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Pokemon Go Guide: beginner's tips and advanced strategy for becoming a master trainer

The world of Pokemon Go is getting more complex by the day - but we're here with all the advice you need to help you to catch 'em all.

When Pokemon Go was released a few years ago, it was an overnight hit, a global phenomenon. More impressive than that, however, is that so many months later it's not just still going: Pokemon Go is in many senses going from strength to strength, acting as the inspiration for Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee on Nintendo Switch while adding a slew of new features and rolling events like special research quests monthly.

That all means that Pokemon Go can be a little daunting now - for new players and experienced trainers alike. That's what we're here for, however - from high-end, top-level EX Raid boss encounters through to the basics of tossing a Pokeball in the right way, here on VG247 we've got a slew of Pokemon Go Guides to help you in your journey to become a real-world Pokemon Master. So - let's start at the beginning.


Pokemon Go guide: 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, albeit simplified in its battles. With that said, we've got some basic, essential tips for you to consider as you begin your Pokemon Go quest:

  • Be prepared to move

    This might seem obvious, but Pokemon Go really does require you to move around - and a lot. Before you even start, you should know that if you want to get serious about Pokemon Go you'll have to carry it with you often and even make an effort to travel to parks and similar places to make the most of in-game events. You can't play this from home, and if you try you'll be disappointed.

  • Choose your gym team wisely - it's a one-time deal

    Once you hit trainer 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. Ultimately the choice doesn't impact anything in a major way, though.

  • Turn on battery saver mode

    This advice is key: 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, like pointed towards the floor. Short of picking up a Pokemon Go Plus it's the most economical way of playing the game battery-wise.

  • Wild Pokemon improve with your character level

    Early on you may be wondering why all the Pokemon nearby are weak. This is by design: Pokemon in the wild will get better as you do. Your trainer level determines what's around, and you'll see rarer, more powerful or late evolution creatures as you level up. 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, with deep stats-based systems that determine Pokemon strength. No two Pokemon are the same, and the CP (Combat Points) of a Pokemon are only a general indicator of its strength. Keep that in mind when choosing your favorite Pokemon, and if you want to get into the deep side of things, there's some reading for you linked further down this page.

pokemon go gym

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.


Filling in your Pokemon Go Pokedex by catching and evolving Pokemon


Exclusive Pokemon, Evolution Items and Branching Evolutions

pokemon go gym

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?

  • 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.

Pokemon Go Events: Field Research, Special Research, Community Day and Limited Raids

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