Post updated August 8th, 2016 at 05:34 pm
Pokemon Go has finally hit our shores, and it is only a matter of time before the Pokepocalypse reaches critical mass. As is our civic duty, we are providing a simple guide for Malaysians starting their Pokemon journey; mostly because the game does a horrible job of explaining what to do.
Keep moving around
Pokemon is a game of exploration and discovery. While it is possible to catch Pokemon without moving (if you drop Incense), there is significantly higher chance of catching something while on the move. The game spawns Pokemon roughly every 30 minutes, but decreases the time if the player is on the move. Pokemon also spawn in areas that resemble their natural habitat. This means water Pokemon near ponds and lakes, while housing areas will likely see plenty of Pidgeys and Rattata.
Moving around is also necessary to hatch eggs that drop from Pokestops. The game tracks how far you’ve moved since you put the egg in the incubator, which means that walking in circles in the same place doesn’t work. It also tracks your speed, just so you don’t try to cheat by driving around. That being said, nobody is sure of what the speed threshold is. It looks like cycling is perfectly acceptable at the moment, but not anything faster than that.
Have a co-pilot
Despite cars allowing players to move around quickly to discover new Pokemon, playing Pokemon Go while driving is a terrible idea – for good reason. That is why it is an excellent idea to have a co-pilot in the car. The layout of Malaysian cities is admittedly not always conducive for pedestrian traffic – which leaves us resorting to recruiting friends for Pokemon drive-bys.
Malls are the best place to find Pokemon
Niantic’s algorithms prioritise urban areas for Pokestops and Gyms, leaving other locations rather sparse. Unfortunately, this also goes for when the game spawns Pokemon. While it is tempting to visit parks and playgrounds to look for Pokemon, our local weather does not always make for ideal conditions. Instead, shopping malls are a good substitute for wandering around and catching those hard to find Pokemon. A mall with an attached park is probably the most efficient place to start hunting.
Visit the same place at different times
Some Pokemon only come out at night, which makes sense considering that you’re not likely to see a ghost wandering around in broad daylight. In that case, it is a good idea to come back a spot later to see if things have changed.
Some Pokemon are region specific
Not all Pokemon will be available in the wild. There are currently four Pokemon that are known to be region specific; which makes catching them all a bit harder. These are Tauros (North America), Mr Mime (Europe), Kangaskhan (Australia), and Farfetch’d (Japan, possibly Asia as a whole). While it might not be economically viable to literally travel the world to catch them all, these four will also hatch from eggs. Which means a lot of walking and hoping for the best.
Transfer your Pokemon to get Candy
Pokemon Go doesn’t allow Pokemon to gain experience and evolve through fighting. Instead, Pokemon evolve when they are fed enough candy of their particular species. Getting this candy is as easy as catching the same Pokemon over and over again; and they transferring them to the professor. No, we don’t know what happens to the Pokemon after they are transferred. Just assume they are living on a nice farm somewhere.
Candy is also used to Power Up Pokemon. Each power up costs one Candy, but also incurs a cost in Stardust.
Hoard your Stardust during the early game
Stardust is important for getting Pokemon ready for battling Gyms. Earning Stardust is easy enough, as you can accumulate quite a bit by simply catching Pokemon. Which means that it is important to catch all the Pokemon that cross your path. Also, because you want to turn them into Candy.
Don’t be discouraged by overly difficult Pokemon Gyms
Notice how all the Gym are packed with Pokemon much stronger than anything you’ve found? Chances are that these are people who have been cheating their way into the game by disguising their GPS coordinates. In other words, they have been playing for much longer than you have. There is no reason to be discouraged though, as players are allowed to cooperate with other members of their team to take control of a Gym. Just train some Pokemon and team up with friends to take the fight to them.
Talk to people
Pokemon Go is a social game. Sure, it’s alright if talking to people isn’t your thing. However, the game is made more interesting by running into people and simply having a chat. If you’re lucky, they will be able to tell you where all the good Pokemon are hiding.
Be respectful at religious places
This is probably a rather sensitive subject, but it needs to be said. Niantic has marked mosques, shrines, temples, and churches as locations for Pokestops. There’s nothing wrong with visiting these places to replenish supplies, but please be mindful of where you are. The last thing we want is Pokemon Go players to offend someone and get the game banned.
Join Team Valor
Players will be able to visit Gyms and choose a team to join at level five. There are supposedly three teams, but smart players know that Team Valor is the right choice. After all, they share the same colours as your favourite tech news portal.