Video Game / Pokémon Go

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Imagine Pokémon in The Real World.

Pokémon GO is an Augmented Reality Pokémon game for mobile devices made as a collaboration between Niantic Labs (creators of Ingress), Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company. It allows players to journey to real-world locations to find and catch wild Pokémon, as well as battle other trainers and participate in large group events. The game was planned to be released alongside the Pokémon Go Plus, which uses a Bluetooth connection to notify users when a Pokémon is nearby, but these plans fell through as numerous server stress issues surfaced. It was released on July 6th 2016 for iOS and Android devices.

At release, the game initially only had Pokémon from Generation 1 (Pokémon Red and Blue), minus the legendary Pokémon and Ditto, the latter of which was eventually patched in. The full roster of Generation 2 Pokémon (Pokémon Gold and Silver) was added in February of 2017, though a few of the Baby Pokémon from that generation were added as part of the previous year's Christmas event.

No relation to the fanfic of the same name. Or to Square Enix Montreal's Hitman GO, Lara Croft GO, and Deus Ex GO; which are also mobile spinoffs to console game series (though SE Montreal has cracked jokes about the similarity). Not to be mistaken for a racing game.

Pokémon GO contains the following tropes:

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    A-C 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: In spite of the dose of reality players got, water Pokémon that should realistically exist only in oceans can be found around freshwater lakes and rivers in landlocked regions.
  • Achievement System: Medals earned by traveling so many kilometers, catching so many Pokémon of various types, hatching eggs, fighting enemy Gyms, and other methods. This was initially just cosmetic, until an update added capture bonuses for the various type medals. For example, each medal earned for catching Normal types add +1 to the capture rate for that type.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Flareon in the main series is a relatively mediocre Pokémon due to bad stat distribution and an unfavorable movepool. In this game, Flareon ranks at #14 in terms of potential max CP, beating out Charizard at #22 (2686).
    • In the main games, Exeggutor suffers from having low speed and its plethora of weaknesses. In Go, however, its weaknesses are abated while its entire moveset benefits from same-type attack bonus and all hit for decent power. It also has fairily high CP, slightly better than Flareon. This high CP coupled with being a single-evolution Pokémon makes it relatively easy to turn a weak Exeggcute into an extremely powerful Exeggutor (Exeggcute are somewhat rare, but not impossible to farm). Being a Grass-type also gives it an advantage against the often overused Vaporeon, whose high CP puts it above all of its type disadvantages save the unobtainable Zapdos.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Due to the way attack is calculated, the game heavily favors Pokémon which are relatively even in both physical and special attack while giving little weight to speed. This makes dedicated special attackers and Fragile Speedster Pokémon sub-par at best. One of the most egregious examples would be Alakazam, who in the main games is known for its amazing Special Attack and Speed stats. In Go, its max CP is a measly 1813, lower than both Golbat and Pidgeot. This is also why Jolteon is terrible compared to its kin, since it relies more on speed than they do. Mercifully, a balance update made an effort to correct this, abating the issue by giving previously mediocre Pokémon a major boost and nerfing others.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Downplayed. The game is free to play, starts you off with a decent assortment of items, awards items for each level up, and provides a random assortment of three to eight (though rarely more than five) items every time you visit a Pokéstop. Additionally, the game rewards you for capturing and defending Gyms for your team with gold coins, which can be used to purchase additional items. It is entirely possible to play the game to its fullest extent and be a competitive player without spending any real money. However, there are a few exceptions. Items which make the game easier (Lures, Incense, Lucky Eggs, Incubators, Bag Expansions, etc.) are rarely handed out as rewards in-game and cannot be obtained from Pokéstops. To acquire them in any significant amount, you'll need to spend real money. Also, if you live in an area with fewer gyms and Pokéstops, you'll find it more difficult to replenish the supply of even your basic items, which may require you to spend money to keep playing.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Candela of Team Valor has brown skin, standard animesque features, and no further details about what race she could be.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Like the old games, gender on the actual Pokémon is not really easily clarified. Jynx, Kangaskhan, Chansey, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan and the Nidoran line are obviously the exceptions, but other than them, none of the Pokémon have obvious gender markers—which can get confusing for people used to the sexual dimorphism of the later games. A later update would feature genders when viewing Pokémon, along with subtle differences in their features, but some of them, such as Staryu and Ditto, still have no indication. It's possible that they are completely genderless.
    • Blanche of Team Mystic has no strong features to identify their gender. At most, they are wearing raised heels and a ponytail. Character designer Yusuke Kozaki has stated that he thinks Blanche's gender should be open to interpretation, after seeing the fan reaction. Meanwhile Niantic considers the character to be a woman.
    • In contrast to other games in the series which ask, "Are you a boy or a girl?" the new avatar customization screen merely prompts, "Please choose your style," a change praised by many players for its gender inclusivity.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • There is an item cap (350 to start, although it can be upgraded) and once you've hit the maximum you won't be able to collect any more. However, if you level up you don't lose out on the item windfall that you get, the game temporarily increasing your max item limit to accommodate the item prizes.
    • Speaking of Pokéstops, you can find them at just about any real life "landmarks." Everything from parks to churches to local government buildings tend to be eligible to become Pokéstops. (If you live in a place that doesn't have many Pokéstops, you can submit potential locations to Niantic on their website to get some.) The Pokéstops hand out a random assortment of items and/or Pokémon Eggs every time you visit, keeping you well stocked up, and have a short cooldown time of about five minutes so you can use them frequently.
    • Despite what some people would have you believe, there is no limit on the number of players that can catch a particular iteration of a Pokémon once. If a rare/powerful Pokémon disappears after other people catch it, it's because it timed out and de-spawned. This helps prevent hostility among players and potentially reckless behavior trying to snag it first.
    • With no evolutionary stones in this game, the Eevee evolutions are almost completely randomized. Fortunately, it only takes half as many Eevee candies to evolve one compared to a standard two-tiered Pokémon (25 instead of 50). It's still annoying if you don't get the evolution you want, but it's not too difficult to try again. There's also an Easter Egg that lets you pick the evolution you want, but this only works once for each of the three Eeveelutions. After that, it's always random.
    • Gym battles are restricted until the player reaches level 5, but reaching this is pretty easy to do. The game provides XP bonuses for every new Pokémon recorded, so catching roughly 20 unique Pokémon will cover the necessary experience. This can be done in a day depending on where you are, and can be balanced out with other captures.
    • One of the items the player starts with is a limitless-use egg incubator, ensuring that they will always be able to incubate at least one egg. Additional incubators (which have a three-use limit) allow the player to hatch multiple eggs at once.
    • When battling an opposing gym, you always get to use up to six Pokémon no matter how many the gym contains. Each Pokémon you defeat will decrease the gym's "prestige" by 1000 points, and defeating the leader is worth 4000. Through simple Zerg Rushing, you can take down a high-level gym with Mons individually far less powerful. This prevents any one team from holding a gym with no effort on their part, though in turn this makes earning daily defender bonuses more difficult.
    • With the update that added bonuses for capture medals, training allied gyms was made far easier. Previously, only one Pokémon could be used to train a gym, with prestige awards being based on relative CP. Since more prestige is awarded for using a weaker Pokémon, earning large amounts of prestige could be extremely difficult without good dodging skills. The update allows the player to use a full lineup, with the stronger member determining prestige rewards. Furthermore, the defenders are brought down to the player's level, allowing any player to train effectively on an allied gym.
    • The Buddy Pokémon update allows you to assign any Pokémon in your roster as a buddy that walks along with you. Doing so adds a distance counter similar to an egg which earns one or two candies every time you reach that goal. The distance required is based on the egg group of the Pokémon in question, being 1 km for 2 km eggs, 3 km for 5 km eggs, and 5 km for 10 km eggs. For example, the Pidgey line only requires 1 km per candy, while the Dratini line needs 5 km. Evolved forms collect candies at the same rate as their base forms. The starters are an exception, requiring 3 km per candy instead of 1. This makes earning candies for rare Pokémon much easier, though still a slow process. Magikarp in particular benefits from this, as its high candy requirement is balanced out by its egg group, making it no more difficult to earn the requisite candy than it would be for a common third-stage evolution.
