Beginners Guide to Pokémon Go in 2021

How to play Poké Balls, how to get candy and more tips for those who started or returned to Pokémon Go

do you want to start playing Pokémon Go or go back to it? So our beginners guide to Pokémon Go will help you. “But what do I want a guide for? I walk, the animal appears I throw the ball and it's over! I go on pokestop and get more. What else do you have to do?" Well, that's a pretty old-fashioned view of the game. Yes, in the beginning he was just that, he had little to do but capture and before. The gyms were in the beginning of its life and not even the 150 Pokemon of the Red/Blue generation were present.

However, even after years of launching Pokémon Go, the game is still going strong. While the days of seeing throngs of players stopping traffic to pick up a Vaporeon are long gone, Pokémon Go remains one of the most popular mobile games in the world to this day, with even more to do thanks to the constant release of new Pokémon, events, features and other content.

Whether you are a new player looking to get into the game for the first time or a coach who has left the hunt behind and is interested in getting back, here is a beginners guide to help you (re)start in the game. Pokémon Go. You may also be interested in our tips for Mastering Pokémon Go and if your smartphone can no longer handle the game, how about taking a look at our Best Smartphones to Play Pokémon Go.

Beginners guide to pokemon go
Pokemons in the real world

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Quick FAQ

How to have stronger Pokemons?

Evolve the trainer first, not the Pokemons. Up to level 18 or 20, you must evolve your trainer and capture little monsters, then evolve them.

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How to catch an easier Pokemon?

Play curved balls. Spin the Poké Ball before launching, so it will be released with a curved effect and the trainer gains more XP when capturing the little monster.

What are the advantages of Pokemon Shiny?

Shiny are just aesthetic effects, with a different color.

What are Lucky Pokémon?

The little monsters that have the highest luck tend to be stronger and spend less to get stronger.

What is Pokemon Go?

Remember the first video released about Pokémon Go, which showed a Pikachu coming out from behind a vaos, Pokémon fighting on a bridge and thousands of players chasing a Mewtwo in the middle of Times Square in New York? Well, forget it. It has practically nothing to do with it. Nerdologia Tech explains why and how the game could be closer to the one presented in the launch trailer.

Pokémon Go Beginners Guide for New and Old Players

Pokémon Go is a different version of Nintendo's popular monster-hunting franchise released for mobile phones. Unlike classic Pokémon titles, the game uses your phone's GPS and augmented reality to make Pokémon appear around you as if they were in the real world. The game is free to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store, with the option to purchase in-game items using real money or PokeCoins you've accumulated by playing.

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Although there are a variety of things to do in Pokémon Go Currently, including completing quests and fighting other players, your main objective is to capture Pokemon. You can find wild Pokémon by completing research tasks or in raid battle, but the most common place you'll find them is on the real world map, as usual. You'll see wild Pokémon periodically spawn around your avatar while the game is open, and tapping one will start a battle.

How to catch Pokemon

Unlike classic Pokémon games, you don't use your own Pokémon to fight and weaken wild monsters in the Pokémon Go; instead, you simply throw a Pokem Ball at them by swiping your finger across the screen. It's a simple process, but there are a few ways to improve your chances of catching Pokemon.

Making skillful shots is one of those ways. When holding your Poké Ball, you will see a ring approaching the wild Pokémon. Throwing the Pokém Ball inside the ring will result in a “Cool”, “Great” or “Excellent” throw, increasing your chances of catching the monster. The smaller the ring, the better your throw if you hit it, resulting in a greater capture advantage. Feeding Pokémon wild berries makes them easier to catch.

Curves and berries

While a simple straight throw is enough to catch many common Pokémon, you'll have more luck catching monsters with curveball throws. Spin the Poké Ball in a circle a few times, then slide up at an angle to curve your throw. This will increase your chances of capturing the monster if you are able to hit it.

Feeding wild Pokémon a berry will also increase your chances of catching it. Berries come in many varieties. Razz Berries, for example, makes a Pokemon easier to catch, while Nanab Berries makes the Pokemon move less: useful for catching nervous monsters like Zubat (although you'll probably have a million of them). However, the effects of berries don't stack; you can only use one berry at a time, and if the Pokémon manages to escape the ball, the berry's effect will be nullified, so you'll need to use another one.

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Pokémon Go

How to get Pokémon candy and evolve the Pokémon

Pokemons don't level up in the traditional sense in Pokémon Go, with battles, for example. Instead, you raise and evolve your monsters by feeding them candy. Every time you capture a Pokemon, you'll earn candy for that species; for example, catching a Bulbassaurus will yield three Bulbasaurus candy. You can then feed the Pokémon that candy from your stat screen to increase its Combat Power (CP) or evolve it.

