How to Make the Most of Your Pokémon GO Adventures

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been sucked into the newest Pokémon adventure; your own Pokémon adventure: Pokémon GO! The game has only been out a few days but we’ve learnt a whole lot in those few days, so we’re here to give you some neat little tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Poké-ventures!

First off, what does everything mean?

Rustling grass/leaves: That means there may be Pokémon in that spot waiting for you! Head over to that area and wait for something to pop up!


Nearby Pokémon: When in the world view, you’ll see at the bottom-right corner of the screen what Pokémon are around you at that point in time. Click the bar and it’ll bring up a larger list of Pokémon along with some footsteps. The fewer footsteps, the closer they are to you! Go for a walk or turn on your incense to lure them out!



PokéStops: PokéStops are the spots around towns/lakes/anywhere really, that are marked with a blue cube. The more populated, the more PokéStops! Once you get close enough to them, they transform into a large blue Pokéball. Tap on the PokéStop to bring up a picture of the attraction you’re at, and when you’re close enough to it, spin the picture by swiping left or right to reveal some items for your journey! Once you’ve collected the items, the location will turn purple, but it’ll be available again after 5 minutes. If you’re in the area, do a couple blockies!

If you see a PokéStop with pink petals flying around it, someone has enabled a Lure Module to it, and everyone around will benefit from lured Pokémon for 30 minutes. You can do the same if you’ll be ther for a while!

Your Pokémon: As you wander around the world, you’ll eventually encounter all kinds of different Pokémon. When that happens, your phone will vibrate and you can tap on the Pokémon that show up to attempt to catch it. Swipe the Pokéball to throw it at the Pokémon. If you hit it without the ball bouncing, the Pokéball will catch it and it’ll shake a few times until it (hopefully) seals it as yours. When you catch Pokémon, you collect Stardust and 3 Candy for that specific Pokémon)


After you’ve caught it, you’ll get to see its stats and moves. Each Pokémon has Combat Points (CP); the higher the CP, the stronger it is. (If its CP is a ??? when you find the Pokemon, it’s probably seriously higher than you’ve seen before.) You can power up and evolve your Pokémon using Stardust and Candy specific to that Pokémon. The curved bar below the CP shows how far you can power up that Pokémon with whatever level you are.

They all also have a specific weight and height. Some are extra large (XL) or extra small (XS). If they are XL, they’ll have more CP than normal and the opposite effect for XS Pokémon.

Your moves are shown with how much damage they do normally when battling other Pokémon, along with the blue bar that tells you how many charges of that move you have at one time. It also shows the location of where you’ve captured it and what date.

Transfer the double-ups of the Pokémon you’ve caught back to the professor to collect more Candy, buy be careful because you won’t see them again!

Incense: You begin the game with 2 incense already, and when you use them, you’ll be more attractive to the Pokémon around you. When used, the effect with look like a plume of pink smoke circling you, and the Pokémon you attract will be surrounded by the same plume. It lasts 30 minutes and only works for you.

Pokémon Gyms: Gyms can be found all over the place, at large buildings or attractions and are identified by tiered red, blue or yellow, and quite a large marking on your map with the Pokémon guarding them, rotating on top. However, to be able to battle at the gyms, you must be level 5 and have chosen a team out of Team Instinct (yellow), Team Valor (red) or Team Mystic (blue).


The gyms work in a kind of weird way. They work on Prestige. The amount of Prestige the gym has will determine its level and how many Pokémon can be guarding it at one time. The gym leader is marked with a crown and has the highest amount of CP out of all the Pokémon at the gym.

Battling the gym isn’t turn based like the Nintendo games. You battle by tapping on your fighting Pokémon to inflict the damage of their first move, and hold down to inflict damage on their second, more powerful move. Doing the more powerful move will time the move out for a short while until you build it back up by using your first move. You can dodge incoming enemy attacks by flicking to the left or right. To take down an enemy gym (battling at your own team’s gym will raise its Prestige), you must defeat the Pokémon there and lower the gym’s overall Prestige, kick out the lower trainers and eventually take over the gym, changing it to your team’s colour and setting your Pokémon as protector of the gym.


Once you’ve sent a Pokémon to protect the gym, you cannot use it again until it is overthrown. You can see which Pokémon are stationed at a gym by finding the gym icon next to their picture. If you’ve got a Pokémon at a gym, you can collect more items and Stardust by clicking the defender icon in the item’s menu. It resets every 21 hours.

Pokémon Eggs: You can find eggs at PokéStops by random. Once you’ve got some, you can start to hatch them by placing them in your incubator! You’ll be able to see how far you’ve got to walk in order to hatch them, ranging from 2km to 10km. It works on the phone’s pedometer and GPS, so you can’t just drive the distance (sorry!), and the app must be open to count. When the Pokémon is ready to pop, it’ll let you know!


Save your battery: Pokémon GO will use up your battery and data when kept open just like any other game. Head to the settings and switch battery saver mode on. It’ll keep Pokémon GO on but it’ll switch the sound off after a while, and when your phone turns upside down (basically, when in your pocket), the screen turns black!  It’ll still notify you when there’s a Pokémon around, though!


Okay, that’s the basics covered. You should have a few Pokémon to play around with now! Now for some tips that they don’t tell you about:

  • When catching Pokémon, you can rotate the Pokéball quickly to make it a curveball! Make sure you flick it to the edge of the screen so it can come back. (It’s just satisfying, really)
  • There’s a reticle on the Pokémon you’re trying to catch with a certain colour on it, shrinking in size then going back to full size. Green reticle means it’ll be easy to catch, yellow and orange equal harder, red the hardest. To gain extra +EXP, wait to throw the Pokéball until the reticle is half size, and aim for the middle of the Pokémon; the belly or whatever’s in the middle. If successful, it’ll pop up with a Nice! or Great! Nice will gain you +10 EXP, with Great giving you an extra +50 EXP.
  • You can “summon” Pokémon on your maps! Down in the bottom right of your screen, you’ll see the Pokémon nearby. If one of them doesn’t have footprints under them, then tap the Pokémon silhouette/picture and it should pop up nearby!
  • Evolving an Eevee is random… sorry!
  • If you’re finding Pokémon with friends, you can find the exact same Pokémon. So, if your friend finds a 300 CP Kangaskhan, stand with them and you’ll most likely find it! (Unless you’re a much lower level)
  • If you’ve got Pokémon in more than 10 gyms, you’ll only be able to collect 10 payouts daily, making the daily pay out 100 coins and 5000 Stardust.
  • Using an Incense will guarantee you a Pokémon every 5 minutes. If it’s not doing that it’s bugged. Reset the app!
  • … This is a bit unsafe but if you drive under 20km/h, it counts as the distance for your eggs most of the time. Hopefully, you’ve got a really quiet street! (Don’t Pokémon GO and drive, though!)
  • If there’s a Pokéstop just out of reach, thrust your phone in the direction of the Stop and it may hurtle your character forward just the little bit further, enough to activate the stop! You’ll look weird doing it, though…
  • UPDATE: When you start, you get to choose from Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander, but if you don’t want them and walk away, a Pikachu will appear fore you to catch!

If we find any more, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Happy Catching!




Twitter @TheLaurenMcLean

Lauren's been at OK Games since the beginning, She's a passionate Xbox supporter even though she began her gaming with Nintendo and PlayStation. She loves her Bioshock Infinite influenced cat, Booker DeKatt, as well as complaining about things that don't need to be complained about.