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), minus their legendaries, Smeargle, and Delibird, 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. The majority of Generation 3 (Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire) were added in four batches between October of 2017 and February of 2018.

In June of 2017, raids were added to the game, which allows groups of players to team up to fight a single giant "boss" Pokémon. These were soon followed by raids featuring legendary Pokémon, starting with Lugia and the three legendary Kanto birds. Legendary raids appear on a rotational basis, with a new species being featured approximately once per month.

In March of 2018 a Field Research system was added, which allows players to undertake daily quests for rewards. A one-time quest chain called Special Research is also available, with the mythical Pokémon Mew as a reward for is completion.

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).

Pokémon GO contains the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    A-C 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: In spite of the dose of reality players got, water Pokémon that should realistically exist only in oceans, lakes, and rivers can be found floating in landlocked regions.
  • Achievement System: Medals are earned by achieving certain milestones such as traveling so many kilometers, catching so many Pokémon of various types, hatching eggs, or fighting enemy Gyms. While originally just cosmetic, certain badges now offer rewards for completing each tier.
    • Earning the badges for catching certain amounts of a type of Pokémon grants a bonus to the capture rate for that specific type. For example, each tier of the Schoolkid medal adds +1 to the capture rate for Normal-type Pokémon.
    • Certain other badges unlock the ability to purchase unique clothing options themed around that badge. For example, leveling up the Gym Leader badge by defending gyms unlocks three sets of clothing themed around the three team colors.
  • 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 is one of the strongest Pokémon commonly available, and is the favored counter to the extremely difficult-to-beat Blissey, thanks to having just the right mix of attack and defense, and a resistance to Blissey's fairy-type move Dazzling Gleam.
    • 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 fairly 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 Zapdos.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Due to the way attack and defense were originally calculated, the game heavily favored 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 was a measly 1813, lower than both Golbat and Pidgeot. This is also why Jolteon was relatively weak compared to its kin, since it relies more on speed than they do. The current system gives much more weight to the stronger of a Pokémon's attack/special attack and defense/special defense stats, creating a system much more in line with the main games.
  • 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 Poké Stop. 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 Poké Stops. 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 Poké Stops, 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.
  • All for Nothing:
    • You can spend minutes trying to catch a rare Pokémon with high CP and/or a low catch rate and blowing through several Poké Balls and berries only for you to either catch it and discover its IV's are abysmal, or even worse, see it escape.
    • Hatching an Egg, or catching a Raid Boss, only to discover that the Pokémon's IV's are not good enough to get the best responses from the team leader's evaluations.
    • Following a grueling and challenging Raid Battle against a Legendary when you're given the opportunity to catch one- an elusive legendary Pokémon of all things, and it flees — wasting all the effort it took you to find a group of players to defeat it and leaving several of your Pokémon fainted in the war against the Legendary. Somewhat subverted, as you're still walking away with at least 10,000 XP for winning the battle itself and, possibly, rare items that can only be acquired in raids (and rewards from Legendary raids have the best chance of generating those rare items).
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Before the release of Generation 2 Pokémon, there was no way of identifying a Pokémon's gender, much like in the original Pokémon Red and Blue. Even now, a Pokémon's gender is only listed on its stats screen, so unless the Pokémon is a One-Gender Race like Jynx or Tauros, experiences Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism like Nidoran, or has more subtle gender differences like Pikachu or Venusaur, you're not going to know if that wild Pokémon is a boy or a girl until you catch it.
    • 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 female.
    • 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.
      • Players can also change their avatar's "style" at any time, compared to the main series which lock you into your selected gender (and in later games, skin color) upon starting.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Candela of Team Valor has brown skin, standard animesque features, and no further details about what race she could be.
  • 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 Poké Stops, 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 Poké Stops. (If you live in a place that doesn't have many Poké Stops, you can submit potential locations to Niantic on their website to get some.) The Poké Stops 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.
      • Downplayed with Niantic's announcement that Stops and Gyms may only be submitted through Ingress and once approved for that game, possibly (with no guarantee) that it will be added to Pokémon Go.
    • 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. Subverted, you can still witness the Pokémon escaping from your device while everyone else catches it.
    • With none of the original five Evolutionary Stones in the game (and thus, no Fire, Water, or Thunder Stone), the original three 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 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 opposing Pokémon's "Motivation" (happiness level and CP)note . 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. However, a later update more or less removed the prestige system entirely and limited Gyms to 6 Pokémon instead of 10. It also made Gym Pokémon lose Motivationnote  over time unless fed berries to keep them happy.
