Whether you are a die-hard gaming couple, your significant other is obsessed with ‘catching them all,’ or you just want a unique way to explore your city, planning a Pokemon Go date day makes for a memorable – and possibly even addicting – free outing.
Regardless of if you’ve never heard of Pokemon Go before or play all the time, these tips for playing this scavenger-hunt-style game as a couple will help you plan an awesome Pokemon Go date day you may just find yourself repeating regularly.
Never Heard of Pokemon Go?
If you’ve never heard of the Pokemon Go game before, I know what you’re thinking … isn’t this for kids? Kind of, but don’t knock it just yet.
Trust me, I get it. It took me more than a year to finally agree to play this seemingly childish game with my husband. (Mind you, it was already on my phone since he just haddd to have two accounts.) But after finally giving into playing on a drunken night, it became one of our favorite go-to free date activities. (Even without booze!)
Unlike my husband, I’m far from a gamer. FAR. I am not competitive, lose interest easily, and couldn’t care less about winning imaginary prizes. But … going on the occasional mini Pokemon Go date or all-day adventure with him makes him super happy and it is a fun way to connect as a couple. It often involves walking around parks, laughing at the many ridiculous Pokemon characters, and meeting other interesting people (surprisingly, 95% adults – and lots of other couples).
So, whether your spouse is already on the path to ‘catch them all’ or you both are looking for something fun to try together, just give it a go! Worst case, you delete the free app a few hours after downloading it.
Pokemon Go Basics
If you are a seasoned ‘PoGo’ player, skip ahead. This is for those of you who have no friggin’ idea what the heck we’re talking about.
How to get the game
How to play Pokemon Go
Read through the intro when you first log into the app, after making your account, and that should help give you a basic rundown. But, the main idea is to look at your map and catch nearby Pokemon. You do this by clicking on the Pokemon, then throwing Pokeballs at it until you catch it. (Here’s a link to ALLL the Pokemon you can catch right now – and it is always updating).
Pokemon Go Terms to Know
While the basics of how to play Pokemon Go are pretty simple, once you really get into it, there are some additional aspects to the game that are helpful to know as well. Plus, some lingo you’ll want to be in the loop on.
- Friends: These are people you connect with through the game (you can search for each other by your trainer code – found in your profile). You can improve your friendship score with someone by giving each other gifts, raiding together, etc. (Read more about Pokemon Go friendships here.)
- Pokestops: These are various landmarks that give you helpful items for visiting them. They’ll show up on the map, and you just spin them once close enough. Sometimes, they’ll even lead you to a cool place you’ve never heard of.
- Team: There are three ‘teams’ within Pokemon Go represented by colors – yellow, blue, or red. You have to pick one to join and interacting with people of the same team gives you extra perks. Don’t worry, there isn’t any weird initiation process to join. However, there are turf wars of sorts …
- Gym: Designated locations in which you can battle other teams in order to take over the gym for your team – aka the turf war mentioned above.
- Raid: Battle events that take place randomly throughout the day at various gyms. There are also pre-planned raid times you can take part in and the app will notify you of those. Some Pokemon Go raid battles can be done solo, and for others, you’ll need a group of people to defeat the ‘boss’ Pokemon. (Learn more about raids here, and read our tips for raiding below on #8).
- Eggs: These are basically rewards for moving your body. You ‘hatch’ eggs by walking various distances (ranging from 2-10 kilometers, depending on the egg). Eggs can be found at Pokestops or gifted to you by friends, but you have to walk to get the Pokemon inside. (This website shares regular updates on what you can get from eggs).
- Levels: As you catch Pokemon, spin Pokestops, battle in gyms and raids, and pretty much do anything within the game, your experience and level increases. The higher your level goes, the easier it is to battle in gyms and raids.
9 Tips for a Pokemon Go Date Day
Now that your app is downloaded and you know enough about how to play Pokemon Go, you can start making a plan for your Pokemon Go date day or mini outing. Here are our pro tips for making this a fun day of gaming together:
1. Agree on Your Commitment Level
This can really be an all-day thing if you want it to be, especially if there are raids going on. So, first of all, you’re going to need to decide how intense you want this adventure to be. Come to an agreement together on how long you want to play, how far you want to drive, and if you want to interact with other Pokemon Go players.
