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How to play 'Pokémon GO,' the addictive game that has everyone walking around staring at their phones

Are you ready to succumb to the world’s peer pressure and finally jump into “Pokémon GO?” Check out our guide to help you get started.

'Pokémon GO' is an augmented reality game that relies heavily on your phone's GPS and camera to work.

YouTube/The Official Pokémon Channel/Niantic

As you walk around your city, you'll see something that resembles Google Maps, but with your own avatar strutting around.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

The map is populated with three types of icons: PokéStops, Gyms, and the Pokémon themselves.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

PokéStops are like pit stops, where you will find items that you need to catch Pokémon. They're linked to real-world locations, like statues and museums.

Niantic/The Pokemon Company

You can only get items from PokéStops when you're close enough to them, which will be indicated on the map when the cube icon changes into this bigger, more swirly icon.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

In order to get items from the PokéStop, swipe from left to right across the big circle icon and a bunch of items will spill out! Here, you can see that we found three Poké Balls.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

Other items include Eggs, which eventually hatch into Pokémon after they have been incubated for long enough, and Incense, which increases your chances of finding Pokémon for a short amount of time.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company
Once you've place an incubator on an egg, you have to walk around until you've travelled the distance listed under the egg. Larger distances mean it will hatch into a rarer Pokémon!

In addition to getting items, you'll gain experience for every PokéStop you visit, which will help you level up!

Niantic/The Pokémon Company
Also, you'll notice that after visiting the PokéStop, the icon changes colour from blue to purple. This indicates that you've already gotten items from it. It will change back to blue once you can visit it again.

Levelling up is important, because you need to be level 5 in order to access Gyms, which let you battle other players!

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

The other main way to gain experience is by catching Pokémon using all those Poké Balls you got from the PokéStops.

YouTube/The Official Pokémon Channel/Niantic

Keep an eye out on your map as you walk around. When you get close to a Pokémon, it will pop up on your map. After tapping the Pokémon on the map, you'll have a chance to catch it.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

To do this, hold your finger on the Poké Ball at the bottom of the screen. Aim the ball at the Pokémon by flicking your finger upward as soon as the green circle contracts to its smallest point.

Did you waste all your Poké Balls trying to catch a particularly evasive Zubat? Keep walking around to more PokéStops to replenish your inventory!

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

If you're really impatient, you can choose to spend real-world money on items, but it's easy to stay stocked up on everything you need by just visiting PokéStops.

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

And that's how you play 'Pokémon GO!' The world is your oyster! Er, Cloyster in this case.

Niantic Labs

Ready for some more advanced tips? Here's how to master 'Pokémon GO.'

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