    • 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 (between 1 and 5 km, or 20 km for legendaries) similar to an egg which earns one or two candies every time you reach that goal. This makes earning candies for rare Pokémon much easier, though still a slow process. Magikarp, Swablu, and Wailmer in particular benefit from this, as they all require 400 candy to evolve but only need to be walked 1 km per candy.
    • 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 Poké Stops 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 Poké Stops 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. Subverted in the case of shiny Magikarp, which can turn out to be non-shiny Ditto.
    • 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.
    • Legendary Pokemon encountered as a reward for completing a seven-day Research Breakthrough have a 0% flee rate, meaning that a player can use a Pinap Berry on it, and take as many tries as necessary to capture it. To go through an entire week of completing tasks, only to have the legendary Pokemon flee after a failed throw, would be cruel even by the standards of Classic Video Game "Screw You"s.
  • 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.
    • For a short time after release of the weather system, the game would discourage players from going outside during "Extreme" weather conditions by removing all weather-related bonuses. While the game still warns of severe weather, there is no longer any penalty for actually playing under such conditions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Brilliance: While the game tends to be notoriously bad in picking teams against a rival gym, when facing a Raid Boss the AI will pick a team not only based on the Boss's types, but also what attacking moves they carry (something the player can't even know until the battle begins). This can mean if a Boss Exeggutor knows psychic attacks, it won't suggest your Poison-types to face it, or if a Boss Magmar knows Karate Chop, it'll refrain from suggesting your Rhydon over your Vaporeon.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The game is not very good at constructing default teams for a player to attack a gym with. The game will arrange a team based on what elements would be good to attack the gym with on average but doesn't take CP or the order of the gym's mons into account. This could leave the player with a party that includes an 800 CP ground type to attack a 2,400 CP water type.
    • It's even worse in raids, especially Tier 5, where the game prioritizes Blissey and other Tanks with high survivability but lackluster offense. Many a Tier 5 raid have been lost due to impatient players diving into battle with Blissey and Snorlax.
  • 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 well as No More Heroes. 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:
    • Gyms are captured by beating the Pokémon other players have left behind to defend it. 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.
    • Under the old Gym system, a Gym's standing Leader was determined by who has the strongest Pokémon in it. So if the strongest Pokémon present had 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. However, there is the exception of some flying/levitating creatures that will move left and right, which are easier to keep centered (and therefore hit) with AR.
    • Gyarados. While a very powerful Pokémon overall, the sheer effort required to get one (400 Magikarp candies, or 101 Magikarps) makes going for the slightly weaker but far easier to obtain Water-type Vaporeon (only 25 Eevee candies, albeit with only a 1 in 3 chance of getting the proper evolution) a more appealing option.
    • 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.
    • Using the Pokémon Go Plus accessory. While it's great to be able to catch Pokemon at a much faster speed than engaging them on your phone (as well as being able to catch them without running the game), you'll find that it does a rather poor job at attempting to catch Pokémon, with many otherwise easy catches escaping and the peripheral quickly draining your stock of normal Poké Balls.
    • While Slaking has an obscenely large CP with the stats to match it, its Quick Move is always the non-damaging Yawn which is only used to charge for its Charged Move. Because Pokémon defending a Gym are programmed to use Quick Moves at a certain pace as opposed to how fast one's fingers can mash the phone screen, Slaking charges and deals damage at a much slower pace on defense, and amounts to little more than a punching bag for attackers.
    • Several Legendary Pokémon can boil down to this trope. Unless caught during their favored weather, they are usually caught at CP lower than the Pokémon you fielded to beat them, and the only way to get the candy to power them up is to either catch more of them through their Raids, which is a tedious task that is moot if the Legendary flees, or invest Rare Candy into them, which involves hoping you get more Rare Candy from the Raids you complete. note  Even if you've powered them up to outstrip your other Pokémon, there's still the fact that they can't be used to defend Gyms, making them only good for taking down other Gyms or defeating more Raid Pokémon. Legendary Pokémon which are not brought up to speed with one's strongest fighters are ultimately just trophies you get for their capture.
  • 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:
    • Certain extremely common species such as Pidgey and Weedle have the benefit of requiring only 12 candy to evolve into its second stage, as opposed to 25 or 50 for most species. While catching and evolving such common species is boring, it's an extremely efficient source of experience, especially when combined with a Lucky Egg.
    • Hatching a Pokémon from an egg may not be as exciting as catching it in the wild, but egg-hatched Pokémon are likely to have excellent IVs and often come with enough candies to evolve to their next stage right away, and some eggs contain species difficult or impossible to find in the wild.
  • Born as an Adult:
    • As in the main series, some Pokémon were introduced before their baby forms, such as Pikachu before Pichu. Before the corresponding baby form was added to the game, the adult form could hatch from an egg.
