The world has almost shut down because of Pokémon GO; people are looting, trespassing, making jobs around it and even doing exercise because of this video game. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few days then you know that Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. People all over, including Pakistan, are going crazy over the newly launched video game.
But what is this game that has everyone out on the streets with their phone?
Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game which combines our real world with the virtual world, with the help of your phone’s trusty back camera, and gives us Pokémon in the real world. The game uses your phone’s GPS to track your location and makes it seem like the Pokémon are actually there inside your house or on your street. It’s really pretty cool and has everyone nerding out about it for a reason.
Pokémon revolves around catching and training Pokémon (short for pocket monsters, isn’t that adorable?) to battle with other Pokémon for the fight to become the best Pokémon trainer in the world. Pokémon GO has the same concept, except unlike other video games that you play sitting at home, this one makes you get up and walk around outside, giving the whole “go outside and play” thing a whole new meaning.
Here’s how you can join the Pokémon revolution yourself:
Downloading the App
Before you can get started on your quest to catch Pokémon, you need to first download the Pokémon Go app. It’s available for free on the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android, but hasn’t officially been launched yet in Pakistan. But you can still get the app by changing your region for the App Store or manually installing it on your Android device. Here’s how you can do that.
If all else fails or you’re too lazy to go through the process, you could always just ask someone with an Amreeki store account to use their IDs to download it. Or any other country where it has launched officially.
Now that you have the app installed, it’s time to sync an account with the app to keep track of your Pokémon. You can either sync it with your Google account, or if you’re a super nerd and have a Pokémon Trainer Club account, you can use that to sign in.
Once you sign in, you might get this error message about server issues. Unfortunately, there are too many people trying to play and this is not something that has been worked out at the moment. If you are unlucky enough to experience this saddest of all screens, I’m afraid you have no choice but to wait a little while before checking again. When you’re signed in, you will be asked to customize your avatar before the game play begins.
Now it’s time for the real fun to begin.
You’ll be given a certain amount of Poke Balls to start off with, and you’ll have the choice of catching either Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle as a starter Pokémon. You can settle for one of those if you’re anxious to get the game play started, OR you could spend a little bit of effort and catch a PIKACHU! When you’re prompted to pick one of the three Pokémon, just walk away from them. As in physically ignore the hell out of them and walk away. Once you’ve walked a certain distance, the Pokémon will reappear and you’ll be able to pick one again. Do this 4-5 times, and when the Pokémon reappear, Pikachu will also be there. Go get that little sucker before anyone else. Pika pikaaa, bitchez.
Once you see a Pokémon nearby, you have to tap on it so that it appears by itself on the screen, with a circle on top of it. In order to catch the Pokémon, you have to flick the Poké Ball at it at the right time, meaning when the green circle is at its smallest point. If you do it right, the Pokémon will be swooped inside the Poké Ball and be yours to train.
This is the part that gets you up off your lazy bum and out into the open world. In order to catch Pokémon, you have to walk around outside. Pokémon will appear randomly in random places. You can see which Pokémon are close to you by tapping on the “Nearby Pokémon” tab at the bottom of the screen. Select the Pokémon you want to track and the tab will show you how close you are to it. 3 footprints means the Pokémon is far and 1 footprint means you’re right next to it. Once you’re close enough to catch a Pokémon, your phone will vibrate and it will show up on your screen. Tap on it in order to catch it.
Pokestops are places where you can get different items to help you on your quest. These items are limited to Poké Balls and eggs up until you reach level 5. Pokestops are shown on your map with a blue marker. This boxy marker changes into a blue jalebi-like thing once you’re close enough to access it. In order to get items, you have to tap on the pokestop and spin the circular icon. This will produce bubbles on the screen which can be popped to get the rewards within them. Every time you access a pokestop, it will take 5 minutes to “refresh” before you can access it again. Pokestops are located at prominent public places so you’ll have to go around your neighborhood to find them.
Like pokestops, Pokémon gyms are also located at different public places. Once you reach level 5 by gaining XP through finding Pokémon and visiting pokestops, you can go to a gym and join one of three teams: Valor, Mystic, or Instinct, each represented by red, blue and yellow respectively. You can then battle different Pokémon at the gyms.
The entire concept of the game is really cool and something that shows just how far technology has come. We went from trying to catch Pokémon in the games to watching the anime and trading Pokémon cards to now actually being able to catch Pokémon in the (somewhat) real world. Now all that’s left is to wait for real Pokémon to come into our world (let’s do this, science).
We already have Pokemon Go in Pakistan. It's called "catching cockroaches and lizards."
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) July 13, 2016
If you aren’t already playing it, I won’t urge you to go do so. We really don’t want the servers being worse off then they are already. But just know this, you are seriously missing out.
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