2. Personalize Your Avatar
Before you head out, spend a few minutes on this fun pre-date activity. Name, dress, and accessorize your avatar (game person) to stand out. OR make it really funny and design each other’s! Just have fun with it and be creative. It’s a game, after all.
3. Bring the Essentials
If you are planning a longer or all-day Pokemon Go date, you’ll likely be driving, walking, and exploring quite a bit. Be sure you wear good walking shoes and bring sunscreen or other outdoor necessities. We also highly suggest bringing along snacks and water.
While you can certainly pause for a food or drink break, you may want something to hold you over if you find yourself waiting for an epic raid battle to begin. (Yes, I just said that. Be careful, once you drink the Pikachu-flavored Kool-Aid, you may become a bit nerdy, too!)
Having a portable cell phone charger with you is also key since playing Pokemon Go for multiple hours is bound to kill your phone battery.
4. Get into Character as a Gaming Couple
While this is completely optional, and probably more likely to appeal to you after you’ve played for a while, it can be fun to have a go-to Pokemon shirt or hat to wear while you play. Bonus points if you match! It’s a fun conversation starter with other players and you’ll look totally adorable in your Pokemon Go date day selfies. Because, you know there’ll be some.
Bonus: Get matching Pokemon-catching bracelets. This obviously isn’t free, but you will catch WAY more Pokemon with these. Since my husband is a total addict, of course, he has one. As for me, I still have my limits …
5. Make it a Competition
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. While Pokemon Go is technically a game, it doesn’t really have any clear winner or loser at the end of the day. But, if you want bragging rights, make a scorecard of who caught the most Pokemon, who caught the highest level Pokemon, etc.
On community days (announced within the app), they also increase the chance to get a ‘shiny’ Pokemon – special colored versions of normal Pokemon. So, if out on one of these days, you could also compete over who found the most, since it is just based on luck!
Then, at the end of your Pokemon Go date day, add up the totals and the winner has to cook dinner, clean the house, or maybe even gift you a Pokemon of your choosing! Don’t get too diabolical with it, but a little extra dose of competition can make it fun.
6. Plan Your Path
With a little bit of research, you can find out what areas of town have the most Pokemon. Sometimes there are even special Pokemon Go events – usually on weekends or holidays – where special types are ‘spawning’ and you can go in search of them.
You could also base your plan on where Pokemon Go raids are happening that day and what time (read more on raiding on #8 for pro tips on finding these). Otherwise, just pick an area of town you want to explore – maybe near a lunch or dinner spot you want to try – and see what you can find wandering around in the parks and busier areas there.
7. Get Out of the Car!
While you should NEVER play phone games while driving, some people do just park next to raids or near Pokemon they want to catch. But, it is much more fun to get out of the car and walk around. This is especially true if you’re interested in meeting some other gaming couples who are out on their own Pokemon Go date, as well as solo adventurers.
Yes, some other gamers are sure to be unique characters, but you’ll be surprised by how many are just like you. Maybe you can even team up and go Pokemon hunting together!
Oh and if you don’t have a little popper to hold onto your phone better with, it’s probably time to get one. 😉
8. If You’re Raiding, Do it Right
You could drive around looking for raids all day and just take part in them when the timing is right. OR you can join a local Pokemon Go raid chat and hop in on their plan for the day. The best way to find these local chats is by searching within Facebook groups or just ask around when you see other people out playing. Often times, the group leader will make a plan for the day to hit up as many raids as possible that you could participate in. Playing with a group will help you have a better chance to defeat some of the harder bosses also.
9. Have Fun!
You’re going around town catching cartoon creatures for goodness sake. If you can’t laugh at yourselves and have some fun during the process, you’re doing something wrong. And, if you want some creative inspiration, try the ‘AR mode’ to bring your Pokemon friends into real-life landscapes. Bonus points for creative selfies with them!
Let us know in the comments if you have gone out Pokemoning together and any tips you have!