Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Monday, 11 July 2016

Pokémon Go: Everything You Need To Know About The Game The World Is Obsessing Over

Pokémon Go: Everything You Need To Know About The Game The World Is Obsessing Over

The Debrief: Can you play it in the UK? And what's even the point of it?

You'd be forgiven for thinking we're somehow back in the early noughties with all the chat there is about Pokémon right now. Alas, you're actually an adult with real responsibilities and it's still 2016 but there is a Pokémon game. Here's everything you need to know about it. 

What is Pokémon Go?

For starters, it's an app that's available on both iOS and Android. The game itself uses virtual reality to help you catch Pokémon in real life. It launched on 6th July in the US, New Zealand and Australia. Since then, it’s added over £5.4 billion to Nintendo’s market value because it’s become so popular. 

What’s the point of Pokémon Go?

Now, it's all a little confusing but the idea is to collect them all, make them big and strong (by evolving them/powering up) and have a Pokémon fight so you can take over the (Poké) world. 

How does Pokémon Go work?

The game literally lets you ‘see’ Pokémon characters through your screen, in the world around you, which you can then catch with your Pokéball. The Pokémon are hidden all around us, so you literally walk to different places to discover them. When there’s one near you, it will appear in your screen. 

How do you actually catch Pokémon?

With your Pokéball! If you hold your finger down on it, a white circle will appears around your Pokémon along with a smaller green one too, you then swipe/tap the ball to throw and capture it. Different Pokémon will frequent different areas, hence the idea of walking around to see which you can find. Apparently Pokémon near you are represented by rustling leaves and with a bar showing you how close they are to you along with the number of footsteps it'll take you to reach them. 

It is possible to run out of Pokéballs, but you can stock up from Pokéstops (which are found out and about) and have other random supplies as well. 

What is a Pokémon gym?

The gym is where your Pokémon battle other Pokémon and basically get more powerful but you can ignore them if you want to just skip around collecting Pokémon (which sounds way more up my street, tbh). There are different types of gyms around: neutral/unoccupied, friendly and rival gyms. If it’s neutral you can ‘claim’ it, if it’s a friendly one you can train your Pokémon here and eventually join it to help with it's defence and if it’s a rival you can battle and if you win, maybe eventually take it over. If you're into the gym thing, read this guide about them because it understands it far more than I do. 

When’s Pokémon Go coming out in the UK? 

Right now only the US, Australia and New Zealand have access to the game. The game has proved so popular, it can’t actually cope with demand and many people are receiving an error message when they try to play. Because of this the international roll-out is ‘paused until we’re comfortable’, according to the CEO. Cheers then.

Can you play Pokémon Go in the UK?

Technically: no. But there are ways to get around it which basically involves changing the region that your phone is registered to and making a new Apple ID account: there’s a step by step guide here. I wimped out of trying it because deputy editor Jess Commons suggested it might mess up my other log ins (there is no proof of this and this is purely speculation so, if you take the plunge, keep us informed, yeah?).

Why is everyone obsessed with Pokémon Go?

As far as we can tell, it’s just because it’s a hell of a lot of fun and there’s nothing else out there like it. To put it’s popularity into perspective: it’s been installed on more Android smartphones in the US than Tinder. And it came out five days ago. What. The. Hell. On 8th July, it was on 5.16% of Android phones compared to 2% for Tinder. It's official: Pokémon is more popular than love. According to stats which measure daily active users on apps, on July 8th 3% of US Android owners were using Pokémon Go daily, compared to 3.5% for Twitter. Meaning people are almost more engaged with it than Twitter – and considering these stats are a few days old, the game probably has overtaken it.

What’s with all the dark stuff around Pokémon Go?

It hasn't all been fun and games with Pokémon Go. One girl was looking for Pokémon from a ‘natural water resource’ and found a man’s body floating in a river. Thieves have also capitalised on the app's use of geolocation, luring players into vulnerable situations. As well as that Australian police had to release an official statement when gamers were trying to get into a police station in Darwin to capture ‘Sandshrew’.

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