Pokemon Go: An Introductory Guide

by Andrew Seetoo

Screenshot_20160730-181756Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game based on the Pokemon universe. The game requires players to physically visit real world locations and search out Pokemon. As part of JY Pathways, this guide was developed to present an introduction on how to play the game and get the most from your experience of exploring both the real and virtual world. Have fun!

Getting Started

Screenshot_20160730-181914Your first steps upon logging in and starting the game are to create an avatar for yourself. There are options to change clothing, backpacks, and accessories. After creating your avatar, you are given the option to catch one of the three original starter Pokemon. Catching is fairly simple, you throw your Poke Ball by swiping up and releasing. The three original starters will appear in random locations around your location. If you ignore these Pokemon and move far enough that they disappear, Pikachu will appear as a possible starter Pokemon for you as well.


PokeStops are the cube shaped markers that appear throughout the world. Upon moving within range of a PokeStop, the cube transforms into a silhouette of a Poke Ball. Tapping this marker reveals info about the PokeStop and enables you to spin the central image in order to receive experience, Poke Balls, potions, and other useful items. PokeStops reset every five minutes, allowing you to obtain more items from it.


In addition to PokeStops, Gyms are an additional marker that appears throughout the world. These locations are unlocked at level 5 and allow you to fight for control of the gym with your Pokemon. Gyms are held by one of the three teams: Mystic, Valor, and Instinct. Other players leave Pokemon in gyms to defend it and must be defeated. Gyms have prestige levels that must be reduced to zero in order for control to shift. Players can increase a friendly gym’s prestige by training at the gym or decrease a rival gym’s prestige by battling. For gym battles, every Pokemon has two attacks. One is a regular attack that is activated by tapping your screen. The other is a charge attack that is activated by holding down your finger on the screen after your Pokemon’s power bar has filled. During a gym battle, it is also possible to dodge opponent attacks by swiping to the left or right.

Improving capture chance

Screenshot_20160730-182001There are several ways to increase your chances of successfully capturing a Pokemon. The easiest method is to use a higher quality Poke Ball. You start off your game with regular Poke Balls, and as you progress through the game, you will unlock higher tier Poke Balls that will increase your chances of capturing a Pokemon.

Berries are an item that will increase your capture chances. They can be obtained from visiting PokeStops. Prior to attempting to capture with a Poke Ball, a berry can be given to a wild Pokemon to increase capture chance. The effect of the berry lasts until the Pokemon escapes the Poke Ball, after which another berry must be given in order for the effect to be reinstated.

A white circle appears around a wild Pokemon when attempting to capture it. There is also an additional colored circle that appears as well and changes size. With green being the highest and red the lowest, the color of the circle indicates your current chance of capturing the Pokemon. The size of the colored circle also affects capture rate as well. When the circle is largest, your capture chance is at its lowest. When the circle is at its smallest, your capture chance is at its highest. Simply put, throw your Poke Ball when the inner colored circle is smallest.

Paid Items

Screenshot_20160730-181944Pokemon Go is a free game with microtransactions. Players can buy varying amounts of Pokecoins, the in-game premium currency, with real world currency. Pokecoins can then be exchanged for items such as additional Poke Balls, Incense to increase Pokemon spawn rates, and extra Pokemon storage room. However, it is possible to obtain Pokecoins for free. At the top right of the shop interface is a shield icon. For every gym a player currently holds, 10 free Pokecoins can be redeemed up to a max of 100 per day. This can be done once every 24 hours and provides a viable method to obtaining premium items for all players.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s