Pokemon GO is now available to everyone around the world, it’s only “officially” available to those in New Zealand or Australia but there are ways around that. Having used it for a short while, I can tell you it’s absolutely amazing and quite surreal. To get you started on your Poketrainer journey, you’ll need the best info available. Everything you need to get started, from install to evolving, is right here in this article!
It’s easy to install no matter what part of the world you’re from. See the individual guides below:
Android – Follow this link and download the APK file. Once it’s downloaded, run it and it’ll ask you to allow the installation (if you haven’t already got “Install from untrusted sources” enabled), don’t worry, this won’t change any permanent settings, it’s a one time deal. Once it’s been installed you can open it up and start playing!
iOS – Slightly more difficult. First you need to log out on your apple ID and then register a new apple ID, but with the location set to Australia. You can then download the app from the app store with your Australian apple ID. When the app is downloaded, you can log out of your Australian apple ID and log back into your normal one.
After registration, you’ll be greeted with the UI shown in the screenshot. You’ll first need to choose a starter Pokemon, so after you’ve chosen Charmander, one or two wild Pokemon will appear nearby. You can see all around your local area at this point, showing you nearby points of interests and important locations. The UI is very well made and you’ll have no trouble finding your way around.
Bonus tip: If you tap on each starter Pokemon and then run away, a Pikachu will appear!
Locations are very important, you will find points of interest such as gyms and Pokestops. You will also notice that your surrounding areas are coloured differently, this is to indicate the different structures and land around the place but it also tells you where different Pokemon reside. It’s important to keep moving if you want to find different types of Pokemon and fill that Pokedex!
Pokestops are real-life landmarks that allows you to collect Pokemon eggs (more on them later) or obtain more Pokeballs, which are used for catching (again, more on that later). To collect these items, you need to be close to a Pokestop, once you are close you tap on it and spin the circle with the image in it and your loot will drop!
7. Levelling Up
Pokemon GO has not adopted the exp/levelling up system in previous Pokemon titles, it’s replaced it with a “CP” system, CP stands for Combat Power and is basically the power level of the Pokemon. It’s worth noting that the higher trainer level you are, the higher CP Pokemon you’re likely to encounter. You increase your trainer level by catching Pokemon!
You can increase your Pokemon’s CP by using precious Stardust and Pokemon Candies on them, which will be explained a bit more further down.
Stardust is the primary resource for improving your Pokemon’s Combat Power. It’s obtained by catching, hatching or transferring Pokemon, so basically playing the game. It’s actually quite easy to obtain and allows you to keep increasing your Pokemon’s power. Thankfully you can’t purchase Stardust with real money otherwise it’d be severely pay2win.
As you may have noticed in the image for the previous entry, you evolve your Pokemon while viewing it and using “Pokemon name Candy”. This candy is obtained by catching Pokemon or transferring Pokemon to the professor. You transfer Pokemon by viewing it, scrolling to the bottom and tapping “Transfer”. Each Pokemon has candies that are specific for their species, so a Pikachu candy cannot be used to evolve a Magikarp. You need to catch/transfer the same Pokemon to earn candies, it’s a little bit grindy but isn’t too bad, especially as you will level up your Pokemon trainer level along the wide.
After you’ve reached level 5, you’ll be prompted to join a team with a choice between Blue, Yellow and Red. You’ll also unlock the ability to visit and challenge gyms. Each team fights for domination over the gyms. Once you’ve defeated a rival gym, you can leave a captured Pokemon to defend it for your team. You can battle gyms owned by members of the same team to increase your Pokemon Trainer level.
You can place one of your Pokemon inside a gym that your team owns to help defend it. You also get a nice bonus of some Stardust and even Pokecoins per day, per Pokemon assigned to a gym. Pokecoins are the in-game paid-for currency.
Unfortunately, the only way to battle at the moment is to challenge gyms. Player versus player battling and even battling wild Pokemon is something that has been left out completely. This will definitely change in the future, battling is arguably one of the greatest features of the Pokemon games and is sorely missed. For now, focus on collecting your Pokes and increasing your trainer level.
The method of obtaining and hatching eggs is rather ingenious. You obtain eggs by visiting Pokestops, you don’t always get one but they’re not too rare. After you’ve received an egg, you need to place it in your Egg Incubator (which you start with) by tapping it in the egg list (next to the Pokemon list). You are then required to walk a certain distance while incubating. It’ll eventually hatch into a cool new Pokemon!
1. Is it pay2win?
Apps seem to milk the user for as much money as they can, they suck players in and give them a nice start that makes them like the game before throwing a load of offers and payment-related info at them. In Pokemon GO, there are no ads at all and you can play successfully, completely for free. You can purchase things like Incense which lures Pokemon to you, you can purchase Pokeballs for catching said Pokemon. However, all of these items are easily obtainable by visiting a few locations.
Just on my way to work this morning I visited 5 locations, I earned 14 Pokeballs, 1 egg and 1 incense. I also caught a ton of Pokemon and increased my trainer level. You can purchase your way to obtaining lots of Pokemon but nothing guarantees that these Pokemon will be as strong as those obtained by free players. Even then, it’s actually fun to do it all for free.
Pokemon GO is definitely not pay2win or pay2play.