It's still baffling to see the extent that Pokemon GO [Free] has blown up since its release two weeks ago. Even in relatively quiet suburban towns, everyone is glued to their phones to ensure any elusive Pokemon don't slip under the radar, and in big cities there have been thousands of people gathering for critter hunting en masse. As a result, it was extremely disappointing to see the massive server crashes this weekend, as walks and gatherings were spoilt and effectively rendered pointless, as there were no virtual creatures to throw balls at on the way. These major periods of server downtime are unavoidable - however, some of the smaller bugs and freezes that occur during normal gameplay of Pokemon GO can be avoided or compensated for. Don't let a glitch stop you from catching your ten-thousandth Pidgey; here are the steps you should follow for the most seamless Pokemon catching experience currently possible.

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1. Sign up with a Google account, not through the Pokemon Trainer Club

Unfortunately for many players who have immersed themselves within the augmented reality experience of Pokemon GO, this may no longer be an option, but for anyone who has yet to start, this is certainly a crucial piece of advice. When the game gives you the option of signing up with either a Google account or through a Pokemon Trainer Club login, definitely choose the former. There are various accounts on Twitter, and from personal experience, of people who sign up through the Trainer Club experiencing far less stable servers, which is the last thing you need while either catching Pokemon or putting down time dependent lures or incense. The draconian and pervasive Google account restrictions of the original launch have also been greatly reduced, so the alleged security and privacy risk the game may have had is significantly less. At the very least, create an alternative account or email address to sign up for Pokemon GO - just make sure you do it through Google and not the Pokemon Trainer Club.

2. Close every open app and restart your phone before playing Pokemon GO

This is also a fantastic fix if you are ever stuck on the Gyarados loading screen - double clicking the Home button on your phone, closing every other app and then restarting your phone has been a great way of getting past any restrictions to logging in. Furthermore, it could also prevent any crashes or freezes during actual gameplay, and it will also go a way to alleviating the terrible battery drain that Pokemon GO inflicts on your smartphone. That being said, investing in a portable battery device is definitely the best bet once you manage to actually get onto the game.

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3. If it freezes after throwing a Pokeball, wait thirty seconds and restart the app

Having the game freeze while zooming in on the Pokeball before it starts rolling - coined the 'Zoom of Doom' by my friends - was possibly the most frustrating bug currently in Pokemon GO, yet it doesn't necessarily mean the loss of that rare Pidgeot you tried so hard to catch. If this glitch does occur, wait on the frozen screen for around thirty seconds to a minute (normally until the spinning grey Pokeball in the top left corner disappears) and close the app through double tapping the Home button. Afterwards, simply start Pokemon GO again, and check your Pokemon collection by your most recently caught. If you're lucky, the Pokemon that the game froze on may be in your roster, and the crisis averted. If it is not, make sure you stay in the location you found the Pokemon in the world map and it will almost certainly reappear for another shot at being caught.

4. Take your time, and only tap once

This was the number one rule with computers when I was growing up, and for a game as unstable as Pokemon GO it's one that is still relevant today. Any time you choose an option in the game, whether that is clicking on a Pokemon, a menu button or to challenge a gym, just do so once. More often than not, after a few seconds it will load your desired choice. If it doesn't after a significant period of time, restarting the app will likely fix the issue. What is for certain, however, is angrily tapping a button multiple times will cause the game to crash or freeze, so to become a true Pokemon master, patience is a virtue.

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5. Check the Pokemon GO subreddit or our forums for the status of the servers

If all the above doesn't help you play Pokemon GO, it may not be a problem with your phone or even your area - there could still be global stability issues owing to the expanded launch of the game and the server strain this will cause. Have a quick check of the Pokemon GO subreddit, or even our forum thread, and see if other players from your area/country/the world are experiencing the same issues. If they are…

6. Wait for Niantic to fix the game

The only definitive option to fixing the crashing issues and server instability for good is to wait for Niantic to fix all of the problems with the game. Pokemon GO is a fantastic experience when it works, however more often than not it doesn't seem to work as we may have liked. It is extremely frustrating, but Pokemon GO has reached an unprecedented audience far beyond any iPhone app or even video game in general, and it will take a while for Niantic to make it a truly solid experience. Until then, share your problems with the official Pokemon GO site, at Niantic on Twitter, or on our forums, and hopefully Pokemon GO will become a more seamless experience sooner rather than later.

  • Jbruno99

    Step 1 is impossible cus like. EVERYONE ALREADY IS PLAYING THE GAME

    • Rob Funnell

      Hence literally the first sentence of that section

    • Party of No Compromise

      You can get a new gmail account and start over...

      • Maude St. Nubbins

        Yeah, just throw away all of my progress and permanently put a wall between Go and my pre-existing Trainer account, the one I've been using since Pokemon X/Y. Sounds like a great compromise, thanks for the advice!

      • Party of No Compromise

        No need to get snarky, I assumed that (like me), most players signed up for a Pokémon account and are now sick of the crashes but are reluctant to tie in their main gmail accounts to the action. If you Pokémon account actually has value then you do whatever you deem fit.

      • gatsuku2

        You can always sign in and out of the 2 accounts it doesn't permanently lock to that google account like in other games

  • Kallizm

    I love TA to death but that article title is so click-baity.

    • Rob Funnell

      Unintentional, and even now I'm struggling to think of an alternative. Now it's launched everywhere, the game's freezes etc have definitely taken over the narrative, and already contributed to two spoiled gatherings from my experiences and is all my friends talk about.

    • Zerol3onheart

      The only bit that was helpful was closing all apps and restarting before playing. I'll try that next time I play to see if it sucks less.

