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'Pokemon Go': A guide to tips and tricks

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game in

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game in which players capture and battle creatures using their smartphones. Credit: Pokemon Go

If you’ve downloaded "Pokemon Go", chances are you’ve already caught some critters lurking in your neighborhood and maybe had the chance to battle them at a local gym. But for the uninitiated, getting started in "Pokemon Go" can be a daunting experience, especially when you don’t know much about how to play the game.

We’ve scoured the web and come up with a few handy tips and tricks to help you capture rare Pokemon and make a name for yourself as a Pokemon master.

XP is king!

One of the most important things to know about "Pokemon Go" is that you need experience points, or XP, to level up your Pokemon trainer. You’ll also need XP to access both friendly and enemy gyms, so leveling up your avatar is a must. One easy way to do this is to capture every Pokemon you encounter – even duplicates – because your avatar will gain XP for each capture. You can always trade in the duplicate Pokemon for candies, which can be used to increase the combat points, or CP, of your favorite characters.

Visit Pokestops and get free loot!

"Pokemon Go" allows users to spend real money to purchase in-game goodies, but there are other ways to get free items without spending a dime. Pokestops are locations within the game world where players can gather to receive free in-game items, such as Pokeballs and incense, and to chat with other people who are also playing the game. These special locations are typically located near public monuments and other prominent locations in the area, giving players a reason to explore outside their own neighborhood. Many Pokestops are also located on college campuses and at parks, so be sure to visit as many places as you can to maximize the amount of loot you get.

Can’t find Pokemon? Lure them to you!

If you’re really having trouble finding Pokemon in your area, you can always use Incense to bring them to you. This is especially useful if you live in a more remote area where Pokestops and public landmarks are in short supply, or if you don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home. The game will supply you with some incense for free, but after that you’ll have to either use real money or in-game funds to purchase more. If you’re feeling particularly generous, use incense at a Pokestop to give all other players in the area the same added effect.

Look for eggs

Sometimes visiting a Pokestop will gift users with an egg, which contain either a Pokemon or other free in-game items. Rare Pokemon can sometimes be hiding within those eggs, so it’s a good idea to gather as many eggs as possible to increase your chances of getting a rare critter. Once you have an egg, place it in an egg incubator and simply walk the required distance on your GPS needed to hatch the egg. Results vary, but typically eggs that require users to walk a longer distance before hatching will contain rarer creatures.

Be social

"Pokemon Go" is a game made to be played with other people, so be sure to stop and talk to other trainers when you visit a Pokestop or run into someone else playing the game. Other trainers may be able to give you hints as to where to find certain creatures, and spotting a location with lots of players gathered around is typically a good indication that there are Pokemon nearby. Remember, if you’re willing to share your knowledge with another player, chances are good that they’ll be willing to return the favor.


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