Pokémon GO is officially available in India starting today, nearly five months after the official global launch, and we have Reliance Jio to thank for it. If you are a child of the 80’s, 90’s or even a millennial; there is a good chance you understand the basics of how this game would work. For those who don’t, the game assigns you as a Pokémon trainer and it is your job to find them, catch them and fight them to be the ultimate Pokémon master.
How to get started
The premise of Pokémon GO is simple. The game uses geo-location data from your smartphone to show Pokémon in your surroundings, all across your city. To find and catch them, you as a player need to physically move around in the open while playing the game. After you download the app, you can sign in using your Gmail account and customise your character. After this is done, it is time to search for some Pokémon.
When you find a Pokémon, your phone vibrates and the digital creature then pops up in front of you when you click it. If you have the camera function turned on, you will be able to see the digital creature in front of you; this is the augmented reality side of things. Flicking a Pokéball on the Pokémon, you’ll be able to capture it and add it to your Pokédex – the database of all the Pokémon you have captured.
The expanding circle around your character on the map is your detection range, and you will only be able to find Pokémon within that region.
(An important trick to know is that you will find the most Pokémon in areas where there are a lot of people and players)
In the bottom right corner of the game, you can click on the Pokémon icon to find all the different types of the digital monsters that are nearby. The game also shows little images of live locations, where you can go to find the little monsters. The option below is called ‘Sightings’, and it shows you all the Pokémon that you have seen but not engaged. So, if you see that Pikachu you want to catch – just track back on your path and look for it on the way.
It is also important to know that it can be a little tricky throwing the Pokéball correctly and it needs to hit them on the head. You get 50 Pokéballs to begin with, and if you are not careful you will run out of them really fast, which means a trip to the Pokéstop.
It is important to understand that you need to be in an area with good data reception and GPS service, because the game needs both to work.
All the game menus
Clicking on the Pokéball icon in the middle will show you several options. The first is Pokédex. The Pokédex will show you the entire list of pokémon you have caught, out of the 133 different pokémon that are currently available. The items bag shows the list of things you are equipped with like potions (used to heal pokémon), revives (revive fainted pokémon), incense (lures pokémon to your area for 30 minutes), pokéballs and incubators.
The Pokémon option in the menu will bring up all the pokémon you have captured and their combat power (CP). Clicking on a pokémon will also show you their most powerful attacks, their weight, height, type and HP. If you catch a lot of the same pokémon, you can simply transfer them to the Professor and get ‘candy’ for the particular pokémon in return. Candies and stardust are important as they help ‘power up’ and ‘evolve’ pokémon.
Sliding to the right you will see ‘Eggs’. You get Eggs at pokéstops and when you place each one in the incubator and walk the required distance, out comes a new pokémon. Eggs come with three distance measures – 2, 5 and 10. The higher the distance you need to travel, the more rare your pokémon will be.
Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms
Travelling across with your map open, you will come across Pokéstops and Pokemon Gyms. Pokéstops can usually found at a landmark where you can stock up things like Pokéballs, potions, Razz Berry, Revive, Eggs, Lucky Eggs, incense, Great and Ultra Balls and incubators.
As you catch more and more pokémon, your experience level increases. When you reach level 5, you will get to decide between three pokémon teams – the yellow team Instinct, team Mystic (blue) and team Valor (red). At level 5, you can now access Pokémon gyms, where you can train your pokémon, fight them and win the gym for your team.
These are the basics for the game. So what are you waiting for? Charge your phone to 100 per cent, wear your pokémon trainer hat and sneaker, and head out to be the next pokémon master.