The best ‘Pokémon Go’ tips and tricks

Want to master 'Pokémon Go'? We have the ultimate guide to catching them all

Pokémon Go became a cultural phenomenon in 2016 by giving everyone the chance to “catch ’em all.” In augmented reality (AR), you wander around your city and neighborhood to find and catch as many virtual pocket monsters as possible.

Despite how simple the game mechanics seem, there are still ways to play the game well, and developer Niantic has introduced a lot of new features since the game’s launch two years ago. Whether you have yet to begin amassing your collection, or you are well on your way to filling out your Pokédex, this article will break down all the game’s nuances and various ways to play.

How to find the best wild Pokémon

Pokémon Go wants you to get up on your feet and venture into the real world, and it spreads different kinds of Pokémon around loosely based on your real-life location. In town, grass- and normal-type Pokémon will often appear. If you go near water or out at night, however, you’re likely to encounter water-based and psychic Pokémon, respectively. There’s an element of randomness involved as well; sometimes water Pokémon appear in locations without water nearby, for instance, so what you find is not entirely based on your geographical location.

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Checking your local parks is a must, because Niantic often uses these to create “nests” of specific types of Pokémon, so they’ll appear much more frequently in those places. What Pokémon appears at what nest rotates over time, though, so get what you need quick, because you never know when a Dratini nest might suddenly turn into a Pikachu nest.

Here are some tips for finding Pokémon

Tip #1: Whenever a Pokémon appears, as long as it’s on screen, you can tap it to begin the catching process — no matter how far away it is from you.

Tip #2: Don’t give up if a Pokémon flees while you’re trying to catch it. It may reappear on the map, so you may get another chance.

Tip #3: Use Incense and Lure modules! Incense is a consumable item you can earn by leveling up, or purchase from the Pokémon Go shop. It attracts Pokémon to you, naturally increasing your odds of spotting a rare Pokémon. It also lowers the probability of them fleeing.

Lure modules work in a similar way, but are applied to a PokéStop rather than a player. They attract Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes, and in doing so, benefit all players in the area. So, if you see a spot on your map with pink confetti-like animation, go there for a better chance at finding Pokémon. Add some incense, and you’re likely to be swarmed by the little monsters.

Tip #4: Tune in for monthly community days and other Niantic events. These are always broadcast in your Pokémon Go app, and often focus on Pokémon from a particular region or of a particular type. The community day each month is a great way to get out and catch a specific, usually rare, kind of Pokémon as well. Keep an eye out for special events to quickly find lots of Pokémon and jump-start the path to some evolutions.

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