Feature Article

Pokemon Go: Everything You Need to Know

Below you can find everything you need to understand the new Pokemon mobile game.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

After months of anticipation, Pokemon Go is finally out now across various regions. With the popularity of the app skyrocketing, it's clear that a new phenomenon has begun. To better acquaint you with the app, we've compiled below everything you need to know about it.

For more on Pokemon Go, check out our recent news stories below, and be sure to check back as we update this article with more news and features.

The Review

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"If Pokemon Go’s initial public reception is anything to go by, its ability to draw players from multiple generations and varied gaming backgrounds together is a game worthy of attention. When it works, Pokemon Go feels like a natural evolution for the series, very much a product of the times without making the mainline series obsolete. Its bugs and high battery consumption do not outweigh the old-but-new thrill of capturing Pikachu at a local park or vanquishing a Snorlax while conquering a gym." -- [Read the full review]

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What You Need to Know

  • 6 Essential Pokemon Go Facts--Pokemon Go is a fascinating new AR-focused mobile app that's taking the iconic series to uncharted territories. Check out our in-depth feature on the six ways that The Pokemon Company's new mobile offering makes smart use of Pokemon.
  • Pokemon Go: All the Known Issues--The game is experiencing a series of technical issues, such as "heavy" battery drain and distorted audio; get a full rundown of all the problems.
  • Here's What Pokemon Go's Microtransactions Get You--Pokemon Go is a free mobile app but it features an in-game shop that allows you to buy Poke Coins using real money, and then spend those on items. Check out everything you can purchase as well as the Poke Coin conversation rates.
  • Pokemon Go Rural Trainer's Log: Nothing Here But Us Weedles--After nearly a week with Pokemon Go in a rural area, this trainer has nothing to show for her efforts. Check out Alexa's experiences playing Pokemon Go in a rural area.

Guides

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  • Pokemon Go Starter Guide--Check out all of our guides offering everything you need to better understand and play Pokemon Go like a pro.
  • Pokemon Go: 20 Essential Tips and Tricks--There are many strategies to consider as you play Pokemon Go, but the app doesn't make it readily apparent how to engage some of its concepts. Check out our in-depth feature containing all the essential tips and tricks for Pokemon Go. Otherwise, watch the video above for a brief overview of tips and tricks to guide you in the right direction.
  • Pokemon Go Leveling Guide--In Pokemon Go, increasing your trainer level is the best way to raise your chances of encountering powerful Pokemon. While you can level at a decent pace just by playing the game, there are ways to streamline the process, effectively maximizing the experience points (XP) you gain. To help in your efforts to level, we've compiled the most important steps you need to take.

What's Coming

Features/Opinions

Pokemon Go Beyond Gaming

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Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

mgespin

Matt Espineli

Matt Espineli is an Editor at GameSpot. He loves MGS, film noir, and westerns, but he very much loves YOU too.
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GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for romiezzo
Romiezzo

I must say, I knew little to nothing about Pokemon before reading this article. Not only were the links and reviews informative, but I keep coming back to review them.

Thanks for the thorough article!

Avatar image for p1p3dream
p1p3dream

Wait, so Pogs are back? I knew they were a wise investment.

Avatar image for Saladudo
Saladudo

Next, Dragonball Go

Avatar image for Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

I used to like Pokemon. I was never a huge fan, but I still enjoyed it. Never played the old Gameboy classics but ended up finishing Pokemon Black/White which was a great game. This, on the other hand, is one of the biggest insults to gaming.

It's yet another case of a somewhat good franchise being killed off with a crappy innovation, game, update, etc. The whole damn thing is contagious, and the only way to stop it is to ignore it.

Avatar image for sonypony4eva
SonyPony4eva

Awesome Gamespot! We needed one more Poke'mon go article even though there is already 70 on your homepage. Care to give us one more? *Sarcasm*

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Mogan

@sonypony4eva: 70? I count 3. 4 if you count the GS News that includes some Pokemon Go news.

