10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Pokémon Go

10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Pokémon Go

10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Pokémon Go: If you were around for the Pokémon GO launch, you’ll remember that it was a little bumpy. Or, rather, let’s be frank here (even if your name isn’t Frank, just roll with me on this one), it was a catastrophic disaster of a 35-on-the-Richter-scale screw up. Glitchy, broken, more bugs than an I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here! Bushtucker Trial… it was an all-round bad time.

10-Catch Generation Two Pokémon

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9- Ash It Up With A Pikachu On Your Shoulder
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But hey, some of us know this already. The Pokémon GO veterans among you might not be impressed so far. You might be clicking your fingers in a Z formation as we speak, declaring that this stuff’s, like, so 2016, girlfriend. This isn’t Mean Girls, buddy boy. Here’s a cutesy little easter egg for you GO veterans: Pikachu riding up there on your shoulder like a rodent version of a pirate’s parrot.

Usually, when you choose a Pikachu as your buddy, it’ll be on the ground beside your avatar like most other Pokémon in the game. Once you’ve collected ten or more candies by walking with it, though, it’ll appear on your character’s shoulder a la Ash. Which is a neat little touch on Niantic’s part. Pikachu, I choose you!

8-Catch Shinies (Well, Just The One, and It's Already Gone)
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 in the run-up to Pokémon GO’s launch, there was a lot of nerdly Poké-buzz about how Niantic would handle shiny Pokémon. Would they exist in the wild alongside their boring-ass regular brethren, with the usual super-rare chance of finding one? Would they be hidden, looking like any other ‘mon on the world map until it comes to the catching screen? I’d have liked the latter; it would have given some kind of use to the endless damn spawns of Pidgey and Ratatta that we’re all still crotch deep in.

7-Find a Possible –Just Maybe— Reference to a Pokémon Snap Sequel?
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Pokémon Snap, I think we can all agree, was the gorilla’s gonads. Back in the day, seeing Pokémon out in the wild roaming about in 3D was bowel-looseningly exciting. As time has gone on and the series has largely given the finger to home consoles, fans have clamored for a sequel to the game. It would be perfect for the Wii U/Switch, after all.

Now, there’s still pretty well a 0% chance of this happening, but it’s nice to know that the N64 classic isn’t forgotten. Snap, you might remember, featured an item called the Pester Ball. This unusual Pokéball wasn’t for catching, but rather for ‘attacking’ Pokémon and goading them into performing various actions (so as to make your photos action shots and earn you more points).

The Pester Ball doesn’t appear in any other Pokémon game, but there’s a subtle little easter egg that references it in Pokémon GO

 If you hold your finger on the app’s Poké Ball icon and slide over to the four menu icons without lifting your finger, Pokémon, Pokédex, Items and Shop will glow orange, red, blue and purple respectively. These are the colours of Pester Ball, which proves that fans will clutch at any damn straws in their hopes for another Snap.

 6-Actually Track Pokémon Now (Kind Of, If You Squint A Bit)

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I hear you, friends. This one’s highly freaking debatable, but there has been some improvement in this area. Considering that the whole tracking debacle was a major reason for many players droppin’ the game like it’s hot (as Snoop Dogg would say) it’s an important one to mention.

In the early months of Pokémon GO, there was no reliable way of hunting Pokémon. In a game centered around, you know, hunting Pokémon, you can see how this would be a gigantic pain in the player base’s butt. We went from the rustling grass system to the crapshoot that was the ‘Nearby’ system, but now we’ve got something that’s actually (in my eyes — your opinion may differ) relatively functional. Nearby wild Pokémon now at least have a Pokéstop attached to them, taking some of the BS out of the whole thing. Some. A little. More one-legged kitten steps in the right direction.