    • Taking down an opposing Gym gives a brief period where only the player responsible can place Pokémon in the now-vacant Gym, preventing other players who did not contribute from stealing the spot AKA "Gym Sniping". Previously, no such grace period was given.
    • Following the update that disabled catching Pokémon and using Pokéstops while driving, daily bonuses were added for both actions. Each will give a 500 XP bonus for the first one caught/spun each day, with a 2000 XP bonus on the seventh day. In addition, Stardust rewards get an equal boost and Pokéstops give out more items.
    • The Pokemon that Ditto hides as are always Com Mons, so that people would not get disappointed should they catch a very rare Pokémon only for it to be a Ditto in disguise.
    • Though rare, Nanab Berries lessen the chance that a Pokémon will go into their jump/attack/evade animation while the player is trying to catch them; a welcome addition as the extra animations were a huge annoyance to players, since the Pokémon can and will do one of these actions as a Pokéball is being thrown at them with seemingly no rhyme or reason.
  • Anti-Poop Socking: The whole idea of the game, it seems. This may well be the first video game that actually encourages kids to go outside, get fresh air, and get physical activity.note  On a meta level, this trope subverts itself just by how long your device's battery can last. The game requires an active data connection (cellular or wireless), using GPS location, the app has to constantly be on for it to work, and the (optional) AR mode requires using the camera, all of which come together to drain battery life very quickly.
  • Area 51: There's actually a ton of Pokémon lurking around the place's outskirts, as some hikers discovered when they decided to look for them there. Quite a few gyms too. (Which makes sense; a gym located in the middle of nowhere likely wouldn't be defeated, as it wouldn't be challenged very often.)
  • Art Evolution: The Pokémon use the same models and animations as Pokémon X and Y, but the game uses shaders similar to Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U to make them look nice in a realistic environment.
  • Art Shift: The character designs are not drawn by Ken Sugimori, the series' main artist, but by Yusuke Kozaki — illustrator for fellow Nintendo games Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. As such, the human characters are more realistic and mature-looking than those drawn in the main games' typical anime style.
  • The Artifact: Like in the main series, you start out with a choice of one of three starter Pokémon — Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, with Pikachu being a hidden fourth option — each of which have a fairly low encounter rate. In the main series, the starter serves as a way to acquire new Pokémon early on. In this game, their only purpose is to serve as a tutorial for the game's catching mechanics, since battles are restricted to gyms and thus they do not aid in catching Pokémon. Nor are they particularly good for gym battles, for that matter, as there are Pokémon that are stronger and easier to acquire for that.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • The trainer/team defending a given Gym does so by beating the current Gym Leader. Once they've won, the player can then deposit one of their own Pokémon there and use them to try and defend the location from other teams. Members of the same team can then come and reinforce the Gym, adding more Mons for the other teams to fight.
    • Similarly, a Gym's standing Leader is determined by who has the strongest Pokémon in it. So if the strongest Pokémon present has 500 Combat Points, depositing a Pokémon with 600 would make you the new Gym Leader.
  • Augmented Reality: Players are able to encounter wild Pokémon by finding them in specific locations, both urban and rural. They can then capture these Pokémon by finding them using the device's camera (if that feature is disabled, it's a generic field).
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • AR Mode, while great for pictures and such, makes it harder to catch Pokémon because you have to hold your device steady in a certain position in addition to throwing the ball. If it's turned off, Pokémon stay centered on the screen regardless of your position.
    • Gyarados. While a very powerful Pokémon overall (in the top ten and surpassing some legendaries, in fact), the sheer effort required to get one (400 Magikarp candies, or 101 Magikarps) makes going for one of the slightly weaker but far easier to obtain Water-types (Lapras, which can be hatched directly from an egg, and Vaporeon, which can be evolved easily from the common Eevee) and a stark lack of actual Water-type moves (with only Hydro Pump as a charge move) put it into this category.
    • There are a variety of primary attack moves your Pokémon can have, but the most damaging ones are often the most impractical. Bubble is the most powerful primary attack in the game, doing 25 damage to its nearest competitor's 15. It also takes almost twice as long to charge (2.5 seconds), so its overall DPS is inferior to far weaker moves like the 6 damage Water Gun (.5 seconds). This only applies when attacking a gym, as a Pokémon defending a gym will attack at a consistent rate regardless of the actual speed of its moveset.
    • Ditto's Transform ability allows it to copy the first Pokémon in a gym, including those you haven't caught. However, Transform counts as a move and you have no control over Ditto using it, so the opposing Pokémon is going to get a couple shots off which you have no way to dodge. Furthermore, it only means neither side will have type advantage while the opposing Pokémon may or not be stronger than Ditto.
  • Awesomeness Meter: The game rewards the player for catching Pokémon with a little added flare, granting an experience bonus and increasing the chance of a successful capture. Landing the ball within the colored circle is deemed a 'Nice', 'Great', or 'Excellent' throw depending on the size of the circle, which is worth 10, 50, and 100 points, respectively. Throwing a curveball is an additional 10 exp bonus, which is accomplished by either spinning the ball before throwing it or throwing at a sufficient angle.
  • Big Applesauce: The climax of the trailer, where thousands of players are participating in a contest to catch Mewtwo, takes place in Times Square at night. (And it seems that, indeed, NYC has some rare ones.)
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Pidgey and its evolutions are one of the most common Pokémon the player can find, but Pidgey has the benefit of requiring only half as much candy to evolve into its second stage. Coupled with the large amount the player can catch, it's very easy to use them as a farm for experience/candy/Stardust and create Pidgeot with decent stats.
    • Evolving first-stage Pokémon is boring, but combined with a Lucky Egg earns massive amounts of experience.
    • The baby Pokemon from the 12/12 update. They can only be hatched from eggs and not caught in the wild (this may change once Gen 2 starts rolling out in force), and as a result are difficult to obtain. However, egg-hatched Pokémon are likely to have excellent IVs and usually come with enough candies to evolve to their next stage—including Togepi. Adding them to the Pokédex also earns experience.
  • Born as an Adult:
    • Downplayed in that some Pokémon hatched out start at their second stage, not first. This is because eggs hatch random Pokémon based on egg group, as opposed to breeding two Pokémon to obtain an egg. The Pokémon subject to this are Pikachu, Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Jynx, Electabuzz, and Magmar. With the addition of Gen 2's baby Pokémon, all but Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan (Tyrogue has not been implemented, due to its Eevee-like branching evolution) now hatch in their first forms.
    • Unlike in the main series, where Pokémon (starting from Generation IV) hatch at the lowest level, a Pokémon will hatch already having some investment in their CP consistent with the player's level at the time they obtained the egg. This can overlap with Disc One Nuke as well as Pint-Sized Powerhouse depending on the Pokémon species and CP.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • If you have money to pay for coins, you can buy Lucky Eggs to double your XP gain. Used properly, you can average about 30,000 exp per egg. About $40 will get you to level 30, provided you save up your candies and mass-evolve Pokémon while the egg is active. Earning that amount of gold through defender bonuses would take months.
    • The Plus wrist accessory, which sells at 35 USD, allows the player to use some of the functions of the app while their phone is asleep, so long as it maintains a bluetooth connection. It allows Pokémon to be captured with a simple button press, use Pokéstops, and records the player's steps to aid in hatching eggs and gaining movement achievements. However, it has several drawbacks when it comes to catching Pokémon. The accessory has no way to display the power or species of the Pokémon, it defaults to your weakest Pokéball type with no option to switch or use berries, and there's no option for trick throws, which all adds up to a greater likelihood of wasted Pokéballs.
    • In the same vein as Ingress, having access to better transport (like having one's own car as compared to settling with public transport) allows one to visit more places and catch a greater variety of Pokémon, and, in certain cases, catch certain region-exclusive species.
