Pokémon GO has arrived in the UK - this is not a drill.
Everyone from your nan to your other nan will soon be playing Pokémon Go. The irresistible combination of nostalgia, augmented reality, and catching 'em all means the game is nothing short of addictive.
But although we recommend spending 20+ hours a day on the game, we also recommend using this time wisely and efficiently. Follow our carefully collated tips and tricks to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Know your circles
To avoid unnecessarily wasting Pokéballs, look at the size and colour of the circles overlaying your critter. A smaller circle means the Pokémon is easier to catch, so it's always worth waiting for it to shrink. As for the colours: Green = weak, Yellow = medium, Red = strong.
Know your footsteps
These indicate just how near "nearby" Pokémon actually are. Zero pawprints mean you're right next to one, one means it's near, two is further away, and three is far.
Really know your footsteps
Although there's no official conversion for footsteps and actual metres, Redditor PowerFang created this guide based on their experiences.
"It basically seems to be a linear scale in regards to the distance to the Pokemon and the number of footsteps," they wrote. "The only one that i think may not be this way is the 3 footsteps. I think the 3 footsteps means 3+."
Gastly only appears at night
Turn on battery saving mode and flip your phone upside down to save on battery
One of the game's biggest flaws right now is that it drains your battery faster than Mewtwo would drain Diglett's HP bar. There is a simple fix however - if you still want to get alerts but don't want to be left without any juice, simply turn on battery saving mode and turn your phone upside down. The phone will go dark (with a dim logo) but still stay running.
Listen to Reddit
r/PokemonGo is full of constantly updating tips, tricks (and yeah, memes), like this helpful diagram.
Spin your Poké Ball for an extra 10 XP
Simply trace little circle around your Poké Ball when you're capturing a Pokémon to get it spinning. If you then manage to catch 'em, you'll get yourself a nice curveball bonus.
Know your locations
Water Pokémon chill out near water, sure, but do you know where other types of critters appear?
Grass Pokémon hang out in fields and city blocks; Electricity 'uns are most likely to be found near wharfs, docks, and power companies; Ghosts allegedly frequent hospitals and graveyards (though there is some debate on this); and high level fire Pokémon can be found near fire departments.
Watch out for rustling grass on your map
As this indicates that some Pokémon are most likely chilling out nearby.
If you leave your phone on and running the app, Pokémon willl eventually spawn near you without you having to move.
Driving up to 12mph is counted as walking
Once you've got an egg and you're trying to incubate it, the game will tell you how many steps you have to walk until it hatches. If you're feeling lazy, driving slowly tricks the game into thinking you've walked the distance.
Alternatively, cycling (provided you don't go too fast) also counts, and is a great way to stay healthy*.
*Get your Pokémon to hatch faster
Turn off augmented reality by toggling the switch on the top right
You what? Get rid of arguably the coolest part of the whole game? Unfortunately, yes. If you're serious about catching Pokémon, it's much easier to do so when AR is turned off, as you won't have to raise or point your phone and the Pokémon will stay straight in front of you.
Refuse any of the starter Pokémon to get Pikachu instead
When you start the game you'll have an option of catching one of the three usual suspects (Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur) but if you walk away from them four times, Pikachu will appear as well.
Catch 'em all
You might be tempted to ignore Pokémon who are weak or who you already have, but it's best to catch as many as possible. This way you can trade them with Professor Oak for candy, which you can then use to upgrade your other beasties.