We’ll explain what Pokémon Go is so that you can better understand why strangers are wandering around your neighborhood staring at their phones or walking all over parks looking at their phones.
This basic Pokémon Go explainer will help you figure out what this is all about, even if you don’t think you will want to play the game on your iPhone or Android.
At the very least you’ll understand what people playing Pokémon Go are doing on their phones, why they go to specific places and other important details.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a game that you play on your smartphone in the real world. You need to walk to locations and then the phone’s GPS connects to a virtual world where Pokémon live. When you are close enough you can catch them.
It is an augmented reality game, which means when you point your phone at a spot you see the real world, and you also see virtual items on top of it. So if you are in the park you’ll see grass or a pond with a cartoon Pokémon on the screen.
You need to be in the right location to see Pokémon, which is why people are walking around parks and neighborhoods looking at their phones and then stopping in a location.
It’s kind of like a virtual geocache game, where instead of finding an object in the real world to sign your name to or take something from, you capture a virtual creature.
Pokémon Go is on Android and iPhone, and you need to play it out in the real world, not in an office or on a couch at home.
Why are People Hanging Around Churches & Statues?
In addition to hunting for Pokémon in parks and around your city, people may congregate around churches and other landmarks. There are two main reasons players are hanging around these locations.
Pokéstops – Signs, statues and points of interest are often flagged as Pokéstops. Players can go to these locations to get Pokéballs that they use later to go catch Pokémon. Players don’t need to stay at these locations for a long time, but they will need to go there.
Pokémon Gyms – Once players level up enough and catch Pokémon they need to train them to fight in the virtual world. Many times Pokémon Gyms are near churches, but you can find them in all kinds of places including the White House and the Pentagon. It normally happens around points of interest.
There are Pokémon all over, inside and outside of buildings, so you won’t see people at these locations only, but that’s why multiple people may be hanging around each other.
How to Download Pokémon Go on iPhone or Android
You can download Pokémon Go on iPhone, iPad and Android. You will need a phone or tablet with a GPS connection for this to work.
The app is free to download and you should stick to the official app stores to download Pokémon Go since some Android Pokémon Go APK files are infected with malware.
Is Pokémon Go Free?
Pokémon Go is free to download and free to play, but you can spend money in the game to buy PokéCoins.
You don’t need these to play, but you can buy them to get faster access to incense and potions and to get new PokéBalls that .
PokeStops & Gym Locations
A recent question and answer session on the Silph Road confirms that Pokémon Go currently uses 30% to 50% of portals that were present in Niantic’s last game, Ingress. Pokémon Go maps these over real-world landmarks that players have to walk to.
PokeStops and Gyms are real-world locations that players go to pick up items and battle the creatures left behind by other trainers. Police departments are already warning players of the game to stay away from their stations, according to VG247.