Pokemon Go 101: Understanding the Basics
By now, everyone in the world (Japan just got it today) know that Pokemon Go is all the rage. There may be millions of people who are playing it and running around catching Pikachus and finding PokeStops; there are also millions who are clueless about this game and have no idea what it’s all about.
Pokemon Go is not like any other video game that has ever been released. It uses augmented reality, and you’ll need to be very active in order to do well in the game. Most video games require you to sit in some fixed spot and play the same scenarios over and over till your skills get good enough for you to make it to the next level.
With Pokemon Go, you will not be sitting in any one spot for long. You’ll need to walk around and follow your map as you look for Pikachus to capture, wild creatures to battle or Gyms to dominate.
Like most computer games, Pokemon Go is repetitive too, but you don’t feel it because of the fantasy this game creates. You are actually a part of the game and in a way, it plays you just as much as you play it.
Your surroundings are all potential places where you could find these adorable creatures. Everything seems more exciting. We live in a world where most people constantly have their noses buried in their smartphones.
Pokemon Go is a free app that is installed on these phones and just about anyone can play it. You don’t need to buy any bulky game consoles or software to enjoy this game.
While Pokemon Go is so popular, it is a basic game and in no way matches the complexity and depth in games such as Assassin’s Creed or Fallout 4. However, it’s this basic nature that makes it so popular and appealing to so many people.
Pokemon Go is all about surprise, adventure, fantasy and accomplishment. You feel like a modern day Indiana Jones as you go about exploring for Pikachus and throwing PokeBalls.
Here are a few very common Pokemon Go terms you should know.
- Combat Power (CP)
This refers to the strength of a Pokemon when it’s in battle with another Pokemon, and you should use this to gauge a Pokemon’s attack strength.
As the name suggests, these eggs will hatch into Pokemon. You can find these eggs at poke stops. You’ll need to walk or cover a certain distance before the egg incubates and hatches.
- Defender Bonus
This is your reward when you defend a gym successfully against attacks. The rewards can be converted into Stardust and PokeCoins which you can claim at the virtual shop within the game.
This is what happens when your Pokemon fights with a wild creature in the game. It’s also used to challenge rivals or even fight Pokemon that are friendly. Battles can only take place at gyms.
In the event you approach a rival gym, you have the opportunity to battle with the team running the gym, and you can claim it for yourself if you win.
During a battle, each time you defeat a Pokemon, the Gym’s Prestige level drops. Once it reaches zero, you’ve won, and the Gym is yours.
These are specific places for you to go and fight with rival Pokemon teams. You can even train your Pokemon by battling at gyms where your team members have assigned their own Pokemons.
Friendly Gyms are ones that belong to your team. Rival Gyms are gyms owned by other teams, and Open Gyms have not been claimed by anybody yet.
- Wild Pokémon
These are Pokemon running loose that have not been captured.
These are used to make your Pokemon stronger and help you evolve through the game. You’ll get these candies when you transfer your Pokemon to Professor Willow whom you met at the beginning of the game.
- Lucky Egg
These eggs will double the XP that you accrue for 30 minutes for all the actions you undertake. You can either get Lucky Eggs when you reach a new level, or you can buy your Lucky Eggs at the shop
This refers to your Pokemon’s levels increasing as it becomes stronger and a highly evolved, advanced species.
- Experience Points (XP)
As you progress through the game, the Poke-venture will track your progress, and you’ll advance further in the game. If you increase your XP, you can reach Trainer levels that are much more beneficial.
- Hit Points (HP)
This is a measure of your Pokemon’s health. When it reaches zero, the Pokemon faints.
- Fainted Pokémon
This happens when your Pokemon has no more Hit Points, also known as HP. You can fix this problem by using Revive or Max Revive to wake up your poor fainted Pokemon and get it back in action.
This is where you place your egg so that it hatches while you walk. Once you upgrade you incubators, you’ll need to cover less distance to hatch the eggs.
You use incense to lure the wild Pokemon to where you are. You get 2 incense at the start of the game, and you need to buy them after that for 80 PokeCoins.
- Lure Module
This is a stronger method of luring the Pokemon. When you use a Lure Module, all players in the vicinity will be able to see it and grab the opportunity to capture wild Pokemon even they’re not the one who set it up.
You be awarded medals as you progress through the game and meet certain objectives. Examples of awards are Breeder, Kanto, Battle Girl, Backpacker, Ace Trainer, etc.
You use these to capture the wild Pokemon that’s running around. You can either get these at the PokeStops, or you can buy them from the shop. There are different types of PokeBalls which have better performance and increase your chances of catching the wild Pokemon.
You want to look out for Ultra Balls, Great Balls and Master Balls.
This is the currency in the Pokemon Go game, and you can exchange the PokeCoins for useful items that you find in the shop. You can also buy Poke Coins from the shop.
This is where you will be given instructions and information about the Pokemon Go game and the types of Pokemon you’ve captured.
These are specific locations that contain items such as potions, eggs, PokeBalls, etc. All you’ll need to do is find the PokeStop, touch it and spin the photo disc to collect your items. Do note that the PokeStop will change shape as you get nearer to it.
These are very effective for healing Pokemons with low HP. Use them and you can restore your Pokemon’s Hit Points so that they can engage in battle again.
This is a term used to describe increasing your Pokemon’s HP and CP.
This is a measurement of a Gym’s standing regarding how well it was able to defend itself against rivals.
- Razz Berry
You use these to feed wild Pokemon so that you can capture them more easily. You can’t buy these Razz Berries and can only get them at PokeStops.
This is used to increase your Pokemon’s power, and you get it by incubating and hatching eggs.
This is when your Pokemon battles with fellow members’ Pokemon and your experience points and the Gym’s Prestige goes up.
These are people just like you who play the Pokemon Go game and enjoy all the adventure and battle that come with it.
Now that you know most of the terms used in this game, you’ll be better equipped to play it well and succeed.