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9 Pokemon Go tips to help you catch them all

There's no doubt about it - this summer's hottest app is Pokemon Go, the augmented reality version of your favorite childhood video game.

What sets Pokemon Go apart from other games, as well as its earlier iterations, are its interactive features: The app uses your phone's GPS system to identify your location, and your phone's camera to show you when wild Pokemon "appear" before you. The game is as close to real-world Pokemon hunt you'll ever get, which means you can't be successful at it from the comfort of your couch. Catching all the different species depends on users going out and searching high and low.

Whether you've just downloaded the Pokemon Go app or you're looking to amplify your game, read on to discover nine helpful tips:

1. Go to bustling areas
Although Pokemon can pop up anywhere, anytime, they're more likely to appear by PokeStops, which appear on the screen as little blue squares. These are typically attached to landmarks like statues, monuments, parks, restaurants, stores or other important structures. This means that the more rural an area you're in, the fewer stops you're going to encounter. To maximize your chances of truly catching them all, head to a bustling commercial area, preferably in a major city.

2. Bring a friend
According to iMore, when a Pokemon appears in a certain spot, it appears to and can be captured by every player there. Take advantage of this feature by heading out with one or more friends. That way, you can cover more ground, and alert each other when Pokemon are nearby.

3. Use lures and incense to attract more Pokemon
Other than situating yourself by PokeStops, you have a few options when it comes to attracting the most species. One strategy is to install a lure in your PokeStop, which basically enhances the stop's summoning powers for 30 minutes. Installing a lure gives this advantage to every player around that stop.

You can also activate your incense, which you can use anywhere, as it doesn't require a PokeStop to work. The attractive powers of incense will only benefit you, and don't extend to other nearby users like lures do.

4. Track Pokemon on the map
On the bottom right of the main screen is a Pokemon tracker, which you can use to see which species are nearby, and how close they are to you. GameSpot explained that beneath each nearby Pokemon are footsteps, the number of which indicates how close or far you are from that species. The source recommended walking while looking at the tracker, and seeing if the footsteps increase or decrease. If they start to increase, walk in a different direction, but if they start to disappear, stay where you are! They could pop onto the screen at any moment.

5. Spin PokeStops for more supplies
PokeStops do more than just attract Pokemon - they can also provide you with all the tools you need to keep catching them all. Once you're close to a PokeStop, it will activate and transform from a square into a circle. Spin the circle, and it will release items like Poke Balls, potions, sprays and more. Stops even release eggs sometimes, which you can incubate and hatch.

6. Stay aware of your surroundings
While the augmented reality aspect of Pokemon Go is completely enchanting, it's important to remember actual reality. Be reasonable when chasing Pokemon - remember, even the rarest species will likely pop up again. Don't enter a dangerous situation, like a busy road or abandoned building, just because you're on the hunt for a Pikachu. Even if you're playing while walking down the sidewalk, remember to stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.

If you want to go looking for Pokemon at night, make sure you're equipped with flashlights, reflective clothing and a few friends. Conversely, if you're headed out on a hot day, bring along sunblock and plenty of water.

7. Trade duplicates to the professor
If you find yourself with an overwhelming amount of pidgets, drowzees, weedles and other lower-level species, don't despair - you can trade them into the professor to make room for other types. When you trade Pokemon, you receive "candies" back, which can be used to evolve the Pokemon you choose to keep. It's important to note, however, that once you trade a Pokemon in, you can't get it back. When selecting which ones to send to the professor, pick the ones with the lowest combat powers, since they're the most expendable.

8. Opt out of augmented reality
One of the coolest features of Pokemon Go is its augmented reality setting, which uses your phone's camera to make it look like Pokemon are in the room, on the street or in the sky around you. Unfortunately, AR makes it more difficult to catch Pokemon, since they're able to move around the screen. When AR is shut off, the app centers each Pokemon on a virtual background, making them significantly easier to capture, noted GameSpot.

9. Leave Pokemon at a team gym
Another element of Pokemon Go is its gyms, where users above level five can battle for ownership. In addition to Pokemon battles, however, gyms also serve as storage facilities. GameSpot explained that you can store Pokemon at gyms being controlled by a player on the same team as you. You can't use the Pokemon while they're being stored at the gym, but you can return to the gym to retrieve them.
While Pokemon Go is available for free through the app store, there are plenty of  albums, games, movies, TV shows and apps that cost money on Amazon and iTunes*.  Consider taking paid surveys to supplement your income and earn money towards these purchases.

*iTunes® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.


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