What is Pokémon Go, and How Does It Work?

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on February 21, 2018

Imagine that, parallel to our own world, there is a world full of fantastical creatures. What would you do? Would you become their friend? Would you collect them? Would you train them to protect you and fight for you? You can do all that and more in Pokémon Go!

So what exactly is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a scavenger hunt game for mobile devices where you try to find and capture virtual creatures called Pokémon. Visit landmarks called PokéStops to stock up on items, and then find and capture Pokémon, or hatch them from eggs. Collect all the Pokémon, or have yours battle against others at Gyms.

Pokémon Go is a game that relies on where you're positioned in the real world, via global positioning satellites (G.P.S.). Make sure that your device is G.P.S.-capable, and has this feature enabled, before you play.

How Pokémon Go works: 6 things to do in Pokémon Go

1. Create your very own Pokémon trainer!

You're the hero of your own Pokémon Go story, so you get to decide how you look the part! Customize aspects such as skin colour, hair colour, shirt, pants, and more!

Creating your Pokémon Go avatar

2. Find and catch Pokémon in the real world!

Pokémon are hidden all over the place in the real world, so it's your job to get out there and find them! Search local landmarks, routes, and trails for them; when you find one, try to catch it by throwing Poké Balls at it. Be careful not to run out of Poké Balls or let the Pokémon escape, though!

Encountering a wild Pokémon

3. Hatch more Pokémon from eggs!

Throughout your travels, you will occasionally find Pokémon eggs. If you place these inside Egg Incubator items and then walk a certain distance, they will hatch into new Pokémon to add to your collection!

Incubating a Pokémon egg

4. Stock up on items at PokéStops!

You will find special points called PokéStops at various local landmarks, such as monuments, art installations, notable public buildings (such as libraries and museums), and so on. At these points, you can swipe your finger across the photo disc to generate extra items for your adventure, such as Poké Balls and Potions. Then, you can tap the items you generate to add them to your inventory. PokéStops can be re-used every few minutes, so stock up!

Finding a Pokémon Go PokéStop

5. Strengthen and evolve your Pokémon!

As you catch Pokémon and hatch them from eggs (among other activities in Pokémon Go), you will earn Stardust and Candy. These two resources can be used to strengthen the health, power, and overall battling capacity of your Pokémon. If you get enough Candy, you can even evolve your Pokémon into even more powerful forms!

How to power up and evolve a Pokémon

6. Test your Pokémon's strength at Gyms!

Like PokéStops, you can find points called Gyms at various notable locations in your local area. Once your trainer reaches at least level 5, you can pick one of three teams to join and then take your Pokémon to fight at Gyms! Defend neutral or friendly Gyms for your team and earn bonuses, or train against Pokémon trainers from your team to earn experience and boost a Gym's prestige. Or, fight against trainers from rival teams to lower their Gym's prestige, and maybe even claim it for your team!

A battle at a Pokémon Go Gym

Our Pokémon Go course will teach you everything you need to know in order to play the game, including how to stay safe while playing it, as well as how much it may cost to play. There's a world full of Pokémon out there waiting for you, trainer, so let's begin your adventure!