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How to be the best, least annoying, 'Pokémon Go' trainer

So now that you've felt the FOMO and downloaded Pokémon Go, you're probably wondering how to play the damn game — and how to not irritate those around you while you do.

Even though the location-based game has Team Rocketed its way to the top of the iOS App Store and caused Nintendo's stock to sharply increase, it still does a pretty terrible job of telling you what to do. So, if you're unsure how to find the Pokémon you're after, how to get more Poké Balls or how to not lose friends while you play, look no further. 

Pokémon Go is a mobile game on Android and iOS, released July 7, that lets players capture Pokémon in the real world using a phone's GPS and Google Maps data. Once players spot one of the 147 creatures included in the new release, the game then uses a phone's camera to plot the Pokémon with augmented reality.

As you collect the Pokémon and level up your character, you join one of three teams (Red, Blue or Yellow) and use your captured minions to vie for control of geographical hubs, called Gyms.

Essentially, you walk around looking at your phone, further isolating you from the world around you.

Yes, good point. The game is terrible at telling you how to play.

For starters, there are a few basic environmental things for you to know about. There are the blue Pokéstops, the towering gyms and you will probably see some rustling leaves. 

The Pokéstops serve as little geographical markers and, once you get close enough to them, they are like refill stations. You tap on the icon and it may then bring up some information about the spot. To gain items, you must spin the circle in the middle and then Poké Balls and possibly other goodies will spill out.

Some Pokéstops will be showering pink hearts. Another trainer has used a Lure Module there and for a limited time, Pokémon will be attracted to that particular spot.

Once you hit level five, you can join a team and visit a Gym. 

Visiting a Gym your team controls allows you a chance to train your Pokémon and raising the Prestige of the Gym. Raising this Prestige makes it more difficult for other teams to take it over. While at one of your team's Gyms, you upgrade your fighters by tackling the Pokémon that have been left there to defend it. And when you depart you can leave one of your Pokémon behind to make better fortify the Gym. 

When you visit an opposing Gym, you can try to tackle it in the name of your team. You take on the Gym leader there and can bring up to six of your Pokémon to fight for you.

The last environmental aspect, the rustling grass, is merely a clue that some wild Pokémon might be hiding nearby. They are usually in park spaces and open public places, so you'll just have to find out for yourself.

All right, calm down. I'm getting there. 

When you see a Pokémon, tap on it and then enter the future with augmented reality. There will be a Poké Ball at the bottom for you to fling up and hit the poor, wild thing.

The trick it, to hold the ball until the circle surrounding the Pokémon is as big as possible before flinging. This is basically the hit box. 

When the Poké Ball hits, it will close over the thing and then there is, still the slight chance that it will escape and you'll have to target it again. 

They ring colors indicate how easy it is to capture them. Green is easy, yellow is moderate and red is difficult. 

Remember, you have limited balls, so be smart about your resources.

Once you have captured it, you will get (a whole lot of) stats about the acquisition. Here is a quick run down of what they mean: 

CP: This stands for Combat Power, the higher the number, the more difficult it is to beat in combat. It will increase as it evolves and as you level up, you will capture Pokémon with a higher CP. 

HP: This stands for the Hit Points a specific Pokémon has. When it reaches zero, it will faint. It can be revitalized with Revive medicine and healed with Potion, both found at Pokéstops.

Type: There are medals and specific combat maneuvers/weaknesses for each Type. 

Stardust: This is used to help level up your Pokémon. It is gained from captures and being in control of a Gym.

Candies: Specific candies are required to level up and to evolve your Pokémon into new forms. It'll take a little while to collect those needed because so many types of Candy exist. If you Transfer Pokémon to steamy Professor Willow, he'll give you Candy. It's all very creepy.

It will also show the two moves each Pokémon has to use in battle. 

Once you have enough of the Stardust and Candies, be sure to level up or evolve your little ones, train them in the Gyms and protect your place on this, our Earth. 

Well, basically, it tells you what Pokémon are nearby. Duh.

But it's also a vague tool. The number of paw prints next to each of the Pokémon denote how close they are; fewer paw prints means they are closer to your position.

You can select a specific Pokémon to track from this if you're looking for more resources or wanting to fill a hole in your Pokédex. Just tap on the shape and it becomes the main icon on the bar. From there, when you start to travel towards the specific Pokémon, the bar itself will ping if you are headed in the right direction. 

Someone actually made a pretty scientific guess at how to exactly target them.

Of course, then there are societal factors to consider. Because, let's face it: you are walking around blindly staring at your phone for an extended period of time. While this happens pretty much all the time anyway, Pokémon Go seems to capture more attention then usual and plenty of stories have already surfaced about trainers bumping into strangers on the street or ruining their careers. 

1. Look where you are going. This can really get you hurt, make you careen into strangers or make terrible first impressions. 

2. Do not play this while you drive. That is very dumb. It could hurt you or others and however cute these make-believe Pokémon are, they are not worth the risk of bodily damage.

3. Probably don't use it at work. Unless you have a really cool boss who is willing to put up with a certain amount of foolishness. 

4. If your Pokémon appears on a person, ask them or move aside before pointing your camera at them. 

5. In a public place, wear headphones or turn off the sound. The music is not that good. 

6. On an sidewalk, keep your capturing out of people's way. Step aside and give those non-Pokémon players the right of way. (Even though not playing is the wrong of way, right?)

7. Don't actually throw your phone to catch a Pokémon. This will not work. 

8. Be courteous when meeting other trainers out in the wild. We are all people. People trying desperately to catch imaginary things. 

So now you know what you're doing, go out, be safe, have some fun and maybe, just maybe, meet a few new friends along the way.

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