  • Button Mashing: What the combat system effectively boils down to. Formerly weak attacks in the main games like Water Gun become some of the strongest moves in the game due to its fast animation speed leading to greater DPS.
  • Camera Screw: Pokéstops and especially gyms can obscure Pokémon that have spawned in proximity, forcing you to rotate the camera or even walk to another spot to get a proper angle.
  • Cap:
    • The level cap is 40, though the amount of experience required to get there is pretty ridiculous. Getting to level 10 requires 45,000 exp. Getting to 20 requires another 165,000. Getting to 30 requires a whopping 1,790,000. And the final stretch to 40 requires 18 million, or 90% of the total experience required for every level.
    • The player can only carry 350 items, 250 Pokémon, and nine eggs at any given time. Bag and storage upgrades increase the item and Pokémon limit, respectively, by 50 with each purchase. The egg limit cannot be increased.
    • Pokémon Gyms cap at level 10, allowing up to ten different Pokémon to defend the gym. This translates to a cap of 50,000 Prestige Points, although this cap can be fudged by grinding the gym to the maximum level and then adding defending Pokémon, since adding a defender gives a 2,000 Prestige Point bonus on top of that maximumnote .
    • All Pokémon have a maximum potential CP value, which varies depending on the Pokémon. Unevolved or common Pokémon have low maximum CP, while evolved or rare Pokémon have higher potential. For example, a basic Pidgey maxes out at 580, while the final evolution Pidgeot can reach 1994, which is average as far as evolved Pokémon go. Tyranitar and Dragonite top the chart as the strongest non-legendary Pokémon at 3670 and 3581, respectively. The weakest is Magikarp, who maxes out at a puny 220 CP, but evolves into the mighty Gyarados, which is 11th at 3281. The unobtainable legendary Pokémon are all fairly strong, with Mewtwo residing at the top with an impressive 4760. A full list can be seen here. However, while these values represent the maximum, the player can only reach a percentage of that maximum based on their current level, and the Pokémon's IVs determine whether it can reach that maximum or end up slightly below it.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Eggs cannot be discarded; you have to hatch them to get rid of them, which you do by walking. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, you can only carry nine eggs, and there's no option to purchase additional egg space. Furthermore, you only have one incubator which never breaks, with a few limited-use incubators as level-up rewards. This means you need to spend gold on more incubators if you want to hatch more than one at a time. Coupled with the fact that Pokéstops will reward eggs on a fairly regular basis, it is all too easy to end up having a full set of eggs. It also doesn't help that since you have to have the game open for it to work (unless you buy a Pokémon Go Plus), walking around with your phone active all the time will drain the battery quite fast.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Eggs are green, orange, or purple to indicate that they require 2, 5, or 10 km respectively to hatch.
  • Com Mons:
    • The spawn rate for Pidgey and Rattata are much higher than for other Pokémon. Most others are heavily affected by the player's environment and location, so common Pokémon in one area might be rare in another. Drowzee, for example, is even more common than Pidgey in some areas, but vanishingly rare in others.
    • Zubat were extremely common for the first few weeks, until their spawn rate was greatly reduced (partly because they're infamously difficult to hit with Pokéballs).
    • Near areas with large bodies of water, Magikarp becomes this. This is because Magikarp's evolution requires 400 candies, four times higher than the second-most-expensive tier of evolutions.
    • During the Halloween event, the spawn rates for the Gastly, Zubat, Drowzee, Cubone, and Meowth lines shot up to very high levels, surpassing even the regular Com Mons.
      • The Valentine's Day event did the same for primarily pink Pokémon. Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Slowpoke, and Exeggcute, in particular, became ridiculously common and the normally difficult to find Chansey and Porygon became at least a little bit easier to find.
    • Amusingly, some region-exclusives can sometimes be this in the region they're exclusive to—you may hear at least one European player complaining that their area has too many Mr. Mimes, or an Australian player catching an Amazon Brigade of Kangaskhans.
    • As of the Gen 2 update, Sentret, Hoothoot, and Ledyba have joined Rattata and Pidgey as some of the most commonly found Pokémon. Depending on where you are, Murkrow, Natu, Spinarak, and Swinub can become this as well.
  • Consolation Prize: If you waste enough items on a Pokémon that runs away, you still get 25 XP for your effort.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: There is no functional difference between the three Teams, apart from names, colours, and emblems. In a meta example, many of the trash-talking memes the Teams put out on Social Media are literally just recycled for each Team, with the logo of one or both of their rivals edited in.

    D-G 
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Due to the way gym battles work, the player's Pokémon can theoretically win against one far stronger so long as you can dodge every attack. One slip and your Pokémon is down, of course. This is vital to training allied gyms, as more prestige is awarded for using Pokémon weaker than the defenders.
  • Death World: With rules applying from Real Life, there are certain areas that users could stumble into extreme danger by looking for a Pokémon Gym, Pokéstop, or rare Pokémon, especially during late hours. There was even a Pokémon Gym on the North Korean side of the DMZ, though it was removed within days of the game's launch. Defied after an update which displays the message "Do not enter dangerous areas while playing Pokémon GO."
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • STAB (same-type attack bonus) is implemented in the battle system, though it only gives a 25% damage boost rather than 50%.
    • The game doesn't record distance unless you're travelling under 15 mph, so riding in a car won't accumulate much distance. This is not to say there's no point at all — there are frequent stops in a city, after all — but highway travel will earn next to nothing.
    • Similarly, sticking the device on something that goes in a circle won't work very well, because the game calculates movement distance based on a straight line between location updates.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Curveballs. By spinning the Pokéball before throwing, it will fly in an arc instead of a straight line. If you throw it so that it lands on the side of the Pokémon that it's arcing towards, you get a "Curveball" bonus. This takes a lot of practice to get down correctly, especially on smaller devices, and different Pokémon need different aims to get it, but mastering the technique is well worth the effort; a successful curveball carries a catch rate multiplier of 1.7. For comparison, Great Balls and Razz Berries are both 1.5, as is a "great" throw. The only things that give more of a bonus are the 1.8 from an "excellent" throw and the 2.0 of Ultra Balls. Curveballs also stack with all of these things; a curved great throw with a regular Pokeball has a higher multiplier than just throwing an Ultra Ball.
  • Difficulty Spike. The game pretty much rigs catch rates to 100% when the player first starts. Once the player reaches higher levels, that's when Random Number God kicks in.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • It's possible for low-level players to catch evolved Pokémon with CP several times higher than that of their average encounters (a Kingler with ~300 CP vs Krabbies with only 50-100, for example). Downplayed, as the only use for high CP Pokémon is gym battles, and those are measured in the thousands.
    • Beedrill and Pidgeot are relatively easy to raise because Weedle and Pidgey are so abundant, due to their Com Mon status.
    • Zubats, also being a Com Mon, can be evolved into the more powerful Golbat with minimal trouble.
    • Alternatively, as seen on Born as an Adult trope above, depending on the trainer level, a Pokémon hatched from an egg can have even higher CP than its evolved forms caught in the wild.
  • Ditto Fighter: Ditto, of course. Ditto will automatically copy the first Pokémon it fights, taking on the Pokémon's base stats and movepool adjusted to the Ditto's level (for example, a level 20 Ditto copying a level 30 Dragonite would become a level 20 version of that Dragonite). It will retain this disguise for as long as its in battle, even if it faints the opposing Pokémon and another switches in.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: As of the 2/16/17 update, this is now a Character Customization option.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Because Pokémon Go was made largely using the same engine as Ingress, activity in the game (Pokéstops, Pokémon, gyms, etc.) tend to be focused in regions of high population/high landmark density. In other words, if you live and work in the city (especially a big one), you'll find Pokémon everywhere, but if you live and work in the country, tough luck.