    • Unlike in the main series, where Pokémon (starting from Generation IV) hatch at the lowest level, a Pokémon will hatch at a level equal to the player's level at the time they obtained the egg (maximum of 20). 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 Poké Stops, and records the player's steps to aid in hatching eggs and gaining movement achievements. However, it is a Press Start to Game Over 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.
  • Calling Your Attacks: When catching wild Pokemon, they will shout their cry before they attack in an attempt to deflect your ball.
  • Camera Screw:
    • Poké Stops 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.
    • The camera in gyms adjusts its zoom to fit all the defenders within its field of view. This causes problems when larger-than-average Pokémon, such as Steelix or Hariyama, are among the defenders, where the other defenders appear small and thus hard to tap. This is especially prominent with Wailord, which is about as large as all the other defenders combined (excluding aforementioned larger-than-average Pokémon) - the other defenders appear tiny and clumped together next to Wailord.
    • Wailord causes an even worse camera screw as an attacker during gym fights, where it blocks most of the screen making it near impossible to see what's going on.
  • 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.
    • When a player's Pokémon is removed from a Gym, the player earns 1 coin for every 10 minutes that Pokémon has defended the Gym for. A maximum total of 50 coins can be earned per day this way.
    • 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. Slaking tops the chart at 4548, while legendaries typically range between 3300 and 4000. The weakest are Magikarp and Feebas, who max out at a puny 220 CP, but evolve into the mighty Gyarados and Milotic at 3281 and 2967 respectively. 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.
    • Players have a limit of ten berries per hour that they can feed to Pokémon in allied gyms. Any attempt to go beyond that will give a message that the Pokémon in question is full and not interested in eating further.
  • Clingy MacGuffin:
    • Eggs cannot be discarded; you have to walk them until they hatch to get rid of them. This is problematic if you are looking for a specific type of egg (for example, purple eggs contain many of the rarest species) or an event is giving away better-than-normal eggs but your egg storage is already full of the standard types.
    • Mythical Pokémon (such as Mew) cannot be transferred, taking up permanent space in your Pokémon storage. Thankfully you can also own only one of each, preventing you from filling up your storage with untransferable Pokémon.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Eggs have green, orange, or purple spots to indicate that they require 2, 5, or 10 km respectively to hatch, and each color has their own list of Pokémon that they could possibly be.
  • Com Mons:
    • While what Pokémon that have become these over time has changed over time (with some lesser common Pokémon having greater spawn rates in some areas compared to others), the current selection of overly common spawns include Weedle, Pidgey, Ratatta, Spearow, Venonat, Paras, Eevee, Sentret, Ledyba, Spinarak, Hoothoot, Natu, Murkrow, Poochyena, Zigzagoon, Wurmple and Swablu.
    • In different weather conditions, the encounter rates of Pokémon with specific types will increase slightly, such as Grass, Ground, and Fire-type Pokémon appearing more commonly in clear skies and Poison, Fighting, and Fairy-type appearing more often under cloudy weather conditions.
    • During timed events, the spawn rates for specific Pokemon of a type or certain theme are jacked up significantly, though the above Com Mons will still appear with great frequency.
    • Initially played straight with Zubat, until the Johto update in February 2017 reduced its encounter rate to be slightly lower than "uncommon" finds such as Hoppip and Marill. It temporarily returned to this status for the Halloween event of 2017 before slipping back into uncommon rates.
  • Consolation Prize:
    • If a wild Pokemon flees, you still get 25 XP for your effort.
    • If you fail to capture a raid boss after a successful raid, you still get other rewards like Golden Razz Berries, revives, Rare Candies, and sometimes a TM or two, as well as lots of XP.
  • 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 
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Raid Pokémon function like this, due to having CP in the ten thousands granting them monstrous stats. They are designed for a group of up to 20 to take down; to attempt to defeat a high-difficulty Raid alone is a nigh-impossible task. Raid Pokémon also do not telegraph their attacks, and given the tight time limit, a common strategy is to completely ignore dodging and simply bash it until it goes down. Most Tier 4 raids can be completed with a group of at least 4 or 5, though, while Tier 5 usually require 5 to 8 to take down.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: When selecting a berry to feed a wild Pokémon, the Pinap Berry has always been the left-most berry in the row since the berry selector was implemented. As of the gym rework update, there's a new berry, the Too Awesome to Use Golden Razz Berry. When you have all four types of berry in the inventory, the Golden Razz is located offscreen to the left of the Pinap (which is in its usual leftmost location) which requires swiping to get to, but when you only have three or fewer types (excluding the Golden Razz), the Golden Razz takes the Pinap's place as the leftmost onscreen berry, making it easy to accidentally select it instead of the Pinap.
