Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu and many other Pokémon are now in your neighbourhood!
The whole world is catching the Pokémon fever. People across the globe are hunting down Pokémon at their office, in hospitals, and in some cases even in bathrooms. Wondering what all the buzz is about? We’ve got all the answers for you.
July 2016 marked the launch of Pokémon GO, a free-to-play, GPS based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The Nintendo-owned franchise, Pokémon, which was popular in the late ‘90s is making a comeback via the mobile space.
What the game is all about
Pokémon GO uses real-time locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon. This game allows you to find and catch more than a hundred species of Pokémon as you explore your surroundings. You can explore cities and towns around you (even around the globe) to capture as many Pokémon as you can.
This game combines the virtual world of Pokémon and the real world interacting known as augmented reality. Simply put, Pokémon GO uses your phone’s clock and GPS to detect when and where you are in the game and make Pokémon appear around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, depending on where you are and what time it is, different and more types of Pokémon will appear.
How to install
Pokémon GO is available for download for free on the App Store and Google Play. If you are looking to enhance your Pokémon GO experience even further, certain items and features can be accessed via in-app purchases. Players can spend real money on PokéCoins (in-game currency of Pokémon GO). These PokéCoins can then be exchanged for power-ups, extra items and other enhancements.
How to play
The player creates their avatar after logging into the app for the first time. The player can choose their avatar’s style, hair, skin, eye color and outfits. Once the avatar is created it will be displayed at the player’s current location along with a map of the player’s immediate surroundings.
You have to walk around in the real world to move your avatar in the game. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away!
Where to find them
Though Pokémon aren’t real, technology has evolved to be able to simulate a world where Pokémon exist. Certain Pokémon appear near their native environment – look for Water-type Pokémon by lakes and oceans. Keep a look out for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other helpful items.
You will gain levels as a Trainer, and at higher levels, you will be able to catch more powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. You’ll also have access to more powerful items to give you a better shot at catching Pokémon.
Catching, hatching, evolving
After capturing a wild Pokémon, you are awarded two types of in-game currencies: candies and stardust. You can use stardust and candies to raise a Pokémon’s combat power. Candies are used to evolve a Pokémon.
As you level up, you’ll be able to catch more powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. You can add to your collection by hatching Pokémon Eggs based on the distances you walk. Help your Pokémon evolve by catching many of the same kind.
Gym battles and defending your Gym
As you earn experience points, your Pokémon will rise in level. At level 5, you will able to battle at a Pokémon Gym and join one of three teams (red, blue or yellow). Once you join a team, you’ll gain the ability to assign Pokémon you’ve caught to open Gym locations or to a Gym where a team member has assigned a Pokémon. You can battle together to defeat a Gym and assign your Pokémon to defend it against all corners.
Pokémon GO Plus – Great news for hardcore Pokémon fans!
Pokémon GO Plus, a portable device, will enable Pokémon GO players to enjoy the game even while they’re not looking at their smartphones. This device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and notifies the player about events in the game, such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby using LED and vibration. Players can also catch Pokémon or perform other simple actions by pressing the button on the device. A Pokémon GO Plus accessory is scheduled to be launched in late July 2016.
How do I play Pokémon GO in India?
Pokémon GO has only officially released in the US, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Thanks to the unexpected overwhelming response, the global rollout of the game has been temporarily suspended in order to increase server capacity for smoother gameplay. This means that the Pokémon fans from rest of the world will have to wait.
There are plenty of sites and torrents boasting the apk file for the game. However, it is advisable to hold on for the official release of the game in your country rather than downloading potential malware on your phone.
But I simply can’t wait!
However, if you are eager to catch the Pokémon right away, here’s some good old Indian jugaad.
Change the security settings on your phone. By switching on the “Unknown sources” option allows you to install any “apk” file that’s not available or registered on Google Play. On your android smartphone visit this page and download the apk file. Install this file once the download is complete. A shortcut will appear on your phone once the installation process is over. You are all set to track down, find and capture Pokémon in your area. Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you are careful while playing outdoors, especially the dangerous Indian roads.
If you grew up playing and watching Pokémon, then this game is a must have. Pokémon GO taps into a sense of childhood imagination and wonder by augmenting the world around you. The Pokémon are quite cute and the game has been designed well.