wikiHow to catch them all

Illustration by Brittany Wetherspoon

Welcome, trainers. While I am not some flora based professor, I am here to guide you down the path of the true PokémonGo master. Many have come before you, and many will come after (subject to server capacity). You all think you know the basics: seek out lures, catch ‘em all, wantonly waste Pokeballs and Razzberries and incubators for your own personal glory. And in the end nothing to show for it but a Pokédex filled with all 142 Pokémon, one that cannot be shared or even traded. That is not the true way. Following this doctrine guide, you too can be the very best. We all can.

Intuition, Observation, Strength. Glory awaits, trainers.


1. Your team is your identity, your struggle, your legacy

Once a trainer has completed initiation and reached Level 5, they select for themselves a team: Instinct, Mystic, or Valor. This decision is the trainer’s alone, not to be influenced by petty lobbyists or promises of free food from capitalist Pancake Parlours. This decision also reflects the trainer’s true inner principles. There is no shelter from the storm for Team Instinct, Victory is temporary, glory is eternal for Team Valor, and DABIRDINDANORF, for Team Mystic. The infinite wisdom contained in these mottos is for the trainer to unravel in their journeys. It does not matter which team has a smaller or larger following, but the essence of the motto that matters. Ultimately the choice is not important, and only the weakest trainers succumb to justifying their allegiance. What is paramount, trainers, is unwavering loyalty, dedication, and no less than two permanent tattoos of the chosen team’s logo.


2. A trainer alone is a trainer without meaning, or purpose

Once a team is chosen, the trainer continues to evolve and collect their Pokémon until they are able to claim gyms for their team through glorious battle. The mechanics of war are simple: good trainers know their Pokémon type advantages, and are proficient in spamming attacks and occasionally dodging at the actual correct moment for once. As we know, the goal of every Pokémon battle is victory. But for the team to achieve victory, all trainers, irrespective of level, must be united. A single Vaporeon cannot stand forever against an army of Arcanines, and so it is the duty of the trainers to battle their own gyms, bring more trainers into the fold and multiply their strength. And regardless of affiliation we all share a common enemy: the other teams. Do not hesitate, trainers, when a rival team claims from you a gym. Defeat them swiftly in battle, or through other, real life, punching-based means.


3. Pokéstops are abundant, but their improper use nullifies their advantage

The All-giver, Niantic Inc, has seen fit to bless the trainers with abundant Pokéstops and microtransactions. Our teams now need Poké Balls, Razzberries, Eggs and Potions, like the air they breathe, like the instant noodles they eat. But it is not enough to simply horde resources. Poké Balls must be thrown with grace, and the appropriate amount of spin. Eggs should not sit idle in inventory of trainers who forget to keep PokémonGo open to track their steps, and fail to invest their income in battery packs. Greatballs should not be wasted on Pokémon with CP less than 200. Stardust and candy, resources that cannot be bought or spun at Pokestops, should be treated as the trainer’s own lifeblood. Waste them not on low CP Pokemon. Instead, combine the XP doubling power of the Lucky Egg with the act of mass evolving all of your Pokémon.


4. It is braver to retreat than to advance

Trainers, sometimes even the very best cannot win.

Sometimes Team Instinct is simply outnumbered. Sometimes Team Valor cannot rely on strength alone. Sometimes Team Mystic can’t do, whatever it is they do. Gym leaders come and go, but only the team remains, and the team is immortal. And so to preserve your team, trainers must know when to stop battling that gym, when to give your hard-working Pokémon a much needed rest and a heavy dose of super potions, and when to tactfully return in the middle of the night to claim the gym without resistance. Savvy trainers know that frequent resets are needed to maximize play time. Savvy trainers know the only way to resolve server issues is to check back every five minutes while mass messaging their friends, ‘servers are down, fuck my whole entire life’. And real trainers know, that the only way to find eternal glory, is to put away your Poké Balls, delete PokémonGo, and retire while you can still call yourself a Pokémon master.

So now, trainers, that you know the true way of the PokémonGO master, you can travel across the land, search far and wide, and fight tooth and nail for the glory of your Pokémon.

Tags : Pokemon GO!
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