Five things you should do first in Pokémon Go

Jumping headfirst into a game like Pokémon Go is a fantastic way to miss some of the things early on that are going to make your later experience in the game go a lot more smoothly. The beginning tutorial is great, especially if you're a fan of watching images of Professor Willow slide in and out of frame, but it turns out there's a lot more to this game than tossing Poké Balls and walking around your town. Here are some quick starter tips for anyone looking to get the most out of their Pokémon Go experience!

Try to catch a Pikachu

At the beginning of the game you are offered a choice between one of three starter Pokémon, but what the game doesn't tell you is there's a fourth option. Walk away from those starter creatures a couple of times and a fourth Pokémon will show up. Pikachu is a Lightning type, which is an element with strengths and weaknesses that are different from the other three. This will give you a unique advantage when you start fighting other Pokémon at Gyms, which doesn't happen until your character reaches Level 5.

Read More: How to score a Pikachu as your starter Pokémon!{.cta .large}

Map out your local PokéStops

There are places all around you that give you items when you visit them in the real world. PokéStops can be historical monuments, churches, a funny sign someone took a photo of, or just something unique in your town. They're everywhere, and every five minutes they have a new cache of items to offer you. In your early levels, it's a good idea to create a list of PokéStops you can walk between, so you can go back and forth and stock up on items while searching for Pokémon. By the time you've levels up to start participating in Gym battles you'll have plenty of items for keeping your Pokémon healthy, and won't have to go hunting for Poké Ballswhen everyone else runs out.

Learn how to throw curveballs

Every experience point (XP) counts in the early days, so you want to make sure you're getting the most our of everything you do. A great way to give yourself a little boost early on is to get good with curveball throws. This is a special technique for throwing your Poké Ball, and if you capture a Pokémon by throwing a curveball you gain extra XP, which means you'll level up faster.

Read More: How to get a curveball bonus in Pokémon Go!

Find local players

This game does not have to be played alone, in fact Pokémon Go rewards you for playing with friends. If a group of people are somewhere and one of you discovers a Pokémon, everyone can see and capture their own version of the Pokémon. If you install a Lure Module on a PokéStop, anyone nearby can come take advantage of the increased volume of Pokémon that appear in the area.

Playing with friends is safer, and you all get more out of it. Also, when you join a team at level 5 it helps to know who your allies are so you can plan strategies for keeping control of your local Gyms.

Check out the RazerGo app if you want to chat with other players!

Learn your local Pokémon

One of the most important things you can do in Pokémon Go is level up Pokémon you have caught in the wild. When you capture a lot of the same kind of Pokémon, you earn Candy and Stardust that are necessary for evolving and increasing the power of your Pokémon. The best thing you can do for yourself in the early days of this game is learn which Pokémon are the most common in your area and catch as many as possible. When you have a lot of them, you can use a Lucky Egg to double your experience while evolving all of your Pokémon, which will get you to the next level in no time!

Read More: The best way to use a Lucky Egg!

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter