Skip to main content

It's time to get caught up on Pokémon Go

With the Japanese beta of Pokémon Go recently started, we are closer than ever to finally getting to play Pokémon Go. Niantic, the ex-Google company who gave us the glorious gift of Ingress are closer than ever to delivering the dreams of being a real-world Pokémon trainer to gamers everywhere. While there aren't a ton of details out about the game quite yet, there is still plenty to sift through.

There have been several leaks surrounding the game, but because this game is in beta right now we won't be focusing on the type of Pokémon in the game, or any other information that is obviously subject to change. Instead, we'll focus on the highlights that have been made official so far.

The awesome folks over on the Pokémon Go subreddit have put together a list of Verified info which gives you a breakdown of who has said what about the game. We picked out ten nuggets of information about this awesome game. Keep scrolling to check out what's in store.

Pokemon Go

Finding Pokémon

While we don't know all the details on how you'll be finding Pokemon, this is what we do know. Using the app on your phone, you'll have a map which shows Pokémon out in the wild around you. After you know where they are, you just need to get to them and try to catch them. This seems pretty cut and dry, and for any Ingress players, it probably also sounds a bit familiar. There's no word yet on how detailed the map, or the indicators of Pokémon on it will be just yet, but it's only a matter of time. The other thing to remember is that different Pokemon will be living in different areas, so you probably won't be able to fill out your Pokédex just by walking around your town or city.

Capturing Pokémon

Once you've found the Pokémon that you're looking for, the next step is to capture them. We know you'll be able to do this whether your live camera is on, or not. You'll need to aim with your touchscreen, and then tap the screen to throw a Pokéball. Looks like capturing Pokémon may end up being just as frustrating as though you were playing on a Nintendo DS, because they can run away when you try to capture them. Down the road, better items like Great Balls will make it easier to catch more difficult Pokémon.

Pokémon Go Plus

Unlike in the games, nobody really has the time to devote their entire life to finding catching every Pokémon available. The Pokémon Go Plus will connect to your phone via bluetooth, and notify you of in-game events like nearby Pokémon by vibrating and flashing an LED. This accessory isn't going to be necessary to gameplay, though for the hard core players it will probably be super handy. For the time being though, there is still no word on how much the Pokémon Go Plus will cost.

Pokestops

From early on in development, Niantic was telling us that you'd need to go out and wander the world to find all of the Pokemon living within it. One of the new additions they've added are Pokestops. These will be located at places like historical markers, art installations, and monuments, and will let you find Pokeballs and other items in the vicinity. You may also find Pokémon eggs, which will hatch after you have walked a certain distance.

Levelling Up

While the details haven't been released yet, we do know that there will be a system for you to level up as a Trainer during your journey with Pokemon Go. As you level up you'll get access to better items — like the Great Balls we mentioned earlier —and have the ability to capture more powerful Pokemon. If this game is anything like the handheld versions, you won't be able to completely fill out your Pokedex until you have levelled up enough to take on the tougher Pokemon hiding out in the world.

Evolution

As anyone who has ever played a Pokémon game will tell you, it's impossible to actually catch every one. That's because many Pokémon need to evolve, by levelling up. While we don't yet know exactly how evolution will work in Pokémon Go, we do know that it isn't going to work quite the same way. After you have caught several of the same breed of Pokémon you will have the opportunity to evolve one of them. For now we'll just have to wait for news to see precisely how this feature will work.

Challenges

If you've gotten used to the brief thrill from picking up achievements while playing a game, then you're in luck. There will be a series of challenges within the game that span multiple categories. When you complete a challenge, you'll unlock achievement awards which will appear in your player profile. It is possible that the challenges will work like Ingress Global events, but at this point that is just speculation. There aren't a lot of details about the challenges, just that they will involve actions like catching Pokemon, or exploration.

Teams

When it comes to playing with other people, one of the big ways that you'll be doing that is by joining a Team. There will be three teams that you can choose from, and after you have joined one you get access to some new features. You'll be able to send one of your Pokémon to a Gym or location owned by your Team to help defend it. Each player can only send one Pokémon, so defending these locations requires teamwork. If, and when you come across a gym or location owned by one of the other two teams, you can attempt to wrest control of it by fighting against them with your personal roster of Pokémon.

Fun no matter where you live

One of the concerns with Pokémon Go was whether it would be fun for those who live in smaller towns, or remote areas. It looks like Niantic put a lot of thought into making sure that your location won't hinder enjoyment of the game. While you won't be able to snatch up all the Pokémon in your Pokédex by haunting your backyard, you can trade with other players. They are also hopeful that Pokémon Go events will crop up, similar to the ones we've seen for Ingress.

In-App Purchases

With a free-to-play game, one of the big questions that is inevitable, is whether In-app purchases will be a thing. Well, they are going to be a part of Pokémon Go. The model they are hoping to implement will have a lot of players making purchases, without spending much money unlike models that focus on making a lot of money off of a small group of people. That's encouraging to hear of course, but it's another thing we're all just going to have to wait and see about.

The truth is that it's only a matter of time before Pokémon Go becomes available for everyone, which is wickedly exciting. The Japanese beta opened on March 29th, 2016 which means that we're closer than ever. So are you excited for Pokémon Go? Make sure to let us know in the comments!

