Pokemon GO – A Beginner’s Guide

Pokemon GO is one of the most anticipated games of 2016 and while it may seem simple, there are a lot of things that you have to know about it. This article should be beneficial for all types of players. We have received tons of questions about the game and we will do our best to address most of them in this guide. Are you ready?

Setting Up

Before you even start the app, be sure to have a full battery because the game is quite a battery drainer. Also, you have to make sure that you have internet data on your phone. The game needs to have an online connection for it to function properly. Moreover, your GPS location needs to be turned on because the game simulate your GPS map. Your world becomes a simulated animation on the screen and as you explore the real world, your in-game character moves on the map as well.

The Beginning

When you launch the app and log into the game you will be met with options to customize your character. One main issue that might give you trouble is the naming of your character. If you choose a username that was not accepted then try a unique username and add numbers to make it more likely to be acceptable. After that, you are shown Pokemon creatures in your area which appear as small characters on the screen. You can tap on any of the choices in order to catch your first Pokemon. The three can be Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle; so choose wisely before you tap on any of them.


Catching A Pokemon

Once you tap on a Pokemon, it appears on your screen and you have the option to enable camera or AR mode to see the Pokemon in your environment or you can disable the AR mode to see the Pokemon in a plain background. To catch the Pokemon, you will have to drag the Pokeball and throw it at the wild Pokemon. Be sure to aim it inside the ring that appears on the Pokemon. Try not to waste your Pokeballs because it can be hard to catch them at first; aiming can be difficult. Pokeballs are hard to come by and you don’t want to spend real cash on them, so be as accurate as possible when you aim. If your aim is accurate and you throw it at the green ring, you get more XP bonus. When you catch a Pokemon you are rewarded Candy and Stardust which can be used to power up and evolve your creature. Before you catch a Pokemon you can take a photo of it by tapping on the camera button on the bottom right of your screen.

Character & Pokemon Levels

Your character levels up as you get more XP bonus. You can get acquire XP bonus by searching and catching Pokemon creatures as well as leveling them up. Visiting Pokestops also increases your XP bonus. Pokestops, in reality, are center locations in your area such as museums, churches, or even shopping centres. Performing a nice catch or curveball throw on a Pokemon gives you 10 XP; Performing a great catch or spinning a Pokestop logo gives you 50XP; Catching any Pokemon gives you 100 XP; and Catching a new Pokemon gives you 500XP.



Pokestops are very important locations which contain vital items for your adventure. Simply visiting them grants you XP bonus. They are seen on your map as a blue point with a blue square. Tapping on them presents you with a close-up image of the location and its name. The location’s logo comes up on screen as a circle and you are able to spin it. Spinning the icon will give you Pokeballs, Poke-eggs, and other important items.

Pokemon Gyms

Gyms are seen on screen as a white platform with a spinning Pokeball on top of it. You are able to join gyms once your character reaches level 5. Before battling you are given the choice of joining one of three teams: Team Yellow, Team Blue, or Team Red. If the gym you found is empty, then you can become the gym leader and other online players will try to beat you to take over the gym. If the gym has a leader that is in the same team as you, then you can train your Pokemon in friendly battles. If the gym leader is in a rival team, then beating him will allow you to become the new gym leader. To attack, you can tap on your opponent; while swiping left or right to dodge enemy attacks. You earn a lot of XP bonus by winning a battle and if you’re in control of a gym, you earn gym prestige which leads to leveling it up. If the opponent is in control of the gym, then you will decrease its prestige.

Your Pokemon

You can check your Pokemon stats by clicking on the Pokeball icon on your main screen and then selecting ‘Pokemon’ on your screen. Then you will get a list of your Pokemon creatures which you can access by tapping on the one you’re interested in. For example, if you tap on Bulbasaur, then its stats page appear. Next to the Pokemon’s name there is a pencil icon which allows you to change his name. In addition, at the bottom you have the choice to Power Up or Evolve your Pokemon by using Stardust or Candy. Evolving a Pokemon can be tricky. For example, if you have a Zubat, the stats will tell you that you can evolve Zubat at 50 Zubat Candies. This can be possible if you transfer a great amount of Zubats. By scrolling to the bottom of the page you can Transfer your Pokemon to Professor Willow which removes it from your collection and replaces it with a Candy instead. You can choose to Power Up or Evolve it as you wish.


