7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

Alas, the global rollout of the Pokémon Go game is on hold while developer Niantic tries to cope with the overwhelming popularity of the game.

The game will definitely be coming to our shores but while you’re waiting, why not read up and be prepared for the coming of the Pokémon onslaught? Read on if you’re serious about becoming the very best.

1. There’s no take-backs for your trainer customization.

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

Following the Pokémon tradition of choosing and customizing your trainer/avatar, you’ll get to choose your avatar’s gender and customize certain aspects of your appearance. Take a little time here and don’t rush into it. Like the original Pokémon games, you can’t make changes to your avatar once selected.

That means your avatar’s looks are pretty much final, unless you’re willing to re-sign up to Pokémon Go with a completely new account. Starting over just because you didn’t like your backpack’s colour or decided you’d rather your hair be purple than green is a bit of a shame if you’ve already collected quite a few Pokémon.

Don’t worry, the Pokémon will still be around so take the extra time to get your avatar just right–you’ll be stuck with it for the entirety of the game.

2. You’ll only get to pick a team once you hit level five.

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

There was a bit of confusion in the beginning about teams. There are three in Pokémon Go, namely Team Red, Team Yellow and Team Blue. You don’t get to choose them at the beginning, however. Only after levelling up and catching enough Pokémon to hit level five then will you be able to choose your team.

Once you have a team, you can then join the nearest Pokémon Gym and participate in battles, defend your gym, or try and takeover a rival gym.

3. Battles can only be found at gyms.

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

Pokémon Gym battles can get pretty exciting, but there’s a catch: you need to be at the location of a gym to fight with other players. So no, you can’t just pick fights with other trainers the way you do with the classic Pokémon games.

Just look for the nearest open Pokémon Gym or team-owned gym to get your battle on.

4. You really do have to catch them all. 

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

While you as a trainer level up by catching Pokémon, levelling up and evolving Pokémon requires you to catch multiple copies of the same Pokémon. Each time you catch a Pokémon, you’ll gain Stardust, which you can use to level up a Pokémon.

To evolve Pokémon, you’ll need special candies. The easiest way to get them for the requisite Pokémon is by transferring them over to the Professor. You’ll of course be reminded that the transfer is final and you’re not going to get your Pokémon back so be careful not to transfer the wrong Pokémon!

5. You might need to bring along a spare battery.

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

As the game relies heavily on GPS data, it can be a drain on your smartphone’s battery. Make sure your phone’s fully charged and that you have a spare battery or power bank with you.

To help your battery life, you can also turn on the Battery Saver under settings. Select Battery Saver, flip your phone upside down until the screen dims. Then switch out to your home screen. This way, you can have Pokémon Go running in the background while you’re on your daily routine but it will notify you as soon as a wild Pokémon appears or when you approach a nearby Pokéstop.

6. You can get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon. 

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

Here’s one little trick that’ll be useful before you start. If you’re not keen on the starter three Pokémon (how can you not like Charmander?), you can just skip all of them and bag Pikachu instead.

There’s a litlte bit of walking involved. When the first three show up, instead of trying to catch them, walk past them. They will keep popping up. But on the fourth appearance, Pikachu will be with them. How long will it take? It depends really, all you can do is keep walking and waiting.

7. For easier catches, press and hold.

, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

The in-game tutorial for Pokémon Go is kind of terrible and barely covers the basics. What it doesn’t teach you is that to catch a Pokémon, it’s not just about lobbing a Pokéball at one.

You need to first press and hold the Pokéball and you’ll see a circle surrounding the Pokémon that will shrink as you press. As soon as the circle has shrunk to its smallest, then throw the ball. You’ll get better catching rates that way and it’ll be essential once you start going after higher-level Pokémon.


, 7 top details you should know about Pokémon Go gameplay

This story originally appeared on Stuff Singapore, bringing you what’s next in the world of tech and gadgets, with a twist.

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