Pokemon Go: Catch ’em all, and a degree!

With Pokémon Go already available in some parts of the world, and opening soon in other parts, it is already taking the world by storm! There have already been millions of downloads, and students who are starting school this year or returning to their university this autumn will be happy to find that most universities have quite a few Pokestops and even an occasional gym on campus! In fact, our friends over at Tampere University boasts around 7 Pokestops!

So if you are one of the few who haven’t started playing yet, it’s pretty much a fact that this will be the next big trend of your Autumn semester, and maybe even for the entire time of your studies! So what are you waiting for?

Here’s how we suggest you become the Pokémon Go master of your university!

Everyone wants to be the very best like no one ever was, right?

First things first, how to play the game:

Download the game app with your iOS or Android device and log in with your Google account or with your Pokémon Trainer Club account. Customise your avatar and select a starter Pokémon.

Pro tip: If Squirtle, Charmander or Bulbasaur are not really for you, simply run away from these starter Pokémon about four times until a Pikachu appears!

Now that you are ready to go, there are three very important features of the game you should know about. Firstly, you can catch Pokémon by simply walking around campus until they appear. Tap on the Pokémon to initiate a battle, and fling Pokeballs at it until you catch it!

Keep your eye on the colourful circle around the Pokémon. When the circle is the biggest, it is easier to catch the Pokémon, so press and hold the Pokeball until the circle grows as big as it can, then toss the ball at the target.

Pokemon Go
Catch ’em all!

Green circles mean the Pokémon will be easier to catch, yellow circles may be more challenging, and red circles even more difficult still. The Pokémon might spring out of the Pokeball after you catch it, but there are certain items that you can use such as higher level Pokeballs (that start to show up around level 12) and treats to distract the Pokémon with.

Secondly, visiting the local Pokestops is a major part of the game, as light blue colored Pokestops will drop items for you to use in the game, such as Pokeballs, treats, potions, and Pokémon eggs!

Pro tip: Eggs can be placed in an incubator which is powered by walking. Eggs will then hatch after walking 2 KM, 5 KM or 10 KM.

Pokemon Go
Hatch your Pokémon eggs as you walk!

When you grab the loot from a Pokestop, it will turn purple and it wont drop loot again for another 5 minutes. Pokestops are also the place to use a Lure Module, which attracts a multitude of Pokémon to that Pokestop for 30 minutes. If you see a Pokestop near by and it’s surrounded with little hearts, head on over to grab some loot and catch some Pokémon!

Pokemon Go
Pokestops with Lures have lots of loot and Pokémon!

Pro tip: It has been said that the more people who come to a Pokestop with an active Lure, the rarer the Pokémon will be! Grab your mates and head to a Pokestop between classes and wait and see what shows up!

Lastly, gyms are a pretty big deal in Pokémon Go. You can use gyms to earn gold coins that can be used in the Pokeshop after successfully taking over the gym. In order to battle a gym, you first need to be a level 5 and select a team from either Valor (red), Mystic (blue) or Instinct (yellow).

Once you have a team, you can find other members by hanging around Pokestops or in a local Facebook group. Together, you will be a force to be reckoned with as you take over all the gyms you can find! Once you and your team take a gym, leave a Pokémon there to defend it and level up the gym by training your Pokémon. There higher the gym level, the more Pokémon can be left there to defend the gym against rival teams!

Pokemon Go
Grab a team and take over gyms between classes.

Battle Pokémon at gyms by tapping on the enemy Pokémon, press and hold the enemy Pokémon to unleash special attacks, and dodge attacks by swiping left or right.

Pro tip: Do some research on what types of Pokémon are strong or weak against other types of Pokémon, such as Water > Fire, Fire > Leaf, etc.

Put those legs to good use! Explore the landmarks of your university city as you play, and use the app to not only get some exercise between studies, but also to make new friends and find the hidden gems (and gyms) of your city. Host events with fellow students like a Pokémon pub-crawl, or a Pokémon walkathon, and seek out the local hotspots which double up as a Pokestop!

Already a Pokémon master? Leave us some tips in the comment box below!

Remember to stay alert and play responsibly, keep up with your studies and pay attention to your lecturers. Who knows, maybe they will drop a lure on your university campus as a reward for your hard work and dedication!

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