  • prince_david

    I hope with all this income and type Niantic makes bug fixes and updates the game more later. I'm concerned this will be just a fad but the game can be so much more

  • bcredonk

    I would definitely not sign up with a google account. I know they released a fix that requires less permissions from your google account, but right when this released the app had full permission to view and send email. Disastrous if someone steals that info from them

    • torosama

      Except that if you read the articles, the guy that released the info stating it had full access clearly retracted what he said saying he had NO PROOF that it gave access to emails. The problem had more to do with what full access meant and it didn't mean what everyone thought.

      • Zerol3onheart

        Plus - PLUS- they've corrected that issue and it only asks for basic info. Sorry all Google conspiracy theorists; nothing to see here, move along.

      • bcredonk

        They fixed it but if you check the permissions in your google account it had access to basically everything it could

  • Castle Croc

    This is not correct:

    "This is also a fantastic fix if you are ever stuck on the Gyarados loading screen - double clicking the Home button on your phone, closing every other app and then restarting your phone has been a great way of getting past any restrictions to logging in."

    I only have a source stating why this doesn't help battery life:

    But it just isn't how apps work (on iOS), having others either in the background or suspended and not running can not and will not affect another game.

    • dancj

      Yeah. I was a bit sceptical about that one too

    • Rob Funnell

      Thanks for the clarification. At the very least, restarting your iPhone has consistently helped me reconnect when the app had been acting up. Again, not certain how successful that is, but certainly worth a try.

      • Tallgeese

        It's predominantly their servers and not your phone. The advice about waiting for the pokeball to hopefully catch when it's frozen is good though, although it is also possible it would work without it depending on when the catch-or-not is decided, so... hopefully they'll be more concrete answers from the panel...

  • Alexythimia23

    I simply cannot believe the amount of people playing this...young children, teens, adults, middle aged and elderly. It is so popular that that is all you see where i am from people on their phones trying to catch Pokemon! Id love to know how much money they are making from this? I cant blame ta for writing about this as its an event that rarely takes place and on this magnitude maybe first time ever? Man imagine if we collectively put this much effort in world peace....we would get it it done within a month!

  • Alexythimia23

    Also had anyone noticed the uk appstore has never had pokemon advertised on its page?? Yet its this successful?!

    • Tallgeese

      I think it's gotten so much press outside of its normal sphere they decided not to throw any money on advertising Apple's way. So regardless of its popularity, we all get Ghostbuster's ads anyways...

      • Alexythimia23

        Wow really?! Thats crazy! Its so popular apple does not even need to advertise it!
        , wow....i thought it was strange not having any sort of spot on app store, and i mean nothing. In fact if it wasn't so big no many would realised its been relased!

  • Zerol3onheart

    I hope they fix the Pokémon Tracker stuck at 3 footprints no matter what. That sucks.

    • Tallgeese


      • Tallgeese

        I just encountered that, no matter how close I got even visible pokemon were always showing as 3 footprints away. I read that during the beta all the pokemon had number values instead (I don't know exactly what that means because I couldn't find a screenshot, so maybe just 1s, 2s, and 3s? or actual ft/m to target. < that last part would be sweet and so helpful ) I also heard hackers were using a DOS attack to keep people from locking in over the weekend. Not sure if that's fur reelz or just the party line. Can't wait till Trump makes good on his promise to fix all the poke problems "in the classiest way possible." Oh and I totally saw a guy geospoofing and playing the game from the comfort of his PC on Twitch after the EVO SF finals. Not sure if they can fix it but he didn't look disabled but people sure were givin' him the cyber threats on the chat.... Eh, to each their own though...

  • Press2Play

    I think this game is going to last for a long time thinking about how many generation pokemon has, although it's not yet available here in the philippines can't wait to see all the latest/newest pokemon scatter all around the world.

  • Andre

    I cant see any of the pokemons that other people with me are seeing. if a group of us set up a lure at a stop, they will see bunch of them popping up, while my screen is empty... I can use the stops and find a pokemon or two at very spread out places, but I can not see the pokemons that everyone else is seeing...

  • Relicsage

    I cannot stress this enough
    i have reinstalled pokemon go 3 different times
    i have reset my phone
    i have restored to factory settings
    i have gps (high accuracy) on. I have full 4G reception And a mobile broadband wifi on
    i have done every conceivable thing. Ive waited over 9 days for changes/chances but nothing is changing or working.
    i am unable to even get so far as have the option to enter in my google account details.
    Meanwhile my mother on an older phone can make several accounts with no worries from the same location at the same moment from the same wifi.
    why the actual fuck is this happening.
    ive waited for 18 months for this game. My mother doesnt even LIKE pokemon and shes having a blast and i cant even create a damn account on my own phone.

    • Siti Aisha Abdul Latiff

      hey, this is happening to me too. It's so frustrating that everyone else is playing the game just fine and I can't get past the loading screen for hours

  • Fashbinder

    I've noticed lately that while I am in the company of many trainers or even just a couple they will see rare Pokemon drops like porygon or electabuzz or even just a squirtel and nothing will show up for me. I'll hear like ten people at once raving about seeing or catching some great Pokemon and I won't even get a glimpse of it.

    I'm not sure if this is an IOS issue or what but restarting my phone, reinstalling the app, switching on and off my internet connection or location services does nothing. It's really quite a shame that I be gotten pretty much as far as I am off mostly pidgey.

    It could be my phone since I'm using an IPhone 5s but most people I see play use androids of all sorts and I don't see any of them having this issue. Any feedback would be great especially if there is someone else having this problem.