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Intro to Pokémon Go from a Beta Tester

by Chris Im

Hello there! And welcome to the wonderful world of Pokemon! My name is not Oak nor am I a Pokemon Professor. However, I was a beta tester for the brand new game of Pokémon Go. I’m sure many of you are extremely excited to play, and have started your own journey. But as I know this game goes… it’s extremely confusing for the first few days. Or at least it can be. I know a lot of my friends have had a lot of questions so I decided to write this GO to guide for you! (get it? like pokemon go? go to guide? …nevermind) Within this guide, I will have attached screenshots as so that it’s a bit easier to understand. the tips I plan on giving!


This is a trainer profile. As you can see, some things are fairly obvious to understand, such as the level, the exp, and the name. Other things, such as “Team Yellow,” “Defender Bonus,” and the Gold coins in the upper right corner might not be.

For starters, the character in the middle is customizable, but only once at the very beginning of the game. You have limited options, so expect everyone to look pretty much the same. The circle behind the character, is essentially the exp bar until you reach the next level. You level up by catching pokemon, hatching eggs, and battling other trainers. I’ll delve into these topics a little later. For now, let’s focus on the icons that we see in this picture. The Defender bonus is referring to the pokemon at your gyms. This is important!!! I’m sure you have noticed that you can purchase Pokecoins in game. During the beta, the professor gave us 2500 poke coins every day. But that is clearly not the case now. However, I did notice that I would get a small amount of poke coins as well as stardust upon collecting my defender bonus.  Which means, the more pokemon you have at gyms, the more likely it is you can actually get some pokecoins to make some purchases in game.


I’m sure many of you have noticed that you can get eggs from the pokestops. For the most part, I’m going to assume that you won’t spend any real time money in game to get more incubators. In the beta, the incubators you purchased were only usable 5 times. So if you’re thinking about buying them, keep that in mind.


As you can see, during the Beta, it was way easier to hatch more than one egg. However, if you’re going to just do one incubator, hatch the egg with the most walking distance needed. I noticed that 2km were all rattatas, pidgeys, weedles, and caterpies. Pokemon that were easily found. 5km released eevees, cubones, growlithes, meowths, ekans, abras, machop and other pokemon that weren’t so common. But my 10 km hatched dratini, chansey, any of the starters, surprisingly more eevees, tauros, and snorlax. All pokemon that were really rare to find. So don’t waste too much time on the 2km eggs unless you’re just trying to get rid of space.


Word of advice – EVOLVE YOUR POKEMON BEFORE LEVELING THEM UP. If your goal is to see as many pokemon and fill up your pokedex to get more medals, or even just to get stronger pokemon, just evolve them. There is no great reason to level them up before evolving them. Let me explain. When you level up a pokemon, you need stardust and candies. You have a limit to both. If you decide to level up a pokemon that’s weak and can evolve, you end up wasting your stardust to level up a weaker pokemon instead of focusing on a stronger pokemon that can’t evolve, or is already fully evolved that can’t be leveled further because you don’t have any more stardust. Furthermore, you’re going to want to evolve your pokemon eventually. You’ll have to catch more of the same pokemon, wasting pokeballs and time, if you leveled them up before evolving them. So… evolve them first. Then level them up when they’re done evolving. By the way, the pokemon get massive CP boosts when they evolve, which kind of takes away the point of leveling them up to get them “stronger” when they’re not even fully evolved yet.


I hope all of you  have caught on to the nifty trick of “curving” your balls. (lol) If you haven’t, it’s easy. By the way, don’t use your thumb. Only youngsters use their thumbs. You gotta catch pokemon like an Ace Trainer. Use your index/pointer finger. Poke your ball. start moving your finger in a circle. Continue to move it in a circle. you should notice that your ball is now spinning. If you were twirling your finger counter clockwise, make sure your finger is on the right side of the screen; if you were twirling your finger clockwise, make sure your finger is on the left side of the screen. Slide your finger up a third of your screen (or halfway depending on how far the pokemon is) and release. If done correctly, your ball should be flying through the air, and curving hard towards the pokemon. If you time it right, and get it right in the middle of the circle, you’ll get an added bonus. Always, always try to get the bonuses. It means more Exp, which means more levels. By the way! If you’re not sure what the ‘???’ means on the pokemon above its head, it means that it’s cp is higher than your range for your trainer level. You’ll be able to see the cp once you’ve caught the pokemon of course, but catching it will be harder than normal but will reap higher rewards.

??? just means the pokemon has a higher cp level than your trainer level range will show.

??? just means the pokemon has a higher cp level than your trainer level range will show.


As you can see, the ‘nice!’ bonus I got, gave me an additional 20 xp points.












While these sound exciting, I noticed that they only really attract common pokemon and occasionally the rare one. Use them at your discretion. The best item that I have come to love and appreciate is the Lucky Egg. Giving your exp a double boost, means that you’ll level faster, and be able to train your pokemon to higher and stronger levels. FYI, higher trainer level means the CP cap for every pokemon is higher.

Thanks for reading this article!

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