  • Early Game Hell: Once you get past the first ten levels, making your way to level 20 is much more difficult, especially if you don't use real money for experience-boosting Lucky Eggs. Gyms are typically protected by Pokémon at least twice as strong as your own, which makes taking out even one a war of attrition which will cost Revives and Potions (though this does help to keep your inventory from filling up). The same goes for upgrading the prestige of a gym to add one of your own defenders, unless you happen upon a gym with a free slot. Even if you do knock out a gym and take it for yourself, you almost certainly won't hold it for an entire day, and will be very lucky if you can take a second gym before someone takes back the first. You can still get the defender bonus, but that means earning a single Lucky Egg will take eight days. Additionally, the player only has access to regular and Great Pokéballs at this stage of the game, which cannot reliably catch a Pokémon past 300 CP, forcing the player to use berries and/or more Pokéballs. Thus, acquiring gym-capable Pokémon requires using Stardust and candies, the former a quickly-exhausted resource and the latter important for quick evolution grinding (unless the Pokémon has no evolution). If you're in an area with plenty of Pokéstops, these issues are at least mitigated somewhat, but those in rural areas will have even more problems. A patch made an effort to address this by implementing a system which brings Pokémon at allied gyms to within the player's level range, making it easier to train one up to the next level and add a Pokémon.
  • Easter Egg:
    • When you first start the game and are given the opportunity to catch one of the three Kanto starters. If you continuously walk away from them, they will eventually respawn with a Pikachu as a fourth starter option, as a nod to Pokémon Yellow.
    • There's a way to guarantee the Eevee evolution you want; nickname your Eevee "Sparky" for Jolteon, "Pyro" for Flareon, or "Rainer" for Vaporeon. These are the same names as the three trainers who owned each of the three original Eeveelutions from the Pokémon anime episode "The Battling Eevee Brothers". Niantic themselves confirmed this method works. Also to get the Gen 2 Eevee evolutions, nickname your Eevee "Sakura" for Espeon or "Tamao" for Umbreon. Similar to the previous example, these are the names of two of the five Kimono Sisters who each owned an Eeveelution from the anime episodes "Trouble's Brewing" and "Espeon, Not Included".
    • If you have a Pikachu as your buddy Pokémon and you walk with it enough, it will sit on your shoulder on the profile screen.
  • Encounter Bait: The Incense and Lure Module items attracts Pokémon to the user and a Pokéstop respectively for 30 minutes. Pokémon drawn by Incense are exclusive to the player, while Lures work for all players.
  • Enemy Mine: Players from two different teams can work together to topple a gym held by the third team. However, only one team can hold the gym after it reverts to neutral, so they'll probably end up fighting each other for control over it afterward.
  • Exergaming: Some of the game's features, such as hatching eggs and even gaining experience, are tied to how far you walk. Eggs hatch after walking anywhere from 2 to 10 kilometers, and there are medals for walking certain distances. The game stops counting distance when you go over about 15mph, though, so trying to cheat with a car won't get you much of anything.
  • Experience Booster: The Lucky Egg item doubles experience gained for 30 minutes.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • If the color of the target circle is very similar to the color of the Pokémon, it can be very difficult to see what you're supposed to be aiming at. Sandshrew with a yellow circle is one of the worst in this regard.
    • Mons that are very far away on the battle screen can be tricky or even impossible to catch if your phone's screen is too small—it's extremely difficult just to throw the ball far enough, to say nothing of actually hitting the tiny target. Rapidash is probably the most unfair, though some flying-types like Pidgeot can also be very hard to hit. You're better off not wasting your time and just evolving one.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: The Teams have the Legendary birds of Kanto as their mascots — Articuno for Team Mystic, Zapdos for Team Instinct, and Moltres for Team Valor. The classic examples of the Eeveelutions (Flareon for fire, Vaporeon for ice and Jolteon for lightning) and the rare elemental humanoids (Magmar for fire, Jynx for ice and Electabuzz for lightning) are also present, though the three birds themselves are not yet available.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Goldeen, Tentacool, and many other water-type swimming Pokémon are portrayed as floating in mid-air on ground, both with AR mode on and off. Averted with Magikarp, of course, which just flops around uselessly, but justified with its evolution, Gyarados, for being part Flying-type.
  • Fragile Speedster: Pokémon with an XS tagged to either their height or weight (or both) attack faster than Pokémon without those tags but have lower HP as a tradeoff.
  • Freudian Trio: The teams' philosophies.
    • Team Valor believes in training Pokémon using raw strength, emotions, and passion, making them the Id.
    • Team Mystic believes in using logic and intellect in training Pokémon, making them the Superego.
    • Team Instinct doesn't favor either emotions or logic, instead relying on their own instincts, making them the Ego.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: As the game is brand new with a massive amount of players over what was expected, the "known bugs" section of the company website basically reads "we know, we're sorry, we're working on it."
    • The game may bug out upon getting a Pokémon into a PokéBall, freezing it in place and forcing a restart. Though, the game actually does accommodate for this: if the catch from the landed Ball would have been successful, rebooting the app will show the Pokémon in your inventory, but if it wasn't, you will have to try again. Fixed in later versions in that the game will eventually jump to the Pokémon either being captured or escaping capture if this glitch happens.
    • This same type of freeze can also happen in a gym battle when your opponent is down to one hit point. Luckily this nulls the fight instead of counting as a loss.
    • There's also the chance that the game will freeze if you fail to catch a Pokémon and immediately open your item menu when it flees (such as if you're trying to quickly use a Razz Berry), forcing a restart. Luckily this glitch was resolved in an update which removes the ability to open the item menu immediately after the Pokémon breaks free, and waits until the Random Number God decides if the Pokémon will stay or flee before letting the player continue.
    • If your reception is poor, there's a chance that a Pokémon will appear, but when you tap on it and wait for the game to transition to the wild encounter, the Pokémon just disappears from view without giving you a chance to catch it.
    • A bug with the tracker can cause all Pokémon to appear the maximum distance away regardless of actual distance to the player, making it almost impossible to accurately tell where they are. Unlike the other bugs, which just interrupt gameplay, this one persists even if you reset the game and can't be fixed by the player. Niantic eventually just removed the tracker entirely.
      • Although thankfully, the tracker has been fixed and improved.
    • Pokéstops may occasionally fail to give you items, but still register as being used and require you to wait for them to become available again.
    • The game can be very processor-intensive on phones, as it simultaneously puts a good deal of pressure on the graphics while using the GPS, with the option of using the camera and gyroscope in the AR Mode. As a result, extended periods of play can cause the game to lag heavily, especially if the game has to load a large amount of map data. Given enough time, this can render the game unplayable until you reset it.
    • The 0.51.0 update results in the game becoming completely unplayable at odd times (the map doesn't load, and nothing else is selectable), likely due to the changes made to the day-and-night system. Closing and reopening the app can fix this, but not always.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Because of the game's algorithm for spawning, more Pokémon will spawn in areas with more people playing the game. This means that crowded cities will have a greater volume of Pokémon than rural areas, and areas where there is no cell reception like caves and mountains won't have any.
  • Gender Bender:
    • A hilariously unintentional example. Raichu's initial character model was female, as evidenced by the fact that the tip of its tail was flat rather than pointed. Pikachu, on the other hand, uses the male character model, lacking the heart-shaped tip that distinguishes the female version. Thus, any time Pikachu evolved into Raichu, it would be changing gender as well as form. This was corrected in a later update, changing Raichu's model to the male version.
    • Averted with Doduo and Dodrio. After sexual dimorphism was introduced in the original games, Dodrio's default image became female because it had pale necks while the males had black necks like the default image of Doduo. In this game, both Doduo and Dodrio have black necks to distinguish them as male.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • The game doesn't explain the purpose of the circles that appear when you're preparing to toss a Pokéball at a wild Pokémon, specifically the colored circle inside the white target circle, which shrinks as you hold the ball. The color of the circle determines how likely you are to catch the Pokémon. Green usually works on the first try, while yellow, orange, and red represent an increasing likelihood that the Pokémon will break free. You're more likely to catch the Pokémon if the colored circle is smaller when the ball hits, and if the ball hits within that circle. This is deemed a "Nice", "Great", or "Excellent" throw depending on the size of the circle and earns a small XP bonus. You can also spin the ball using your finger to throw a curveball, which also gives an XP bonus if you do it right.
