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Last updated:
24 October 2017

Pokemon Go

Find out how to get started and how to play the game safely.

1 Pokemon Go is here!

Get started

First of all you will need to download the Pokémon Go app, which you can get for Apple and Android phones and tablets. You will need internet access to play the game.

Once you are logged into the game you with be introduced to Professor Willow who will get you started with your first Pokémon which will be Squirtle, Bulbasaur or Charmander. Swipe the screen upwards using the Pokéball to hit the Pokémon to catch it. You are now up and running and ready to go and catch more Pokémon around your local area. If you have a camera on your phone you can see the Pokémon in front of you on your phone in ‘real life’ mode (this does drain your battery more though).

How do I catch Pokémon?

Pokémon can be found in many different locations and the idea is that you use the GPS on your phone to find them and catch as many as you can. When a Pokémon is nearby your phone will buzz letting you know and they will appear on the map. Tap on the Pokémon on the map, and you’ll switch to the catching mode. If you have a green ring around the Pokémon it is the easiest to catch, yellow is slightly harder and red the most difficult to catch. Swipe the screen using the Pokéball to catch as before.

Within the game you collect Pokémon, battle others in gyms and visit Pokéstops, so what does all that mean?

A Pokéstop

A Pokéstop is where you can collect different items to help you upgrade your current Pokémon and collect other items you might need within the game, for example, Pokéballs, eggs, revives and potions.

What items can I collect and what do they mean?

Pokéballs – These come in 3 different types, a Pokéball, Great Ball (unlocked at level 12) and Ultra Ball (unlocked at level 20) and all can be collected from Pokéstops. The balls are what you need to collect Pokémon. The harder the Pokémon is to collect the better Pokéball you will need to collect it.

Eggs – These can be hatched by walking around and contain Pokémon.

Revives – If your Pokémon faints during a battle you can use a revive to bring them back to life.

Potions – Again there are different potions and these allow Pokémon to be healed between any battles you have. The better the potion the more your Pokémon will be healed.

Stardust – You collect this when you collect a Pokémon and will need to upgrade them.

Candy – there is specific candy for each Pokémon, and can be collected by having duplicates of the same Pokémon.

Razz Berries — these help to catch the higher level Pokémon by stopping them from running away. These can only be gained once you reach level 8.

Lure module — a temporary use item that can be applied to a Pokéstop that increases the chances of a wild Pokémon at that Pokéstop for all nearby users.

Incense — a temporary item that helps with your chances of finding Pokémon for the user of the item for the next half-hour after use.

All the items you can collect can also be bought using Pokécoins from the store.

Upgrading my Pokémon

Each Pokémon has Combat Powers (CP) and these levels can be increased within the game to make your Pokémon better at battling in gyms. To do this you need Stardust and the specific candy for that Pokémon. For example to upgrade Squirtle you’ll need stardust and Squirtle candy. This will increase their CP levels.

How do I level up my character?

Your character (Pokémon trainer) levels up with the more experience (XP) you have in the game. Every time you walk around during the game, visit a Pokéstop or battle your Pokémon you will gain experience and level up your character. As you level up you will be gifted items within the game. When you reach level 5 you then need to choose a battle team (known as factions), red (Team Valor), Yellow (Team Instinct) or Blue (Team Mystic) and this allows you to battle other characters in gyms.

So, what are gyms?

This is your chance to battle other Pokémon trainers who are playing the game. These gyms tend to be a famous landmark in the real world.

Gyms are held by the coloured teams (factions) and if your team holds a gym you can train your Pokémon against other team members making the gym higher in points, therefore making it a better place to gain items. If there is space at the gym you can add a Pokémon to be stationed there to help your team keep hold of it. If the gym is owned by other coloured teams you can challenge for a battle. The more battles won by one team allows for the gym to be taken over. This all helps with your experience and combat power points for your trainer and Pokémon.

Time to battle, but how?

Battling is easy to do, your Pokémon fight against an enemy’s Pokémon in a one-on-one battle. There are two attacks possible, tap on your enemy for a light attack or tap and hold for a special attack (this can only be done once your meter bar is full). To avoid being hit yourself you must swipe left and right to try and dodge the opponents attack. The battle is over when one of the Pokémon has fainted, however, you can revive or heal your Pokémon using the items discussed above. Some Pokémon are better for different opponents, the water Pokémon are better to fight the fire ones and the fire ones to battle the grass ones.

Hints and tips

Pokémon drains your battery so make sure when you are out and about you have enough battery life in order to save some if you need it. Or, invest in an extra battery or an external charger. Try playing the game without the camera option to help reduce battery use.

Be safe when walking around make sure you are aware of the people around you. Don’t walk out into the road or into people on the street. It’s easy to fall over when you are not looking where you are going.

