While Pokemon GO may be a “free” game, it incorporates microtransactions via Pokecoins. Here’s our guide on how to get the in-game currency without opening up your wallet.
Now that Pokemon GO is available on Android and iOS devices in select regions around the world, players everywhere are flocking to the augmented-reality mobile game, hoping to learn all the ins and outs of catching, leveling, and battling Pokemon. While the app is technically “free” to download, Nintendo and Niantic have incorporated a few microtransactions into the game in the form of Pokecoins.
These gold coins are the in-game currency of Pokemon GO that can be used to buy useful items such as Pokeballs, potions, and revives, and players can choose to spend anywhere from a dollar all the way to $100 on these Pokecoins if they wish. However, since not everyone is willing to open up their wallets for some Pokecoins, here’s our guide on how to get those gold coins without spending a dime.
Gyms and Battling
Firstly, fans need to become very familiar with gyms and battling. If one is new to Pokemon GO, Game Rant has already provided guides on battling, and the ins and outs of how to become a gym leader, so make sure to read up before worrying about Pokecoins.
Take Over a Gym
Now, in order to get your hands on a steady stream of Pokecoins everyday, fans and their chosen team need totake control over an enemy-controlled gym. This involves battling through the number of defending trainers stationed at the gym, which varies according to the gym’s prestige level – the higher the prestige level, the more trainers you need to beat. Of course, players could always take over a gym by themselves, but the idea here is longevity and fans want to hold gym as long as possible, so working together as a team is crucial.
Defend the Gym
Once a team has taken over a gym, it’s important to station a Pokemon there in order to defend it against other attacking players. After leaving the Pokemon at a gym, at this point a player’s job is over. Each gym that a Pokemon is protecting will earn players a daily “defender bonus,” which amounts to 10 Pokecoins roughly every 21 hours. For the more ambitious trainers out there, fans can protect up to 10 gyms at a time, which will net a cool 100 Pokecoins every day.
Given the long 21 hour wait-time for those Pokecoins, one will need to be holding onto those gyms for quite some time – hence why we stress on the importance of team work. Given Pokemon GO‘shuge popularity already, expect a good amount of resistance and failure before managing to get that Pokecoin stream flowing since there will undoubtedly be plenty of challengers trying to take over every gym.
While walking around town (in the real world by actually putting one foot in front of the other), players will find locations on the minimap that look like a blue Pokeball symbol. These are Pokestops and are the easiest way to pick up items and experience points in the early game (without using microtransactions).
Once a Pokestop is within range (that pulsing circle around the avatar), players can click the Pokestop and a circular image of a real world location will appear. Sometimes it’ll be a bench or a building or even a coffee shop. Spin the picture in the circle by swiping it and when it’s done spinning some items will fall out and float in bubbles. Pop the bubbles and these items will be added to your inventory and experience points will be added to your character (these are tracked in the lower lefthand corner).
A big part of Pokemon GO is battling to control Gyms (and keeping your phone charged). Gyms look like tall towers and will be color-coded based on which team is currently in control of them (teams are chosen at level 5). This is something that players don’t need to worry about until they reach level 5. If you’ve already hit level 5 (which should only take maybe two hours of walking around a populated town visiting Pokestops), then visit our Gym guide for more details on this aspect of the game.
Finding Pokemon to add to the Pokedex is what the game is all about, right?! While exploring your area in the real world, Pokemon will appear sporadically. Unlike Gyms and Pokestops, there won’t be icons on the map that can be seen from far away indicating where Pokemon are. When close to Pokemon, the monsters’ shapes and outlines can be seen on the map. Eventually, the Pokemon will appear in color on the map and players can click it to enter the encounter. We recommend playing with at least one earbud in, because the sound effects of a Pokemon appearing make it easier to not miss an opportunity.
Once the Pokemon encounter begins, just swipe the Pokeball at the Pokemon like the professor explained in the tutorial. This can take a bit of getting used to, but shouldn’t be a very difficult task. The color of the inner circle relates to difficulty, so green is easy and red is hard. Try to release the Pokeball when the inner circle is smallest for the best results. Once the Pokemon is successfully caught, experience is added to the player and the Pokemon is in the collection.
There is a little tracking guide in the bottom righthand corner of the screen that will let players know which Pokemon are nearby. This is helpful if players are trying to track down a particular type.