While Pokemon GO [Free] players likely know the name Pokemon, there's another name to know: the developer, Niantic. Namely, because they made another geolocation game called Ingress [Free] that served as the foundation for Pokemon GO. And as it turns out, there's years of advice in playing Ingress that's useful for Pokemon GO. We already know that you can use the Ingress map for Pokemon GO, since it's based on the same data. As such, it's worth heeding tips and tricks from Ingress veterans. What you may not know is that it was once possible to submit data for where Pokemon and various gyms would be, but this was shut down. Still, if you want to know why some Pokestops are what they are, these guidelines explain why. In particular, so many churches are Pokestops because of the connection to Ingress' lore. Turns out Pokemon wasn't Satanic, it was gonna drive people to church! Literally! The point is that if Ingress grew too large for further portal submission, don't expect to be submitting your own Pokestops any time soon.

This does mean that the occasional great spot will be available – these were known as "couch portals" based on the jargon of Ingress, and were great places to get resources in that game. Here, they might just help you out with catching all the Pokemon. And it's not considered cheating, everything is just coming up Milhouse. Do note that the system is built around you not being able to do anything too fast. There's a speed limiter, where if you go too fast between Pokestops, then the game might not let you use them. Some observations have been made about the speed limiter before, and are worth keeping in mind though they are sure to be tweaked at any point. If you have a bus route that goes by a lot of Pokestops, the start-and-stop nature of public transit may help you with getting Pokestops rapidly without triggering the limits.

Again, because Pokemon GO is based off of an exiting game in Ingress, this means that there's a lot of information on just what is considered cheating, and that Niantic has methods to detect it. Making two accounts will be caught – it's known as 'multiboxing' in Ingress and people have been busted for it. More in a morally gray area is if you know someone who is on the other team in the game – if you play fair, it's not a problem, but behavior such as win trading can and will be punished. Oh, and don't be a jerkwad and trespass on private property. People have been detained for suspicious behavior in Ingress. The best behaviors in Pokemon GO are the same as in Ingress as they are in real life: be most excellent.

  • sobriquet

    Party on, dude!

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  • fabell

    Haven't been able to play since it hit the App Store. I try every few hours but it always says the servers are having issues.

    • Jigga Yankees!!!!

      click on google if u try to sign up through the web site as a new user it wont work

    • Beth Smith

      Working now without a problem. 🙂

  • dbagga84

    The one time I was able to play I realized most of the pokestops around my house are all churches I am actually in the middle of about 6 churches all within 2 blocks and 2 graveyards lol

  • baldeagle86

    I understand why the churches thing happened for Ingress, but why not make pokestops for convenience stores? It would make it way easier to go for a slurpee/coffee/smokes/WHATEVER and hit up a pokestop and catch some Pokemon on the walk back home. Instead I'm walking further, just to turn around or sit around until the pokestop refreshes. Let's see a partnership with 7/11!!!

    • CarlRJ

      I haven't seen ANY PokéStops or Gyms that aren't also Ingress portals (the converse doesn't hold - there are many Ingress portals that are not in Pokémon Go). I don't expect they'll be adding any new locations specific to Pokémon Go any time soon, because collecting such data is a huge task, and all the Ingress players have already done that for them, over the past several years.

      Also, the article does some handwaving about "occasional great spots" called "couch portals" - a couch portal is simply a portal that happens to be close enough to your house that you can hack it from your couch (this happens either by great luck, living next door to something considered culturally significant, or by managing to successfully submit something in arms reach of your house as a portal - not really possible any more, since they're not taking new submissions). So it is a great spot - but only for the person who lives there, not for everyone in general. And in Ingress, if you have some local notoriety, and have a couch portal, and that becomes known, expect the other team to smash it relentlessly.

    • http://www.maverynthia.com maverynthia

      Or even libraries. Get those kids to read books or something. Maybe even some community centers. You, fun places.. for kids!

  • ffaust

    Are you not able to battle Pokemon with Pokemon??? All I have done so far is throw some balls.

    • CarlRJ

      You do that at Gyms, which appear on your map like PokéStops, but much bigger, with a Pokemon on top.

    • Michael Gevins

      The battle aspect is also automatic, just mind power limits. Also Pokemon don't heal on their own.

      • Ross William Drew

        Battle is NOT automatic. It's very interactive. You need to tap to hit, swipe to dodge and hold to use special ability.

  • ChaosProdigy

    Go to gyms is not even real vs real player fighting. Game has no story or combat at all, throw a pokebal once per 5 min it's a joke

    • Dragontears969

      Indeed and it doesn't even work. Worst Pokemon game ever. Congratulations Nintendo!

    • Taco Tuesday

      You ever thought if they did that they would have everybody playing this f2p and forget about the handheld games ? its a mobile game hence it would get updated with new features in the future come on dude RESEARCH !!!

    • Soup Owens-Fowler

      Play Ingress then. It's the same game only cooler, bigger, and actually has a story

      • CarlRJ

        Indeed. Ingress can be a solitary thing, hacking, recharging, and linking on your nightly walk, sorta like hitting the PokéStops (but with more purpose than just collecting items - and all PokéStops _are_ ingress portals), but Ingress can also be epic realtime fights between groups of agents, for contested portals. The community around the game is awesome - as you get higher up in Ingress, there are many things that one agent can't do alone, so it naturally channels you into working together, and with just a little effort, you end up hanging out with other cool agents in your faction, making new friends.

  • Sakuness

    stop complaining. the nearest pokestop is like 50 miles in afghanistan ;(

  • Daniel Schroeder

    You mean, "...everything is just coming up Miihouse"

  • AxCheeks

    I just want to catch em all

  • Joseph Hart

    As an ingress player and Pokémon go player, I suggest that everyone get in touch with your local ingress communities. There are some areas that have become off limits due to the high volume of people causing problems. Your local ingress communities will know about these places and can keep you out of trouble.

    • coys

      why wouldn't ingress just delete those stops off the game? there should be a log of these somewhere i assume.

      • Joseph Hart

        There is a long review process for removing those points and it could take years to be reviewed. Many of these points aren't against the terms of service of the game either, but the owners of the property have requested that people not play on the property.

  • Beetlejuice

    You Poke players complain too much. Most ya'lll wouldn't last a minute playing Ingress.

  • tankslappa

    Your grasp of the jargon is poor...
    A "Couch portal" was one someone could reach from their couch at home!
    A "Desk portal" was a similar portal, but reach from your office desk.