Pokemon Go explained
What the world is Pokemon Go? An explainer on what it is, where it came from and why you should care.
Pokemon GO has exploded, becoming the world's most popular mobile game almost literally overnight. But true to the "you-teach-me-and-I'll-teach-me" ethos, the app doesn't come with many instructions. It's basically up to you to figure out how to play.
Fortunately, none of us are playing in a vacuum: There are already dozens of localised subreddits, themed Facebook groups in every imaginable language and country, and workplace Pokemon GO Slack channels — well, at our workplace at least. The denizens of our #pokemon_go channel have been playing and posting obsessively since the game came out last week. So we polled them on their top tips ... and ended up with the following!
The floating leaves that appear as you walk around mean that Pokemon are in that vicinity and that you may encounter some if you head over there. — Shelly Tan
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The tracker in the bottom right corner tells you how close nearby Pokemon are — each footprint is approximately 100 metres. Keep an eye on this as you walk to see if the footprints increase or decrease. If they decrease, you're going in the right direction. — Shelly Tan
You can find pretty much every type of Pokemon everywhere, but they do tend to be densely populated in their own "habitats" — e.g. water Pokemon near ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. Supposedly, fire Pokemon congregate near gas stations. — Shelly Tan
Incense and lures both attract Pokemon to you: The difference is that a Lure is attached to a pokestop and can be used by players near you, while an Incense follows your location and can't be shared. Both can be purchased in the shop or gained through level-ups. — Shelly Tan
Take the bus to hit a ton of pokestops. — Tauhid Chappell
Turn the AR slider off when trying to catch Pokemon. It makes it easier since you don't have to move your phone around to "find" the Pokemon: A generic screen will show up instead, and you only have to focus on throwing the ball. — Gene Park
Pokemon are easier to catch if you wait until the coloured circle is smallest. — Daniel Hoerauf
The coloured circles have different meanings, too: Yellow and red indicate that Pokemon are harder to catch; green indicates they're easier. — Kiki Simpson
You can put spin on a pokeball before you toss it by dragging it in circles. — Victor Weiss
Once you catch a Pokemon don't move your camera, because it freezes the game and you have to restart. Noob mistake on my end. — Tauhid Chappell
Training and evolving your Pokemon
Be aware of your Pokemon CP, or combat power — it expresses how likely that Pokemon is to win in a fight. You can arrange your Pokemon display by CP so you can see who's the strongest at any given time. — Gene Park
You need candy and stardust to train Pokemon. Stardust can upgrade any Pokemon; candies are specific to individual types. You can trade in Pokemon for candy of that type, so capture them all, even if you have duplicates. — Chris Nguyen
When you have extra Pokemans, you have the choice to keep them (which doesn't really do anything) or you "transfer" them to hot Professor Willow. Willow will then give you one "candy" for that type of Pokemon, which you need (along with stardust) to feed to the Pokemon to upgrade them, or evolve them. It doesn't matter how strong that Pokemon is, you just get a single candy. So when you get new candy, feed it to the highest CP Pokemon — there's no point spreading it around. — Gene Park
You should power-up your Pokemon before you evolve them. You don't want to get stuck investing in a Pokemon who evolves to have a bad moveset. — Tim Wong
You might also want to wait until Level 9 to evolve your Pokemon. Once you hit Level 9, you'll get something called a Lucky Egg, which gives you double experience points and evolves all your Pokemon like crazy. — Oleg Gogovykh
If you enjoy meeting new people and making new friends, start a Lure module at a pokestop! — Darpan Shah
If you pop a Lure at a pokestop, Pokemon will just show up there as opposed to you having to walk around. So yeah, Lures are basically people here at work wanting to catch Pokemon while they're stuck here. — Gene Park
Work in an office where there are enough nerds to coordinate a Lure placement schedule. — Abby Ohlheiser
Preventing battery and data drain
You can enable Battery Saver mode in the settings. Once it's on, hold your phone facing down while you're walking. It turns off your screen and slows down GPS refresh, but it still vibrates when a Pokemon appears. — Chris Nguyen
Turning off AR can also save battery a bit. But it'll be less fun. — Oleg Gogovykh
Stay on WiFi as much as possible. — Jason Wong
The Washington Post