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

41 Comments
  • This is going to be dope! Posted via the Verizon Galaxy s7 edge
  • Really guys? There's nothing in this article that isn't at least two weeks old. How about an article about that new device Nintendo is putting out too. I think it's called Wii U? Remember, you'll always look more foolish trying to catch a train running screaming after it down the tracks than if you just catch it at the next stop.
  • There's always that guy who, just because he's known about something for a while, thinks that everyone else must know about it too, and is a huge jerk about it. This time that guy is you. Instead of b-ing strong, you should try and b-chill.
  • And there's always that guy who thinks people shouldn't complain about shoddy reporting. Today, that supporter of half-baked half-measures is you.
    Maybe AC could try not b-ing slow. I wasn't even going to comment on this thread until I saw the article about Sprint's $11 monthly Amazon Prime 'deal' where the AC staff noted that it's the first time people have been able to get monthly memberships to Prime.
    Except that Amazon has had a $9.99 monthly option for at least a year.
    AC's standards have flat out fallen off the table and they'll only continue to get worse if readers don't call them out on it.
  • What is a Wii U?
  • Not sure yet, I bet it will be Yuuuuge though.
  • You're kidding, right?
  • My favorite part of this comment is how it's flanked on both sides by people who didn't know this information and are glad we're delivering it.
  • Never knew about the info and wouldn't have otherwise, so thanks for taking the time to do it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Really? Sounds like you're misconstruing "I am excited about this thing" for "I never heard of this thing".
  • How're the edits to the Amazon Prime/Sprint article coming?
  • Sort of how you misconstrued "OMGBREAKINGNEWS" for "here's what we know that's official, but there's more unofficial stuff over here if you'd like to set it"? But hey, pointless tantrums are fun too I guess. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And I continue to misconstrue you guys for folks who actually take reporting Android related news seriously or who care about accuracy in reporting. Aside from Jerry and Phil, none of the contributors here ever fact check anything. Samsung could put out a PR tomorrow saying they've just released the world's first phone to be sold off-contract and you'd just run with it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I wonder what the teams will be, and if there's one whose goal is... To protect the world from devastation! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just hope they skip the binary blue v green dynamic. That got old after a few months in Ingress, folks were begging for a red team pretty early on. I'd rather see smaller teams ala Clash of Clans or Battle Camp.
  • It says in the article it'll be a three way (phrasing!) I suppose they can't do teams that are too small because it'd be easy for a large team to just wipe out all the smaller groups in an area. Posted via the Android Central App
  • At the start of every pokemon game I know.. you always pick a pokemon that is either fire, leaf or water.. im guessing these teams have something related to that xD Im just guessin
  • Well, except yellow version... But yeah, that's definitely an interesting way to do it! Go team grass! ... Sounds wrong. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Team Grass is gonna be very popular in Colorado... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't like the idea, but this makes sense. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've heard that the teams are red, blue, and yellow
  • This looks freakin' awesome! Although judging from the hardware that the game is going to need to utilize, I can see it being a HUGE battery drain, possibly even more so than Ingress.
  • I'm so excited for this game! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh yea much kids will love this, we'll er, play lots and er, do stuff. Ok I have no kids, I'm 33 and can't wait for this! Wonder what I can catch in Wales at the top of a mountain! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Time will tell, but I'll trade you one of what I catch on top of a mountain in Colorado for one.
  • Just make sure to give it a good Welsh name.
  • Sounds like a good deal to me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Depends on who you take up there with you.
  • I cannot WAIT! I wish they would release this already! I wonder why they teased it so long ago, say 2016, and then just leave us with NOTHING for 1/4 of the year...
  • Niantic aren't the speediest developers out there, and I would guess Nintendo is a challenging client.
  • If thats true... you have to capture 7 of the same breed pokemon to evolve it... that kinda sucks. Everything else on the other hand is great!
  • So when are the official Pokedex cases for phones coming out? That's a huge opportunity for Google with their Nexus devices. They could even bundle a code for some Pokemon Go ingame content with said cases.
  • You'll see Samsung ones before Nexus ones, larger market penetration. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hated Ingress. It makes me sad that the Pokemon game is going to be similar. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's not like there are exactly a ton of popular AR games out there to work off of. Ingress certainly has its problems, but if you watch the gameplay video, it's not all that heavy on the Ingress aspects. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I Hope it's realistic enough
  • I Hope it just like the pokemon tv show
  • They said a couple times that "its impossible to catch every pokemon, because they are different in each town." Im hitting the road by the end of the year and I plan on catching every last one of them.
  • I'm really excited for it. I'm just worried about which phones will be able to hold it AND if in-app purchases will be crucial to the game. (I never actually paid for anything in games, it's something I do not intend to change, yet)
  • I am so hyped, you have no idea. Bloop, Bloop, Bloop...Samsung :D •Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Android 4.4.2
    •Clasic Pebble Smartwatch
  • In cooperation with Android and Apple company using a Bluetooth Low Energy, using Pokemon Go Wristwatch Device it will give information about nearby pokemon, it will blink light or vibrate and you can catch the Pokemon by pressing the center button. Plus there are lots of surprises within the use of the Pokemon Go Gadget.