A guide to get you Pokémon GO-ing

Posted on July 6, 2016

As previously reported, Pokémon GO has been released in Australia and along with it comes our very handy guide to becoming the next Pokémon Master.

Catching Pokémon:
After creating and naming your character you’ll be thrown straight into the beautiful, augmented world that is Pokémon GO – ready to capture your very first poké-pal. Beginning with a choice of the gen 1 starters (Squirtle FTW) you can tap on the Pokémon you’d like to capture which will bring you to the capture screen.

From here you can turn off or on AR (Augmented Reality), run from the Pokémon, take a photo, access your items or capture the Pokémon!

To capture, you flick the Pokéball (using your finger) towards your new friend.  You can miss and waste Pokéballs, so be accurate!  The larger red circle around the Pokémon is the area you’re aiming for but if you manage to land it in the smaller green circle then prepare yourself for bonus exp!

At later levels of the game and after you have captured more Pokémon the chance of the Pokémon busting out of the ball is increased.  However, don’t fret about escaping Pokémon. If you’re still early in the game, the chance to capture is very high, if not guaranteed.

Once a Pokémon is captured they are added to your collection, updated in your Pokédex and you will receive exp, stardust and candy.  The stardust and candy are used to level up and evolve your Pokémon to make them stronger!

Character Experience:
You can earn exp and consequently level up by:

  • Capturing a Pokémon (100 exp)
  • Capturing a new Pokémon (500 bonus exp)
  • Achieving a ‘Nice’ Throw (10 bonus exp)
  • Achieving a ‘Great’ Throw (50 bonus exp)
  • Achieving an ‘Excellent’ Throw (75 bonus exp)
  • Hatching a Pokémon (200 exp)
  • Defeating a Pokémon at a Gym (50 exp)
  • Defeating a Pokémon at Training (50 exp)
  • Evolving a Pokémon (500 exp)
  • Spinning a Pokéstop (50 exp)

Once enough experience is earned your character will level up which provides you with goodies such as additional Pokéballs and more.  It is important to continue to level up your character so that you can begin to encounter more powerful Pokémon and participate in player level restricted content such as visiting a gym (level 5).

Gyms and Pokéstops:
Gyms appear on your map as structures  with a floating Pokéball symbol above them (see above, right image).  Once you reach level 5 you will be able to visit a gym where you can choose from one of three teams.  Visiting an unoccupied gym will give you the option of becoming that gyms leader; pitting your best Pokémon against all who challenge you.  Visiting an occupied gym will see you battle against the leader (if they are of a differing team colour to you) or training with them (if they are of the same team colour).  In either case you will battle them by clicking on their Pokémon to attack or dodging attacks by moving left or right.

If you are the leader of the gym and win a battle your gym will increase in prestige and potentially level up but if you lose then your gym will decrease in prestige.

Pokéstops appear on the map as a blue points of interest. You can interact with them by clicking on them and spinning the icon.  Spinning the icon will grant you exp and items such as Pokéballs and Eggs.  Eggs can be hatched into Pokémon by placing them in an incubator and walking around with them.

Items / Store:
The game’s store allows you to pay real money for Pokécoins that are in turn used to buy items.  Some of the items that are available in the store include:

  • Pokéballs (to capture more Pokémon)
  • Incense (to lure Pokémon towards you for capture)
  • Lucky Eggs (double exp boost)
  • Lure Module (attract Pokémon to a Pokéstop)
  • Egg Incubator (used for hatching eggs)

So there you have it. You now have absolutely no excuses for not becoming the very best (like no one ever was).