In case you haven’t been on the internet recently, a game called Pokemon GO was released and it’s all people are talking about. It’s officially the biggest mobile game in US history, gaining some 21 million active users in its first week of release and its popularity isn’t going to die down any time soon. Here’s everything you need to know about Pokemon GO.
What exactly is it?
Pokémon GO is a mobile game that encourages players to head outside and explore the world around them to catch Pokémon. The game uses augmented virtual reality: it uses your camera and superimposes Pokémon on to real-time camera footage. Your phone will vibrate when there’s a Pokémon nearby and once you’ve encountered it, you can use your smartphone’s touch screen to catch the Pokémon. Catching Pokémon in the real world is the basic premise of the game, though you can do other things like evolve your Pokémon, visit PokéStops to pick up supplies like Pokéballs and take part in gym battles.
What devices is it available on?
Pokémon GO is available on Android and iOS devices. If you have an Android phone, you can download the game from the Google Play store, whereas if you have an iOS device, you can download the game from Apple’s App store.
What Pokémon can I catch?
The game lets you catch all the Pokémon from generation I, that is the Pokémon that were introduced in the Red, Blue and Yellow Gameboy games. In total there are 151 generation I Pokémon, including Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo, Mew, Charizard, Jigglypuff, Eevee, Dragonite and franchise mascot Pikachu. There are currently six generations of Pokémon (the seventh generation will start with the release of Sun and Moon in November), and it’s pretty certain that more generations will be added Pokémon GO over time.
Are there more features coming?
There are apparently plenty of new features which are going to rolled out in the near future. Trading Pokémon has always been a key part of the games; some Pokémon only evolve when traded and most of the Pokémon games have been released in pairs (X and Y, for example), with certain Pokémon appearing in one game but not the other, which encourages players to trade if they want to catch them all. Future updates will also include improvements to gyms and PokéStops, as well as a global leaderboard system.
Is it free?
Pokémon GO is free to play, though there is an in-game shop where players can purchase various items to help them progress further in the game. Items that can be purchased include Pokéballs, egg incubators, eggs, incense and lure modules to help attract more Pokémon to your area.
Where are the Pokémon?
Pokémon of certain types appear in certain areas: for example, head to a river, the beach or any body of water and you’ll find water Pokémon; head to a forest and you’ll find Pokémon that are suited to living in a forest environment. One of the game’s criticisms is that some people can’t catch as many Pokémon as others because of where they live. People in big cities are likely to encounter a broader selection of Pokémon than people living in remote, out-of-the-way towns and villages, for example.
How’s it been received?
The game has been praised for encouraging people to get up and move about. Though Pokémon GO isn’t the first game of its type (Ingress is a similar sort of game that’s been well received), it’s certainly the most popular of its type and has been praised for being a video game that requires players to move about, not just sit in front of a TV or computer screen for hours on end.