Eggs contain a Pokemon inside but you will have to walk a certain distance to hatch them. Some eggs can be acquired at Pokestops and you can incubate them so that they hatch. By clicking on an egg, it shows you the distance that you will need to walk for it to hatch. When you click on ”Start Incubation,” you will have to start walking in order to cover the required distance.



Items can be accessed by clicking on the Pokeball icon on the main screen and then tapping on Items. There you will find several items which you can use. For example, there are Pokeballs which you can use to catch Pokemon creatures. There are Incense items which can be used to lure wild Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes. Potions can be used to increase your Pokemon HP with up to 20HP during battles at the gym. Even Revive items are available to restore a fainted Pokemon back to life with half of its HP regained. There are probably more items which we have yet to uncover but these are the ones that we know of so far.

Pokemon Locations

Pokemon types are located in areas that are similar to them. For example, you will find a Weedle in a grassy area and a Gyrados nearby a lake or sea. There are some Pokemon which you are likely to find in areas that are not similar to its type. We were surprised to find a Magmar in the mountain which is not volcanic at all; this is a big relief because we don’t need to go to dangerous areas to find our favorite Pokemon.

82 thoughts on “Pokemon GO – A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Hi! How can i have another pokemon for starter? I accidentally click the transfer pokemon to professor willow and now i don’t have any pokemon. Please help thank you!


    • Hello! At the moment the best thing to do is tap on the Pokeball icon and go to Settings. On the bottom it says ”Sign Out.” If you sign out, you can log in with a new account rather than the old one. You can choose to log in with a new Google account or a Pokemon Trainer Club. Enjoy gaming!


  2. Hi, when setting up I accidentally chose not to allow use of the camera, how do I change this?
    Help would be much appreciated, thank you!


    • Hello KM, that is a common thing that players have done recently. This can be fixed easily. When a Pokemon appears and you are trying to catch it, simply toggle on the AR mode on the top right of your screen and your camera will start functioning. Enjoy your day!


      • @Me you can’t turn on the camera when you aren’t battling, else you wouldn’t have any way to walk around.


    • Please help, my map is just a blank green area, it’s got the pokéstops in all the right places and its got my location but there’s no map. There was a map yesterday when I first started playing the game but now it’s gone. I don’t know what happened or what to do


    • If you have a samsung, under settings, go to Privacy and safety > App Permissions > Camera > Pokemon Go and move the slider to toggle permission to use the camera.

      Hope this helps.


  3. According to my provider and manufacturer (ZTE MAX 2) the AR should be functioning just fine as it meets the requirements for PGO to the letter. Still, when I switch to AR mode, nothing shows up but the pokeball and it’s shadow. I get a message that says “Cannot Detect Orientation” which doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a fresh device with no mods, no other downloads and no after factory apps installed. Assistance would be appreciated as I know I’m not the only one who has this problem.


  4. Hello, at the starting of my adventure, i used my camera to see the squirtle i wanted to catch, but when the camera turned on… it wasn’t there, and then a message popped up saying that it couldn’t detect the orientation of my camera. So how do i fix this?


    • Turn off the camera (AR) mode when a Pokemon appears and you will see the Pokemon. The camera issue isn’t working for many people and Niantic should come up with a fix for it soon. Thank you.


  5. I have the ZTE Avid Plus (android) and the Pokemon don’t show up when I try to switch to AR mode…. Anything I can do to figure out why?


  6. What are the green leaves that pop up while walking around? They just kinda flutter and disappear. What do they mean??


