A comprehensive guide to Pokémon GO in Mississauga

"I just caught a Growlithe in the park over there."
"Where, across the street? Near the lure?"
"Yeah. It wasn't the first one, either - I think there might be a nest."

No, this isn't a conversation overheard between children playing pretend. This was between a thirtysomething man in Prada sunglasses and a Zegna suit, and a couple in their twenties on what looked like a date. They were playing Pokémon Go, a mobile phone game that's turned into a worldwide phenomenon.

If you've seen throngs of people absent-mindedly wandering around with their cell phones at chest height, chances are you've come across some Pokémon Go players. And based on the unprecedented popularity of this game, you might even be one of those players. Whether you're a Pokémon master, or just wondering what all the fuss is about, Modern Mississauga has you covered. For the newbies, we've got an overview of what the game is and why it's so popular; for the experts, we've got tips, tricks, and some of the best Pokémon hunting grounds in Mississauga.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a mobile phone game where you catch, train, and battle creatures known as Pokémon. What makes this game unique is that it can't really be played at home; because it uses your phone's GPS and location data, it requires you to go out into the world to find these Pokémon and gather the tools (known as Pokéballs) needed to catch them.

How much does Pokémon Go cost?

Pokémon Go is free to play, but you can purchase in-game items to give yourself some advantages and make the game a little easier.

What are some benefits to playing Pokémon Go?

The number one benefit is that it gets you out of the house and walking around. Not only will you be getting some exercise, but you might discover parts of your neighbourhood that you didn't even know existed!

What are some downsides to Pokémon Go?

There have been reports of people trespassing into dangerous areas, videos of car accidents involving Pokémon Go players (don't play and drive!), and a number of other instances that mainly boil down to people going where they shouldn't or otherwise not paying attention. There have also been complaints that the sheer number of Pokémon Go players concentrated in certain areas, like Central Park in New York or the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in Toronto, are impeding the local flow of traffic and hindering normal operations.

6 TIPS FOR POKÉMON MASTERS

This section isn’t for the beginners. This is for people looking to take their Pokémon Go game to the next level. Do you want to be the very best - like no one ever was? Then check out the tips below!

BRING EXTRA BATTERIES

Pokémon Go eats cell phone batteries for breakfast. I've seen a phone go from 100% to 50% in less than half an hour of playing, so it's wise to use a battery case or bring one of those portable USB batteries on your journey.

HUNT IN PACKS

Pokémon Go is much more fun in groups. Wandering the city with another person helps pass the time, and the thrill of the hunt is infectious - seeing other people excited about a rare catch lets you share in their joy, and it never hurts to have a second set of eyes (and legs) looking for Pokémon.

USE LUCKY EGGS WISELY

Lucky Eggs give you double XP for 30 minutes, and you don't get many of them for free, so you should make those minutes count. Evolving a Pokémon normally nets you between 500 and 1000 XP, so hold off on evolving for as long as you can, then do a bunch when you activate a lucky egg. If you're quick, you can usually complete 30-40 evolutions before the timer runs out.

GET THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Pokémon Go is free to play, and in my opinion, most of the items in the store aren't worth buying. The one exception here is Egg Incubators. Depending on where you live, hatching eggs may be your best/only shot at acquiring certain rare Pokémon. Additionally, you only have 9 egg slots in your inventory, which means you can't get any more eggs until some of them are hatched. Last and perhaps most importantly, hatching eggs requires you to walk long distances while things like Lures require you to be stationary (near a PokéStop), so Incubators are the best way to keep fit and have fun!

CATCH 'EM ALL

Mississauga's Drowzee infestation shows no sign of slowing down.

Mississauga's Drowzee infestation shows no sign of slowing down.

You may think you have enough Pidgeys and Weedles, but all Pokémon you catch will still net you some experience and Stardust, which you need to power up your lil' guys. Also, Pidgeys only need 12 Candies to evolve, so you can save them up, evolve a bunch at once and net a ton of XP in conjunction with a Lucky Egg. (This advice doesn't apply to Drowzees, which are a plague on the GTA, and require 50 Candies to evolve)

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

In-game screenshot (left) vs. real-life location (right)

In-game screenshot (left) vs. real-life location (right)

As with real estate, location is one of the most important elements of Pokémon Go.

In-ground power outlet at Community Common Park

In-ground power outlet at Community Common Park

The absolute best spot in the city for Pokémon hunting is the area in and around Celebration Square. There are dozens of PokéStops and almost always an active lure. There are always other players around, which I find makes me feel more comfortable. And here's a secret for the true Pokémon master - there are power outlets built into the ground at Community Common Park, just across from the Second Cup at the corner of Living Arts and Princess Royal Drive, which means you can bring a charger and play for as long as you want!

Chalk sign in Streetsville

Chalk sign in Streetsville

My second-favourite spot is Streetsville, in and around the Village Square area. Lots of PokéStops (usually with lures in them), umbrellas for shade on those hot sunny days, and benches every few feet so you don't have to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to get that perfect Pokéball throw. Plus, it's just a nice area to walk around and have a coffee or a bite to eat, and the local businesses are very supportive!

One of the worst spots is inside Square One (which does have a few PokéStops and Gyms), because your phone will struggle to find a GPS signal, making it tough to hit certain stops and messing with your KM counter for egg hatching. You should also try to avoid secluded, heavily wooded areas - no amount of Pokéballs are worth the number of bug bites, trust me.

 

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