you choose? Let me know in the comments.

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