Nintendo and its developer for Pokémon GO, Niantic Labs, have really been keeping details about their game — set to hit mobile phones in the near future — on the down low; having field testers abide by strict confidentiality agreement to prevent leaks. From teaser trailers for the game and articles we’ve found online, we know that the goal is to catch the cute — and sometimes odd — pocket monsters while you go about your everyday life and in the real world. While in the handheld console games that means having your toon run around tall grass looking for wild Pokémon to weaken in battle and praying to the almighty RNG that the regular Pokéball can contain that legendary you’ve wanted oh-so-badly, it seems things will be slightly different as more concrete details have FINALLY been revealed.
While Pokémon originally started with 151 cute, cuddly creatures to catch, Pokémon GO will only have 100. The type of Pokémon that you can catch will depend on where you are, so if you happen to be at the boardwalk in Manila Bay, you might just see a Squirtle you can catch; all the while wondering how it managed to survive in that area. Our source brings up the good question of where you could possibly find Fire Pokémon and suggests going near a volcano for your very own Charizard. In any case, if there’s a Pokémon in the vicinity, your phone will alert you and it’s your job to find it, aim a Pokéball in its direction, and swipe to throw it at them. No more battling to weaken them first, which also means we won’t be grinding to get our Pokémon to max levels. Instead, we will be raising trainer levels instead by “exploring” and catching even more Pokémon. You will also find eggs that will hatch after a certain distance. Evolving your Pokémon also happens differently in Pokémon GO. By catching more Pokémon of the same kind, you increase chances that one of them will make the change.
As far as battling is concerned, there’s an area control aspect to the game. Players will choose between three teams and these teams will seize control of gyms found in the real world. You can choose to leave Pokémon you’ve caught to help defend your team’s gym where it will help defend your team’s prestige. If your team’s prestige hits 0, the other team takes over and well, you’re left to try and find stronger Pokémon in the hopes of claiming another gym or taking yours back. As for the fights themselves, it is no longer turn-based. Players will have to swipe to attack or defend against other Pokémon trainers have left behind.
Another detail revealed is that there will be shops you can check out with app in the real world, so you can purchase in-game items; meaning you’ll have to go to these locations if you run out of Pokéballs. Pokémon GO will be FREE, but you can use real cash to buy in-game currency, which can be then used to buy powerups, Pokéballs, and other items. There’s still no news about the game’s release date, but Beta testing has now started.