Late last year, a little developer known as Niantic shocked the world by unveiling a project that could potentially bring Pokémon to real life… sort of. Pokémon GO is this mobile game that brings us closer to the creatures that were part of several childhoods through the use of budding augmented-reality technology.
Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality makes use of real-life environments to create virtual objects, whereas the latter creates a virtual space entirely. That’s why we can see Pikachu, Psyduck, Charmander and 148 other Pokémon through the use of GPS, internet connectivity and the rear cameras of our smartphones.
The game may be small as compared to bigger titles playable on consoles and handhelds, but the possibilities in the game are big. Players can capture Pokémon, defend and conquer gyms in Pokémon GO but there is more to the game than meets the eye. Players were so caught up with travelling and Pokémon hunting, and they might have missed out on a few features. And who can blame them? We’re 100% certain that fans are very eager to catch Pokemon out in the wild.
Despite being an excellent title, there’s no doubting that the game is still in its early stages and there might be more included in future updates. For now, we need to enjoy the game as it is, so here’s a few thing you didn’t know you could do in Pokémon GO.
11. Hatch Eggs Easily
Like in the RPG games based on Pokémon, players of Pokémon GO will stumble upon an Egg from time to time. These Eggs contain a random Pokémon and part of the fun is seeing what Pokemon will come out of the shell. However, it’s a bit troublesome to hatch the Egg, as players need to travel from 5-10 km to do so.
Luckily, there’s a workaround to the arduous task and it’s as simple as getting in a vehicle. Simply get in a vehicle and run the game, and then travel to keep the kilometers rolling. Some players report that the game won’t count kilometers if it notices that you’re going way to fast; which is likely to occur when you’re riding a car. The workaround to this is just stick with a bike and go at a steady pace.
So far, no Pokémon GO related accidents have been reported. Unless you don’t want to be the first guy to get in a car crash thanks to Pokemon GO, then don’t “Pokémon GO and drive.”
10. Use It As A Real GPS
Niantic turned our own surroundings into a virtual Hoenn, Kalos, Kanto, Johto or whatever Pokémon region you want with the use of augmented-reality. Using the GPS, players can watch as their avatars travel along with them in search of Pokemon Gyms, Poke Stops and most importantly, Pokémon.
With Pokemon GO using a real-life map as a game world, players are assured that they won’t get lost while playing the game. Landmarks and popular areas are listed as Poke Stops so this helps the player get around more. It’s not actually recommended to use as a personal navigation system, as an app like Google Maps is a whole lot better.
However, if you’re looking to get around while playing the game, Pokémon GO could function as a 2-in-1 app, so you get to save up on a few percent of your battery life as you no longer have to check Google Maps for directions.
9. Explore New Landmarks And Locations
Making use of the GPS, Pokémon GO turns real-life locations into very useful areas for players to get in. Landmarks can either be Poke Stops; that can get you goodies like Revive or Pokeballs. It can also be a Pokémon Gym that you could conquer or defend along with other players.
Pokémon GO will keep track of all landmarks, from historic areas like the White House, the Grand Canyon and many more, to lesser known landmarks such as police stations and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Players are going anywhere just to encounter Pokémon, so discoveries are bound to happen.
The game pushes players to travel to meet more trainers and Pokémon, so like Ash Kechum, players get to discover areas that they’ve possibly never heard of thanks to the game, keeping track of all landmarks in the world. So it’s not just experiences that Pokémon GO gives, but new places to discover as well.
8. Track Down Specific Pokemon
With 151 Pokémon available to capture, the chances of you coming across your favorite Pokémon; multiple times if you want to evolve it, is put at low odds. What the game doesn’t tell you is that it can help you track down specific species, so you don’t have to rely on random encounters only.
Across from your avatar logo at the screen, you might notice a small bar with a few Pokémon pictures on it. Clicking this opens up a new menu that show’s off the Pokemon, you could possibly encounter wherever you are. If the Pokémon you want is not nearby, simply move to a different area.
Under the Pokémon pictures are a set of footprints that indicate the chances of you actually encountering the Pokemon. No footprints mean you’ll face it almost instantly, while more footprints mean you have to walk a bit more for it.
7. Calculate How Much Candy And Stardust You Need To Power Up Pokemon
One of the integral parts in Pokémon GO is to make your Pokémon evolve and get stronger. To do this, players need Stardust to increase CP and then Candy to allow the Pokémon to evolve to its next form (if there is one).
What players don’t know is that the Stardust and Candy requirement can easily be calculated, so you’ll have the appropriate number of items ready at bay. Redditor zehipp0 discovered this small little formula that let’s you figure out how much you need for one Pokémon.
