Pokemon Go — what is it? and how to download It!

For the past week or so you've probably been wondering what all the talk... or walk is about this "Pokemon Go". Here's the 101.

Pokemon is a very well-known and successful franchise. Pokemon, originally meaning "Pocket Monsters" was created by Satoshi Tajiri who wanted to share the fun he got from collecting insects with others. The first Pokemon game was released on February 27, 1996 for the Nintendo Gameboy. The popularity of the first game wasn't instant but didn't take long for the 90's generation to become obsessed. After the first game came huge successes for Pokemon: trading cards, the anime series, and then movies which all contributed to Pokemon's global success. 

Two days after the launch of Pokemon Go it was at the top of the list in the iTunes app store for free apps. It was ranked above Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram on the Google Play store and has already added $7.5 billion to Nintendo's market value! The app already has 7.5 million downloads and counting. 

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is a free to play, GPS-based augmented-reality mobile game for iOS and Android devices. Players capture, battle, and train virtual Pokemon who appear throughout the real world in the app.

Hunting and Capturing Pokemon

The game uses your phone's GPS to overlay the Pokemon map with a real-world map. Pokemon will appear on your in-game map, and you have to *literally* walk to the location to catch the Pokemon. 

When you get close to the Pokemon the app turns on your phone's camera to superimpose Pokemon in actual locations and you capture them in your "Poke-ball".

On your in game map, locations will be marked as Pokestops and have cubes above them. If you walk to a Pokestop and slide the icon you will be rewarded with various items such as Pokeballs, Power-ups, eggs, etc. 

Teams and "Gyms"

Gyms are where you can go to train your Pokemon and battle others. Most Gyms are located by some sort of landmark and will appear as tower figure with a Pokemon on top of it. At level five you will select a team by going to a Gym and it will ask you to join that colour team. It really doesn't matter what team you choose but you probably want to be the same team as your friends. If the Gym icon is the same colour as your team you can go there to train your Pokemon and also level up the prestige points of the gym. If it's a different colour than your team colour then you go there to battle other trainers for control of the Gym. You have to travel to the gym in real life. If you want to claim a Gym you have to leave your Pokemon behind to guard it. If someone beats your Pokemon then they can claim it.  

Improving and "leveling" your Pokemon

Once you are in battle you can level up and battle other Pokemon by tapping on the other Pokemon to attack, swipe to dodge, and use your special ability when your special meter is full. 

How you can get Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go has not technically launched in Ireland yet due to servers crashing because of high demand but, officially, the release is due soon

However, there is a way to download the game and use it in the UK and Ireland before official launch. We do want to warn you that that this requires a little bit of "terms violation" and that it is not our responsibility if a wild Pikachu zaps your phone (something unexpected or bad happens to your phone). It might be best to just wait until the app officially launches in your country but for those eager to catch em all, here ya go. 

iPhone: 

Step 1. Log out of Irish Apple ID account

Open App Store > Click Featured Page/Tab > Scroll to bottom of Featured Page > Tap Apple ID > Sign Out 

Step 2. Set up new account

Go to Settings > General > Language & Region > Select US, Australia, or New Zealand

Go to App Store > Download any free application > You'll be asked to create a new Apple ID > Create a new account > Select "None" in the Billing Menu > Add any New Zealand, US, or Australia based address.

3. Download App

Search Pokemon Go in App Store > Download > Catch em all

Android

1. Settings > Security > Enable installation of apps from unknown sources. Download Pokemon Go from an APK download site like APKPure.com directly to your phone. 

2. If you download it from a computer, attach your phone to your computer via a USB chord. Drag the downloaded file to your downloads folder. On your phone go to Settings > Security > Enable installation of apps from unknown sources > hit Pokemon Go in your download folder to install the app.