    • Likewise, it doesn't tell you that the switch that is just marked "AR" that appears when you're catching Pokémon or fighting in a gym battle is for toggling AR on and off. A number of people weren't even aware of the switch being there.
    • When you actually enter a gym battle for the first time, it can be a rather Unexpected Gameplay Change since there's really no battling before this. First you very well may have to swing your device around to find the actual arena, and battling consists of tapping on your opponent to attack with your basic movie, while a "Special Meter" charges up to allow your Pokémon to use a more powerful move, which is unleashed by holding down on the screen until it becomes letterboxed. Also, if AR is off, quickly swipe left or right to dodge. None of this is explained to you upon your first battle, neither is there any sort of training mode to try out your Pokémon's moves before challenging a gym.
    • There is a way to get Pikachu as your starter, but the game never tells you how.
    • The game doesn't tell you that you need to flip your device upside-down to reap the benefits of battery saver.
    • Players discovered a 100% sure-fire way to evolve your Eevee into whatever you want it to be. You have to name them "Sparky", "Pyro", or "Rainer" to get a Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon, respectively. Also, make sure you exit the app and relaunch after changing the name to ensure that it went through to the server. For the Gen 2 Eeveelutions, you have to name your Eevee "Sakura" or "Tamao" for Espeon and Umbreon.
    • What the game also fails to tell you is that if you want an Espeon or an Umbreon (after using the name trick), relying on the Random Number God doesn't work like it does for Eevee's previous evolution. Instead you have to rely on The Power of Friendship by walking your Eevee 10 KM and then evolving it during the day if you want an Espeon or during the night if you want an Umbreon.
    • Incense works by generating Pokémon at your location, at a rate of one every five minutes (so about five overall). However, you can double or even triple that amount if you jog at least 200 meters between spawns, which ups the spawn rate to about one per minute.
    • Remember IVs from the main games? Surprise, they're present in this game, and a lot more cryptic this time, since battle stats are all summed up in CP. Pokémon have three hidden stats — Attack, Defense, and Stamina — which all factor into a function that determines its final CP as well as its HP. And just like in the main games, you have no control over whether that high CP 'mon you're catching has good stats or not. The Elite Tweak factor is less pronounced, though, due to the lack of EVs, and the difference over getting a 'mon with perfect IVs is about 10% additional damage in battles. Appraisal of your Pokémon since the 0.35.0 update now drops more hints on the strength of your stats.

    H-N 
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]:
    • As in every Pokémon game, you can nickname your Pokémon. However, unlike most Pokémon games including Mystery Dungeon spinoffs, you can rename your Pokémon at anytime with no requirements, resulting in users taking the concept and running wild.
    • Using / Abusing the appraisal function to let the team leaders say weird, obscene etc things, because how they nicknamed their Pokémon.
  • Hitbox Dissonance:
    • If you're driving (obviously, not a recommended way to play) or riding a vehicle while playing, trying to tap a freshly-spawned Pokémon or a nearby Pokéstop can be hit or miss, since the app will cause your character to jump forward in bursts as it tries to keep your location updated.
    • For vehicle users, using a Pokéstop while the vehicle is in motion can be difficult if you're moving faster than 30 mph. The Pokéstop usually won't work if you try to load it before the app decides it's actually available, and even then the app may decide you've moved out of range before you can manage to spin the circle and get your items. This was rectified by disabling Pokéstops above that speed, making trying to spin them pointless.
    • While it's rare, it's possible for Pokémon to spawn directly on top of one another. Often tapping the Pokémon that appears front-and-center will instead start a capture sequence with the Pokémon behind or under it (usually a Com Mon).
    • What counts as part of a Pokémon's hitbox when a Pokéball is tossed differs between species; the wings of a Zubat register hits, but not, say, the fins of a Goldeen.
    • The capture circle and the hitbox of the Pokémon can be vastly different. For example, Pidgeot has a target circle as large as any Com Mon, but its actual hitbox is so far away that on smaller devices you may have trouble even throwing the Pokéball far enough to land a hit. On others, the hitbox can be be larger than the circle, making it difficult to land an accurate throw.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • Between October 26 and November 1, 2016, the game increased the spawn rates of "spooky" Pokémon (Ghastly, Haunter, Gengar, Zubat, Golbat, Cubone, Marowak, Meowth, Drowzee, and Hypno), doubled the amount of candy earned for any action (transferring, hatching, catching), and quadrupled the amount earned from walking with a buddy Pokémon (by making the required distance 1/4th that of normal).
    • For Thanksgiving (November 23-30), experience and Stardust earned was doubled across the board. The former even stacks with a Lucky Egg. Ditto also happened to be released during this period.
    • December 2016 added a Santa Hat-wearing Pikachu as a catchable variant, which evolves into Raichu wearing the hat. The spawn rate for Jynx was also increased (as a possible Shout-Out to the Christmas Episode of the anime "Holiday Hi-Jynx"). Most Gen 2 baby Pokémon (Igglybuff, Pichu, Clefa, Magby, Elekid, Togepi, and Smoochum) were also added into the egg pools. They can't be caught in the wild, however. Starting on Christmas Day for ten days, the first Pokéstop the player spins yields a single-use incubator in addition to the regular items. Eggs will also be more likely to hatch baby Pokémon. The spawn rate of Santa Hat Pikachu, starters, and their evolved forms were increased. Finally, gift boxes were added to the shop that contain Great/Ultra Balls, Incubators, and Incense at a bulk discount (this being the only way to purchase the stronger Pokéballs), with the more expensive boxes containing more/better items.
    • The Valentine's Day event saw the spawn rates for pink Pokémon (Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Slowpoke, Exeggcute, Chansey, and Porygon) increase. It's worth noting that Chansey, Porygon, and Slowpoke have new evolutions as part of the Gen 2 update that followed the event.
  • Hufflepuff House: Team Instinct is often portrayed this way as it is the smallest of the three teams.
  • Joggers Find Death: Pokémon Go players have found dead bodies while playing this game according to http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/09/technology/pokemon-go-dead-body/index.html , http://www.10news.com/news/pokemon-go-players-discover-body-at-marian-bear-memorial-park , and http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/07/14/man-playing-pokemon-go-finds-dead-body-nashua-nh/ .
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: A male version that's not used for Fanservice. News stories and unofficial ads for the game have been using a cartoon depiction of YouTuber TheJWittz, specifically the image that he typically uses in his thumbnails. He's not actually in the game, although he does play it, and has made a video discussing this.
  • LARP: Short version: Basically, you take your iOS or Android device outside, and it spawns virtual Pokémon, which you can actually see through the camera on the device, and then capture, train, and battle, creating a facsimile of Pokémon training. The game is designed to encourage outdoor activity, especially exploration.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Vaporeon. It has the highest HP and CP potential out of the "Eevee-lutions", in addition to being one of the strongest overall Pokémon (the others being much harder to obtain). With the lightning-quick moves Water Gun and Aqua Tail, it has the second highest DPS output in the entire game behind only Mewtwo. It can even take down similarly-leveled Electric-types, leaving rare bulky Grass-types with high DPS as its only real weakness. It's the staple of most competitive Gym-battler lineups for a very good reason. A patch toned down Vaporeon's moveset, alleviating this problem to a degree, but Vaporeon is still one of the most powerful and easy-to-get Pokémon.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • When trying to capture Pokémon, the odds of a successful capture can vary radically, especially if the Pokémon in question has CP in the tripe digits. If it's above that threshold, there's a decent chance that it will escape and flee after one or two failures. These odds can vary based on the species in question. The player can improve their odds by using Razz berries and higher-rank balls, successfully landing their ball inside the colored circle, and throwing a curveball.
    • Played With. The three Eevee evolutions (Jolteon, Vaporeon, and Flareon) are normally completely random with each evolution, so the only obvious way to get the one you want is to either keep evolving Eevees or catch one of the evolved forms in the wild. What the game doesn't advertise is that naming your Eevee "Sparky", "Pyro", or "Rainer" guarantees it will evolve into Jolteon, Flareon, or Vaporeon, respectively, so it's only luck-based if you don't know the trick to bypass it. The same goes for Eevee's new evolutions, Espeon and Umbreon, unless you name your Eevee "Sakura" or "Tamao".
