So, you’ve checked out the Pokemon Go beginner’s guide but still can’t make up your mind whether you want to play or not? Then perhaps this list of a few pros and cons of the game might help you decide to finally put on that Pokemon trainer’s cap. If you’re a veteran player of the main Pokemon games, then it’d be wise for you to check out the differences between Pokemon Go and the main games, too. There are quite a lot, so you’d be surprised.
Pokemon Go doesn’t have anything to do with the other main Pokemon games – its gameplay is strikingly different, most especially the battle system (more on this later). Yes, players who had experience with the main games will have a clear advantage in quickly identifying type weaknesses, but the game is accommodating to everyone, both old and young. The basic gameplay is easy to understand, which mainly revolves around catching and evolving Pokemon, and visiting PokeStops and Gyms – there are no puzzles or storylines to follow. The interface is easy to grasp, too, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking at your Grandma or Grandpa in a PokeStop.
One of the game’s most marketed appeals is the opportunity for you to make new friends and socialize outside. You can do so primarily by loitering at PokeStops, which serve as pit stops for everyone. While waiting for the PokeStop to refresh, you can socialize with other trainers that are in the same predicament as you. Of course, it’s still up to you to build the courage to approach them, especially if you’re generally a very shy person. But perhaps an appearance by your long-time crush will help in that department. Hunting for Pokemon, especially rare ones, typically makes people converge on a location or two, further giving you the chance to socialize. Just don’t interrupt them while they’re throwing Pokeballs, of course.
Get exercise while playing a video game. For real.
Pokemon Go requires you to get off your chair (or bed) and go outside. Staying inside your house won’t give you the chance to catch all kinds of Pokemon and complete your Pokedex, unless, somehow, your immediate area spawns a different kind of Pokemon every day. You’ll be spending a good chunk of your time walking around while playing the game – especially when hatching Pokemon eggs – and that’s good for your health. Although check with your parents or doctors first whether you are really cleared to wander outside for long stretches.
Pokemon Go is free-to-play!
Perhaps one of the main reasons why the game has reached unprecedented success in a short time is its free-to-play status, which automatically means it’s accessible to everyone. People simply need an internet connection and they’re good to go. The game is able to rake in a ton of money due to Pokecoins, which are primarily bought using real-world money. Pokecoins can be used to buy goodies in the game’s Shop, like additional Pokeballs and incubators (for eggs). Opting not to spend your hard-earned money on the game won’t hinder your enjoyment. It’ll be more difficult for you to complete your Pokedex while relying mostly on free Pokeballs from PokeStops, but it’s doable – in fact it has more bragging rights.
Strategy is almost non-existent
Each Pokemon in the game only has two moves and they will be stuck with those two moves until the developer wakes up one day and decide to change them. Battles simply require you either tap on the screen for offense and swipe for defense (dodging). Aside from exploiting type advantages, there really isn’t much to work around, making battles pretty straightforward. You are more likely to get cramps on your fingers than actually spend time strategizing.
Internet connection is a must
Since the game makes use of Google Maps and your phone’s GPS, the internet must always be on when you’re playing. The game won’t be able to supply you with data if it can’t connect to the server. So unless you have a portable Wi-Fi device, you’re going to burn a lot of your internet data, which translates to a bigger monthly bill and a bigger amount of cash flying away from your wallet. If you neglect your allocated monthly data cap or whatever limit your service provider imposes, you might just find yourself in a situation similar to this Olympic athlete.
No mercy on battery life
As mentioned above, Pokemon Go requires internet connection to play. And that means, aside from your poor wallet, the battery of whatever device you’re using is going to take a lot of punishment, regardless whether you rely on Wi-Fi or data for connection. Sure, you can turn off AR mode and configure your phone to the lowest possible settings – like zero volume or dimmed screen – but the difference will only be marginal. You’ll be walking a lot outside while playing the game, so unless you have a lot of spare batteries, it will be easy to find yourself in situations where your battery is 1% away from allowing you to catch that rare Pokemon you’ve been hunting for days.
You’ll be prone to injury…and other stuff
The game requires your attention most of the time, especially when hunting for Pokemon. It’s easy to trip over something or bump into a wall while you’re intently looking at your device, waiting for a certain Pokemon to pop up. Worse, you might just find yourself falling off a cliff if you’re being really, really careless. There have also been reports that people are getting robbed while playing. The best way to counter this risk is to simply be mindful of your surroundings. Your experience won’t be ruined by prioritizing your safety. Besides, the last thing your mom would want to hear is you breaking your leg while catching a Magikarp.
So…should you play the game or steer clear of it?
The pros outweigh the cons because the latter aren’t exactly game-breaking. If you’re going to be wise about your playing time – like making plans beforehand when you’re going to go out and hunt Pokemon – and if you have no total disregard for your well-being, then you will have no problems enjoying the game. Also, the game is only a few weeks old, so the experience will (presumably) improve over time as the developer adjusts to the players’ demands, reviews, and curses thrown at them, like the aforementioned cons.