Ten things you need to know before playing Pokemon GO! (UPDATED)

Our obsession with Pokémon Go continues unabated. We’re here with a few of the best tips and tricks to help new trainers get started and become a true Pokémon master.

  • **NEW** Better living through offline maps. Jump into your Google Maps app on your phone, head into the settings menu and make sure the Offline Maps option is ticked. Pokémon Go will now no longer need to pull down so much map data when you’re on a hunt, which means less 4G data usage and more battery life for you.
  • Hit the TIPS button! See that question mark on the Pokéball menu? It will tell you pretty much everything you need to know to get started, which is useful considering the game doesn’t really have a tutorial of any sort.
  • Incubate your eggs. Not everything is in the tips, however! Eggs are a bit of mystery to new players — if you have them, what do you do with them? In the Pokémon menu (again accessible via the Pokéball), hit eggs at the top of the page. If you have eggs, they’ll be stored in there. You can hold up to 9 eggs at a time, and you get eggs from Pokéstops. Each egg will require you to walk for different distances to incubate properly — the greater the distance, the rarer the Pokémon inside.
  • You’re not bad at the game, Zubats are surprisingly difficult to catch. Luckily, there are about 11 trillion of them so you’ll get lots of practice.
  • Iron grip: You can even the odds against the Zubat onslaught, however. When attempting to catch a Pokémon , hold your finger down on the Pokéball. This will cause the green circle to shrink. The smaller the circle, the lower the likelihood that the Pokémon will escape and flee.
  • The coloured circles are important. Easy or low level Pokémon will have a green ring around them on the battle/encounter screen. They’ll be easy to catch. Pokémon with a yellow circle around them have a higher CP and will be harder to catch.
  • Jump on public transport and smash through the pokestops! And don’t worry, Pokémon will jump on the bus or train with you. You’ve just got to grab them quickly while they’re still near you on the map! Buses are perfect for this. Trains are far trickier.
  • Send the Professor your Trash Pokes. If you find yourself with loads of weaker, duplicate Pokémon , keep the most powerful one and send the rest back to the Professor. Doing so will help you rack up candies you can use to grow and evolve your Pokémon .
  •  No data? No problem! Urban Pokéstops are often near areas with free wifi!
  • Use your items! Have you spent an hour hiking over hill and dale with only seventy five thousand zubats to show for it? In the items screen, you’ll find two sticks of incense. Burn some to draw Pokémon directly to you like some kind of crazy zubat magnet. Lures show up on the world map so you might draw other players to your location as well.
  • New items will appear as you level up. Once you hit a high enough level, you’ll start picking up Razz Berries, Master Balls and Ultra Balls from Pokéstops.
  • Pokémon GO used Battery Drain! It’s super effective! Get yourself a portable battery charger for longer hunts. Pokémon GO has a bad habit of drinking your phone battery.
  • Pokéstops don’t stop paying out. Just hang about for a few minutes and the Pokéstop will spawn more goodies and XP for you to nab once every five minutes. Just spin the wheel for more.
  • Pikachu as a starter: During the beginning of the game, the Professor will ask you to pick your starter Pokémon — Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur. The thing is, if you walk away and wander back, a Pikachu will appear and you can take that as your starter Pokémon instead.
  • Put a spin on it. Drawing a circle around your Pokéball will set the ball spinning. When you throw it and land a capture, you’ll rack up extra style points.


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The Iris and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT theaureview.com.

David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.