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Pokemon Go Beginner's Guide

Highly anticipated by fans of the license as well as early adopters of the augmented reality (AR) technology, Pokémon Go is finally on our smartphones. After testing the application all night (literally all night), here is a beginner’s guide for those of you wishing to become the best trainer around the block!
 

How to install Pokémon Go?

For this, nothing more simple: read this post for a link to download the APK file for Android devices, or a guide on how to install the app on iOS devices.

Playing Pokémon Go

After you customize your character to your liking (physical characteristics, clothes, name...), you'll finally be able to capture a Pokémon in real life through the AR feature. While the starter Pokémon will be quite easy to fine (you’ll get to choose between Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur), for the others you will need to walk around until you come across one of the many Pokémon in the area. Two tips available to you to find as much as possible: keep an eye out for shaking leave or use an Incense (item in your bag), which attracts them to you for 30 minutes. The Lure, meanwhile, works the same way as the Incense, but only in Pokéstops and can also benefit other nearby players.

When Pokémon appears, a fight starts between you and him. The goal is to capture the Pokemon as soon as possible in order to avoid taking too much of their attacks. To do this, you must aim carefully with a Pokéball, adjusting your strength as required (flying Pokemon like Zubat require more strength).

When you catch a Pokémon, you also earn experience points; 600 for Pokémon you catch for the first time, 100 for Pokémon you caught before, as well as bonus points according to the quality of your throw (Nice, Great, etc..); as well as Stardust (used to increase the power of any Pokémon) and Candy (used to increase the power of a specific Pokémon and those among its evolution line or make them evolve).

Pokémon Transfer

If you’re running out of Pokémon storage or just need some extra Candy to evolve or increase the CP of one of your allies, simply use the Transfer feature on a Pokémon’s page to send them to the Professor.

Pokéstops

These will be the most common icons you will see in the game, generally located in unusual places: government infrastructures, museums, universities... When you are close to a Pokéstop, it’s shape on the map changes to show a Pokéball-shaped medallions and contain various items including Pokéballs, Potions, and so on. Just click on their icons before they disappear to add them to your inventory.

Note that Pokéstops will unusable for 5 minutes after you’ve claimed the items.

Gyms

These will clearly the most important and interesting places of the game. When you get to access one of them for the first time (i.e. after reaching level 5 ), you must first select the team to which you want to change. You will then have the choice between Team Mystique (whose emblem the ice-type legendary bird Articuno), Team Courage (with the fire-type legendary bird Moltres), or Team Instinct (represented by the electric-type legendary bird Zapdos). At the moment, this choice will only affect your interaction with gyms and will not have any effect on the other features of the game.

Once that choice made, you can take part in your first fight. You will start by choosing the 6 Pokémon who are your allies during battle. Once that is done, simply click 'Go' to start the battle: From then on, simply attack the gym’s Pokémon until you’ve defeated all of them. During the battle, the life bar of your Pokémon will be displayed in the top left, and your opponents’ on the top right.

Players can also fight Gyms of their own faction as a form of training. Their Pokemon don't faint if they lose, and the get XP and Prestige for the Gym. Should the Gym run out of Prestige points by being beaten by an opposing faction multiple times, the assigned Pokemon will be evicted and the Gym will be conquered by the enemy.

Pokémon Go Progression

To progress in the game, different means are available to you:
 
  • Leveling your character

Obtain experience points (XP) to increase your character’s levels.

To obtain more XP, you need to catch Pokémon, improve your Pokéball throws and complete the achievements you can see on at the bottom of your trainer profile.

The XP required increases by 1000 as you level up:
  • 1000 XP to reach level 2,
  • 2000 XP to reach level 3,
  • 3000 XP to reach level 4,
  • 4000 XP to reach level 5,

And so on.
 
  • Increase the CP of your Pokémon

If you’ll want to have any real chance at fighting and conquering Gyms, you will need to increase the CP of your Pokémon.

This is rather easy, only requiring 200-600 (possibly more) Stardusts and 1 Candy specific to the Pokémon you wish to enhance.
 
  • Evolve your Pokémon

For those of you hunting for powerful Pokémon allies, evolving will be one of the most essential features after traveling to find rare Pokémon and increasing their CP. Evolving is nearly as easy as increasing the CP, with the difference that it is a much longer process (requiring 25-50 specific Candy required for evolving). That means catching at least 7 of the same Pokémon (assuming you use the Transfer feature) to evolve one.
 
  • Conquer Gyms

While the simple feat of conquering a gym can feel quite rewarding in itself, you will also be reaping various benefits, including a steady increase in their CP. 

Other rewards include 500 Stardusts and 10 Pokecoins for each Pokemon you have placed in a gym.
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