    • When evolving a Pokémon, you have no control over what moves it will end up with. You can evolve something with a great moveset into something much more powerful, only to have it be rendered useless by a lousy moveset if the Random Number God doesn't smile upon you. This also applies to the "XL" and "XS" tags, which can be gained or lost randomly upon evolution.
      • Hidden Power takes this to greater heights as its type is discovered to be randomly determined as opposed to IVs in the original games.
    • Catching Ditto. Ditto's Transform gimmick allows it to copy other Pokémon, and that includes wild Ditto. Thus, in order to catch Ditto, you have to hope that whatever Pokémon you're trying to catch is actually a Ditto in disguise. There are a few hints that a Pokémon may be a transformed Ditto (catch and flee rates for Ditto aren't the same as the Pokémon it's copying), but absolutely no way to tell without catching them. Although it appears low-tier Com Mons such as Pidgey, Rattata and Zubat are more often Ditto in disguise than others.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Magikarp, of course, which evolves into the giant sea dragon Gyarados. Since candies now cause evolution instead of battling, this game makes evolving Magikarp a challenge by requiring 400 candies instead of the usual 50 for a single-evolution Pokémon. In other words, you need to catch 101 Magikarp at the least (three candies for each and 100 for transferring all but one) or walk 400 km with a buddy Magikarp (or some combination of the two) just to make one Gyarados. Hope you live near a lake or the sea. That said, once you manage to evolve Magikarp, it goes from having the absolute worst CP (220 max) to 6th overall (3281 max), fifteen times Magikarp's original value, which is the single largest CP jump of any Pokémon in the game.
    • Chansey was uselessly weak until Gen 2 mons were added, introducing the evolved version — Blissey. Since Chansey is so rare, it's difficult to get enough candy to evolve one (unless you gathered a lot during the Valentine's Day event), but once you do... you've got a Stone Wall that can hold a gym against almost all comers, simply by having such an absurdly high HP stat that even at a disadvantage she can often run out the battle timer and win by default. Though her attack is subpar, with a good moveset she can dish out decent damage, too.
  • Męlée ŕ Trois: Three factions — Teams Instinct, Mystic, and Valor — fight among themselves over gyms.
  • Metal Slime:
    • Unlike Com Mons and most uncommon Pokémon, ultra-rare Pokémon such as Lapras, Snorlax, Chansey and Aerodactyl have no fixed spawn areas and can spawn in any area at any time, and do so very rarely. They are usually very hard to hit with a ball, and frequently break free and run away if you don't use berries and ultra balls.
    • Ditto. They are very uncommon, hide disguised as Com Mons like Pidgey, Rattata and Zubat, and break free more frequently than their true counterparts.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Pokémon with an XL tagged to either their height or weight (or both) attack slower than Pokémon without those tags but have higher HP as a tradeoff.
    • Snorlax is considered one of the best gym defenders due to its massive health pool and high CP (Dragonite and Tyranitar, both pseudo-legendaries, are the only non-legendaries with better CP) and with the right moveset is difficult to dodge or counter.
  • Mirror Match:
    • Fighting a Pokémon as the same Pokémon in gyms.
    • Ditto (introduced during the Thanksgiving 2016 event) will transform into the first Pokemon it sees in a gym, inheriting the latter's CP.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The medals for catching Pokémon of a certain type are all references to the Trainer Classes that used them in the main games.
    • Pikachu is the only Pokémon in the game who has Pokémon Speak, just as in Pokémon Yellow and the Generation VI games.
    • Many items in the game are featured in the main series but have different effects; Stardust is Vendor Trash in the games but is used to level up Pokémon in GO, the Razz Berry is used as a Pokéblock/Poffin ingredient in the games but is used to increase capture chance/reduce flee rate here, and Pokémon candies are similar to Rare Candy/evolution stones in their ability to evolve Pokémon.
    • Abra is the single most likely Pokémon to flee if it breaks out of its capture ball, a direct reference to the fact that in the main games Abra's only move was Teleport, which it would use to immediately flee from battle if not caught (or incapacitated) during the first turn.
  • Nerf:
    • The 0.31.0 update nerfed the base damage of numerous attacks (in particular, the formerly dominant Water Gun from 10 to 6, helping to bring Vaporeon into check) and buffed many others by up to 50 points in some cases (like Hyper Beam).
    • The same update nerfed catch rates, with even low-CP Com Mons having high chances of breaking out of a ball and escaping, which increases as the player's level rises.
  • Never Bareheaded: The protagonist's Nice Hat couldn't be removed until the 2/16/17 update, which gives the option to remove it.
  • New Media Are Evil: Within days of the introduction of Pokémon Go, news outlets passed along a number of stories relating to it, including people being robbed while playing the game, a woman stumbling on a dead body, and people playing in inappropriate areas such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (there was also a screenshot of someone catching a Koffing there, a Pokémon using poisonous gas as its signature move). In most cases the problems encountered stemmed either from a lack of common sense while playing or were risks one would take by simply going outside. This is to say nothing of the various churches that have literally branded Pokémon as "digital demons" and asked how long it will be before said demons start telling players to murder one another for their Pokémon.
  • Nice Hat: December 2016 added a Pikachu wearing a Santa Hat which can be caught in the wild. If you evolve it, Raichu wears the hat.
  • Ninja Looter:
    • Defeating a gym doesn't automatically claim it for your team — it reverts the gym to neutral first. This meant that someone standing by could wait for the gym to become neutral after a battle then claim it for their team first before the winner can get to it. However, an update made this far more difficult, adding a grace period after a gym turns neutral during which only the trainer(s) that beat the last defender can claim it.
    • There is nothing preventing other members from slipping into the gym vacancies that open up while you're training to raise its prestige. This can prove frustrating if you spent the past 15 minutes or so painstakingly raising prestige to create a vacancy and get your Pokémon in.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • If you try to travel at more than 15 mph, the game won't track your distance for egg-hatching purposes. If you travel faster than 30 mph, Pokémon spawns, Pokéstops, and the tracker are disabled until you slow down.note 
    • If you try and download the app in a country where the game is not legitimately released, there will likely be no Pokéstops or wild Pokémon spawning since they aren't programmed to appear there. This doesn't stop some impatient players from doing it anyway, in hopes Pokémon will somehow appear anyway or to give themselves an early advantage whenever the game is actually released in their region. However, several Canadian players also found that if Niantic eventually figures out that you're sideloaded and are playing outside of the regions where the game is available and are still persistently trying despite the absolute absence of Pokémon in your area, they'll eventually tempban your account until the game becomes officially available in your country.
    • Don't even think of trying to use a GPS spoofing app to trick the app into thinking you're somewhere else. If Niantic figures it out, they'll issue a ban which causes all Pokémon to automatically run away, disables all Pokéstops and gyms, and prevents you from leveling up.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Unlike Ingress with its extensive, ongoing lore and its use of real-world Kayfabe events as storytelling, this game doesn't really have much of a plot beyond "Congrats, you're a trainer, now go catch Pokémon and join one of these three teams!"

    O-P 
  • Obvious Beta: The initial release is pretty unstable. There are constant crashing issues, it's pretty unoptimized, the servers need some stabilization, and it's a massive battery and data hog. The initial release was even versioned as 0.29.0, which is a number typical of a beta build.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Well, One Pokémon Army. The trailer has Mewtwo, a single Pokémon, going toe-to-toe with the Pokémon of hundreds of trainers, and for quite awhile Mewtwo is kicking ass. On the long list of Pokémon Mewtwo had to fight off were Dragonair, Charizard, Pidgeot, Gengar and Gyarados; all powerful Pokémon in their own right. It is eventually caught, but given the clock, it held its own against all of them for almost ten straight minutes. If these events are indeed held, Legendary Pokémon may all qualify for this trope.
