Last week, interest in a global cultural brand that has been building for more than twenty years through cartoons, card and video games, reached a fever pitch when a new game was released on smart phones on July 6.
Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game, allows players to capture, battle and train virtual Pokémon, fictional species with several fantastic powers not demonstrated by most real animals, that appear throughout the real world, using GPS and the camera of compatible devices.
Not only is Pokémon Go an interesting experiment in augmented reality and playing, it provides a good excuse to walk around outside. The game also fulfills many childhood fantasies of being the very best like no one ever was.
If this is your destiny, then this guide will help give you an edge over other players. Or skip ahead to our step-by-step process guide.
The stock of Nintendo, part-owner of overarching media franchise Pokémon, has skyrocketed since the launch of the app. In the eight days, the company’s share price has risen 70.7%, adding $12.5 billion to the firm’s market value.
The game, developed by Niantic, tops app download charts, becoming the biggest mobile game in the history of the United States. It already has surpassed Twitter and might overtake Google Maps and Snapchat, as the app with the most active daily users.
The revitalization of Pokémon has caused some real-life dangers, including the discovery of a dead body in Wyoming and an attempted robbery in Missouri.
Connecticut State Police tweeted a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” Wednesday, encouraging users to “be safe and have fun.”
Let the games begin! The #PokemonGo invasion has started here in CT. Be safe and have fun! #LESM pic.twitter.com/u268yNmn1O
— CT State Police (@CT_STATE_POLICE) July 13, 2016
Among the state police’s don’ts were warnings not to play while driving, not to trespass, not to fight with other players, and not to be lured to unfamiliar places.
Some of the do’s were for users to explore their communities, stay alert and aware of their surroundings, make themselves visible when playing at night, and play with people they know.
The master map
In 2011, Niantic launched a prior augmented reality game called Ingress— upon which many Pokémon Go mechanics and landmark locations are based.
They started by forming a beginning pool of portal locations for Ingress based on historical markers, as well as a data set of public artwork mined from geo-tagged photos on Google. Niantic then asked Ingress players to submit places they thought were worthy of being portals.
For example, Connecticut has the potential for 13,264 Ingress portals. However, the data was user-submitted by an outside party, so the exact number of Ingress portals may differ.
The Ingress portal data set became so robust, it was chosen as the starting point for Pokémon Go.
The Ingress website includes a worldwide map that shows the location of all portals. With a specific plugin, users can select specific portals and label them as either Pokéstops, places where users receive supplies, or gyms, places where users battle other players.
While not all portals from Ingress appear in Pokémon Go, it gives you a place to start. All of the Ingress portals have the potential to be either Pokéstops or gyms. By using this tutorial, you can familiarize yourself with potential Pokéstops or gyms to give you an advantage to catch ’em all.
You can either install Ingress from your preferred app store on your smartphone and make an account or sign in through social media.
Installing the Add-Ons
Now you’re ready to download the Ingress Intel Total Conversion add-on.
Installing the Plugin
You now install the IITC plugin: pogo for portals.
Pokéstops and Gyms
Step 1: Signing in
Go to Ingress and sign in.
Step 2: Loading Portals
In the top right corner, there is a white icon with stacks of gray squares. Set the geographical layers to Google Roads and select all portal types, Resistance, Enlightened, Artifacts, and Ornaments.
All of the little dots are Ingress portals and may be either Pokéstops or gyms, but not all of the Ingress portals are incorporated into the game. This gives you an idea of potential Pokéstop and gym locations but not a definitive one.
Step 3: Narrowing the List
Click on PoGo Opt. at the bottom of the right sidebar to load all of the PoGo portals. This is not a comprehensive list of all Pokéstops or gyms, but it is more specific than the Ingress portals.
You can add Pokéstops and gyms to the database by clicking on the portal and assigning it as either a gym or Pokéstop. After that you need to send your contributions to the database by again clicking on PoGo Opt and clicking Send PoGo portals.
While Pokémon Go has only officially been released in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States, the map contains Pokéstops and gyms in other countries. Either players are faking their GPS location, which goes against the spirit and ‘rules’ of the game, or users have decided to label random Ingress portals as Pokéstops and gyms.