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Pokemon GO, an augmented reality (AR) mobile game that requires players to venture out into the real world to play, has courted many catastrophes. In search of rare Pokemon, players have stumbled into dangerous neighborhoods, fallen off ocean bluffs, and been robbed; all because they were completely immersed in the game. If not used carefully, Pokemon GO can be dangerous.
The developers were even aware of the game’s risks. On every startup, the app reminds users to stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings.
Once immersed in the game, however, such warnings are quickly forgotten. To avoid becoming a victim of the game, you’d better plan ahead. We show you how you can safely play Pokemon GO by carefully choosing how and where you play.
As a Public Transport or Car Passenger
If you spend many hours a month on buses, trains, or as a car passenger, here’s an excellent opportunity to make this time more enjoyable.
Public transport often passes through highly populated areas, which increases the number of Pokestops and your chance of spotting a Pokemon. Big stations usually have at least one Pokestop and as your train or bus stops, you have enough time to collect items and catch a Pokemon. Remember that the game requires an Internet connection, which is a challenge if the subway runs underground or if you’re on a high-speed train without Wi-Fi.
If public transport isn’t an option, look for opportunities to catch a ride with friends or family. Does your mom need someone to help her with grocery shopping? Could you join a friend while they are running errands across town? The drawback here is that you’ll be a pretty dull companion while staring at your phone, playing the game.
Remember that playing Pokemon GO is a distraction and shouldn’t be done if you’re the driver. The same is true for riding your bike, a scooter, or a skateboard: Don’t play and drive at the same time!
— CNET (@CNET) July 17, 2016
Tips for Playing in Moving Vehicles
To collect goods from an approaching Pokestop between vehicle stops, i.e. as you’re driving by, open the Pokestop well in advance, wait until you see the rings opening up, quickly spin the center to make it drop its content, and hit the X to leave the Pokestop, which will automatically collect all dropped items.
You can even pick up Pokemon on the go, given you spot and click them quick enough. Once you’re in catch-mode, a moving vehicle won’t make you lose that Pokemon, provided you actually do capture it.
Should your Internet connection drop, go into your inventory, study your Pokemon’s powers, decide which ones to trade in, and see if you collected enough candy to develop one.
Stationary Near a Popular Landmark
You don’t have to move to enjoy the game. You could park yourself close to a Pokestop and occasionally harvest items, work on your inventory, or practice your fighting moves at a friendly gym.
A known-to-be-safe popular landmark is a good choice because it likely features many Pokestops, gyms, and passing Pokemon. This could be in a park, outside a museum, or close to a famous statue. If lots of people head to this place to play the game, you might even find a Pokestop with an attached Lure Module, which will attract Pokemon to the location.
Tips for Stationary Gameplay
Find a safe location with many Pokestops and a gym, all close enough to be accessed from one single spot or with minimal movement. Maybe there’s a bench, a parking lot, or a coffee shop that works. The added benefit of the latter could be free Wi-Fi, which will cut the cost of mobile Internet.
Once you’ve found a spot you can hang out at for a while, it’s great time to use Incense or attach a Lure Module to a close-enough Pokestop, both of which will make Pokemon come to your location.
Note that an active Lure Module will also attract other players. Using an Incense is the safer option because it’s private, but it requires you to move around at least a little bit.
On Your Windows Desktop
The safest place to play Pokemon GO is from your own home. However, residential and indoor areas rarely have Pokestops or attract Pokemon. A workaround is to play Pokemon GO from your Windows desktop, which enables you to physically stay home, but virtually pick a popular location to move around in.
Playing the game on your computer is a great option if you can’t leave your house or live in a remote area with few Pokestops. It also works if Pokemon GO isn’t available for your phone or hasn’t launched in your country yet.
The drawback of this method is that it relies on providing fake location data (GPS spoofing), which violates Pokemon GO‘s Terms of Service. If caught, this could get you soft-banned for 30 minutes or several hours.
Tips for Playing on Your PC
To conceal that you’re faking your location, make realistic moves. If you use BlueStacks to run Pokemon GO, jump from one place to the next in small installments or let sufficient time pass between your moves. The Nox App Player actually enables you to move around in the game and your speed shouldn’t be an issue. In both players, stay on roads or paths and avoid walkig on water or across other unlikely landscapes.
Next time you leave the house to play Pokemon GO, be prepared. Go with friends and choose a safe location, like a well-maintained park or a public space. Don’t venture off into back alleys or parts of town you’re not familiar with. Your health and well-being are more important than capturing a rare Pokemon. It’s just a game and it’s a good opportunity to practice patience.
Have you had any Pokemon GO accidents? What else can you recommend to stay safe while playing the game? Please share with us in the comments!
Image Credits:Using cellphone outdoors by AstroStar via Shutterstock