7 things you need to know about playing Pokémon Go in SA
Pokemon Go, South Africa (screengrab)
Cape Town – In case you’ve been living under a rock, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that users can play on their Android or Apple smartphones and tablets.
Here’s everything you need to know about playing Pokémon Go in SA:
1. Getting started:
* Make sure to do the tutorial. Now create an Avatar with any username you want.
* How do you catch that first Pokémon? Fling the ball as straight up towards the Pokémon as possible.
Do you see the number after the letters CP? That’s the specific Pokémon’s combat power. The higher the number the harder they will be to capture and the better they will do in a gym (we’ll get to that later.)
2. Where to find different types:
* Fire and Rock types like Geodude, Charmander, and Magmar are far more likely to appear in arid climates and that means that anytime you’re away from the coast in an SA city they might pop up.
* Grass, Bug, and Flying types like Caterpie, Weedle, Bellsprout, and Spearow will pop up in grassy areas like in a park.
* Psychic and Water type Pokémon like Psyduck, Tentacool, Staryu, and Magikarp favour coastal areas like Sea Point in Cape Town or Ramsgate in KZN. If you’re in a land-locked city, try looking near lakes, rivers, or dams.
* Normal types like Pidgey Rattata, and Doduo can be found pretty much anywhere, as the name might suggest. These are some of the most common Pokémon, especially in urban or suburban areas – around your house, shopping centers, and in the CBD.
That doesn’t mean that a Growlithe won’t appear on the Promenade in Cape Town, it just means that these are the places that you are most likely to find these different Pokémon.
3. Catching them all
The tutorial, at the start, tells you all about PokeStops. They’re places that you can stock up on useful tools like balls, great balls and potions that go in your backpack.
* Any business or public place can be a PokeStop. The game determines this, not business owners.
* Another thing to look out for at PokeStops are Lures.
They look like this on a map:
* These attract Pokémon to that location for up to thirty minutes with a new Pokémon to catch appearing every 5 minutes(ish).
* Look out for Great Lure events on Facebook, go in groups (to be safe) and catch as many as you can.
4. Using your bag wisely
* If you’re a fighter (which we’ll get to later) keep your bag stocked with potions to heal your Pokémon after they fight in gym.
* If, for right now, you’re trying to catch as many Pokémon as possible, then get rid of some of the potions in your bag to make more space for balls.
5. Going to Gym
What are Gyms? They’re fighting arenas in which Pokémon from different trainers fight.
You can join them from level 5.
* The higher a Pokémon’s CP (combat power) number, the better they will do in a gym.
* Also be sure to look at your Pokémon’s attack stats – the same species can have different attacks of varying strength.
* Gyms are always placed in public areas, like works of art, churches, and parks.
6. Choosing a team
When you hit level five and head to a gym for the first time you’ll be asked which team you want to join. There are three to choose from, Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue) and Valor (red).
Players from different teams go into the gym to battle.
This is how to battle and how it looks:
Gyms are controlled by one of the three teams. If the gym is controlled by your team, you can train your Pokémon and increase the prestige of the gym. If the gym is controlled by another team, you can fight the Pokémon inside and if you beat them all, you’ll take down the gym and be able to claim it for your team.
7. Leveling up
Going up levels in Pokémon gets harder after each level because each time you will need more XP to reach your target.
Ways to get more XP:
* Catching Pokémon with great throws that go straight up.
* Fighting in Gym and winning.
* Getting items from PokeStops.