48 hours since its launch, Pokémon GO has absolutely taken the world by storm. You can scarcely throw a Pokéball in any suburban area without running into a pack of players staring at their phones, enthralled by the possibility of catching ’em all. The game truly seems to have universal appeal; even the creators underestimated it, judging by the endlessly frustrating server problems (Diablo III encountered similar issues at launch, so don’t panic)!
Since little solid information about how to play has been made public by Niantic, everyone is in the same boat when it comes to figuring the GPS-based game out. Here’s what our team has experienced so far:
What do you like most about Pokémon GO?
Big Brother: For me, it’s the thrill of the chase, whether it’s actually going out and seeing what I can find or building my team up to take down local gyms.
Chad DuBeau: The augmented reality – the vision and imagination of Pokémon actually being in your daily life, which we’ve been imagining since childhood.
Garett: I like that it’s something creative and really immersive into our everyday reality, and that it’s gotten me outside more often!
Greg: I think so far it’s the coupling of a fresh mobile game idea, it being Pokémon, and the real life social aspect of getting friends together to play.
Marirose: I think it’s something we’ve been waiting for as gamers since GPS came out on smartphones. Just being able to explore and have the virtual world as a secondary connection there is great. Google did something similar to this with an April Fool’s Joke where you searched around for Pokémon on a map, and that really piqued people’s interest.
What’s your strategy for playing?
Big Brother: Find a PokéStop-heavy area like a small town and walk around a few blocks in order to hit them repeatedly and hatch my eggs. I think the eggs are the best shot for finding something rare, and even if you get something you already have, you get plenty of candy and experience with it.
Chad: I haven’t quite worked one out yet; it’s more about walking around and seeing what I can find so far. Collecting as much as I can to “catch ’em all”.
Garett: Just to have fun with it. Go to PokéStops, try and catch a lot of Pokémon. That’s the whole point, is to have fun – I’ve noticed that we’ve talked to a lot more people about it when we were out, so we enjoy the community.
Greg: Catch them all, literally. And train several up high – don’t just focus on one. Because if you beat a gym you want to leave a strong Pokémon there.
Marirose: I try to go to spots that will have a lot of community areas, because they’ll have the most PokéStops. There also seems to be a larger conglomerate of Pokémon places when there are more people around – famous places, like hotspots on Google.
Which ideas did you initially have about the game that you later decided were wrong?
Big Brother: It took me a while to figure out the footprint thing and notice that fewer footprints meant that the monsters were closer.
Chad: That it wouldn’t be as good as it is. The commercial was just Pokémon walking around the world, and while we didn’t get exactly that, it’s pretty close!
Garett: I think “Nice!” and “Great!” have nothing to do with the capture circle, but how you flick – but who knows? We’ll figure out more as people play longer. I’m finding out that the connectivity issues might be with my individual phone and internet rather than the actual servers.
Greg: I didn’t think it would be this addicting. I also thought it would be a more complete game at launch, with trading and battling.
Marirose: I thought that it was going to have turn-based battle, like the original Pokémon games. I like strategizing over skill, but this turned out to be fine.
What are some of the rarer Pokémon you’ve caught so far, in your opinion?
Big Brother: I’m pretty happy with my Seaking, which kind of popped up out of nowhere. Otherwise, I’ve got a Pikachu, an Abra, and a Tentacool, which probably have varying degrees of rarity.
Chad: Slowbro. I don’t know how rare my Gastly is. And this is very common, but I know a lot of people don’t have a Goldeen yet!
Garett: I caught a Geodude today, and I hadn’t even seen one before. I caught a Beedrill and Pidgeot in the wild.
Greg: I hatched a Cubone and got a Seel today. Also, the Dashing Nerds had a crazy group hunt for the Pikachu that made him seem rare.
Marirose: I got a Ponyta egg, and I caught a Gengar last night – and also my Ryhorn, who appeared while I was sitting in my chair at home!
What have you figured out that you think other people still might not know?
Big Brother: This is just a theory, but I’m still questioning the capture circles. Numerous guides have stated that you want the circle to be as small as possible, but that doesn’t seem to have anything to do whether I get positive feedback from the game or not. I think this could be a classic example of confirmation bias that people are taking as canon.
Chad: Nothing. Other people have been teaching me so far! I’ve learned to be humble and accept others’ teachings.
Garett: Opening and closing the app when the server is “down” can make a big difference. The other thing is that the PokéStops reset really quickly.
Greg: That the server issues are going to continue for a while. If they aren’t fixed yet, we have a bit of a wait. Also, that you can track specific Pokémon by clicking them in the nearby list.
Marirose: When you are incubating eggs, driving around in a car won’t help you UNLESS your avatar is shown walking. If the character is running, I’ve noticed that the game doesn’t count your distance. So the time braking might work, but most drive time will be disappointing.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for more Pokémon GO content from the Dashing Nerds!
7/10 Update: Looking to level up? Here’s the straight dirt from scouring Reddit:
“A lot of players are grinding rank XP by evolving Pidgeys (of which there are an abundance) to Pidgeottos, which only costs 12 candy. If done while a Lucky Egg is active, it’s 1000XP per evolution. If you have 100+ candy and a ton of Pidgeys to evolve, it’s regarded as the fastest way to level at the moment.”