    • When trying to raise the prestige of an allied gym, you are only allowed to use one Pokémon to defeat all the Pokémon at that gym, regardless of whether it has one or nine. The one you chose therefore has to be strong enough to fight all of them consecutively without being knocked out. You earn prestige for knocking out at least one, just not as much. The game gives out better rewards if your attacker is weaker than the defender, the largest bonus being awarded if the defender is twice as strong, so you can earn as much if not more prestige in one fight with a weak Pokémon as you could against the entire lineup with a strong one. This was later updated to allow a full lineup, with the prestige rules being applied to the strongest Pokémon in that lineup.
  • Parrot Pet Position: Just like Ash and his Pikachu, you can have a Pikachu and certain other small Pokémon (most notably Pidgey and Spearow, in which case it's justified because they're fairly small birds) ride on your avatar's shoulder if you assign it as your buddy. This isn't automatic in Pikachu's case, however; you have to keep it as your buddy for a while for the effect to kick in. Prior to that, it just stands beside you like the others.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The February 2017 update changed many of the possible movesets for Pokémon, but didn't change any of the invalidated movesets of Pokémon already caught. That means that Pokémon with those specific movesets are now unobtainable. It's not that big a deal, however, since said movesets aren't anything special and are inferior to some of the revised versions.
  • Play Every Day: An update introduced daily streak bonuses, in which your first Pokéstop visit and first catch of the day will net you an additional 500 XP, 500 additional Stardust from the Pokémon caught, and additional items from the Pokéstop. If you maintain the streak for seven days, the seventh day will increase the bonus XP/Stardust to 2000 and the items from the Pokéstop will be greatly increased, in addition to dropping rare items needed for certain evolutions. The cycle repeats after that. Missing a day resets the cycle. This encourages players to at least visit one Pokéstop and catch at least one Pokémon daily.
  • Pokémon Speak: Pikachu does this, provided by Ikue Otani. The rest have upgraded versions of their cries that were first heard in the Generation VI games.
  • Power-Up Food: The Candies that are received when capturing or transferring/releasing Pokémon can be used alongside Stardust to enhance the Combat Points of a Pokémon of their corresponding evolutionary line or evolve them.
  • Product Placement: Prior to the December 2016 update, all Starbucks locations were turned into Pokéstops, with an advertisement in place of the regular location name.

    R-Z 
  • Rare Random Drop: Zigzagged with evolution items (Sun Stone, King's Rock, Metal Coat, Dragon Scale and Up-Grade), needed to evolve certain Pokémon. Spinning at least one PokéStop a day for 7 days straight always awards a random evolutionary item from the first spin on the seventh day; all other times they have an 0.15% estimated probability of being dispensed from a Pokéstop.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Many people used to the games that allowed you to go through all sorts of ecosystems in the world within the span of a few hours learn the hard way that they are stuck with the same Com Mons found within walking distance of their home — or that climbing mountains or going into caves tends to cut off your reception.
    • The game has become a hindrance to many stores and businesses around the United States. Some businesses are needing to remind their employees to capture Pokémon only during their break times. Police departments are also sending out friendly reminders to keep alert when walking around and to just stay safe in general. On the other hand, a number of stores have found that having Pokéstops draws in more customers; a few have even requested them. There are even businesses such as McDonald's that pay for sponsored Pokéstops to draw in customers.
    • There are Pokémon who are regional exclusive (see Regional Bonus below), much like their Real Life counterparts.
    • Private property also does not exist in the games... but of course, it does in Real Life. Police departments have gotten calls for "suspicious activity" and "trespassing." This includes places such as memorials, cemeteries, houses of worship, sacred sites, and so forth, which (understandably) upsets people.
    • Even in the games that had seasons, trainers never experienced the effects of hot or cold. Since the game launched in July, which is the hottest month of the year in many countries in the Northern hemisphere, players began to experience the effects of walking around in temperatures of well over 35° Celsius (95° Fahrenheit). This also gets worse with the weather effects like rain - in the games they don't do much, but in Real Life, well...
    • Even a day into the game's launch, there have already been reports of individuals snatching player's devices or setting up a lure at a PokéStop to commit armed robbery. Team Rocket (and the rest of their ilk) aren't the only criminals players need to watch out for now...
    • Given the obesity epidemic in North America, the first week after the game's release was rife with reports of people complaining about sore muscles, sunburns, and other minor injuries related to sedentary lifestyles.
    • Some people have found themselves in dangerous situations, or even used the game to lure people into dangerous situations.
    • Perhaps not surprisingly, numerous injuries have been reported as a result of players paying more attention to the game than to where they're going, ranging from car wrecks (as both drivers and pedestrians) to falling off cliffs.
    • Unlike, say, a Game Boy or Nintendo DS, smart devices aren't exactly optimized for resource-intensive games; in light of that, the game eating through its system's battery life far faster than a typical Pokémon game would is unsurprising. Additionally, the lack of standardised hardware and software means the game is more prone to bugs and crashing than games developed for a dedicated platform like the DS.
  • Regional Bonus: There are several Pokémon that are continent exclusive.
    • For Gen 1, Wild Tauros can only be found in North America, Farfetch'd in Asia, Mr. Mime in Europe, and Kangaskhan in Australia.
    • For Gen 2, Heracross can only be found in Central and South America note , and Corsola can only be caught in the tropics.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Like in a Safari Zone, it is possible for every Pokémon in this game to flee, with encounters ending in the Pokémon escaping a Pokéball they just broke out of. Some are more likely to escape from a destroyed Pokéball than others, meaning some Pokémon (especially Pokémon with the Run Away ability such as Rattata, Weedle and Eevee, and especially Abra who teleported away in the main series games) only give you one chance to acquire them before fleeing on the spot.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • The "Team Harmony" Challenge, for players who don't want to get mixed up picking between Teams Valor, Instinct, and Mystic and would prefer to try and ease tension between the three groups. By doing this players lock themselves out of ever battling at the gyms, so the only way they play is to catch and raise Pokémon. Fans have even picked Lugia as their unofficial mascot for this type of challenge, as opposed to Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres the other teams are represented by.
    • The ultimate challenge is to reach level 40 without ever catching a single Pokémon, but rather leveling up only from the 50 XP earned from Pokéstops. That's only 400,000 Pokéstop visits.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Eevee and its evolutions. While not quite common enough to be a Com Mon note , they evolve with a mere 25 candies (compared to 50 for most other one-tier evolutions). The evolved forms get a massive CP boost (Jolteon and Umbreon are a bit of letdowns, though), are decent battlers, quite good at defending gyms, and easy to power up thanks to the abundance of Eevee to obtain candy, putting them in a category above Boring, but Practical. And now that an Easter Egg has been uncovered which allows you to control how your Eevee evolves, they've entered "Awesome" territory.
  • Skewed Priorities: In Needville, Texas, a player slashed the tires of an ambulance because the Pokéstops were removed from the fire and police departments. The Fire Department posted on Facebook to point out that emergency services and saving lives should take higher priority.
  • Smoke Out: If you take too long to capture a wild Pokémon or sometimes when it breaks out of the ball you enclose it in, they'll use this to escape.
  • Socialization Bonus: Pokémon are more likely to spawn in areas with higher mobile data traffic, encouraging players to travel in groups or visit high-population areas. When battling Gyms, multiple players who are not of the same team as the target Gym can gang up on the same combatant, speeding through otherwise troublesome battles and saving on healing supplies. Players aligned with the same team can cooperate to rapidly raise a Gym's prestige to open more vacancies for their teammates.
  • Special Attack: Every Pokémon has two attacks: a basic attack that can be spammed, and a special attack that is more like a Limit Break, needing to be charged up during a battle before it can be unleashed against an opponent.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To Ingress. The core foundation of the game was created from Ingress. All the Pokéstops and gyms are all the established hotspots and contested portals from Ingress, with no difference at all. Pokémon Go has you join either Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Instinct (yellow) to fight over gym ownership, just like Ingress had fighting between the Enlightened and the Resistance.
