Pokémon GO is a bit different from traditional Pokémon games, and it’s currently the closest thing we have to playing Pokémon in the real world. It is an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices developed by Niantic, the company behind the popular augmented reality game Ingress.
The first trailer for Pokémon GO came out in September 2015.
Further information about when Pokémon GO will be released has yet to be announced.
Field tests are Pokémon GO’s equivalent of beta tests and allow players to try out the game on their own mobile devices. So far, two field tests have taken place.
Japan – Announced on March 3, 2016, the field test began on March 28.
Australia and New Zealand – Announced on April 7, the field test expanded to these two areas on April 25.
Future field tests have not yet been announced.
Keep an eye on the official website for all the latest Pokémon GO news.
Much information about Pokémon GO’s gameplay has emerged from the field tests.
When you encounter a wild Pokémon, you can either use the screen to catch it or enter augmented reality mode to catch it with your camera. You’ll then aim at the Pokémon and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Your chances of success improve if you use a better type of Poké Ball.
You can encounter stronger Pokémon and obtain better items when you have a higher Trainer level.
Rather than evolving Pokémon in a traditional way, you can choose to evolve one of your caught Pokémon once you’ve caught a certain number of that type.
As you complete challenges and reach milestones, you’ll earn achievement medals that will appear in your profile.
An optional device called the Pokémon GO Plus will use Bluetooth to connect to your device and give you Pokémon GO notifications for when you’re not actively playing.
During Pokémon GO, you will be asked to pick a team to join. This team determines which Gyms are yours and which are your opponents.
There are three teams, but we don’t know much about them yet.
From the field tests, it appears that Pokémon GO will have action-based battles. You can tap the screen to perform a quick attack, or press and hold for a charged attack. The game indicates when you are being targeted by the opponent, giving you a chance to dodge the attack by swiping the screen.
Both attacks and dodges cost Energy to use.
At a Pokémon Gym, your goal as an attacker is to defeat all of the Gym Leader’s Pokémon. You’ll earn experience for defeating Pokémon, and it will also affect the Gym’s prestige level.
Many details about the combat system and how Gyms will function are still unknown and may change by the time the full game is released.
World and PokéStops
As you play Pokémon GO, your location in the real world will be incredibly important. The environment determines the types of Pokémon you’ll be able to find there. For example, you might only be able to encounter Water-type Pokémon if you’re near a body of water like a lake, a river, or the ocean.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for PokéStops. PokéStops will be at significant locations such as monuments. When you reach one, you can get more Poké Balls and other items.
PokéStops are also your source for Pokémon Eggs. Like in the main Pokémon series, Eggs will hatch once you’ve walked with them a certain distance.
Pokémon Gyms will also be found at special locations in the real world. If a Gym belongs to your team, you can assign one Pokémon to defend it. You can also challenge opponents’ Gyms by fighting the defending Pokémon with your own.
Pokémon Trading seems to be possible in Pokémon GO, within a certain radius from your current location or the location of a Gym. Full details have yet to be revealed.
Since Pokémon GO is a free-to-play game with optional in-app purchases, this may be a source of concern for many interested fans. However, so far it doesn’t seem as though it will be too bad.
Items, which can be obtained at PokéStops, can also be bought with Gems. This in-game currency can be purchased with real money, but you can also get Gems from PokéStops as well. The full details are still unclear.
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