Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic. It was released in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices.The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.
It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. The game is free-to-play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items.
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After logging into the app for the first time, the player creates their avatar. The player can choose the avatar’s gender, hair, skin, and eye color, and choose from a limited number of outfits. After the avatar is created, it is displayed at the player’s current location along with a map of the player’s immediate surroundings. Features on the map include a number of PokéStops and Pokémon gyms. PokéStops provide players with items, such as eggs, Poké Balls, and potions and can be equipped with items called lures which attract wild Pokémon. Gyms serve as battle locations for team-based king of the hill matches. These are typically located at places of interest. These locations are re-purposed Ingress portals, Niantic’s previous augmented reality game.
As players travel the real world, their avatar moves along the game’s map. Different Pokémon species reside in different areas of the world; for example, water-type Pokémon are generally found near water.When a player encounters a Pokémon, they may view it either in augmented reality (AR) mode or with a live rendered, generic background. AR mode uses the camera and gyroscope on the player’s mobile device to display an image of a Pokémon as though it were in the real world. Players can take screen shots of the Pokémon they encounter either with or without the AR mode activated.
All Pokémon are displayed with a combat power. A Pokémon’s combat power is a rough measure of how powerful that Pokémon is in battle. Not all Pokémon of the same species will have the same CP. Generally, as a player levels up they will catch Pokémon with higher CP.
Players earn experience points for various in-game activities. Players rise in level as they earn experience points. At level five, the player is able to battle at a Pokémon gym and join one of three teams (red for Team Valor, which uses Moltres as their mascot; blue for Team Mystic, which uses Articuno as their mascot; or yellow for Team Instinct, which uses Zapdos as their mascot) which act as larger factions within the Pokémon Go world. If a player enters a Pokémon gym that is controlled by a player that is not part of their team, they can challenge the leader to lower the gym’s “prestige”. Once the prestige of a gym is lowered to zero then the player will take control of the gym and is able to deposit one Pokémon to defend it. Similarly, a team can upgrade the prestige of a gym under their control by battling the gym leader. Each time a gym’s level is raised, another player from the same team can deposit one of their Pokémon.
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