  • 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 also extends to gyms as a whole. Since the defending Pokémon's motivation goes down when defeated, it becomes easier to beat on the rematch, and any sufficiently persistent determinator with enough time (and revives) can simply chip away at the gym over and over again until it's taken down or leveled up.
  • 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, Poké Stop, 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: 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.
    • Subverted by the research task to "visit three Pokéstops you haven't been to before", generally a task best done by driving outside of your usual stomping grounds.
  • 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: Catch rate is based on Pokémon level, and players only encounter Pokémon up to their own level, so catches are pretty much 100% success 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 CP is on level as well as species, so they still won't be nearly as strong as those caught by a high-level trainer.
    • Beedrill and Pidgeot are relatively easy to raise because Weedle and Pidgey are so abundant, due to their Com Mon status.
    • Eevees are possibly the strongest Disc-One Nuke of them all, as four out of Eevee's five evolutions are considered strong enough to be viable even in high-level meta, despite being almost as common as Pidgeys.
    • 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 (Poké Stops, 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.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Low-density areas such as industrial parks and suburban neighborhoods tend to have a disproportionate number of spawn points in comparison to Poké Stops, meaning that it's easy to grind for stardust and experience points in these areas, but also easy to deplete one's supply of Poké Balls.
  • 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. Though you can get free coins by dropping Pokémon into gyms your teammates have conquered, capturing enemy gyms or participating in raids will be frustrating as most other players will likely be using Pokémon at least twice as strong as your own. Things get easier once the player grinds enough candy to fully evolve some of their Pokémon and start adding higher-CP Pokémon to their battle roster. Unlocking Pinap Berries at level 18 and Ultra Balls at level 20 further aids this process.
  • 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, "Rainer" for Vaporeon, "Sakura" for Espeon, or "Tamao" for Umbreon. The first three 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", while the last two 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". Niantic themselves confirmed this method works.
    • If you have a Pikachu as your buddy Pokémon and you walk 10km with it, it will sit on your shoulder on the profile screen. Same occurs if you have Eevee as your walking buddy.
    • If you throw a Pokéball at a Kangaskhan and it lands near the pouch, it'll land inside it next to her joey instead of capturing her.
  • Encounter Bait: The Incense and Lure Module items attracts Pokémon to the user and a Poké Stop 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.
    • A straighter example is Raid Battles, where any player of any alignment can work together to destroy the Raid Boss Pokémon.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: If Professor Willow assigns you a quest that requires you to spin PokéStops, you must spin them by hand rather than use the Pokémon Go Plus to collect the rewards from it.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice: The already attractive player avatars were given new costume options in the form of the "Jogger" outfit—the female avatar gets a tight midriff baring top, the male gets a tight sleeveless shirt and both of them get extremely short shorts.
  • 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. The three birds became available through raid battles.
  • Flashmob: Many Raids, at least in highly populated areas and especially high-tier raids, are this. A Raid consists of a co-op Boss Battle against a stronger-than-normal Pokémon at a random gym. While Tier 1 and Tier 2 raids can be completed alone, higher-tier raids require multiple players. Tier 5 raids in particular (which contains the rarest and strongest boss Pokémon) essentially enforce this trope, requiring at least 6 players to complete. While legendary Pokémon raids often manage to draw together enough players by themselves, it's common practice to coordinate through chat groups such as Discord and Facebook groups, sometimes bringing 20+ or even 30+ players together.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • Poké Stops 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.
    • When you successfully dodge an attack, your Pokémon will take the full damage, and then the game automatically adjusts this so that it takes partial damage, instead. This works for the most part, however if the attack would have originally knocked your Pokémon out, the game will still reflect that your Pokémon had fainted at first and try to summon the next member of your team, and then realize the original Pokémon hasn't fainted yet and try to bring them back again, and then sometimes repeat the process as the game seems to not know what to do. This can cause an extended period of time where you unable to reliably make any attacks or dodge any damage, and lose precious time. This can be specially painful if you're fighting a Damage-Sponge Boss like Snorlax or Blissy where every second counts, or if you're in a Raid Battle and your Pokémon starts freaking out right at the last sliver of health.
    • Multiple Trainers in a single battle can really put a monstrous strain on what the game can handle, and can result in massive lag that can cost victory. This is especially problematic during Raid Battles, where it's likely there will be 4+ Trainers fighting a single super-powered foe, where making the best use of every available second can mean the difference between winning and losing (or timing out).
    • Attempting to use a Pokémon Go Plus while the app is running in the background can be problematic as the app itself has a very high chance of closing in the background if a different app is loaded forcing you to re-launch the game.
  • 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.
