(Pocket-lint) - Pokemon Go is not only about searching for Pokemon but also PokeStops.
The augmented-reality app, which quickly swept the world and is currently leading in all the mobile app stores, is basically one big hunting game. And in order to successfully catch 'em all, you need to venture into areas unknown and scout out all those specially-marked places of interest. Here's everything we know about PokeStops, including those various special items they spit out, so that you can become the very best.
Once you're done getting all the information you need, check out these pieces for more stuff about Pokemon Go, such as how to play, general tips and tricks, how to get the game in your country, why is everyone talking about it, and other mind-boggling facts about the new app:
What is a PokeStop?
PokeStops in Pokemon Go are places of interest or other hotspots in your actual community. They can be buildings, monuments, public art, etc. You must walkabout your town or city, find these PokeStops, and pick up the special items they spit out in order to advance in the game.
Tip 1: When you find a PokeStop, you can tap the marker to determine if it’s close enough to enter. If it is, simply swipe the marker. This action will produce bubbles with various items inside of them (more on that in a bit).
Where can you find a PokeStop?
While you're walking around, watch the map in Pokemon Go and keep an eye out for blue markers. These are PokeStops. When you're far away from one, they'll appear as floating cubes, but as you get closer, they'll turn into Poke Balls.
Tip 1: Pokemon Go uses data from Ingress, another game from developer Niantic Labs. Ingress accesses your location data to point you toward landmarks to visit, called Portals. Because players contributed their location data, they helped populate a worldwide map with several Portals. Niantic took four years of Portal data in Ingress and tweaked it for Pokemon Go. This allowed Pokemon Go players to find PokeStops - accompanied with photos - at launch. Now, Ingress' website has a huge global intel map pointing to Portal locations. You can install Ingress on your phone, then set up an account, and log into the Ingress site to access this intel map and find all the Portals aka PokeStops available.
Tip 2: The Ingress map might be confusing to navigate. Well, luckily for you, players of both Ingress and Pokemon Go made a browser extension you can download for Chrome and Firefox just for finding PokeSpots. Further instructions are on the Pokemon Go subreddit.
Tip 3: A detailed Google map is available with markers that show various PokeStops and Gym locations across the world. It's not complete, but it does allow you to populate the map with any PokeStops you've found.
What happens at a PokeStop?
PokeStops let you collect items. Once you find a PokeStop, tap on the marker to see a real picture of the location (the picture likely came from a player of Ingress). Now, swipe on the picture to see the PokeStop's various selection of items. Bubbles will appear with the items inside of them. Pop the bubbles to get the loot, which can be anything from Poke Balls to Potions or even an egg. Once you visit a PokeStop, you can’t visit it again for about five minutes.
Tip 1: The better - and rarer - items only appear to players on higher trainer levels. Items appear at random. There seems to be no rhyme or reason behind which PokeStops have which items. However, it seems like some items will only appear after a certain level. For instance, after you reach Level 5 and are ready to challenge Gyms, you will receive Potions and Revives to heal your Pokemon. There are other items you’ll receive as you advance in the game and reach higher trainer levels.
Tip 2: You can catch Pokemon at PokeStops, too. First, buy Lure Modules in the game's shop. Lure Modules cannot be found at PokeStops. They cost 100 PokeCoins each, or 99 cents each. From there, attach it to a PokeStop to attract tonnes of Pokemon - which you and other players can then try to catch. You'll get 30 minutes of Pokemon gathering when you place a Lure. However, if three players each buy and place a Lure Module in succession, they will have 90 minutes of an enhanced Pokemon population for the same price of 30 minutes. You'll know if a Lure Module has been attached to a PokeStop if you see floating pink flowers.
Tip 3: You can use PokeStops to level up fast. Gather up a group of player for a leveling party, then go to a small area that has multiple PokeStops, and harvest all the loot at these PokeStops. Then, have one person set a lure at each PokeStop, because then you can catch a swarm of Pokemon that'll appear. Also, setting a lure at a PokeStop makes it refresh with new items every few minutes, so they'll be ready to spin again by the time you get done harvesting all the nearby PokeStops. Doing this in such a short span of time will make you level up quickly.
Tip 4: There's a rumour that the more people there are at a PokeStop, the more likely a rare Pokemon will appear.
What items can be found at a PokeStop?
The following items are commonly found at PokeStops:
- Pokeball - This is the most common item. It can be used to catch Pokemon.
- Potion - These are used for recovering the HP (how much heat a Pokemon can take) of a Pokemon after a battle.
- Super Potion - This is a more effective healer potion.
- Hyper Potion - This is an even better healer potion. They're essential if you're regularly attacking other teams' gyms.
- Max Potion - This fully restores your Pokemon's health in one go.
- Razz Berry - Pokemon eat these. They make it easier to catch Pokemon.
- Revive - Revive is used to restore a Pokemon if it passes out during a battle.
- Egg - Each egg has a Pokemon inside of it. You place eggs inside of incubators, and they'll hatch at after you walk for miles.
- Lucky Egg - When a Lucky Egg is eaten, it will double your (the trainer’s) experience for 30 minutes.
- Incense - This attracts Pokemon to a trainer for 30 minutes.
- Great and Ultra Balls - These are powerful Poke Balls that can catch rarer, stronger Pokemon.
- Master Balls - These have a 100-per-cent capture rate. They never fail.
- Incubators - Incubators are used for hatching eggs.
Visit this site to see a full list of specific types of items (and the trainer level needed before you can access them). We've also included information below about what trainer level you need to reach in order to find items:
- Beginning - Pokemon Eggs and Poke Balls
- Level 5 - Potions, Revives, and Raz Berries
- Level 10 - Super Potions
- Level 12 - Great Balls
- Level 15 - Hyper Potion
Can you request new PokeStops?
Yep. If you live in a place with few PokeStops, you can now submit requests for more PokeStops to Niantic. Just visit the official Pokemon Go support page, and fill out the form on that page. It asks you to explain why you want a new PokeStop (or Gym) to be created. You'll then have to provide address details of a suggested location, along with a picture.
Update: Pokemon/Niantic have pulled the PokeStop request form.