Are you one of the few people on the planet who hasn’t downloaded Pokemon GO? Well, you’re not alone. Today, we’re helping you dip your toe into the water by explaining 7 things you need to know about Pokemon GO before you begin. We’ll cover the absolute basic stuff and then move onto more advanced things.

1) Starting Out

Download and install Pokemon GO for Android from the Google Play Store here.

Then, sign in using your Google account or make your own account. Create your character, customize your appearance, and choose one of the three starting Pokemon.

Hint: Don’t want a Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle to start out? Get a Pikachu by physically walking away from the three starting Pokemon after they appear on your screen. You may have to do this three times before it works – but you’ll get a rare Pikachu right off the start.

Once you’ve chosen your starter, you’re ready to explore Pokemon GO’s world. Check out the map and look for interesting sights. Look for a few things on the map:

-Blue Pokeball-like discs are PokeStops where you can travel to gather supplies, like more Pokeballs or revive and heal potions. You can spin PokeStops once every 5 minutes – so feel free to camp out for a while.

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Leaves fluttering on the screen indicate a Pokemon may be in that area.

-The footstep icons next to the Pokemon in the bottom right corner of your screen tell you which Pokemon are nearby and how far they are away from you.

-Gyms on your screen will appear as huge towers filled with flashing lights. You don’t need to worry about gyms until level 5

Now that you know the basics of the game, it’s time to start catching Pokemon.

2) Catching a Pokemon

You shouldn’t have to walk very far before you see a Pokemon. Your phone will vibrate and you’ll see a Pokemon appear on your in-game screen. Tap the Pokemon and wait for the Pokemon to appear on your screen. You’ll either see it through your phone’s camera in augmented reality or on a virtual display (if you turned the AR slider off).

Please note that you need to have Pokemon GO active on your screen at all times to catch Pokemon. You can’t close out of the app and wait for a push notification to arrive.

Catching a Pokemon is as easy as tapping and holding onto the Pokeball at the bottom of your screen and then aiming for the Pokemon in front of you. It takes a few tries to get it right, and some Pokemon are just flat-out annoying to capture (I’m looking at you, Zubat).

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As you progress in levels, Pokemon may break out of your standard Pokeballs and you may have to use Ultraballs. When you tap and hold on your Pokeball, a green circle will appear on the Pokeball. This indicates the Pokemon is relatively weak. Stronger Pokemon will have yellow or red rings around them, indicating they’re tough to catch.

You’re going to start encountering duplicate Pokemon pretty quick – like Pidgeys or Rattatas that you already have.

You might be tempted to ignore those Pokemon, but don’t! Getting duplicate Pokemon is a major part of Pokemon GO. Duplicate Pokemon are sent back to the professor for a reward. Plus, you can capture Pokemon that have a higher CP than your existing Pokemon.

You also have 250 Pokemon slots in your inventory – so you’re not going to run out of space anytime soon.

3) Picking your Team at Level 5

Once you’ve walked around the world picking up Pokemon for a little while, you’ll eventually reach level 5. This is where things get interesting. You’ll first need to visit a gym and tap on it, at which point you’ll be asked to join a team.

There are three teams available, including Team Valor, Mystic, and Instinct. Team Mystic (blue) is the most popular team thus far, according to a new report from the Adobe Digital Index. They have a 43% of the team share, followed by Valor (red) at 32% and Instinct (yellow) at 25%.

Instead of worrying about those numbers, ask your friends which team they’re on. If you don’t have friends, look at local gyms and see what color they are. If you want to train your Pokemon at local gyms, then you want lots of your own team’s gyms nearby. If you want to try to battle rival gyms and take them over, then pick an opposing team.

Speaking of gyms, how the heck do they work? Let’s take a closer look.

4) Battling and Gyms

After level 5, you can take over unoccupied gyms, fight rival gyms, and train your Pokemon at friendly gyms.

All you need to do is get within the vicinity of a gym and tap on it to initiate a battle. If you’re fighting to lower a rival gym’s prestige, you’ll roll up with a crew of 6 Pokemon of your choice. If you’re training your Pokemon at a friendly gym, you’ll only have 1 Pokemon.

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Having 6 Pokemon with the highest CP isn’t always the best plan: choose your Pokemon based on any weaknesses in the gym’s existing Pokemon (water beats fire, fire beats bug, etc.)

Battling is straightforward. You have a standard attack that involves tapping on the opponent’s Pokemon repeatedly. You can also dodge attacks by swiping left or right. And once you’ve performed enough standard attacks, your special attack bar will fill up, which means you can tap and hold on the opponent to launch that attack.

If your Pokemon faints or gets wounded during a battle, you’re going to want to heal them using potions or revive them using revives.

That’s it!

5) Why Should You Take Over a Gym?

Those who are controlling and defending a gym get rewards in the form of PokeCoins and Stardust. Stardust is what you use to increase your Pokemon’s level and CP.

You get a reward when you initially take over a gym for the first time. You’ll also continuously get rewarded every 21 hours for as long as you’re controlling that gym.

Gyms are based around historic sites, points of interest, and other locales in your town.

Every time you win a battle at a friendly gym, that gym’s prestige is increased for your team. When you win a battle at an enemy gym, their prestige is lowered. When a gym’s prestige level hits 0, the gym is ready to be captured.

6) Leveling Up and Evolving Pokemon

Leveling up Pokemon is relatively straightforward. You open the Pokemon from your inventory, then press the Power Up button. It costs a certain amount of Stardust and 1 Pokemon candy.

You get Pokemon candy when you capture a Pokemon. You can also get one additional Pokemon candy when you send a Pokemon back to the professor.

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Evolving a Pokemon takes a lot more effort. You’ll need to use anywhere from 30 to 50 Pokemon candy to evolve a Pokemon.

In general, you’ll want to evolve Pokemon before leveling them up. Evolving takes longer and requires you to collect a significant amount of candy, but it makes your Pokemon significantly more powerful. Once they’ve evolved, you can juice them up on Stardust before sending them to the gym.

7) Pokemon GO Has Led to a Surge in Android Rooting

Thousands of people have rooted their Androids since Pokemon GO launched. Why? Well, in order to spoof your GPS signals in Pokemon GO, you’ll need to root your Android first.

Rooting your Android lets you fake location information. That means you don’t actually have to walk around your town or travel abroad to catch rare Pokemon. You can do it from the comfort of your own home.

One Click Root is the easiest way to root your Android and it’s guaranteed to work on any device. Try it today – it’s pretty much the only way to become a Pokemon master.

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