If you have been on the internet for more than a few minutes, then chances are you know that Pokémon Go has become an enormous phenomenon. Pokémon Go is a freemium mobile game developed by Niantic Labs and published by The Pokémon Company. It was released globally at midnight on July 5, 2016.

As of August 2017, over 2 million downloads had been made in the US alone. This figure includes both paid and free users.

But what exactly is Pokémon Go? And how does it work?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the history behind Pokémon Go, as well as its gameplay features and mechanics.

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokemon Go is a location-based augmented reality (AR) title developed by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. At first glance, it looks like a simple smartphone app, but upon closer examination, it becomes clear that it’s much more complex than that.

To get started with Pokemon Go, all you need to do is download the official app from any app store or search “Pokemon go” on your phone. Once downloaded, open up the app, sign into Facebook if you haven’t already done so, and begin playing!

The game has three main features: hunting creatures called “Pokestops” and battling other players online using your smartphone’s camera. Here’s a quick rundown of each feature.
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1. Hunting Creatures Called ‘Pokestops’

Before you can battle against other players, you must hunt down creatures known as “Pokemons.” To begin hunting, head to a Pokestop. These are locations where you can find and catch Pokemons. You can also visit them using GPS.

You can either use your smartphone’s camera to identify a particular Pokemon, or hold out your hand to activate the “Find” function. When using Find, a map will appear on your screen showing the nearest Pokestop to you. Tap on one of the points displayed on the map, and the game will automatically start searching for a Pokemon near that point.

Once you locate a Pokemon, tap on it to capture it. Then, simply walk away from the Pokemon. The Pokemon won’t move until you leave it alone again, which makes it easy to spot.

Once you’ve caught a Pokemon, you can train it in order to learn new moves. Pokecoins can also be used to buy items such as Potions, Revives, and Super Potions. If you want to use Potions, you will need to find and capture enough Pokemons. You can purchase Potions using real money in-app purchases.

Potions are essential to healing in Pokemon Go. They can restore health when taken before battles, as well as heal damage after battles. You can only take two Potions per battle, however, so you must decide whether you want to pay to heal more quickly or fight stronger opponents.

2. Battling Other Players Online Using Your Smartphone’s Camera

Once you’ve located a Pokemon, you can challenge another player to a battle. In order to do this, you must wait for the opposing trainer to make their way to your position, and then they’ll appear on the screen. If you win, you earn experience points and additional Potions. If you lose, you receive no experience points but still receive additional Potions.

Battles can be challenging because there are many different types of trainers, including Gym Leaders and elite trainers. Each type of trainer uses unique techniques, so you should experiment with each trainer’s method of attack to determine who you think is the most difficult to beat.

If you lose a battle while attempting to catch a Pokemon, you can continue trying to capture it later. But if you lose too many battles in a row, you may end up losing your chance at catching a rarer Pokemon altogether.

For example, I once lost nine battles in a row while trying to capture a Pikachu. Because I couldn’t capture it anymore, I lost my chance at capturing one of the very few legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Go.

3. Social Features

If you can’t play the game solo, you can form teams, invite friends, and even trade Pokecoins with teammates. Team leaders can help coordinate battles and keep tabs on the team’s progress.

There are several important social features within Pokemon Go. For example, you can invite your friends to your team via a chat message. As mentioned above, you can also trade your Pokecoins with your friends for special items. Finally, you can join raids, which involve groups of people working together to defeat specific bosses.

Raiding is a fun and competitive activity that allows you to work together with other players to accomplish a goal. Raids can include anything from defeating gym leader and elite trainers to capturing certain Pokemon.

For those who prefer to stay solo, you can still enjoy these social features without worrying about being matched against others. Simply click on your team’s name in the top menu bar, and select “Invite Friends.”

How did Pokemon Go come to be?

A lot of fans of the original “Pokemon Red & Blue” games were disappointed that the franchise never saw a sequel. So when Niantic announced that it was developing a new game based on the franchise, a community of fans created a petition asking the company not to ruin the series. That petition reached nearly 1,000 signatures, so Niantic decided to create a new game instead.

That new game became Pokemon Go. The developer took inspiration from both the original “Pokemon Red & Blue” games as well as the “Pocket Monsters” anime. While Niantic didn’t change the gameplay of “Pokemon Red & Blue,” it changed the story quite a bit. Instead of focusing on Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the original games, the new protagonist is 18-year-old Max.

Max begins his adventure in Pallet Town, where he meets Professor Oak, who introduces him to the world of Pokemon. During Max’s journey, he encounters various gyms and other Trainers along the way. He ultimately travels through the Kalos region, encountering many of the same Pokemon species found in previous “Pokemon” games, along with a few new ones!

It appears that Niantic is going back to the roots of the original Pokemon franchise. Fans of the anime will likely be happy with the changes, especially since the new game adheres to some of the plot points established during the series. There are also plenty of references to the old games, making it feel like a true sequel.

Is Pokemon Go available worldwide?

At the time of writing, Pokémon Go is only available in English. However, the developers plan to release the game in other languages soon. According to Niantic, the game is currently in beta testing and will eventually be available in more countries around the world.

Can I play Pokemon Go outside?

Yes, though you may encounter some issues. For starters, you might not see any Pokestops or Pokemon at all, depending on whether your city has implemented the new augmented reality (AR) technology. For instance, AR tech hasn’t yet been implemented in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Fortunately, the developers are planning to bring the technology to more places in the future.

Some cities have banned Pokémon Go from certain areas due to safety concerns. Additionally, some buildings have banned the use of cellphones inside of them. If you live in such a place, you will probably be unable to play the game unless you have permission from your building manager.