    • The December 2017 update added "Extreme" weather alerts claiming "Pokémon seem to dislike these conditions", the effect of which reduces weather-related spawns and attack boosts. Putting aside the real-world aspect (it's intended to discourage playing outside in harsh weather), the exact opposite is true from an in-game perspective, as within the lore of the mainline Pokémon games outside of Go, there are species that can withstand (and are even found in) extreme conditions. This was later removed in an update launched in January 2018, which now allow appropriate Pokémon to spawn during Extreme weather.
  • 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 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 
  • Hand Wave: Legendary Pokémon have Undying Loyalty to their trainers, and thus can't be used to defend gyms. Why they would be more loyal to their trainers than any other Pokémon is unexplained, but it's clear that the real reason is that Niantic wants to keep legendaries from taking over the metagame (or at least more than they already have), especially considering how they would have the potential to become Demonic Spiders on defense.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The iOS-exclusive AR+ mode which expands further through the regular AR mode. The Pokémon is hidden around after the player clicks it on map, requiring the player to tap on the moving bushes to catch it, and it adds a warning bubble that require players to have some patience to avoid getting it filled. Successfully reaching them in slow pace gives you "Expert Handler" bonus reward with extra XP and Stardust after they're caught in time, but reaching them quickly will net you a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • 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. Disappointingly (or perhaps thankfully), nicknames do not appear when viewing other players' Pokémon in Gyms, instead showing the default species name.
    • Using/abusing the appraisal function to let the team leaders say weird, obscene etc things or even swear thrice, 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 Poké Stop 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 Poké Stop while the vehicle is in motion can be difficult if you're moving faster than 30 mph. The Poké Stop 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 Poké Stop 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:
    • In general, holidays and other events grant various increased rewards, such as double experience, stardust, or candy, as well as special boxes in the in-game store featuring bundled discounts.
    • Around Halloween, the game increases the spawn rates of "spooky" Pokémon (such as Gastly, Zubat, and Misdreavus), and doubles the amount of candy earned for any action. The 2017 version was also the debut of Sableye, Shuppet, and Duskull (and their shiny forms) as well as a Pikachu wearing a witch hat.
    • For Thanksgiving, experience and Stardust earned was doubled across the board. In 2016 this was issued automatically alongside the release of Ditto, while in 2017 the rewards were unlocked as part of a Global Catch Challenge for catching 3 billion Pokémon globally, culminating in the temporary worldwide release of Farfetch'd.
    • December features another special Pikachu, this one wearing a Santa hat. The 2016 event also featured the release of the game's first "baby" Pokémon (Igglybuff, Pichu, Clefa, Magby, Elekid, Togepi, and Smoochum), while 2017 marked the first appearance of the seasonal Pokémon Delibird.
    • The Valentine's Day event saw an increase in the spawn rates for pink Pokémon (such as Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Slowpoke, Exeggcute, Chansey, and Porygon), and in 2018 debuted the shiny form of Luvdisc.
    • Easter is celebrated with an "Eggstravaganza" event, giving out eggs with a greater variety of rare species and awarding double candy for each egg hatched. 2018 added shiny forms for the baby Pokémon Magby, Togepi, and Wynaut.
    • The game also celebrates the anniversary of the franchise as a whole in February and of Pokémon Go in July, with a Pikachu wearing a party hat or Ash Ketchum's hat respectively.
    • 2017 featured periodic events boosting the spawn rates for a particular type of Pokémon, such as a Water Festival for Water types or Adventure Week for Rock types.
    • In 2018 this was replaced by a monthly Community Day, where one specific Pokémon would have its spawn rate massively increased for a three-hour period, with an exclusive move and shiny form available as well.
  • Hufflepuff House: Team Instinct is often portrayed this way as it is the smallest of the three teams.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The in-game map may be perfectly flat, but players still have to navigate obstacles found in the real world. Sometimes a nearby Pokémon might be just out of reach on the other side of a busy street, river, or private property. Just because all of those things are technically surmountable doesn't mean attempting to do so is a good idea.
  • Joggers Find Death: Pokémon Go players have found dead bodies while playing this game according to CNN, 10news, and CBS.
  • 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 an extremely strong species overall relative to how easy it is . With the lightning-quick moves Water Gun and Aqua Tail, it has the third highest DPS output among water types, outmatched only by the Omnicidal Maniac Gyarados and the legendary Kyogre (of which both also play this trope straight). This is all after the species received substantial nerfs- in the early months of the game, it had the second-highest DPS overall behind Mewtwo, was capable of defeating Pokémon of types specifically designed to counter Water types, and was essentially the single most important species in the meta.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • When trying to capture Pokémon, the odds of a successful capture can vary radically, especially if the Pokémon in question is of a rare species or has CP in the quadruple digits. The stronger the Pokémon, the more likely it is to break out of any ball thrown at it. 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.
