Here’s What You Need To Know About Pokémon GO


Pokémon GO — the augmented-reality app for iPhone and Android — is taking over the world. Here are the basics: You download the app and head outside. Then you walk around an area looking for Pokémon — tiny virtual creatures with names like Bulbasaur, Pikachu and Rattata. When you find one, you “catch it” using a digital Poké Ball and add it to your collection, called a Pokédex.

There also are places called PokéStops, which are “interesting places like museums, art installations, historical markets and monuments,” according to the app description. Find one of those, and you can stock up on Poké Balls and potions to catch even more Pokémon or upgrade the ones you have.

What I like about it is that it’s encouraging people young and old to get outside and explore. Sure, you’re still looking at a phone, but you’re outside and moving around. plus, it’s actually a lot of fun. People here at Boys’ Life headquarters are even playing. There’s even a PokéStop at the famous statue of a Boy Scout outside the Boy Scouts of America’s national headquarters in Irving, Texas.

Here are few helpful tips from our Games Guru:

Pokeballs Equal Power
Pokeballs tend to be found near landmarks at things called PokeStops. These first appear as blue cubes then as tall landmarks that have disks you can spin. Swipe on one and the ammo falls out. I found some in the park’s garden under a flagpole and others near a church. Toss the Pokeball into a circle that gets bigger and smaller. It appears over the Pokemon. Toss it when it’s the smallest to capture the cute thing.


The Eggs Are Pokemon
You’ll find eggs along the way. What do you do? Put them in an incubator (it’s already in your inventory so click the egg there by tapping on your pokeball). A Pokemon will hatch after you’ve walked around for a while.

Yay: Big Battles!
After reaching Level 5, you pick a team. Then, you battle Pokemon in the gym, which is designated on your phone. Try not to take on Pokemon with much higher stats that you. But don’t use your strongest Pokemon at your first gym, either, because you won’t be able to train at that gym again.

Your Phone May Get Hot
If you’re playing with an older cell phone, it may get hot. That’s because it’s using a lot of battery power by constantly running your GPS map app and camera. My phone isn’t that old and it froze up twice. No worries. I just shut down and started the phone again and I was in business, the business of catching ’em all. And I didn’t even lose the cool Tangela I just captured.

Hey! Be Careful
A sign pops up on your phone from time to time as you play. It asks you to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t go into the street when your head is down while you’re looking at your phone. Don’t bump into people, either. Look in the phone and then look up into the real world: that’s the way to do it! Not this way:

Want More Info?
You’ll find a lot more tips online, but here’s a particularly good place.


  1. So if the idea of this Pokemon thing is to get people out and about, how do we get them to take the next step and interact with each other instead of standing around in a group looking at their phones…?

  2. This is a very helpful article! Can you explain more about how the teams work? My son is 8 and I don’t like the idea of him playing with strangers. Anyone have insight to share that might make me reconsider this position? Thank you!

  3. Once you level up to level 5, you can choose one of three teams: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. Once you have chosen, you can’t go back, so choose wisely. As far as I know, you don’t play with strangers, but you can visit Pokemon gyms, which test your Pokemon skills. I hope this comment clears your concerns, Liz! Have fun playing!

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