How to Catch More Pokemon in Pokemon GO

If you're gonna catch 'em all in Pokemon GO, you'll need a little help.

Pokemon GO has been a runaway hit since its semi-worldwide release last week. In spite of a very rocky launch and some ongoing issues with server crashes and game freezes, the game has aspiring trainers everywhere wandering out into the world, searching for Pokemon and finding them in the strangest of places

The ultimate goal of the game, of course, is to catch 'em all. Which means everyone is asking: how do I catch more Pokemon? This is an especially pressing question for folks who are living in more rural areas, where Pokemon tend to be sparse. Luckily for you, to train you is our cause. So here are a few tips. 

How to Catch More Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Put a little spin on your Pokeballs

Did you know you can spin your Pokeballs before you throw them? Because you can. And it makes it a lot easier to catch Pokemon. 

Before attempting to catch that Onyx, hold down your Pokeball and make circular motions until it starts to spin and shoot out stars/sparkles. Then throw it toward the Pokemon on a curve -- left of it if you're spinning clockwise, and right if you're spinning counter-clockwise. 

You're more likely to catch Pokemon with curveballs, and you're more likely to get a "nice" or "great" throw, which grants extra XP. 

Pick Up Your Pokeballs

Was your aim a little off, and you missed that Drowzee hiding in the bushes? Wasting Pokeballs trying to get your spin right? No worries -- you can actually pick up your Pokeballs if you missed your throw. Just tap the Pokeball while it's lying on the ground -- but do it quickly, because it will disappear!

This is a great tip for obvious reasons. More Pokeballs = more Pokemon. Simple as that.

Turn Off the Augmented Reality

The AR feature in Pokemon GO definitely adds a layer of immersion and offers up a lot of great screenshot opportunities. But guess what -- having AR on actually makes it harder to catch Pokemon. Not only do you have to worry about throwing your Pokeball, you also have to worry about keeping the camera/device steady so your intended Pokemon stays in the frame. 

So use the AR to get your screenshots if you want them, but make sure you turn it off before actually trying to capture anything. Things will go a lot more smoothly for you.

Use Lures and Incense wisely

This one probably seems obvious. But if you plan ahead with your Lures or Incense, you'll get a lot more out of using them -- especially if you're living in a rural area. 

Plan a trip to a city or highly populated area with lots of Pokestops. Find a restaurant or bar/brewery that's also a Pokestop, then settle in for a few drinks or a meal and drop a Lure. Enjoy delicious food and beverages while the Pokemon come swarming to you. I personally dropped a few Lures while hanging out with some friends at a local brewery/Pokestop, and managed to catch upwards of 20 Pokemon in the hour that I spent there. Score. 

Incense is a little different. In my experience, it's best to use Incense when you know you're going to be walking around for a while. When you've got time to wander around a few city blocks, drop some incense and cover as much ground as possible. That way, you're not only catching all the many Pokemon that you were already going to encounter as you moved, but you're luring new ones to the area. Using Incense when you're standing still just doesn't seem to be nearly as effective

And if you're going to spend Pokecoins on anything, definitely spend them on this.

Pay Attention To Your Timing

You've gotta have Pokeballs to catch Pokemon (obviously), so using those Pokeballs wisely is a must. If you waste 7 of them trying to catch a fluttering Zubat, that's 7 less chances you have at nailing the rarer Snorlax that's hiding down the block. 

To maximize your chances of getting Pokemon on the first try, wait until the little green/orange/red ring is at its smallest, then throw. The smaller the ring is, the better your chances are of a successful catch. That means fewer wasted Pokeballs and more catching opportunities down the road. 

And you're on your way!

Follow these tips, and you'll be bringing all the Pokemon to the yard. Travel (safely) across the land, searching far and wide. There are many more Poke-friends that need a good trainer like you.

If you're having trouble with getting started in Pokemon, you can also check out our guide to common bug fixes for the game as well.

Happy Pokemon catching! 

Published Jul. 11th 2016
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