    • Obtaining a Pokémon of specific gender can be this. Unlike in main games, the gender markers don't show immediately when you try to catch a Pokémon, and some Pokémon don't have gender differences, so you can't directly determine their genders until after you caught them. Also, the gender ratio is lifted directly from main games, meaning certain species like starters, Eeveelutions and fossil Pokémon have only a 1 in 8 chance of being female.
    • 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 Generation 2, Espeon and Umbreon, are instead based on buddy walking distance and the time of day, but this can also be bypassed by naming 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. Fortunately, Raid battles may award Technical Machines, which allow a player to switch a Pokémon's move to a new one, though this has its own level of luck if there are more than two moves available since the new move is randomly chosen. This also applies to the "XL" and "XS" tags, which can be gained or lost randomly upon evolution.
      • Just caught a Mew and want to use it in battle? Good luck rolling a good moveset from an enormous move pool that has moves from every type in the game!
    • 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 are more often Ditto in disguise than others.
    • The invitation-only EX Raids. These can only be participated in if you have an EX pass for the specific gym the raid is at. Such passes are randomly "awarded" to a subset of players who have recently raided before at the gym in question, locking out everyone else from the raid. In other words, you have to not only hope that one of the gyms you've raided at before gets to host an EX raid, but that you happen to be one of the few that gets a pass. To really rub salt in the wound, EX raids are as of now the only way to obtain Mewtwo, locking most players out of completing the Pokédex. Slightly downplayed as of December 2017, though, as EX Raids now almost always take place at sponsored gyms and gyms in parks, significantly narrowing down the selection of gyms to target for an EX pass.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Magikarp, of course, which evolves into the giant sea dragon Gyarados. Since candies now cause evolution instead of simply leveling up, this game makes evolving Magikarp a challenge by requiring 400 candies instead of the usual 50 for a single-evolution Pokémon. A single Magikarp gives three candies (six if a Pinap Berry is used), plus an additional one for transferring it, meaning 58 Pinaped Magikarp are needed for a single 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 one of the best (3281 max), fifteen times Magikarp's original value, which is the single largest CP jump of any Pokémon in the game. Wailmer and Swablu, introduced in the Gen 3 updates, also require 400 candies to become Wailord and Altaria respectively, though they don't get such a massive spike in power.
    • 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 Ridiculously Cute Stone Wall that can hold a gym against almost all comers. Her absurdly high HP stat at its best serves as a deterrent to attackers due to the sheer amount of time needed to whittle her down, and at its worst can cause the battle timer to run out before she falls. Though her attack is subpar, several of her moves are super effective against Fighting types, most players' go-to Blissey killer.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Slaking retains its obscene base stats from the core series, but Pokémon GO lacks abilities and it therefore doesn't have its Truant ability to offset this. To balance Slaking and make it operate similarly to the main games, it instead has its fast attack set to the 0-damage Yawn, with its only purpose being to charge up its strong attacks.
  • 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, have abysmal catch rates, and are highly prone to escaping if they keep breaking out.
    • Ditto. They are very uncommon, hide disguised as Com Mons, and break free more frequently than their true counterparts.
    • Unown comes in 28 forms based on English alphabet letters as well as ? and !, and has an achievement dedicated to collecting all of them. This Pokémon is so rare that most players haven't even seen one on the Nearby list, let alone in a gym. It's even rarer than wild Tyranitar and more useless than Magikarp.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Snorlax and Blissey are considered the two best gym defenders due to their massive health pool and high CP, and with the right moveset are difficult to dodge or counter. Expect to see one of each in most highly-contested gyms.
  • 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.
  • Mystery Box: Pokémon Eggs. Unlike the core game series where (aside from cases where the egg is gifted) you know what species is inside as you bred them yourself, the Pokémon available inside eggs are random, selected from three different pools of species based on the egg's color (Green requiring the least amount of distance to walk to hatch but hatching into more common species, Purple requiring the most but hatching into rarer species, and Yellow being in the middle). Incubators must be used to hatch them, which can only be purchased en masse from the Shop.
  • 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 and VII 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.
    • The motivation system is lifted from Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, but has been reworked to suit the different game mechanics.
  • 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.
    • The overhauled gym system in June, 2017 produced a major nerf on gym defenders - defenders would slowly weaken over time (though this can be counteracted by feeding them berries, and they're back to normal once they leave the gym), a gym is filled when six (as opposed to the previous ten) have been placed, and finally, only one of a given species can be in a gym at any given time. This downgrades Blissey from a nightmare stacking a gym ten deep to a difficult but manageable problem that is unique in that gym.