Moderator Online
Avatar image for deactivated-5d495083aed2b

@computernoises: You just gave this article another view and therefore increased the popularity of the subject, motivating GameSpot to keep reporting on it. If you don't like something then take your own advice and just leave it alone, common sense really!

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Mogan

@NTenseify: That's because he doesn't really want Gamespot to stop posting Pokemon Go news, he wants to ***** about Pokemon Go news. Can't complain about it if it goes away. : p

Moderator Online
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speed45823

Here we go with Gamespot's Pokemon Go article spams.

Avatar image for strandedmagma
StrandedMagma

First it was bieber cuts then skinny jeans then hashtags and selfie sticks and eventually fat asses and male uptalking, now its the gayest game in history causing car accidents. Way to lead the charge on one of the gayest zeitgeists in history, generation Z. I can't believe I am even part of the same race as you. I want my 10 years back.

Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

@strandedmagma: /yawn

Avatar image for darksouls
darksouls

But you dont need to know anything to play this degenerate game.

Avatar image for ascendedmaster
AscendedMaster

I love video games, technology, and Pokemon but this is seriously reaching a new level of idiocracy... are people really so unfulfilled in life that this cheap game brings them happiness? It seems like people are just playing this to follow the heard. Well I gotta go listen to Justin Bieber and watch the Kardashians, peace!

Avatar image for imajinn
Imajinn

@ascendedmaster: That can be said for many, but the fact that it actually helps people with severe social anxiety, ptsd, etc get out there and function as a normal person while actually being social, is actually a good thing. What is idiotic to you, may not be to other people.

People are so quick to judge something because they themselves do not like it.

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NathanPro92

@ascendedmaster: Are you so unfulfilled in life that you have to insult people for enjoying something that you don't like? Stop being such a butthurt loser.

Avatar image for darksouls
darksouls

@ascendedmaster: Yeah it sucks, so many casual plebs these days.

Avatar image for Colekern
Colekern

@ascendedmaster: Its fun. you meet a lot of new people and you get exercise while doing it. Out of literally all the games in the world you could hate on, hating on Pokemon Go seems pretty dumb. Its basically a social exercise game.

I mean, if you're gonna hate on a game, hate on the games that literally make you sit for hours on end just to progress. Why dont we just let the people play the games they like without making fun of their lives because of it?

Avatar image for Kishobran
Kishobran

@Colekern: Yeah, walking and standing around is considered exercise these days...

Avatar image for imajinn
Imajinn

@Kishobran: Walking and STANDING is much more exercise than sitting around with a controller in your hand getting chubby and bloated. I do not mind either. To each their own. It helps people move in this lazy ass day and age then good!

Avatar image for Kishobran
Kishobran

@imajinn: I'm not saying it's bad and I agree with you. People have turned into blobs and standards got way to low. The definition of the word 'exercise' means much less than it's used to. People are bragging all over the place how they had to walk out of their home like they just ran a freakin marathon.

Avatar image for xXxKTTxXx
xXxKTTxXx

hahahaha I swear most people here are exactly like those old people +10 years ago spouting crap about how bad Pokémon games are and calling people stupid casuals.

People are going outside, meeting new people or going out with friends, and they're enjoying the game and having fun. Why the f- is that bothering you? Accidents happen because of the user stupidity just like any type of technology can be misused; The game doesn't tell you to play while driving or not pay attention walking down the street. The availability of common sense is not the game's responsibility.

If you don't like Pokémon GO, good for you. Just no need to keep slamming anyone who plays it.

Avatar image for mdinger
mdinger

Not quite "everything you need to know". I, for one, would like to know that it harvests your ENTIRE Google account!

https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-shouldnt-have-full-access-to-your-gmail-docs-and-google-account-but-it-does/

Online
Avatar image for Colekern
Colekern

@mdinger: I'm fairly certain that was a iPhone only bug and was patched in the last update.

