Pokémon Go Guide: tips, tricks, cheats and more to help you become a Pokemon Master

By Shabana Arif, Friday, 28 April 2017 17:00 GMT

Everything you need to know to catch ’em all.

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When Pokémon Go was released on iOS and Android last summer, it was almost an overnight hit. More than that: the game became a downright global phenomenon. The mainstream news went wild about it, it made a ton of money, you could scarcely go for a walk without encountering people trying to expand their Pokedex, and for a while you couldn’t escape it.

Things have calmed down a little now and much of the dust has settled from Pokemon Go’s explosive arrival, but people are still hooked on Niantic Labs, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo’s sweet little augmented reality app. The game isn’t always simple, however – and on that point we’ve got you covered.

If you’re a newcomer ready to embark on your journey as a Pokemon trainer or a veteran just looking for some help with some of the deeper aspects of Pokemon Go, we’ve got you. On this page you’ll find everything from pointers to help beginners get to grips with the basics of catching, training and battling Pokemon through to advanced strategies for those chasing specific evolutions in order to become a Pokemon Master. So… enough nattering. Let’s start at the beginning.

Basic tips for beginners

Pokemon Go is fairly simple to start playing, and the basic structure of the game is very easy to understand and get to grips with. All you have to do is create a character and then begin searching for Pokemon in the real world. You use the map (which represents your local surroundings) to track down Pokemon which you then catch using pokeballs. Once you’ve caught a range of Pokemon you can begin using them for battles. It’s not dissimilar to the main Game Boy, DS and 3DS games in this regard.

Be prepared to move

The big difference that sets Pokemon Go apart is that you’re not just looking at your phone and moving a character around. You are the character, and as a result you have to get up and get moving. Be prepared to move around – and by that we don’t just mean moving around your house and garden but also hitting the streets and walking a significant distance.

Walking around will allow you to find new types of Pokemon to catch and also to check in with Pokestops, special places in the real world that when visited will give you additional items to use in the game free of charge.

Choose your gym team wisely – it’s a one-time deal

Once you hit level 5 you’ll be faced with a choice between three different gym factions: the yellow Team Instinct, the blue Team Mystic and the red Team Valor. Choose carefully, as once the decision is made, it can’t be undone – other than by deleting your account and standing over… which you obviously don’t want to do.

If you want to learn more about the differences between the three Pokemon Go Gym teams, what do you know… we’ve got a page for that.

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Turn on battery saver mode

Before you end up deep in the Pokemon Go hole we have one key piece of advice: turn on the battery saver mode. To do this, tap the Pokeball at the bottom of the screen to see the options menu, then hit the settings cog icon in the top right. The option to enable battery saver is in there.

When this mode is enabled your phone will preserve battery when it’s not held in a position where you’d be looking at it. This lets you keep the app running to track your steps and location but enables you to save a little battery compared to when it’s on full-on top-brightness, eye-blasting mode. It makes quite a difference, and short of picking up a Pokemon Go Plus it’s the most economical way of playing the game battery-wise.

The Pokemon in the world improve with your character level

Early on you might wonder why all the Pokemon around you are low-level, scrubby Pokemon. A person can only take so many Pidgeys and Ratattas before losing it, after all. Here’s the good news: Pokemon around the world actually get better as you do.

Your trainer level determines what’s around – so a great example is that while you might encounter the occasional Charmander out in the world early on, when you level up a way you might find yourself finding Charmeleon instead. If you’re really lucky or really high level, possibly even a Charizard. Keep leveling yourself up to boost the types of Pokemon you find available to catch.

There’s more to Pokemon battling and stats than meets the eye

Behind-the-scenes, Pokemon Go is just as complicated as the main Pokemon games to a point – the game has a lot of deeply complicated interlocking systems that determine Pokemon strength and such, making every Pokemon you catch unique. Two Pikachu can actually be enormously different in terms of their skill set, and in line with that it’s definitely worth learning more about the systems behind the game.

CP is the basic value that determines a Pokemon’s overall usefulness, but CP is just the start of it. Hidden away are Individual Stats for each Pokemon that can vary wildly. It all gets pretty complicated but if you want to learn about Pokemon Go’s secret secret Pokemon Go battle stats that help to decide fights, check out our page on the matter.

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Pokemon Go Guide – Getting started

  • How to get Pikachu as your starter pokemon

    But wait! You have a first choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, but those of you who grew up with the Pokemon cartoon might want to put on your best Ash Ketchum impression. If that’s the case… well, here’s how to start with Pikachu instead.

  • More tips for gaining XP and leveling up fast

    As mentioned earlier, levelling up has as lot of benefits including boosting the range of Pokemon that spawn for you to catch. Here’s our tips for boosting your level quickly.

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Pokemon Go Guide – filling in your Pokedex by catching and evolving Pokemon

  • Where to find all Pokemon types

    Okay, so, you know you want a specific type of Pokemon to block a weakness in your team. Where do you find ’em? Here, we explain where to head to find each type.

  • Advanced tips and tricks for catching pokemon

    If you want to be a Pokemon Master, you need to make sure that you don’t let those rare Pokemon slip through your fingers. To do that, you’ll want to know the best techniques for tossing Pokeballs and catching them.

  • How to get a shiny red Gyarados

    Shiny Pokemon have finally arrived in Pokemon Go with the addition of a shiny golden Magikarp and shiny Red Gyarados. These things will really let you boast. Here’s how to get them.

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Pokemon Go Guide – evolutions, candy and evolution stones and items

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Pokemon Go Tips – Teams, Gyms and Battles

  • Which team should you join?

    Team Mystic, Team Instinct or Team Valor? Blue, Yellow or Red? These are classic Pokemon choices under another name. Which should you join?

  • Gyms, Teams, and Pokémon battles

    So, you’re ready to battle for your team? Here we break down the basics of gyms, teams, and the battles between them that take place within.

  • Battle type strengths and weaknesses explained

    Key to all Pokemon combat are Pokemon types and the inherent strengths and weaknesses each has. You absolutely need to know all about these to succeed in the unforgiving world of gym Pokemon combat.

  • Battle tips for taking down gyms

    Once you understand Pokemon strengths and weaknesses via types, it’s time to hop into battle proper – and these final tips will help you to win.

Pokemon Go continues to grow, and the developers at Niantic Labs and the publishers at The Pokemon Company have been clear that this is only the beginning: the game will slowly update with more features to match up to the main Pokemon games including the likes of trading and hopefully trainer-versus-trainer battles.

This page will be updated to keep up with the latest developments. That goes for everything from fans data-mining new strategies and information out of the game right down to information on how to tackle the latest updates and additions to the game – so be sure to bookmark us!

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