Pokémon GO is officially the most popular app in the history of the U.S.
And while some are decrying how annoying its prevalence can be (there’s that get-off-my-lawn guy and these Sydney residents), some are championing its power of getting people off their butts to explore the city. After all, why is it OK to sit at home and play Candy Crush but not OK to walk around and catch some Pokémon?
Personally, I think it’s awesome. Walking out of a bar at midnight on Friday, I witnessed hordes of kids gathered at a library park talking about a Squirtle they’d just caught down the street. It’s a phenomenon unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. And it’s pretty cool to see people from all corners of life bonding over Pikachus and Pokéballs. You can spot a Pokémon trainer a mile away and, for a moment, share a connection amid a world of chaos.
The key to catching Pokémon is to play smart. That rings true when it comes to battling, and it also rings true when it comes to safety. Common sense stuff. Like don’t stand in the middle of the road or crosswalk. Don’t go searching for Pokémon by yourself in dark, sketchy neighborhoods. Don’t Poke and drive.
What you can do, though, is Poke and walk, Poke and bike, and Poke and ride transit. To expand your gaming wisdom, I’ve compiled some safe and sustainable ways to help you Pokémon trainers catch them all.
Who would have thought that all it would take to get Americans walking again would be a virtual reality game about tiny critters?
Getting out of your house and walking around is by far the easiest way to catch some Pokémon. Just remember:
- Know where you are at all times and watch where you’re going.
- Don’t stand in the middle of the street/crosswalks/driveways.
- Don’t hassle business owners .
- Respect homeowners’ private property.
Just like the original Game Boy Pokémon games, having a bike makes everything better. Here’s how to do it without crashing into the first Zubat you see.
- Get a phone mount and turn your bike into a Pokemon GO machine like this guy.
- Wear a headphone (non-noise-cancelling) so you can rely on the game’s sounds instead of looking down at your screen.
- Turn off AR. Your phone is mounted so pointing your camera at Pokémon would require unmounting it every time.
- Remember to stop before you catch Pokémon, collect items at PokéStops or battle at gyms.
- Avoid high-speed, traffic-laden streets.
- Don’t stop your bike in the middle of the road. Pull off to the side before catching that Pidgeotto.
- @PokemonGOMetro maps the location of PokéStops.
- @PokemonGOMetro also provides exclusive Pokémon sightings and tells you how to get there using transit .
- Gym battles are best won on foot. Numerous Metro Rail stations serve as “gyms” for training and battling Pokémon.
- Stay alert and protect yourself against theft while riding transit
- Make sure you make room for those who need access to the space you’re occupying