Pokémon Go exploded on the scene last week, and since then half the nation have found sneaky ways to download the app (so far unavailable in Ireland) while the rest have been left scratching their heads.
The app is now neck-in-neck with Twitter in terms of daily active users despite having only been released a few days ago, proving that the Pokémon Go hype machine is at the height of its powers.
So we took it upon ourselves to give you the lowdown on all things Pokémon Go, to help you stay up to date with the cool kids…
What’s the actual concept of Pokémon, anyways?
The idea behind the Pokémon universe comes from the slightly creepy activity of insect collecting. Satoshi Tajiri, executive director of Pokémon was mad into collecting creepy crawlies as a child.
Players of the game are called Pokémon Trainers, and they have two very important tasks. Firstly they must complete their Pokédex, by catching one of every Pokémon available in their region. Secondly, they have to train the Pokémon they catch in order to compete against other Trainers and (hopefully) win the Pokémon League
How do I download Pokémon Go?
It hasn’t officially been released on Google Play or the iOS App Store due to the servers being massively overloaded, but they’ve promised that they’re working on it.
Thank you for your patience. We have been working to fix the server issues. We will continue rolling out #PokemonGO to new countries soon.
— Pokémon GO is ready to #GOBattle? (@PokemonGoApp) July 8, 2016
However, where there’s a will, there’s a way…
If you’re an Android user, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on it – simply download the app by selecting the option to accept non-Google-approved apps.
But for iOS users, it’s a bit more tricky, so check out our step-by-step guide here.
What does it do exactly?
It’s Pokémon in real life, literally.
Once you’ve logged in and had a chat with Professor Willow, the app will ask you to turn on your camera and GPS settings. Once you do, you’ll start to notice Pokémon right in front of you.
You have to fling a PokéBall at Pokémon hoping to catch them and add them to your Pokédex. (SRSLY.)
The more you walk around, the more Pokémon you’re likely to come across. If you need more PokéBalls or other accoutrements you can get them at your nearby PokéStop. Pokéstops are local landmarks – anything from your local pub to the Freemason’s Hall or Jim Larkin’s statue. They pop up on screen as you wander about.
When you’ve finally collected enough Pokémon, and gotten all the way up to Level 5 you can bring them to your local Gym, and battle against other Pokémon champs in real life, but on your phone.
What’s the big fuss about?
It’s just a really fun game that takes something that so many of us were familiar with as kids, and makes it happen in real life.
The reaction to Pokemon Go – people going out, meeting others, hanging out, catching Pokemon – literally sounds like my childhood dream.
— Chris Rooke (@chrisrooke) July 10, 2016
Plus it’s making people be more active and get outside to go searching for Pokémon.
Exercise and making new mates? Hardly be a bad thing…
Anything else I should know?
Different Pokémon come out at night, so you can expect to see more fairy and ghost type ones after dark. Also, it is location-dependent, so if you’re beside a lake you’ll be more likely to come across water-based Pokémon. The more you wander with the app, the more you’ll discover.
If you come across a Pokémon you already have, catch it anyway. You then have the option to send it back to Professor Willow in exchange for bonus points that will help you evolve any Pokémon you’ve already caught.
And best of all, it works in vehicles too so you can go cruisin’ and catchin’ to your heart’s content – just make sure you have someone to drive you around!
My best #PokemonGO advice is to play it when you’re in an uber. Can’t do gym battles but I caught 20+ Pokemon from Cap Hill to Adams Morgan
— Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) July 9, 2016
To anyone who rolled their eyes, and snorted their way through this whole article – download it and see for yourself.
You’ll be hooked before you know it…