Jio Brings Pokémon GO to India: here is everything you need to know to get started

Five months after the release of Pokémon GO, Jio has managed to get Niantic to launch the game in India, here is all the information needed for new players.

Five months after the release of Pokémon GO, Reliance Jio has managed to get Niantic to launch the game in India. The launch used the sponsored location features within the application, which turns Reliance Digital Stores and Jio outlets across the country into Pokéstops or gyms. Fans in India have already downloaded the game, and the interest has died down with sightings of trainers in the wild highly reduced now. If you were one of those users waiting for an official launch, first we congratulate you on your self control and lack of criminal tendencies. Here is how to catch up.

Pokemon GO

Learn the vocabulary 

There are a number of terms that new players of Pokémon go will have to get familiar with. Here is a list of commonly used words and phrases. The glossary should also give trainers a rough idea of the mechanics of the game, and what to expect from the game.

  1. Pokémon: Pokémon are pocket monsters, creatures that can be captured and evolved. Each individual Pokémon has different traits, and some may be more powerful than another apparently identical Pokémon. A peek in the stats should help check out the capabilities of a Pokémon.
  2. Trainers: Trainers capture the Pokémon and teach them to battle. The aim of a trainer is to eventually become a Pokémon Master. Anyone who plays the game is a trainer.
  3. Master: The ultimate goal for trainers, masters show exceptional skill in handling and fighting with Pokémon.
  4. Teams: There are three teams in Pokémon GO. These are Instinct, Mystic and Valor, also known by the team colours of Yellow, Blue and Red. Every team has a special Pokémon as their logo, and a team leader.
  5. Team Leaders: The Team Leaders are Candela for Valour, Blanche for Mystic and Spark for Instinct. Spark has funny poses. Team leaders help you choose Pokémon for battle by giving you short appraisals of your creatures.


    A Pokéstop on the Attari Border.

  6. Pokéstops: Pokestops are pitstops tied in to real world locations where users can collect Pokéballs, Potions and Razz Berries, which are all consumable resources for use in training Pokémon.
  7. Pokéballs: Pokéballs are containers for capturing Pokémon. What happens inside a Pokéball is a mystery.
  8. Potions: Potions are used to heal a Pokémon after a battle. There are potions of various kinds available.
  9. Razz Berries: Razz Berries make it easier to catch Pokémon, and reduce the number of Pokéballs that you use.
  10. Battles: Battles take place in Gyms, where a trainer has to use their Pokémon to fight against multiple levels of a Gym owned by another team.
  11. Gyms: Gyms are locations that can be held by teams, and other teams have to try to takeover the Gyms. Fighting for Gyms is one of the many social aspects of the game, which requires planning and co-operation by multiple trainers.
  12. CP: CP stands for combat power of a Pokémon, which is an indicator of how well the Pokémon will perform in a battle in a gym.
  13. HP: HP stands for hit points of a Pokémon, which is how much damage a Pokémon can take in a battle. If all the HP is exhausted, the Pokémon faints and cannot be used in a battle. Fainted Pokémon can be revived with the use of potions.

    The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a Gym.

    The Rashtrapati Bhavan is a Gym.

  14. Incense: Incense is a scent that attracts Pokémon, and increases your chances of capturing a Pokémon. Incense is used when moving, typically while taking Pokéwalks.
  15. Pokéwalks: A group or solo activity, Pokéwalks are following a route, usually with a heavy density of Pokéstops, in an effort to capture Pokémon and hatch eggs. The JioChat app will have a Pokémon GO channel, where Pokéwalks will be organised.
  16. Eggs: Eggs are consumable resources that are placed in incubators, and hatch various kinds of Pokémon depending on how far trainers have walked. There are eggs for 2 kilometres, 5 kilometres and 10 kilomtres.
  17. Incubators: There are two kinds of incubators, a permanent one that is not a consumable, and temporary ones that expire after three eggs are hatched. Multiple incubators can be active at once.
  18. Medals: Medals are awarded for achieving certain goals within the game.
  19. Farming: Farming is an activity where trainers cluster around a particular spot with a high incidence of a specific Pokémon. Repeatedly catching the same creature allows Trainers to evolve their Pokémon into better versions. A common target for farming is the Magikarp, found around bodies, that evolves into the awesome water worm known as Gyarados. Be careful though, trainers farming Magikarp have walked themselves into shootouts.
  20. Nests: Rumoured to exist, but not officially confirmed, Nests are locations with an unusually high incidence of spawns of one particular type of Pokémon.
  21. Pokédex: a collection of all the Pokémon you have encountered in your travels, with information on each. Completing the Pokédex and catching all the Pokémon is one of the pulls of the game.

Be a considerate trainer

Pokémon GO is one of the most involving games around, but there are some repercussions because you are playing in the real world. Pokémon GO players have learned the tips and tricks the hard way, by making the mistakes. New trainers now can draw on this experience to avoid any untoward incidents. Do not be distracted into playing the game when there are important things going on, such as court hearings or office meetings. Pokémon GO now has a security feature that prevents you from playing the game if you are driving.

Many Pokéstops in India are near places of worship, so it is a good idea to be respectful of these places when collecting usables. The camera is on during the game, so make sure not to creep people out. If you are walking on the road and a wild Pokémon appears, don't just stop in the middle of the road and try and catch it. It is recommended to turn the Augmented Reality feature off, walk to the side of the road, to catch the Pokémon.

There is less tolerance for Pokémon GO in India, and it is a good idea not to get in trouble by going to places you should not be in to attempt to catch an elusive Pokémon. The road, traffic and footpath conditions in India mean that your eyes always have to be on the road when playing, and taking your eyes of the road even for a second can result in an accident. Pokémon Go is particularly dangerous in India. If you find a Pokémon while walking, take the time to stop before catching it instead of lobbing Pokéballs and walking at the same time. If you are interested in potential pitfalls, here is a good list of how not to be a Pokémon Master.

Enjoy the social angle, and urban exploration

The game is fun on your own, but even more so when you team up with others. There are various online local groups for tracking Pokémon GO activity. Look for a Pokémon GO Facebook group, a local team group. The pages usually will have associated WhatsApp groups as well. This will allow you to get in on the action when there are planned events and Pokémon GO. While Niantic had to go out of its way to organise events for Ingress, Pokémon GO players have started doing it spontaneously.


This gym is in the middle of a Highway.

The fun part about Pokémon GO is that it will take you to unlikely places that you might never have otherwise visited. Pokéstops include public libraries, parks, places of worship, and music shops. Discovering a Pokéstop with a Lure module may mean walking into a new neighbourhood and finding other trainers. It is a good idea to go with a group when exploring new places, just to be on the safer side.

An important decision to make is choosing your team. Asking friends and colleagues of their team choice, and checking out which teams dominate the areas that you regularly pass through, are factors to take into consideration for enjoying the game to its full potential.

If Ingress is anything to go by, Pokémon GO will continue to be updated for years, and the game will only get better over time.

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