If you’ve noticed a bunch of people wandering around looking at their phones weirdly this week, they’re probably playing Pokemon Go, a new app that brings the popular ‘90s video game into the real world. We asked our resident Poke-expert Mario Restrepo, one of our fellows, what you need to know to start playing. He spent a whole lot of his weekend wandering town trying to find them.
Training your Pokemon:
To begin, you should know that you get Stardust and one Candy for each Pokemon you catch. Both of these are needed if you want to make your Pokemon stronger.
If you really want to excel in Pokemon Go, the best thing you can do is catch everything and anything. I know it sounds crazy, but to make your Pokemon stronger you need to catch as many of that one Pokemon over and over again, to eventually evolve or raise its power.
To catch different Pokemon, you’ll have to travel the city and get to know what Pokemon are where. Water Pokemon are near water, ground Pokemon are around town and depending on your area you’ll find some rare Pokemon.
The next thing you need to know is that you will need to transfer your duplicate Pokemon to Professor Willow in exchange for candy. He will then place the Pokemon back in the wild and you can level up your Pokemon.
Evolving your Pokemon:
There are different amounts of type-specific candies needed to evolve each Pokemon. A Pokemon with 3 evolutions usually needs 12 to 25 candies until its next form, then 50 to 100 candies to evolve into its final form.
Pokemon with 2 evolutions need from 50 to 100 candies to evolve into the final form depending on how rare the Pokemon is. (Unless you have a Magicarp that needs 400 candies to transform into a Gyarados, a gigantic dragon-like sea creature.)
You’ll sometimes catch Pokemon, like a Pinsir, that don’t evolve and just live in one form forever. You can always check to see how many candies you need to evolve your Pokemon by tapping it in your inventory.
Walking around town you will see tons of landmarks as Pokestops, where you’ll be able to find Pokeballs and other items every time you check into them. You’ll find out that if you’re in a set location for longer than 5 minutes that you’ll be eligible to get another spin at the Pokestop.
The higher the level you are as a player, the better items you’ll receive at a Pokestop. You can also attach a lure module to a Pokestop to attract more Pokemon to that place, and other other players can also benefit.
While you’re walking around to check Pokestops, try to keep an egg in your incubator, because after walking two, five or 10 kilometers in the game, the egg will hatch.
Once you get to level five, you’ll be able to pick and join one of the three teams in the game: Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue), and Valor (red). Just like Pokestops, there will be gyms around town where you’ll be able to train and battle with opposing teams. Whoever is strongest will take ownership of the gym, and you can tell which team owns it by the color of the gym.
You can earn experience by training in the gyms and to increase your training level in the game, which will give you access to better items and stronger Pokemon. If you battle in a gym that your team owns, it’s a one-on-one fight and you earn gym prestige and experience. If you battle in another team’s gym, you’re allowed six Pokemon to try to defeat the gym and claim ownership of the gym. When you own a gym, you get freebies from the Pokestore.
Catching Pokemon in Miami:
The more dense the location is, the better chances you’ll have of finding Pokemon. Lincoln Road, where I’ve been spending most of my weekend, is a sweet spot, with blocks and blocks of Pokestops — and places to enjoy air conditioning and wifi. Soundscape Park is a hub of Pokestops, Pokemon, and people sitting around enjoying the breeze.
Bayfront Park is filled with numerous Pokemon one wouldn’t find anywhere else, some Dratinis are known to wander around the area. Wynwood is another haven for gyms and pokestops, with tons of places to eat and lots of people to interact with. Another hub would be Collins Park. Plenty of Pokestops and a gym to train at.
All in all, I think I’ve had the most fun just getting exercise in and running into hundreds of other people wandering around town trying to catch ‘em all.