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Pokemon Go: Being a Well-Prepared Trainer
Pokemon Go: Being a Well-Prepared Trainer
By Julie & Doug Shepard
When it comes to making a short jaunt to play Pokemon Go, there is no need for preparation. Going downtown for errands and you decide to look around some while at it? Just bring what you have on hand. If you are going to a Pokemon Go meet-up or a Convention, that does change some what of you will want to have. If you want to explore your town or city, then you will need a few more things as well. You should know what you will want to have with you, some safety guidelines and tricks for managing your battery consumption.
Pokemon Safety: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
First and foremost, remain aware of your surroundings. Avoiding using headphones in both ears if possible if you like listening to music or sound effects. Do not jaywalk; use crosswalks wherever available. If it means going back a block, do it. Be aware of other people – not just to keep from bumping into them, but so nobody takes advantage of your distracted state. There have been reports of players having their phones and other belongings stolen because they weren't paying attention to their surroundings.
Do not drive and play Pokemon Go, on the freeway or anywhere else. Pass your phone off to a passenger in the car or pull over on the streets where it is safe. If that's not enough, then shut the app down completely while you're behind the wheel. Just today, Doug made the mistake of leaving the app running while driving, and got dangerously distracted while on a narrow road with oncoming traffic. Julie literally had to take the phone away to prevent him from looking at the app while behind the wheel. (Then she caught the Bulbasaur in our yard that Doug's been trying to catch.)
The same rule is true for riding your bicycle and playing Pokemon Go. Stop your bike before really doing anything in-app.
Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Light colors help in warmer weather. Layers for when it is colder. Take some time to find comfortable walking shoes if you are going to be doing a long walk to hunt for Pokemon.
Be respectful while playing this game. Pay attention to all signs that are posted. Do not trespass, jaywalk or stray into restricted areas. Be mindful of loitering, especially while you are engaging in a Gym Challenge. Find a bench or some stairs within range to sit.
Pokemon Training Supplies: It takes more than balls
There are some basic things that you will want for a longer play session of Pokemon Go. A spare phone battery or a charge pack/charging case is a must. Be sure it is compatible with the appropriate USB cable for your phone. Depending on what you are doing, you will want to bring along a bottle of water and some snacks. Be sure to recharge everything prior to heading out. Preparation is key.
For a Poke-Night on the Town: Find your fellow trainers
If you are going to play Pokemon Go at night, do so with a themed pub crawl or with a ground of fellow trainers. There is a lot of safety in numbers to be found. Fellow trainers are great to talk with and it can be a lot of fun to compare Pokemon and share stories about finding and hunting Pokemon. As an added bonus, this is likely to help increase the chances of you finding rare Pokemon.
When traveling on a bicycle, remember to obey all relevant traffic laws. Cyclists, in most states, must obey all traffic signals. Pull over to do things on your phone when you do. Be sure that you are wearing light colors and have either lights or reflectors on you and your bike.
For the Day-time Trainer: Be an aware day-tripper
When it comes to traveling around during the day time, a lot of the same principles apply. You will want to stay aware of your surroundings. It is usually a bit safer but it remains important to keep aware. Attempt to go with Pokemon Go meet ups as much as possible. People will drop Lure Modules which up the encounter rate notably.
For the Solo Trainer:
Make a plan for what you are doing and let someone know what this plan is. This is as much for your benefit as it is for your safety. If something happens to you and no one knows where you are, that can be very bad. People can be panicky. Leave a note, text people, make plans in advance. Try to keep as close to the schedule you lay out as possible.
Finding PokeStops: Let me take a Pikachu
PokeStops can be found in parks and in urban areas. They are very common in the downtown area of cities and towns. Many will be based on local art, parks, buildings and many other things. Take some time to look at the in-game map and figure out a good route through the area to get within range of the maximum number of Stops.
Managing your Battery: This is not the Team Red you want to be on
There are a number of things you can do with the App and your Phone settings to minimize the battery drain. Pokemon Go is a graphic-intensive game and will drain your battery fast.
First, adjust your screen's brightness to its lowest setting that you can comfortably see the screen. You should be able to easily see the screen and at worst, it looks a little dim. How bright the screen needs to be is going to be determined by the ambient light in the area.
You will also want to have either the vibrate feature active OR the sound effects and music. Using both will take more battery power. Be sure to also turn on the Battery Saver option. While the Battery saver option is active, you can tilt your phone's top downward to trigger a screen saver. This is a very dark screen with nothing happening on it, only showing a dark Pokemon Go logo. While it is still using battery power, it will reduce the drain for the phone screen.
Be sure to shut down as many other apps as possible. The fewer apps that are running in the background, the less power your phone will be using overall. This will also help with data. While Pokemon Go uses some GPS, it is somewhat frequent so you can monitor its use. You can always use airplane mode to quickly terminate the connection. This can useful when you need to reset your connection as well.
From all us here and to all other fellow trainers. Be safe and keep safe. This is a really great game that is fostering new communities and getting many people to explore their cities. Even with its bugs, Pokemon Go is getting trainers out into the real world and we're having a wonderful time together. Let's do so in a way all of us can enjoy.
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