This encourages you to capture as many Pokémon as you can, even if you already have a monster of this species. You can also double the amount of candy you get from a wild Pokémon by feeding it a Pinap Berry before catching it. You need to catch a lot of Pokemon to earn enough candy to evolve them.

Since candy is needed to power up and evolve your Pokémon, the best way to stock up on candy is to “catch and release”: capture wild Pokémon repeatedly and transfer those with lower stats to Professor Willow. You can view a Pokémon's stats by tapping Appraise on the status screen. If the monster is not to your liking, tap Transfer to send it away. This will remove the Pokémon from your collection permanently, but you'll get a candy in return.

With a few exceptions, most Pokémon in Pokémon Go it evolves after you feed them a certain number of candy. Bulbasaurus, for example, requires 25 candys to evolve into Ivysaurus, while Ivysaurus requires 100 candys to evolve into Venussaurus. However, some Pokémon also need a specific item to evolve. Scyther, for example, needs a Metal Coat and 50 Scyther candy to evolve into Scizor. All necessary evolutionary items will be displayed on the Pokémon's status screen.

Raid Battles

The Gyms is also the place where, periodically, Raid battles. These co-op fights allow you to team up with other players to face a single potent Pokémon. If you manage to defeat the monster within the time limit, you will gain a handful of items along with the chance to catch it. Similar to what is seen there in the trailer with multiple players fighting Mewtwo.

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Attacks fall into four levels:

one star raidsFights against common Pokemon and can usually be completed alone.
three star raidsFights against evolved Pokémon and may require you to team up with two or three other players.
five star raidsFights against legendary Pokémon and requires a team of at least seven players.
Mega RaidsFights an Evolved Mega Pokémon and requires a team of at least eight players.

How to participate in Raids

Before participating in a raid, you must have a Raid Pass or a Remote Raid Pass. The former allows you to join the raid while physically in the Gym, while the latter allows you to enter battle remotely. There is, however, a slight downside to this; players who enter an attack remotely will do less damage than those who are physically in the Gym.

There are a few ways to get your hands on Raid Passes. You can get one for free by spinning the photo dial at a gym; however, you can only keep one free Raid Pass in your inventory at a time. Both types of Raid Pass are also available from the in-game store. Pokémon Go. A single Raid Pass costs 100 PokeCoins, while a pack of three Remote Raid Passes costs 250.

PokeStops and Gyms

Pokertops and gyms
PokeStops and Gyms

Ah… do you remember? Pokémon Go was created to be played outdoors, and to encourage you to explore your surroundings, the game transforms certain landmarks and real-world locations into two different points of interest: PokeStops and Gyms.

PokeStops are blue reference points that do not require items and XP. Initially, they appear as a cube on the upper world map and transform into a Poké Ball symbol when you are within the interaction radius. While in a PokeStop, tap it and spin the dial to get a handful of free items and a Field Survey task (more on that coming soon). After spinning a PokeStop it will turn purple and you will need to wait several minutes before spinning it again.

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Gyms, on the other hand, look like towers and work a little differently than in classic Pokémon games. Instead of fighting a Gym Leader (it's…no Misty here), you can drop one of your Pokémon into a Gym and defend it for your team. The gym's color indicates which team is in control of it.

If the gym is under your team's control, you can release one of your Pokémon (provided there's room for it) to help protect it. If another team has control of the gym, you can fight the defending Pokémon and regain control.

Depending on how long your Pokémon defended a Gym, you will earn PokeCoins (game currency of the Pokémon Go) when he is knocked out and returned to you. Each Gym also has its own disk that you can spin to receive free items and XP, just like in Pokéstop.

Important Items in Pokémon Go

In addition to berries and Raid Passes, there are a variety of useful items in the Pokémon Go. They can be obtained as rewards for completing Research tasks or purchased from the in-game item shop. Here are some of the most important items in the game:


Potions are special items that help in battle. As is common for this type of item, it will regenerate an amount of the Pokemon's health, depending on how strong and rare it is. There are four types of potion and one item to revive your knocked out pokemon.

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Standard PotionRestores 20 HP
super potion Restores 50 HP
Hyper Potion Restores 200 HP
max potionRestore all HP
ReviveRevives a Pokémon that was knocked out during a battle. A standard Revive restores the Pokémon to half its HP, while a Max Revive restores it to full health.


