Pokemon Go: Tips and tricks to amass points

The game tends to register the correct distance you covered if you walk in a straight line.
The game tends to register the correct distance you covered if you walk in a straight line.PHOTO: REUTERS

1. STARTING WITH PIKACHU

Pikachu is probably everyone's favourite Pokemon. And you can actually get it as your first Pokemon.

Ignore the Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle that will be available when you first start the game.

Walk away and keep moving until Pikachu shows up.

Be patient if you want Pikachu. You might have to walk for as long as 15min before the revered Pokemon finally appears.

2. VISIT MORE POKESTOPS

You need to walk around your neighbourhood or parks to visit PokeStops to collect Poke Balls that you use to catch these wild pocket monsters.

Once you are in higher levels, you will find your store of Poke Balls running out faster as you will waste more trying to catch tougher Pokemon.

PokeStops will sometimes also generate other useful items, such as potions, revive medicine, eggs (more on that later) and incubators.

3. TURN OFF AUGMENTED REALITY

I find it easier to catch wild Pokemon when the augmented reality (AR) function is turned off.

Sure, you lose the fun element of catching that Magikarp flapping on your friend's lunch plate.

But the Pokemon will stay in the middle of the screen, allowing you a better aim and higher probability of hitting it with the Poke Ball.

To turn off AR, tap on the AR slider on the top right-hand side of the battle screen.

4. USE INCENSE AND LURES TO ATTRACT POKEMON

You will receive incense and lure modules when you level up. Use them to attract wild Pokemon for you to catch.

Incense will lure Pokemon to your location for 30min, while lure modules attract Pokemon to a PokeStop for 30min and benefit other people near the PokeStop.

If you walk around when the incense is activated, it increases the chance of more Pokemon appearing for you to catch.

But incense and lure modules are scarce. You will need to buy PokeCoins with real money, so as to purchase them.

You can buy a minimum of 100 PokeCoins for $1.48, or you can purchase as much as 14,500 PokeCoins at one go for $148.98.

5. INCUBATE POKEMON EGGS BY WALKING IN A STRAIGHT LINE

During the course of the game, you will get eggs that you can incubate to hatch new Pokemon. To successfully incubate the eggs, you need to walk a certain distance - 2km, 5km or 10km.

The game tends to register the correct distance you covered if you walk in a straight line. This is because it checks the location periodically by GPS from your last location.

If you walk in a zigzag manner, the app calculates the distance using the shortest distance from your last location.

I found out the hard way. I went for a jog around my neighbourhood in the hope of hatching my Pokemon eggs quickly. However, the game registered only half the distance I ran.

6. TAKE ALONG A POWER BANK

The constant downloading of data, syncing to GPS signals, and the use of the camera during the game will drain your smartphone's battery very quickly.

So take along a power bank (maybe even two or three) for your Pokemon hunt. You do not want to lose out on catching that cute Clefairy, just because your phone runs out of juice.

And remember to pack enough water for yourself if you are out Pokemon-hunting in the hot afternoon.

7. HOW TO LEVEL UP QUICKLY

A lucky egg (you get one when you level up) lets you earn double the experience points (XP) for 30min, which helps you level up quickly. But you can use it strategically - say, when you have amassed a bunch of low-tier Pokemon.

This way, you maximise the amount of XP you get.

During the period when the lucky egg is active, try to evolve your Pokemon - growing your virtual monsters to a stronger form - to get more XP.

Evolving a Pokemon gives you 500 XP normally, and 1,000 XP if it is a new Pokemon previously unknown to you.

So you do the mathemathics when your lucky egg is active and you have more Pokemon to evolve.

The best Pokemon to do this with are Pidgey, Weedle and Caterpie, since they are in abundance and require the least resources to evolve.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2016, with the headline 'Tips and tricks to amass points'. Print Edition | Subscribe