  • 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: Pikachu has access to a total of four different hats depending on which Holiday Mode is active- a witch hat during Halloween, a Santa hat during Christmas, a party hat during the franchise anniversary in February, and Ash's baseball cap during the app's anniversary in July. A hat-wearing Pikachu will keep its hat when evolved into Raichu, and any Pichu hatched from an egg acquired during event will have the hat as well.
    • They're functional, too- any hat-wearing Pikachu can learn the quick move Present.
  • 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.
  • 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, Poké Stops, 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 Poké Stops 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 Poké Stops and gyms, and prevents you from leveling up.
    • Pokémon can be slashed out if the user is discovered to be using third-party apps like GPS spoofing and tracking apps. Slashed-out Pokémon cannot be used in Gym battles and will not yield any candy after transfer.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In iOS-exclusive AR+ mode, reaching the Pokémon too quickly (ie: instantly) will raise the warning bubble by filling it with red, increasing the likehood of Smoke Out.
  • 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!"
    • The closest the game has to a plot is Special Research, where Professor Willow assigns the player tasks to help him research how to find and catch Mew.

    O-P 
  • Obvious Beta: The initial release was pretty rough. There were constant crashing issues, the servers were unstable, and the app was (and in many cases still is) 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.
  • Olympus Mons: As in the core series, legendary Pokémon. Premeiring at the 2017 Pokémon GO Fest event in Chicago, legendary Pokémon are the target of tier 5 raids, with a new species debuting approximately once per month. Once their visit is over, the legendary Pokémon is semi-permanently retired to make room for the new one (as of April 2018, only Lugia and Moltres have made return appearances). Mewtwo can also be caught in EX Raids, which require extremely rare EX Raid Passes.
  • 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. Once they were finally released, max-level Legendary Pokémon all qualify for this trope.
    • Under the old gym system, when trying to raise the prestige of an allied gym, you were 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 earned 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 could 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.
    • Upon the release of raids, gyms now can spawn Pokémon with a CP rating in the tens of thousands. The highest level of raids are simply not possible for a single person to handle, and that one Pokémon with a CP of over 40,000 can easily curbstomp multiple trainers with a full team of six.
  • 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, as well as Eevee) ride on your avatar's shoulder if you assign it as your buddy. This isn't automatic in Pikachu and Eevee'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.
  • Play Every Day: An update introduced daily streak bonuses, in which your first Poké Stop 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 Poké Stop. If you maintain the streak for seven days, the seventh day will increase the bonus XP/Stardust to 2000 and the items from the Poké Stop 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 Poké Stop and catch at least one Pokémon daily. Later patches added in a free Raid Pass every day (provided the player doesn't already have one) and field research stamps, gaining one per day with a breakthrough bonus after 7 days.
  • 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.
    • Berries can be fed to Pokémon in an allied gym, increasing their motivation and temporarily boosting their CP.
    • Inverted against wild Pokémon with Nanab Berries, which make the Pokémon move around less, and Razz Berries, which make it harder to break out of a ball.
  • Product Placement: Prior to the December 2016 update, all Starbucks locations were turned into Poké Stops, with an advertisement in place of the regular location name. Since then, Niantic has signed deals with most mobile service carriers to include their locations as well.

    R-Z 
  • Rare Candy: The only way to power up your Pokémon's stats, as well as evolving them, is by feeding them candy. Aside from species-specific candy exclusive to Pokémon of that species, there's also a version of the Trope Namer, Rare Candy, which can be transformed into regular candy for any species.
  • 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 Poké Stop 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 Poké Stop.
    • Technical Machines, or TM:s (which replaces a Pokémon's attack with a random new one) are sometimes dropped by raid bosses, their rarity being greater the lower the tier; roughly 60% of Tier 4 raids drop them while a minority of lower-tier raids do.
  • 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 Poké Stops draws in more customers; a few have even requested them. There are even businesses such as McDonald's that pay for sponsored Poké Stops 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 Poké Stop to commit armed robbery. Team Rocket (and the rest of their ilk) aren't the only criminals players need to watch out for now...
    • 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.