  7. Hello, I have my GPS enabled in the app but my avatar doesn’t move no matter now far I walk. It does turn around appropriately but just walks in place as I move. Internet data is functioning and WiFi is off. How can I fix this?


  8. When I tap on the starters nothing happens what do I do

    And my GPS is on but it keeps on coming up GPS signal not found what do I do


  9. I have the ar issues and says it can’t find my GPS signal tried to use the fix app app says it’s working fine…also a Zte


  10. I require assistance, while using my device an experia, it is not accepting any name I put in there all appropriate how do I fix this?


  11. Im having trouble with GO i cant be able to see my pokemon with the camera on. It keep saying it doesn’t detect my camera so the AR turns off by itself.. how can i fix this problem? ? Plesse help its no fun with out me actually seeing thrw the camera


  12. Pingback: Pokemon GO – A Beginner’s Guide – littlebitofeverything13

  13. I didn’t allow the app to access the camera by mistake and now i don’t know how to turn the camera on in the game, pls help!


  14. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and when I go to Playstore and search Pokemon Go, it tells me “Your device is not compatible with this version”. I don’t understand why.


  15. When switching to AR mode, I will occasionally see the pokemon, but it seems to be spinning across the screen and can’t seem to actually locate it other than those brief glimpses. Any advice?


  16. When I first was setting up the app when it asked for access to my pictures, I selected “deny” and don’t show this again. I’m unable to take pictures of pokemon with the “real” surrounds it’s all animated. Is there a way I can fix this? I’ve seen some really cool pictures of them in some very strange areas. I would love to be able to do this. I’ve looked everywhere in my settings, there is nowhere to be found that I can change it. PLEASE HELP!!!


  17. I’m sure this has been asked, but I didn’t see it. When I log into the website, none of my information or Pokemon are there. On the app I have several Pokemon, medals, joined a team, have a customized trainer, and I am a level 6. However, the site shows me as a level 1 with no other stuff. I’ve check to make sure I am using the correct profile. I want to try and earn coins and such on the site, but don’t want to waste my time if it won’t sync up correctly. I have tried logging out and back in on both the app and the site, but still hasn’t fixed it. Is there a resolution for this yet or one on the way? Any and all help, tips, or advice would be appreciated.


  18. Let’s try this again… I already tried posting this, but apparently it didn’t work. How do I get my Pokemon Go app info and the site to sync up with each other. I already checked and I am using the same profile for both the website and the app. ON the app I am a level 6 with Pokemon, a team, medals and all sorts of stuff, but on the website I am a level 1 with nothing. Any clues on how to fix this or when it will be resolved? Also the app keeps kicking me off, making me log back in, but then gives me a “Unable to Authenticate Message” How do I remedy this?


    • Hello, we have written an article on some of the problems, and you might find one of your issues there at https://dnreviews.net/2016/07/08/pgo-prosol/. As for the sync up, Niantic is still working on server issues and there might be a lot of online issues. So there might be problems with syncing information with website. We should see improvement in servers in the next few days. If it doesn’t get resolved in the next few days, then we can contact Niantic for you. We wish you a good day.


      • Other question there are no pokemon in my area… Who should I email about that? I live just outside lambertville nj


  19. Hi I have an iPhone and I have my camera my location on and everything but my avatar won’t move at all and yes I walk around but it still won’t move not even one bit .


  20. How can I start over? There is no option to select which google acct I want to use, just logs me into the default account.


  21. Not sure how bUT I am level 6 and have no team. Did I flash through the cutscenes too quick? Plz help. Gyms are useless to me


  22. Hello, I feel stupid, bit i jjust up graded my evees, and got a vaporan, but then accidentally transferred him too!! Is there any way to get him back? Please any help is appreciated , thank you in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi, I have recently encountered an issue; I have logged in and created my character and now I just have my ‘turnable’ 3D character on the screen, with no ‘continue’ button etc. I would be very grateful if you could assist me please. Thank you in anticipation 🙂


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