Pokémon Go: The Ultimate Guide

How do you get started, find and catch Pokémon, evolve and power up for Gyms, get Gen 2, troubleshoot, and more? Here's everything you need to know!

Updated April, 2017: If you're heading out to take advantage of the spring weather and enjoy some Pokémon Go fun — especially if it's for the first time or the first time in a long time — we've got a completely updated guide to help you make the most of it!

Take location-based gaming, add augmented reality, and mix in characters so beloved they shaped a generation, and what do you get? Pokémon Go! As the name suggests, it takes the Pokémon characters and places them in the real world so you can catch, hatch, and evolve them on the go. Playable on both iOS and Android, alone or with family and friends, it's not only incredibly fun, it's become a global phenomenon.

Whether you're just starting, trying to take your training to the next level, or been playing for. a while and looking for new challenges, this is the guide for you! Here's everything you need to know about Pokémon Go!


New: Latest Pokémon Go Updates | Next Pokémon Go Event

Hot: Best movesets | Best Power-Ups | Find rares | Catch bonuses

Guides: Pokémon Go tips + tricks | Pokémon Go cheats


How do you get started with Pokémon Go?

If you're brand new and have never played Pokémon Go before, getting started is easy. All you have to do is create an account. You can use a Pokémon account or you can sign in with a Google Account. If you don't want to share your primary Google Account — including your Gmail, Google Docs, and more — with Pokémon Go, you can make a secondary account exclusively to use with the game.

Once you're done, you create your character, called a "trainer" and customize her or him to represent you or any image you want to portray in the Pokémon Go world. Then you can start playing!

Need help getting signed in, suited up, and started with catching Pokémon, using the menu, dropping Incense and Lures, and all the other basics?

Pokémon Go Beginner's Guide: How to get started with Pokémon Go!

What Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and cheats do you need to know?

I've been playing Pokémon Go since launch day. I'm currently level 38, have completed my Gen 1 and Gen 2 North American Pokédex and most of the medals (Fisherman, though, might take a million years...) Over the last many months, levels, events, and encounters, I've picked up a few tips and tricks that have helped me immensely. It's the stuff I know now that I wish I knew back when I started. Heck, I wish I knew some of it back when I hit level 30!

And... there are also some cheats. They're not how some people want to play, but they include precisely measuring stats, scanning and tracking beyond the legal limits, sneaking in extra evolutions, bubble-boosting Gyms, and getting around the speed lock. Use at your own risk.

Pokémon Go tips and tricks you need to know!

Pokémon Go cheats that really work

How do you find and catch rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

Before you can catch any Pokémon in Pokémon Go, you first have to find them. And that can be easier said than done, especially for rare Pokémon like Tyranitar, Snorlax, Dragonite, Lapras, Blissey, Amphoros, and Muk.

There are places like water spawns, though, where you have a higher chance of catching Magikarp and Dratini so you can evolve Gyarados and Dragonite, and there are nests, where many kinds of Pokémon spawn en-masse for two weeks at a time.

Once you find them, some Pokémon are also considerably harder to catch than others. There are catch rates, flee rates, levels, bonuses, and more to consider.

How to find rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go Nests: What they are and how to locate them

How to catch rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go!

How do you hatch eggs in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Eggs are different than the Lucky Eggs you get when you reach a significant new level or buy at the Shop. Lucky Eggs multiply the experience you get while playing the game. Pokémon Eggs hatch Pokémon.

You get Pokémon Eggs at PokéStops. Spin the stop and there's a roughly 20% chance you'll get a Pokémon Egg along with the more common balls, potions, and revives. Of those eggs, some will be 2 KM, 5 KM, or 10 KM, referencing how far you need to walk to hatch them. And of those eggs, some will hatch common, uncommon, rare, or ultra-rare Pokémon.

How Pokémon Go Eggs work and how hatch 'em faster

Which Pokémon should you evolve and which should you power up?

When you catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go, you get candy and Stardust that you can use to evolve them and power them up. But which Pokémon should you evolve and power up? That's the question! If you have favorites, especially favorites from your childhood, by all means, go for those. If you want to evolve the very best Pokémon to use for defending or attacking Gyms, though, those should be your go-tos.

While any of the top 7 Pokémon will sit high up on a Gym for you, it's the ones with the best movesets that'll do the most damage while defending it. Movesets are generated at random, which is vexing, but once you know what they are you can max them out when and if you get them.

But if everyone is putting maxed out Tyranitar, Dragonite, Snorlax, Rhydon, Gyarados, Blissey, Vapereon on Gyms, how do you beat them so you can take down or presitige up a Gym? Why, with their counters, of course!

Best Pokémon to evolve and power up for Gyms

Best Pokémon Go movesets for attack and defense

Best Pokémon Go counters for Blissey, Snorlax, Tyranitar, Dragonite, and more!

How do you get all the gold medals in Pokémon Go?

Getting to level 40 and completing your Pokédex are just a couple of the ways to win in Pokémon Go. Getting gold in all the medals is another. Some of them are easy and some are just a matter of time. Others... are more of a challenge.

While the basic achievement medals don't offer anything by way of rewards, the type medals do. Get gold for one of those and you also get a permanent 1.3x bonus towards catching Pokémon of the same type. Yeah, you want that!

How to get every gold medal in Pokémon Go

What are Pokémon Go updates and events you need to know about?

Pokémon Go has promised a major update every three months or so, and also sneak in some small and medium-sized updates in between. Back in February, we got Gen 2 and just recently we got stat and moveset randomization for everyone under level 30.

There have also been major events held roughly every month, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, New Year's, Valentine's Day, and spring — with Pokémon Day, Water Festival, and a few others thrown in between.

Pokémon Go Updates: Here's what's new

Pokémon Go Events: Here's what's next!

What about Gen 2 Pokémon? How do you catch 'em all — again?

Pokémon Go Gen 2 arrived in Feburary, 2017, and brought almost 100 new Pokémon to catch, hatch, and evolve. They also brought new evolution items, Shiny Pokémon, and other dynamics to make the game even more exciting — and frustrating!

Shiny Pokémon Go: How to catch gold Magikarp, red Gyarados

How to get Evolution Items in Pokémon Go

How to evolve Umbreon, Espeon, Hitmontop, Blissey, and other Gen 2 Pokémon in Pokémon Go

How to catch Unown in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go Gen 2: The ultimate guide!

How do you prepare for Gen 3 in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Gen 2 might just have launched but it's never too early to start preparing for Gen 3... and Gen 4. That's because Gen 3 was more of a departure than a sequel to the beloved franchise. There are a couple of new babies but no new evolution. But that simply sets and even bigger, better, stage for the super-evolutions coming in Gen 4.

How to prepare for Gen 3 and Gen 4 in Pokémon Go

Help! Pokémon Go isn't working! How do you fix it?

Pokémon Go is a lot of fun but it's not without its frustrations. Servers go down, Gyms glitch out, PokéStops stop spinning, everything disappears, and the list goes on and on. It happens on your phone and, if you have an Apple Watch, it happens there as well. Troubleshooting isn't always easy but it is possible. If you're experiencing any grief, here's what you can do!

How to fix Pokémon Go problems on your phone

How to fix Pokémon Go problems on your Apple Watch

Any Pokémon Go questions?

We've done our best to cover Pokémon Go from Abra to Zubat — okay, Bulbasaur to Dragonite! — but if there are any questions we didn't answer, drop them in the comments below!