    • For Gen 3, Plusle and Zangoose can only be found in Americas and Africa, while Minun and Seviper can only be caught in Europe, Asia and Australasia. Zangoose and Seviper's locations were later swapped, while Plusle and Minun are no longer regionals. In addition, Torkoal and Tropius are exclusive to South Asia and the Mediterranean basin respectively.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The research quest for Mew has 8 stages, each with 3 mini-missions. The difficulty and time-expense of each part gradually increases at first, until the 5th stage, where you have to catch a Ditto—a Luck-Based Mission requiring you to catch dozens of Com Mons—and 10 ghost-types, which is very difficult if you can't play at night and don't have a nest of ghosts nearby. But the middle mission of stage 5 is just 20 great throws, which is relatively easy. Stage 6 wants you to evolve a Magikarp—trivial if you have a ton of candy stocked up, tedious if you don't—and battle 10 raids, which takes either money or many days to complete. Stage 7, however, is quick and easy: just use 50 berries in encounters, get a single curve-excellent throw, and have a gold Kanto badge. Stages 2 and 4 each make you walk several kilometers, which takes much longer than stage 7. Stage 8 is even easier, since it has no sub-quests at all! It sends you straight to the Mew encounter, for which you have infinite balls and it can't flee, and after you catch it you can scoop up several more prizes.
  • Scratch Damage: In gym battles and raids, charge moves always cause damage; dodging just mitigates how much damage is taken. This is in part to prevent someone from Cherry Tapping a gym or raid to death with something otherwise weak, as it's impossible to fully avoid taking damage. Fast moves that aren't dodged also always cause damage, regardless of the power of the move. However, in the case of Splash and Yawn, they have 0 power, so they only do a bare minimum of damage.
  • 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 Poké Stops. That's only 400,000 Poké Stop visits.
    • At this point in the game, it is generally advised to only join Team Instinct if you want to play the game on hard mode, due to the fact in so many areas Team Valor and Team Mystic have such a stronger presence. Those who willingly choose Instinct now should expect to constantly be the underdog in the game, and have to struggle against two more powerful factions working against them.
  • 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 Poké Stops 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 maintain their Pokémon's motivation, extending their ability to defend the Gym.
  • 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 Poké Stops 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.
    • Similar case also went to Umbreon, likes its main game counterpart; its HP and Defense are very highnote , but its Attack is cripplingly low, resulting in it being the weakest Eeveelution in terms of CP, despite its advantage over Psychic and Ghost-type Pokémon. Some players are Cherry Tapping with this, though.
  • 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.
  • Temporary Online 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.
    • Due to the way the major June, 2017 update changed how gyms work, the Ace Trainer badge (for training allied gyms) is no longer capable of being earned. Any player that didn't get gold of that badge is stuck at the place they were at when the gym system was overhauled.
    • Certain Pokémon can only be obtained during limited time:
      • Delibird can only be obtained during Christmas events.
      • Pokémon with special movesets (such as Pikachu with Surf) can only be obtained during Community Day events.
  • 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.
    • Raids have a timer of 180 seconds for any given attempt; Legendary Raids last 300 seconds per attempt. Moreover, the raid itself is only active for two hours.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Technical Machines (TMs), which replaces a Pokémon's attack with a random new one, are a Rare Random Drop from raids. This rarity combined with the exclusivity of raid passes required to participate in a raid (only one free pass can be obtained each day, while "premium" passes cost 100 PokéCoins each) makes TMs this.
  • 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 Poké Stops 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 Poké Stop 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: Captured Legendary Pokémon are explained to be fiercely loyal to their trainer to the point where they will never leave their trainer's side, and thus the player cannot use them to defend Gyms.
  • 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 Motivation of a gym Pokémon, 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 its 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.
  • Violation of Common Sense: What can spawn at a given location is determined solely by its biome, the current nest rotation, and current ongoing in-game events. This can result in some spawns that make particularly little sense, like anything from the Geodude family spawning in the middle of a pool or lake.
  • 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.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: A Pokémon assigned to a gym has a "Motivation" meter that scales the Pokémon's CP and stats, making the Pokémon weaker the less motivated it is. In addition to being lowered upon defeat (kicking the Pokémon out of the gym if depleted), it declines pretty fast over time and has to be replenished by feeding the Pokémon berries.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: An annoying glitch causes Pokemon to appear at a spawn point, despite having despawned some time before; tapping it causes it to disappear with an error message. Woe be the players that turn their phone on to see a Dragonite, only to discover that it was only a glitch.
  • 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 six). 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 Motivation of the gym's Pokémon by a certain amount of CP. If the CP is degraded enough, that Pokémon is kicked out of the Gym. Once all Pokémon have been removed, it is rendered neutral, allowing you to place your own defender and claim it for your team with a grace period preventing another team from doing so. Furthermore, multiple trainers can team up against the same gym, making victory more a matter of attrition, and Pokémon in the gym lose CP as their Motivation lowers, either from losing battles or simply over time. Presumably, this is meant to make sure that gyms cannot be held indefinitely with no effort on the part of the defending team.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: One of the possible Raid bosses in Tier 1 is Magikarp.
  • 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.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/PokemonGo