If you are searching for Pokémon on a hot day make sure you take a drink with you and stay hydrated. If it's raining make sure you have waterproofs to keep you dry.

Where have you been collecting Pokémon?

We would love you to get involved with us by providing safe places for Pokéstops and gyms that other young people can use without being in danger. Visit the Your Space blog to add a comment with the location or send us a pin on google maps to 07764 327157.

We will then check these places for approval and get posting them on the website.

2 Tips for playing Pokemon Go safely

Pokémon Go is a sociable and enjoyable game that can be used to get you out and about with your friends. However, there are some points that you should keep in mind to have both a fun and safe experience.

Here are our top tips for playing Pokémon Go safely.

1. Be aware of your surroundings – We all know how important it is to get that rare Pokémon, but as you’re looking at your phone to see where the next one is hiding you need to keep an eye on what is going on around you. The last thing you want is to walk into the middle of the road and get run over, so remember to look where you’re going and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times.

2. It can cost a lot of money – As with any downloadable game there is always the option to pay money to get extra items. You probably already know that collecting PokéCoins (the in-game currency) is very slow to start with and you may want to buy more, but it can cost a lot of money (up to £79.99 for 14,500 PokéCoins).

So that you’re not spending lots of money without realising it, we would recommend that you set up the app without a payment option. However, if you have already set this up, check to make sure that your app is always asking for a password when you go to make a purchase, this way you can never accidentally make a payment and it also gives you a chance to think if you actually need to buy those PokéCoins.

How to turn off in-app purchases on an Apple device.

  • Via the home screen, select ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘General’ in the main settings menu
  • Scroll down and tap ‘Restrictions’
  • Select ‘Enable restrictions’, and set a four-digit password.

How to turn off in-app purchases on an Android device.

  • Open the Google Play Store and select the ‘Menu’ button at the top of the screen
  • Scroll down and select ‘Settings’
  • Select ‘Require authentication for purchases’.

3. Check your data usage – Most of you will have a phone with a contract that your parents pay for which will allow you to use a certain amount of data per month. With Pokémon Go you can expect to use between 2MB and 8MB+ of data per hour you play. So that you don’t use all of your monthly data within a few days we would recommend:

  • playing in areas where Wi-Fi is available and you can connect to it
  • downloading any updates to the game at home whilst connected to your Wi-Fi.

4. Battery life is sacred – It is very easy for any app you run on your phone to zap all of your battery power, Pokémon Go is no exception. Make sure you’re aware of what percentage of battery life you have left and always leave enough battery power to be able to use your phone to call your parents, carers or 999 in an emergency.

5. Official Pokémon – Make sure you download the official Pokémon Go app. There are already dodgy versions that you can download so be careful and always download apps from the recommended store. The Apple Store and Google Play will always have the most up-to-date official versions of any game.

6. Lures – Lures are a great way to get extra Pokémon and can only be used at a Pokéstop. However, it has been reported that individuals are using lures to get people to come to that location so that they can steal personal possessions including mobile phones. To prevent this from happening make sure you don’t go out at night on your own and don’t go to any areas where you have never been before without a responsible adult.

7. Gyms – These are static locations where individuals can go to battle their Pokémon. In these locations it is always important to stay vigilant. You all know that Pokémon is a very social game and you may see the same individuals time and time again but if you repeatedly go to the same places there is potential for ‘predators’ to come over and try to strike up conversation. Remember, never speak to strangers and mix up your routine so you’re not at the same places all the time.

Remember, these rules are just a guide and you need to look after yourself at all times. Let your common sense guide you and if you are at all worried or concerned about anything around the game speak to your parent, carer or a responsible adult first.

3 Safe places to go

Finding pokemon, pokestops and gyms can be hard work especially if you are on your own. It is important to make sure you look after yourself when out searching.

Here are some examples of safe places you can visit.

  • Libraries – Many libraries in West Sussex are pokestops, for example Chichester Library. You can visit a library while collecting items you need to play the game. Find your local library, their opening times and visit them today.
  • FindItOut Centres – Our FIO Centres are designed for young people who need information, advice and guidance but are also a safe place for you to visit to whilst playing pokemon. Find your local FIO Centre, their opening times and visit them today.
  • Children and Family Centres – Our children and family centres are a great place where children can make friends and learn to play together. If you are an adult playing the game with a young child why not try one of our centres as many are also pokestops. Find your local children and family centre, their opening times and visit them today.

Other safe places include town halls, museums, cinemas, churches and leisure centres. Just remember you don’t need to be walking through a park or alleyway on your own either during the day or late at night when there are safe places around for you to explore.

You can find pokestops and gyms in your area on the Pokemon map

If you know of any safe places to go for collecting pokemon, visiting a pokestop or gym then contact us and we can add them to the list. If you know of any dangerous places that people need to avoid also get in touch.

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