Although we're still not entirely sure when we'll get Pokemon GO in Ireland, players have already managed to secure themselves a copy.
So, for those lucky few hundred thousand of you in Ireland who've managed to get the game, this is for you. We've culled and collated our collective experience of the game so far to give you the nine best pieces of advice for Pokemon GO so far.
Take a look.
10. SAVE ON YOUR DATA BY DOWNLOADING MAPS
We haven't really figured out how much data Pokemon GO in Ireland uses in a precise manner, but it doesn't seem to be a huge amount. Still, it's no harm to save yourself a few quid and the best way to do this is to download your local area on Google Maps for offline usage when you're on WiFi. Open up the Google Maps app on your phone and go to Settings. You'll see an option for Offline Areas and then you'll be shown a map of the area you're currently in. If you've got enough space on your phone, you can download that whole area. That means Google Maps and Pokemon GO won't have to be constantly redrawing the area around every time you go walking.
9. IF YOU'RE STARTING POKEMON GO, THERE'S AN EASY WAY TO PICK UP PIKACHU
This, obviously, only works if you're starting out for the first time. When you sign up for Pokemon GO and choose your Avatar, Professor Willow will ask you to choose your starter Pokemon - that's either Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbausaur. Don't bother with any of these. Instead, you need to literally turn around in your current position and walk away from where you were when you began. Your phone will vibrate and the three Pokemon will appear. Turn around again, walk away from them and do this about maybe three to five times and then, finally, Pikachu should appear. Catch that bastard like your life depends on it.
8. IF YOU SEE AN EEVEE, GRAB IT IMMEDIATELY
Eevee's a pretty rare Pokemon who has Run Away and a few other tricks as well. There's been some speculation and research done about its evolution that we'll get in to later, but here's the tip here. If you're playing and someone nearby is also playing, there's a better than good chance only one if you is going to catch Eevee so move quickly. There's also been some rumours that the app has a secret Team Rocket mode that'll see some of your Pokemon go missing or be snapped up, but Eevee is always worth catching - so again, move quickly.
7. IN FACT, JUST GRAB ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING
Really, Pokemon GO is more about having a wide variety than anything else. Our own strategy previously was to build up a solid team of maybe five or six Pokemon and level the bejaysus out of them. While you can do that here, you're nearly better off having a much wider palette this time around. For one thing, PokeStops - from our experience so far, anyway - are quite plentiful so you can stock up on Pokeballs quite easily. Moreover, catching the same Pokemon again and again will get you candies for them and that means evolution of your Pokemon.
6. THE COLOUR SYSTEM FOR CATCHING POKEMON GO AND THE BEST METHODS TO CATCH
In case it wasn't obvious already, here's the general layout in Capture Mode. The white ring you use as a pointer on the Pokemon determines how easy it's going to be to catch. So if the ring is small, that means it's pretty easy. Bigger the ring, bigger the difficulty. Colour-wise, green means easy, yellow means medium and red means difficult. Again, it cannot be stressed how vital it is that you catch anything and everything. Candies are important, so even if it's another Drowzee or something and you've already got one, catch it again because that'll evolve it faster with both their Stardust and their Candy.
5. THE BEST WAY TO INCREASE YOUR CATCH RATES
While it may be fun to take a screenshot of a Koffing at the end of a bus or a Munchlax in your living room, the augmented-reality camera does make catching a lot more difficult than you'd realise. On the top left of the camera should be a button that says AR, tap that and you'll go back to the map where you'll see said Munchlax / Koffing / whatever. Catching Pokemon in the virtual map significantly increases your chances of catching and if it's a more difficult Pokemon, it's worth doing. You can screenshot something funny later.
4. USING POKEGYMS EFFECTIVELY
The game doesn't really kick off until you hit Level 5, when you'll be asked to join Mystic, Valor or Instinct. You'll get access to Pokegyms, which is where you can fight other real-world players and that's where the real fun begins. Simply hanging out wherever the Pokegym is will get you free Pokecoins. Not only that, leaving behind a levelled-up Pokemon will get you even more free Pokecoins. Again, this is why it's a good idea to have a wide range of Pokemon. If you drop a decent Dragonite or something and you've got a few of them on you, it's no great loss. If you're on the same team and somebody else is nearby on the same time, it's no harm in the two of you having a quick battle. Win or lose, you'll both earn XP.
3. HATCHING AN EGG
Once Pokemon GO is officially released here in Ireland, it shouldn't be too long before we get the wearable wristband that'll clock your movement. Until then, that means keeping the app open on your phone. Make certain the egg is in the incubator, firstly, and make sure that the app is open and reading your distance. Secondly, cycling doesn't work nor does driving. It knows you're moving too fast and not specifically walking, so it doesn't register the distance. You can either cycle at walking speed or, y'know, walk. You can also get a drone and attach it to that and just let it fly around you for a while, but that's too much hassle. Just go for a walk. Get some fresh air.
2. INVEST IN A BATTERY PACK
This can't be stressed enough. If you're going to really commit to Pokemon GO, invest in a battery pack. The app uses up a huge amount of battery power and the longer you're walking with the app open, the bigger the chances you have of catching a more rarer Pokemon is. When you've got the app open that long, you're gonna run out of juice pretty quickly. That means extra power is needed. Hence, invest in a battery pack. You can pick one up for about €10. We also give them out on Facebook competitions sometimes, FYI.
1. CURVE BALLS MEAN MORE XP
This is a really simple way to get more XP per catch. When you see a Pokemon you want to catch, hold your finger on the Pokeball and spin it in a circular motion. When you catch the Pokemon, you'll get extra XP. Simple and it looks cool, too.
We're currently in the process of putting together a county-by-county guide for Pokemon GO and we need YOUR help! E-mail [email protected] or contact us on Twitter to let us know where you're finding Pokegyms, rare Pokemon and anything interesting!