8 Do’s and Don’ts of Playing Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm, with millions of downloads in its first week alone. The game is fun, highly addictive, and it can even improve players’ fitness by encouraging them to walk around to catch Pokémon.

Since the game’s launch, we’ve been reading news reports about questionable player behavior, and we’ve learned from experience here at SquareTrade headquarters (where quite a few of us are playing). With those lessons in mind, here are a few do’s and don’ts for engaging with the latest smartphone craze.

 Do: Remember to incubate your eggs.

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You can collect eggs at Poké Stops (or buy ’em with Pokécoins). Swipe right in your app to “like” the egg, if it swipes right on you, it’s a match! Kidding. You can incubate your eggs by selecting an egg and walking around with your app open until you hit the required number of kilometers to hatch the egg. Presto, a Pokémon hatches.

 Don’t play without looking where you’re going.

The thing about the real world is, there are cars in it. Also people. And things you can fall off of, like cliffs. Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings.

Do: Turn off augmented reality.

Pro tip: It’s easier to catch ‘em all when your augmented reality is disabled.

Don’t: Try to take a gym when you’ve got only 300 CP.

Trust us.

Do: Avoid Lures in dark, isolated areas.

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A Lure is a tool players can drop at a Poké Stop to attract Pokémon for 30 minutes. Anyone near the Poké Stop can drop a Lure at any time, so be wary when you’re playing at night—if the area is poorly lit and secluded, you could be entering a potentially dangerous situation. A few people have already reported muggings after being drawn to a Lure at night.

Don’t: Miss an opportunity to throw a curve ball.

As you’re preparing to catch a Pokémon, hold your finger on your Poké Ball and wiggle it around on your screen. When the Poké Ball starts to spark, release it toward the Pokémon—you’ll get more points for using the secret curve ball to catch it!

Do: Be mindful of where you play.

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There are plenty of great places to play Pokémon Go, like your neighborhood, or perhaps your office neighborhood—namely, places you know—and there are plenty of places not to play. For instance, the Holocaust Museum and the 9/11 Memorial are both Poké Stops. Not a good idea.

Don’t: Evolve without…

Using a lucky egg first! When you activate a lucky egg, any points you earn over the following 30-minute period are doubled. Without the lucky egg, you get 500 experience points (XP) every time you evolve a Pokémon. If you save up your to-be-evolved Pokémon until you have a solid stash and a lucky egg, you’ll get thousands of extra points and level up that much faster.

Please enjoy the game, be careful with your phone and yourself while playing, and, of course, please catch ‘em all. We’re counting on you.