A Beginner's Guide to the Pokémon Go Craze
If you’ve been outdoors lately, you might have noticed an increase of people cruising around with their phones in their hand. Overnight, Pokémon Go has become a phenomenon that no one saw coming. But if you’re new to the game, Nebraska Furniture Mart has everything you need to get started!
The first thing you’ll need is an Apple or Android smartphone. Once you’ve gotten your phone, you’ll need to download the app, which is free to download from the App Store. You’ll sign in using either your Google account or creating a Pokémon Trainer Club account. The one downfall of this game is that it uses up the battery in your phone very quickly. An external battery pack is a great solution because you can charge your phone on the go and it’s not a big bulky item that you have to lug around. I personally have one and it charges my phone faster than if I plugged it into the wall.
From there, you can customize your avatar (basically, your in-game persona) with your gender, eye color, hair, etc. Once you’re ready, it will show your avatar’s location with nearby roads, terrain, and buildings. As you walk around, your avatar will move as well.
An unexpected perk to playing Pokémon Go is that you start walking around a lot, which happens to be great exercise! Friends of mine that have been playing have more than tripled the number of steps they take in a week! The best way to track that is with an activity tracker, and my favorite is the Fitbit line of trackers. The Fitbit Alta is the latest in the line, and it has the ability to track steps taken, calories burned, and even monitors your sleep.
As you walk around, you will get alerts whenever a Pokémon appears. Just select the Pokémon and the battle will begin. Now, put your finger on the Pokéball on the bottom and swipe it towards the Pokémon. If it lands on the Pokémon’s head the ball will open and capture it. Once it has been caught, it will be filed in your Pokédex, which is like an index of all the Pokémon you’ve caught.
While you’re roaming around, stay on the lookout for Pokéstops. In real life, they are usually places that have historical significance like landmarks, sculptures, artwork, or are just something interesting to stop and look at. Here at Nebraska Furniture Mart in Omaha we have our very own Pokéstop in our Appliance and Electronics store! Once you’re in vicinity of the Pokéstop, select the blue icon. When the picture of the stop appears, swipe left or right on it and you will get various items.
Once you reach level 5, you can join one of 3 gyms. Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue), or Valor (Red). If the gym is color coded to your team you can train your Pokémon inside, but if it’s another color than you will have to battle your Pokémon against the one standing guard.
You can become as casual or as invested as you want playing Pokémon Go, and still have a great time. This information is just the basics to get you started, but I think once you’ve caught your first Pokémon you’ll be hooked and eventually will need to “Catch Them All!”