Update #2 (Wednesday, 6:00 PM) – It’s now out in America! Go download it! It’s still not out in Europe, unfortunately.
As of this hour Pokemon GO is live in the Google Play and iTunes stores for Australia and Japan! It is likely the game will be released for the United States and other countries very soon, so keep checking back here for updates!
Niantic has published an official guide for the game to help get you started.
In the game you can join either Team Valor, Team Mystic, or Team Instinct, which are represented by the colors red, blue, or yellow (obvious throwback). Which house will the Sorting Hat place you in?! Just kidding, you can pick!
Candela: I’m Candela–Team Valor’s leader! Pokemon are stronger than humans, and they’re warmhearted too! I’m researching ways to enhance Pokemon’s natural power in the pursuit of true strength. There’s no doubt that the Pokemon our team have trained are the strongest in battle!
Blanche: I am Blanche, leader of Team Mystic. The wisdom of Pokemon is immeasurably deep. I am researching why it is that they evolve. With our calm analysis of every situation we can’t lose!
Spark: Hey! The name’s Spark — the leader of Team Instinct. Pokemon are creatures with excellent intuition. I bet the secret to their intuition is related to how they’re hatched. You never lose when you trust your instincts!
Update #1: I was able to download the game in the United States early. Here’s some notes:
- As soon as the game starts, you can catch either Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle.
- To throw a Poke Ball you tap it, then fling it at the Pokemon. It takes some getting used to. I believe I started out with 50 Poke Balls.
- It took about 4-5 minutes to encounter my first wild Pokemon. I encountered both a Cubone and Nidoran F next to each other.
- Usually, you can hit the Pokemon by using 1-5 Poke Balls. All of my Pokemon were caught once they were hit with the Poke Balls, though I’m sure sometimes the Poke Balls will fail.
- I caught Eevee, Cubone, Nidoran M, Nidoran F, Paras, and Rattata in about 40 minutes of jogging through my neighborhood and the local park (the park has a huge power plant, but there were no Electric Pokemon or Zapdos nearby – lame!). I encountered 2 PokeStops and 1 Gym within the park – parks and other landmarks will likely host in-game facilities to encourage people to pay them a visit. You tap on their icons on your map when you are within range to visit them.
- My battery lost 40% in 40 minutes. If you keep the screen on, the game will murder your battery.
- At the entrance of the park I jogged to, I was able to receive 3 Poke Balls for free.
- You can’t enter a Gym until you reach level 5. I was level 2 when I caught my first Pokemon, then level 3 by the end of the night.
- You use coins to buy additional Poke Balls and items. 100 coins cost $1, 550 coins cost $5, 1200 coins cost $10, 2500 coins cost $20, 5,200 coins cost $40, and 14,5000 coins cost $100.
- 20 Poke Balls cost 100 coins, 100 Poke Balls cost 460 coins, 200 Poke Balls cost 800 coins, one Incense costs 80 coin, 8 Incense cost 500 coins, 25 Incense cost 1250 coins, one Lucky Egg cost 80 coins, 8 Lucky Eggs cost 500 coins, 25 Lucky Eggs cost 1,250 coins, a Lure Module cost 100 coins, 8 Lure Modules cost 680 coins, an Egg Incubator cost 150 coins, a Bag Upgrade cost 200 coins, and a Pokemon Storage Upgrade cost 200 coins.
- You’ll see patches of grass in certain areas. The patches of grass themselves do not denote where a Pokemon is – rather, the area the patch of grass appears in means you will randomly encounter Pokemon within that area.