5-Wear A Totally Balling Magikarp Hat
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Look at the damn thing. Just look at it. This is the very pinnacle of headwear, friends. It doesn’t get any better than this. The future is freaking NOW.
Here’s another entry for the ex Pokémon GO faithful, who may have fallen off the wagon. Early in the game’s life, another criticism it faced was that the customization options were, to put it loosely, a little lackluster. Well, that’s putting it so loosely that it might damn well drop right off a roll under the sofa. There was slim to bupkus available, but now you can deck your trainer out in all kinds of (mostly over-expensive) new gear. True enough, you never got to see Ash Ketchum in a top hat, but what does he know? That’s what all the best trainers are wearing these days.

4-Lose Those Love Handles
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As video games have become more mainstream, they’ve tried to horn their way into all different aspects of our daily lives. One of the major ones is the whole fitness thing, and Nintendo, in particular, have been all over that. From hula hooping with no hoop like a dumbass in Wii Sports to clipping the Pokéwalker (remember that thing?) to your pants and cruising along in the real world. Nobody wants us up and off our butts more than Nintendo.

Most of these titles were a little half-assed and gimmicky (as I said, who remembers the Pokéwalker? Nobody, that’s who), but Pokémon GO succeeded where all kinds of fitness apps and games failed. There were quite a few memes going around when the game launched. Some of them included super pale nerds traveling the streets in packs, and dogs being walked until their legs had worn down to little hairy stumps. People were actually walking to work, we were getting off our butts, and some of us still are. Good job, Pokémon GO.

3-Be The Very Best —Like No One Ever Was— With Appraisal

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As competitive Pokémon combatants will know, the IV system has always been kind of an ass pain. In the early days of the series, this mechanic was totally hidden and remained obscure until Pokémon Sun and Moon released. Until then, you only had the enigmatic words of the IV checker NPC to go on.

Pokémon GO, being a mobile game and all, doesn’t have a system as deep as this. Appraisal is a similar system, though, and it works in much the same way as the old NPC. Individual Pokémon of the same species (i.e., the umpteen billion Pidgeys that jump out at you if you so much as open your front door) will have different stats and battle capabilities, which your team leader will tell you about once you’ve chosen a mon to appraise.

They’ll comment on its relative size (as all us guys know, ‘Your Onix is just HUGE!’ is always flattering to hear) and CP, as well as vague phrases which allude to that hidden potential and its highest stats. Give the feature a go before you waste those candies.

2-Those Tricksy L-Throws
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Pokémon GO, unlike its handheld counterpart, is all about a more dynamic approach to catching your prey. There’s no selecting the Poké Ball from the menu and just watching/hammering up and B because your buddy swears that totally works here. You use the touchscreen to throw the ball towards your target, which is a neat idea if sometimes a little shonky in practice.

If you find your throws going astray more than you’d like, the recently discovered ‘L Throw’ technique might be worth a go. This simple trick involves dragging your chosen Poké Ball to the left or right of the screen, and releasing on your upswing when your ball reaches the height of the Pokémon in question. There’s an art to it, as with curveballs (which you can also do in this way), and it’s no failsafe, but it should help with your accuracy.

1- Menu Hax

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This isn’t the most glamorous of tips, but it’s another little thing that new players and veterans alike may have missed. I know I did.

Pokémon GO play demands a lot of menu-diving. When you’re sorting through your Pokémon, your eggs, items, searching for that one specific Ratatta out of the 95 you already have (because it’s in the top 90% of Ratattas, obviously), it can get a little fiddly.

Who has time for all of that BS? Nobody, that’s who. We’re the kind of instant-gratification no time to waste go-getters who want to save every millisecond we can. That being the case, you’ll probably appreciate knowing that the Pokéball in the center of the screen doesn’t have to be tapped. You can perform a quick left swipe (Pokémon and Eggs menu), right swipe (Items), quick up swipe (Shop) and longer upward swipe (Pokédex) to get yourself straight to the screen you need.


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10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Pokémon Go
10 Awesome Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Pokémon Go: If you were around for the Pokémon GO launch, you’ll remember that it was a little bumpy. Or, rather, let’s be frank here
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