Avatar image for elessarGObonzo
elessarGObonzo

i can't understand the draw to this type of thing. but i never understood why so many played any of the tetris wannabe "crush" games either.

when out in public i would much rather have an intelligent conversation with those around me than wandering around staring at my phone talking about some little kid's cartoon game.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d495083aed2b

@elessarGObonzo: So you simply just insult the things you don't understand and call it a day? Wow that's some fuckin top notch logic there buddy

Avatar image for elessarGObonzo
elessarGObonzo

@NTenseify: what's insulting, stating that this is some little kid's cartoon game? sounds like you have some insecurity issues of your own if it bothers you to hear what this actually is.

Avatar image for the-games-masta
the-games-masta

if this is the sort of application of AR we can expect in the future - LOL

Avatar image for yogibbear
yogibbear

THIS GAME IS AMAZING. I'VE ALREADY LOST 3 KILOS FROM IT!

Avatar image for darksouls
darksouls

@yogibbear: Cringe

Avatar image for imajinn
Imajinn

@darksouls: Cringe because he lost weight? Your hatred is unfounded except for the fact that you do not like it.

Avatar image for darksouls
darksouls

@imajinn: Good meme my dude.

Avatar image for atherworld
atherworld

Just wait for the server errors. I lost 4 Pokeballs, an incense, and a Rhydon I just caught. Almost lost my 2nd Zubat. Rhydon had just entered my 4th Pokeball when it just sat there, slowly revovling around my kitchen. With no other choice, I ended the game. Then I couldn't get back in. Server Error. When I did, my Pokeballs & incense were gone, and no Rhydon. Similiar thing happened on ym 2nd Zubat. Again 4 balls, and right as the Pokeball enlarges, it just sat there. This time, at east, ending and restarting showed it captured.

It also drains my battery lickety split (10% in 5 minutes time), and constantly drops my GPS signal. For these reasons, and my lost items and Pokemon, Pokemon Go has lost a player. I will not waste my time, items, & money capturing Pokemon only to lose them when the server craps out because it never occurred to anyone their severs can't handle large numbers of users playing at once.

Avatar image for darksouls
darksouls

@atherworld: Lol

Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

Man, trying to have friends over for dinner, movie, and D&D night is real ****ing difficult when 3 of the 6 people's phones will not STFU about some Pokemon gaining a level. It was like trying to have a conversation with a teenager, except they aren't ignoring you while they look at their lap and text their friends, they're ignoring you while holding up their phone and laughing about things no one else sees. Thank god this game is a battery eater. "Why no, all of my micro-usb cables have mysteriously vanished. So sorry."

At one point one of the girls left in the middle of eating to "run to the gym." Turns out that was just a walk down the street and back.

Moderator Online
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Sohereiam

@Mogan: Like a keep saying Pokemon Go players are mainly adults.

My two younger siblings, 20 and 25 and the girlfriend of my younger brother also 20, all of them are Pokemon Go players.

Of all people I see talking about Pokemon Go, are adults.

Avatar image for Zicoroen
Zicoroen

AR is the future. VR is a prison.

Avatar image for strandedmagma
StrandedMagma

@Zicoroen: VR is a brand new world. AR is your same old sh*tty bedroom. FTFY.

Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

@Zicoroen: Microsoft had it right all along with Hololens?

Moderator Online
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Richardthe3rd

As a guy in my 30s, it's pretty cool to go downtown in my city and see literally hundreds of people walking around playing this game. All kinds of people; young, old, every ethnicity and from all walks of life . Everyone has a friendly cool vibe and they all gather together when that Bulbasaur walks to a nearby lure.

Just really cool to see something that can be so positive. I'm hoping it lasts for a while.

Never dug Pokemon that much but this is a really cool phenomenon.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d495083aed2b

@Richardthe3rd: You're awesome

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FreeRunner2971

@Neo_Sarevok: I did not mean the huge VR goggles you can see nothing outside with. I meant the VR "glasses" you can see both the real world and VR world at the same time with. They have been in the making forever now. Im not an idiot. Haha. Safety is not an issue if you pay attention. Its not like you can stay in AR the entire time you play. Which btw is extremely lame.