Increases the number of wild Pokémon that appear. Incenses are usually active for 30 minutes, but this duration is often extended during special events and currently during the pandemic period.

Bait Modules

Similar to Incense, Lure Modules increase the number of wild Pokémon that spawn. These items, however, are placed on a PokeStop, allowing other players to enjoy their effects as well. There are five different types of Bait Modules

Standard moduleAttract random Pokemon
Rainy moduleAttracts Water, Insects, and Electric Pokémon
Glacial ModuleAttracts ice and water Pokémon
Magnetic Attraction ModuleAttracts Electric, Steel, and Rock Pokémon
Mossy moduleAttracts grass, insects and poisonous Pokémon

Other Items

  • Lucky Egg: Doubles the amount of XP you earn for 30 minutes.
  • Star Piece: Increases the amount of stardust you gain for 30 minutes.
  • Rare Candy: Can be converted to any type of candy Pokémon.
  • Incubators: Put a Pokemon egg inside one of them and it will hatch when you walk far enough.
  • Evolution Items: In addition to candy, some Pokemon require a special item to evolve. Some of the most common evolution items include the Metal Coat, Sun Stone, King's Rock, Sinnoh Stones e Unova Stones.
  • TMs: Can be used to teach your Pokemon a new attack.

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Field research and special research

In addition to capturing Pokemon, Pokémon Go has quests to complete called Research tasks. There are two main types of tasks: Field Survey and Special Survey.

Special Research Stories involve completing tasks to help Professor Willow investigate mysterious Pokémon. Field Research tasks are unique challenges that are mostly picked up in PokeStops. You'll receive a random task when you spin a disc, and upon completing it, you'll receive a reward, which can range from an item to a Pokémon encounter.

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In addition to a reward, you will receive a stamp for the first Field Research task you complete each day. After accumulating seven seals, you will achieve a breakthrough in research. This will earn you additional rewards, including the chance to capture a special Pokemon. The Pokémon for Research Reveal changes every month.

The special research tasks, on the other hand, are the "history" missions of Pokémon Go. They are introduced by a brief message from Professor Willow and usually come in various stages. Each stage you complete will earn you several rewards, and completing the entire research line usually culminates in the chance to catch a rare and special Pokémon.

Go Rocket Team

Like classic Pokémon games, the Pokémon Go has its own evil team to defeat: Team Go Rocket. As you play, you'll occasionally see a hot air balloon above the map or on a PokeStop, Tap the Team Go Rocket balloon and you'll challenge a Rocket member to battle. Even the most famous members of Team Rocket, Jessie and James, appeared in the game for a limited time.

All members of Team Go Rocket use Shadow Pokémon, which have red eyes and are surrounded by a purple aura. If you manage to defeat Team Go Rocket's henchman, you'll have a chance to capture one of the Shadow Pokemon they used. You can keep the Pokémon in its shadow form if you wish, or you can use Stardust to "cleanse" it.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having Shadow Pokemon. During battle, these monsters have an attack bonus, so they deal more damage than normal Pokémon. However, they need more candy and stardust to evolve. Purified Pokémon, however, receive a base stat boost and require less candy and stardust than normal monsters to power up, but they lose the previously mentioned attack bonus.

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Since Halloween 2016, Pokémon Go regularly hosts in-game events, and these are some of the most fun activities to do in-game. There are a variety of events each month, including a Community Day: a one-day event that stars a specific Pokémon and gives you the chance to learn a move unique to the event. The October 2021 Community Day, for example, took place on October 9th and the star was the ghost Pokémon Duskull.

Other in-game events include Fashion Week and Psychic Spectacular. These events happen for a few days and cause certain types of Pokémon to appear more often than usual. Events also usually include new Research tasks to complete and some other in-game bonuses like increased incense duration or the chance to catch a Shiny Pokémon, so you don't want to miss out when an event is in progress. You will receive in-game warnings when an event is about to happen.

Valor, Instinct or Mystic

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Team leaders

In Pokémon Go you capture, battle and train Pokémon in the real world. Stroll through your neighborhood, visit squares, monuments and catch little monsters that can appear anywhere. Visit the Pokéstops and earn items to help you on your journey or challenge the Pokémon that guard the gyms and take their place for you to become a gym leader.

Join other players on one of three teams led by one of Professor Willow's assistants: Mystic, Valor or Instinct to show everyone who's the best. But be aware that Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, also sent some of his henchmen to dominate the pokestops and gyms. It is your duty to defeat them. Will you face this new journey to be a master? Grab your cell phone and go hunting. The world of Pokémon awaits you!

Pokémon Go is available for Android e iOS.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.