    • To a lesser extent the game also shares some fundamentals with the Pokéwalker from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, in that both are rather simple Pokémon games that encourage the player to walk around to get the most out of them.
  • Stone Wall:
    • The Gen 2 update adds Blissey, which is (in)famous in the games for being a damage sponge. Though her attack is sub-par, she has good defense and absolutely beastly stamina. Her HP is so high that she can actually outlast the battle timer when defending a gym, potentially locking everyone else but the most serious players out of that gym (as well as locking her and her teammates inside, which is not always necessarily desired). Her CP is also higher than the dreaded Vaporeon, placing her in the top 10 of non-legendary Pokémon. And in the event you do manage to knock one out, the gym can potentially have an Amazon Brigade of Blisseys.
    • Also joining the fray is Shuckle, which boasts absurdly high defense in exchange for rock-bottom stamina and attack. Its CP is only marginally better than Magikarp. Its moves mean nothing with its terrible attack. Its only purpose is to take hits.
  • Stupid Crooks: A crook like this got caught because of this game; seems he was looking for a gym which happened to be at a police station... where the cops were looking for him, and had a warrant. Read the amusing story here.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • Or fourth option, rather. You're given a choice of three starters when you first start the game (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle). If you walk away instead of picking one, the game will spawn Pikachu as a fourth choice.
    • Once you click on a gym after you reach level 5, you're forced to choose between Valor, Mystic, and Instinct. It is entirely possible to never pick a team, if you're willing to lock yourself out of those features of the game, by never clicking on a gym.
  • The Tetris Effect: It's not uncommon to attempt to check on a gym by looking towards its would-be location in the real world after playing for some time.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The trailer shows players battling Mewtwo, with a timer counting down. The context suggests timed missions to capture rare Pokémon are a part of gameplay. It also seemed that every participant gained a Mewtwo as a result of successfully catching the one at the event.
    • In the game itself, every wild Pokémon will only remain available to catch for a certain period of time, which varies depending on the rarity of the Pokémon in question. Any number of players can catch it during this period.
    • Gym battles have a time limit of 99 seconds for each Pokémon fought. This prevents situations where a player with an extremely weak Pokémon could, in theory, engage in Cherry Tapping against a much stronger one by dodging constantly. Pokémon need to be within a certain threshold of the defending Pokémon's CP in order to do enough damage to defeat it. At least half of the defender's CP is sufficient, though it will be a close battle. This makes Blissey a nightmare to fight, as her HP is so high it is legitimately difficult to knock her out fast enough.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Due to the immersive nature of this game, it can inspire this in real life. Please pay attention to your surroundings while playing this game, and under no circumstances play while in control of a moving vehicle.
    • The "be aware of your surroundings" message that shows up on the loading screen depicts a trainer absentmindedly looking at his phone while a Gyarados (and in the later versions, a Gengar with his trademark Slasher Smile and after that, a Steelix) is poised to attack in front of them.
    • Niantic took further steps to alleviate this problem by adding a warning pop-up each time the game loads, informing the player not to do unsafe or illegal things like play while driving or trespass onto private property. On top of that, a second pop-up was added that triggers whenever the game detects that the player is travelling above 15 mph, informing them that the game shouldn't be played while driving, which repeats every five minutes until the player slows down. The button to clear it specifies that the player is a passenger, not the driver. Further updates disabled Pokémon spawns and the ability to spin Pokéstops when travelling above 30 mph, eliminating potential distractions.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • The trailer shows two people trading Pokémon with each other, but trading is not actually present in the final game. However, whether as a response to the backlash against this or not, it has been confirmed that trading will be implemented in a later update.
    • The trailer shows a much more comprehensive tracking system for nearby Pokémon, indicating both direction and exact distance to encounter them. The actual system has gone through a couple versions, neither matching what was advertised. The first gave no direction and only indicated distance through a four-tiered systemnote , which was eventually removed entirely. The second, replacing the first not long after its removal, is a dual style "Sightings" system which either identifies the nearest Pokéstop to the Pokémon or uses a tall grass graphic to indicate that it's relatively close.
    • The augmented reality in the trailer was leagues above the actual gameplay. The AR system in the game just superimposes the Pokémon over the camera display, not taking into account any obstacles or even draw distance. The trailer, on the other hand, looks more like a game made for a VR headset.
    • The first trailer shows Pikachu using its cry from Generations I to V. In the game proper, it's the only Pokémon that does Pokémon Speak like in the main series games starting from Generation VI.
    • In the trailers, Pokémon were identified with levels like in the main series, instead of Combat Points like in the actual game.
    • Both trailers (the initial one and the second trailer showing gameplay much closer to the game's actual capabilities) show Player Versus Player battles, the first trailer even showing a three on three team battle. This feature is not in the final game and the only way to battle other players is to do so at gym locations, where you're actually only fighting an AI of the player's Pokémon.
    • The trailers show people being able to find Pokémon just about anywhere. While this is not technically false, it does assume the player is in an area with a high volume of cellular activity, which affects how many Pokémon will spawn in a given area. As many people in rural and suburban areas have discovered, spawn rates in low activity areas are significantly reduced.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Gym Pokémon are controlled by an AI, not the player. As a result, they don't bother with dodging, use their basic attack at a set rate regardless of the move's actual recharge time (which in almost all cases is lower), and will use their special attack as soon as the meter is charged even if it would be less effective than the basic attack. (For example, if their special attack is a different type which your Pokémon resists.) To counter this, players will usually place Pokémon with extremely high CP to guard gyms, so their sheer power covers their incompetence.
  • Vendor Trash: While there is no actual shop for Pokémon, players can "sell" them by means of transferring them to Professor Willow to receive one candy of that Pokémon's type. You'll end up doing this a lot to farm candies, especially for Com Mons.
  • Victory by Endurance: As long as you have the last Pokémon standing in a gym battle, you win. Made easier by the fact that you always get to use six Pokémon, while the gym could have as few as one. That one Pokémon could defeat your first five, but if you defeat it with your sixth, you win. Furthermore, as you defeat Pokémon and degrade the prestige of a gym, you can heal up and try again. So long as your potion supply isn't an issue and you can reliably beat at least one each time, victory is more or less certain barring outside interference.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Sometimes it's just easier to not swap out your Pokémon if it's hurt, or even lead with a Pokémon that only had a sliver of health left and force it to faint, since you can then use a Revive on it and automatically gain half it's health back as opposed to spending twice as many potions to heal it to full.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: In the 0.35 update, a new feature was added where you can have a Pokémon appraised by a team leader. They will comment on the Pokémon's stats, and if they're of an unusual size, they will comment on that as well. However, they will refer to the Pokémon by whatever nickname you've given it, leading to lines like this.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Ditto, which can become any Pokémon, copying their appearance, moveset, and base stats perfectly (its level, however, remains the same). This even applies to catching them; Ditto disguise themselves as random Pokémon, so you never know if a Pokémon is actually a transformed Ditto.
  • Weak, but Skilled: A player good at dodging can take down a gym Pokémon leagues more powerful than their own mon.
  • Zerg Rush: When fighting a gym held by an opposing team, you get to use six Pokémon regardless of the total currently at the gym (which can be up to ten, depending on level). This makes it quite easy to overwhelm a Pokémon individually stronger than anything you have by chipping away at them with a rush of weaker ones. Even if you can't beat the entire lineup, each one you do beat degrades the prestige of the gym by 1000 points, with the gym leader being worth 4000. If the prestige is degraded enough, the gym is downgraded by one level and the weakest defending Pokémon is removed from the lineup (assuming the gym has as many defenders as it does levels). Once its prestige reaches zero, it is rendered neutral, allowing you to place your own defender and claim it for your team. Furthermore, multiple trainers can team up against the same gym, making victory more a matter of attrition. Presumably, this is meant to make sure that gyms cannot be held indefinitely with no effort on the part of the defending team.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The 2/16/17 update made this possible. Your character can now wear long socks with a skirt or shorts, invoking this trope.

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