To do this, you simply have to take the current CP of the Pokémon and divide it by the CP/power up. This may not seem much but it’ll be very useful if you’re planning on managing which Pokémon you’ll be spending Stardust and Candy on.
6. Increase Your Chances Of Getting Rare And More Powerful Pokemon
One of the things that Pokémon GO doesn’t say to players is that the Pokémon you encounter are affected by your current level. The higher your level is, the higher the chances of getting more rare Pokémon and Pokémon with higher CP or Combat Power.
From the start, players will encounter basic Pokémon like the three starters, Psyduck, Caterpie and several others. While they are still part of the Pokedex, things could get troublesome later on if you begin to encounter stronger players while you have weak ones at hand.
At higher levels, you’ll begin to encounter Pokémon like Abra, Fearow, Machop and more. Even better is that you’ll get to meet Pokémon with higher CP. Be forewarned though that you should have a hefty sum of PokeBalls when encountering them as they are pretty hard to catch and a few tries may be needed before getting them… that is if they don’t run away.
5. Save Battery
One of the main issues in Pokémon GO for now is that it drains the batteries of smartphones very very quickly. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the game makes use of GPS and internet connectivity to fully function. Players worldwide are currently looking for workarounds to make the game and their phones, last longer.
Niantic did include a battery saver mode in Pokémon GO, but it still doesn’t do much. Too get the best out of the batter saver mode, turn your phone upside down first. The screen will darken and all that’s left to see is a nearly invisible Pokémon GO logo.
With this method, the game will be running at minimum battery consumption. Steps will still be counted, and what’s better is that you’ll still receive notifications from events such as encounters, egg hatches and many more. Still, the game will consume a lot of battery so keep a power bank at bay.
4. Get In Trouble
The game makes use of GPS and internet connectivity. Needless to say, the location of players can easily be determined by areas that are hotspots to trainers like Pokémon Gyms and Poke Stops; which are actually landmarks in real life. Players would essentially flock these areas in hopes of finding items and other trainers.
Apparently, there are a few evildoers that use the app to rob others. As we’ve said, locations are pretty easy to determine thanks to the GPS. In another case, a young lady stumbled upon a corpse while hunting for Pokémon!
The safest thing to do is plan out your adventure beforehand. Make sure that you’re not heading into somewhere potentially dangerous to avoid any mishaps. Who knew that having close to reality Pokemon would also bring a real-life version of Team Rocket in our footsteps?
3. Pikachu As A Starter
Pokémon GO starts out as any other Pokémon RPG game. Players need to first pick their starter Pokemon from three choices. Since this is the first generation of Pokémon, the starters are Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle. However, unbeknownst to some, there’s another starter you could choose from.
The fourth starter choice is none other than the Pokémon series mascot itself, Pikachu. This yellow fur ball of electricity might be the choice for some as it is very adorable. Unlike the other three starters, Pikachu has no third evolution.
To make Pikachu as the starter, players simply have to run away from the first three encounters that include the usual starters. By the fourth battle, it’s Pikachu that’s going to appear and getting it is as easy as flicking a finger.
2. Catch Legendaries
Players should’ve at least captured 10 or so species of Pokémon by now and as good as it sounds, things are probably a tad boring to some who’ve gotten used to seeing the same Pokémon over and over again but they may have forgotten that there are these so-called Legendary Pokémon making an appearance in Pokémon GO.
These Legendaries are what players should really aim on capturing as they are the most powerful of the bunch. Based on the trailer for Pokémon GO, Niantic isn’t holding back on giving us these powerful creatures which include Mew, MewTwo, Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos.
For now, we’ve yet to figure out how exactly to catch these Legendaries but Niantic could introduce the method within the following months. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that no microtransaction is needed to get a hold of the Mew Duo and the Legendary Bird Trio.
1. Make Friends
This might not actually be a surprise to some, but thanks to Pokémon GO, gamers and strangers worldwide are starting to meet each other and make acquaintances. The whole point of Pokémon GO is that players will have to travel to get the most out of the game and if every player thinks the same, they’re bound to bump in with each other.
What makes making friends a whole lot easier also is that they all share the same common interest of liking the series. From the start, there’s already a mutual bond between two or more strangers thanks to a cool mobile app that’s all about connection.
If you’re a bit short on acquaintances and looking to make some more, then try downloading Pokémon GO and then going out into the world to encounter not only wild Pokémon, but enthusiasts just like you. Just be sure to keep a keen eye on strangers as things could get potentially dangerous.