Pokemon Go Beginners Guide: Tips and Tricks to Get You Started
In this tutorial, we'll cover some basic tips and tricks for users just starting out playing Pokemon Go. First of all, install the game for iOS or Android but don't catch any pokemons until you read tip no. 1 from below.
1. A cool Easter egg is to catch Pikachu right from the start
When you first start the game, 3 pokemons will be presented to you. Instead of catching any of them, walk away. Do this 3 times and Pikachu will appear. Now's your chance to catch it. Pikachu makes a rare appearance in the game, so getting one right from the start, is a nice way to begin the game.
2. Enable Batter saver in Settings
Click the center bottom pokeball button and then go to Settings, top right. Enable Battery saver, which comes disabled by default. What this does is to display a dark screen with a faded Pokemon logo, when turning the device upside down. That means, when you walk around with your phone in your hand, simply swing your hand along your body, like you normally do when walking.
The dark background with faded Pokemon Go logo
This little trick comes in very handy on long pokemons hunting walks, since the game does not run in the background or with the screen locked. Consider an external battery pack as well, if your battery can't keep up with your feet's stamina.
Update: The Battery Saver feature was removed in the game's 1.1.0 iOS version update. Fixed and re-enabled on iOS again. The current Android version still comes with this feature.
Personal preference: In settings, I choose to disable Music as well.
3. Keep phone screen ON
Disable phone's automatic lock timer. Go to Settings and find the Sleep or Lock screen setting that controls the automatic lock of the display. The game won't run in the background or while the screen is locked.
3. Disable AR (Augmented Reality)
When a pokemon appears and you click on it, you enter a capture screen. By default, you're using the phone's camera to see the pokemon on real life settings around you and you also have to turn around left or right to where the pokemon is exactly.
In this pokeball capturing sequence, there's a tiny top right toggle, AR. By disabling AR, you won't need to move the phone around to see the pokemon you're trying to catch. It also makes some pokemons movements less erratic - you'll notice how Zubats for instance, will fly lower to the ground. With AR off, the pokemon stays right in the center and you'll be able to catch it a lot easier.
Catching a Zubat with AR enabled on the left versus AR disabled on the right
Bonus tip: if you're not throwing well with your thumb, try holding the phone with one hand and use your other hand's index finger.
4. Go to crowded places
After you upgrade your character a few levels, you'll notice the Lure modules, wich make Pokestops drop pinkish leaves around them, if a Lure module is installed in them.
These modules can be placed in Pokestops in order to attract pokemons there, for 30 minutes, for all players who are near. Therefore going to crowded places with lots of Pokestops means more chances that other players will use their Lure modules there.
It's quite common that in crowded places such as parks or city centers you'll find 2, 3 or 4 adjacent Pokestops loaded with Lure modules. Those are the places you want to hang around at. Example of such a Pokestop nexus below.
3 adjacent Pokestops with lure modules
5. Collect Pokestops faster
In order to collect a Pokestop, at first, you normally open it, spin the middle circle and click on each item you receive. Try spinning the middle circle and then clicking on the bottom X right away. You'll notice all Pokestops items are collected automatically for you, thus saving time.
6. Transfer pokemons for candies
You won't need them all, so make sure you transfer the ones who take up space. You will receive 1 candy from the Professor, for each pokemon transferred. Read tip no. 9 below to figure out which pokemons to keep.
7. Bag is full? Delete some items
You'll eventually get this message when collecting Pokestops: "Your bag is full". Do note that even with a full bag, you still get 50 XP for spinning the Pokestop. In order to make some room on your bag, open up Items and delete some of your excess items. Taping Delete will not instantly delete all of the items in a category, but it will let you select how many you wish to discard.
8. Use the incubator with infinite uses for smaller eggs
Besides catching pokemons, you can also hatch them from eggs. In order to hatch an egg, you need to walk a certain distance. Eggs come with 2km, 5km, and 10km walking distances. The longer you have to walk in order to hatch an egg, the better the hatched pokemon will be.
Note that Pokemon-hatching eggs are not the same as Lucky Eggs. Pokemon-hatching eggs are pale yellow with big, green spots, while Lucky Eggs are pale blue with sparkling spots on them.
You also get incubators, much needed to hatch eggs. The first incubator has unlimited uses, while the rest of them come with limited uses. You can only fit one egg per incubator. After the egg hatches, the incubator is free to be used again.
A good tip is to use the incubator with unlimited uses for the eggs with the lowest walking distance required, while the incubators with limited uses should carry the eggs which require more walking.
9. Level up fast by evolving pokemons with Lucky Eggs
A lucky egg doubles the XP for 30 mins. When evolving a pokemon you usually get 500 XP, so with a lucky egg, you get 1000 XP.
Evolving as many pokemons as possible within 30 mins, with an active Lucky Egg, is the fastest way to gain XP and level up.
The first lucky egg you get is at level 9 - see the full list of rewards and unlockable items, so up until then don't waste time evolving any of your pokemons. Just keep collecting them.
Gather up as many pokemons with low evolve requirements as possible. Your usual suspects here are Pidgey pokemons (12 candies to evolve), because you usually encounter a lot of them. Rattatas (25 candies to evolve), Weedles (12 candies to evolve) and Caterpies (12 candies to evolve) are also quite frequent so gather as many as possible.
Additional tip here: up until the time you wish to engage gyms in battle (level 20 would be my recommendation at this time), don't use those candies to power up your pokemons. Keep the candies and use them for this 'evolve with Lucky egg' trick.
That's if for now. We'll upgrade the guide with more tips along the way, if necessary. If you have any good advise for players just starting out at Pokemon Go, don't be a stranger and leave a comment below.