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Pokémon GO in Canada

It has been just over a week since Pokémon GO finally made it’s way into Canada for both Android and iOS devices via the Play Store and App Store.  Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game, developed by Niantic Inc. and The Pokémon Company.  It allows players to catch Pokémon out in the wilds of the real world, using your device’s camera to place any found Pokémon in your surroundings.

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A Rattata visiting me at my desk

The AR is only a small part of the game, as the real purpose is to get up and wander around your city to discover new and interesting locations that you may have never noticed before.  The game uses your devices GPS and cellular signal to locate you on the in-game map.  As you move around in the world, you’ll have a chance of a Pokémon appearing on your screen, which you can then catch by tapping on it and throwing a pokéball at it.  Currently only the original 151 Pokémon appear in the game, with newer generations to possibly be added later.

Walking around isn’t the only way to move around the world.  Some people choose to use their bicycles or even more dangerously, their cars.  Niantic has implemented a speed limiter into the game, so if you move too fast, you can get a temporary ban (soft ban).  We don’t recommend playing Pokémon GO while driving as you may injure yourself or others.

Built into the game are points of interest, called “Pokéstops”.  These Pokéstops include parks, churches, statues, you name it – anything of historical or cultural significance can show up as a Pokéstop.   Pokéstops let you refill on pokéballs, potions, revives, or other types of balls and healing items that you have unlocked, just by spinning the image of the stop.

Also part of the game is the ability to battle at, and control, Pokémon gyms.  Once you’ve reached level 5, and select a nearby gym, Professor Willow (who you meet at the beginning of the game) asks you what team you would like to join.  Once choosing your team you can battle the gym to take it over for your team and gain points.  We recommend choosing the same team as your friends – that is unless you want to try and take over your friend’s gyms.

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Pokémon GO has caused young and old to get up and about to explore their towns and meet new people.  Instead of staying inside playing a video game, you’re outside with your friends trying to find that rare Pokémon.  It’s great to see people gathering and playing a game that has existed for the past 20 years.  A game that us adults played when we were kids, and now the younger generation gets to experience in a whole new way.  We share a common interest and it is Pokémon.

Check out some tips and tricks, as well as some items you might need to become a Pokémon master below

  • Get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon by walking away from Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle 4 times.
  • Use the nearby tracker to locate the Pokémon closest to you.
  • Pokémon in the top left are closest, while the ones in the bottom right are furthest away. Since the update today, the pokemon that are nearby do not show the footstep and we are not sure the order of proximity.
  • The footprint decrease in number the closer you get to a Pokémon. This feature has been disabled with todays update.
  • When catching a Pokémon, wait for the inner, coloured, circle to get as small as possible before throwing a pokéball.
  • Catch everything!
  • Pokémon types matter when battling
  • Fire is weak to water
  • Check out this rarity chart to see if you’ve found anything rare

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  •  When evolving Pokémon, the position on the CP curve stays about the same
  • Evolve your stronger Pokémon

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  • You can use a lure at the same time as incense
  • Double the amount of Pokémon you find.
  • Although not approved by Niantic, check out www.pokevision.com to find the Pokémon closest to you.As Niantic just released a new version, it appears Pokevision has been forced to disable the tracker so unfortunately it appears this service is down permanently. While a lot of players feel this is cheating, many are only using it until Niantic can fix the 3 step glitch which appears to be the biggest flaw of the game thus far. The footsteps for 1 and 2 steps work just fine but the servers could not keep up with the 3 step feature enabled and this update has also disabled footsteps altogether. So now it just shows pokemon that are nearby and you are unable to truly know if they are 1 step, 2 step, or the impossible to find 3 step. Hopefully this gets fixed soon as it does take a lot of the fun out. The chase has been enjoyable and is a big feature to disable.
  • You can power level your character by catching and keeping all Pidgeys, Caterpies, Weedles, and Rattatas, using a Lucky Egg (doubles experience), and evolving all of them

If you are looking to pick up a few items to help with the hunt, you may want to check out some of the following:

Happy Hunting and be safe!

About Alex Aplidgiotis

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