Ok, so Pokémon GO has become pretty huge (if you don't know about it you must be living under a rock) and it's finally been released in Ireland!! But first, trust me, there are some tricks I WISH I had known before starting...
So, Playing the Game in Ireland is a lot of...
And Pokéstops seem pretty low on the ground even in towns. Hopefully Niantic will be creating more as they go along (they seem a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for their game at the moment so are probably a bit busy toasting each other's brilliance and counting their millions).
Things I wish I'd Known
Catch a Pikachu as your first Pokémon!
If you're internet signal disappears you're in for major frustration
This is probably only going to be an issue for people living as remote as I do. But it is a massive blow when you finally do get Pikachu to appear and mid-capture your internet signal goes down and... yup, bye-bye Pikachu. I very stupidly decided to try out Incense (which lures nearby creatures for you to catch) in my backyard. Out of about eight Pokémon that appeared I only caught two since my internet kept disappearing. I think I'll save my other Incense for when I'm near a reliable WIFI source.
Don't bother trying to walk your way out of this one...
I wouldn't bother going for a walk to hunt Pokémon if you live in South Kerry. Go for a drive. I spent a lovely hour strolling along our country-lanes with delighted toddler in tow only to fail completely at even seeing anything 'nearby' (a handy feature of the game which lets you know if there's anything in the vicinity).
Bundled the toddler into the car, headed into town, and was instantly gratified with Zubats, Pidgeys, Jigglypuffs and more. The Post Office was a Pokéstop, the church was a Gym and Pokémon were casually wandering around almost everywhere.
I spent a happy hour or two catching Zubats outside Art & Mór, getting completely distracted by Weedles whilst trying to get some work done and showing my mother how to use the game (was so proud when she caught her first Pokémon!). To top it all off, I caught an Eevee. So, yeah, if you want to catch 'em all you're going to want to start in a town. Though it does seem to be that dense foot traffic is what attracts the critters, so even a countryside hotel would be a good starting place.
You'll probably confuse and annoy the locals
A bit of background information on Pokémon is very handy
If I had known back in 6th class of primary school how big this was going to be I might have paid a bit more attention and been a lot more prepared. It's definitely daunting to find the Pokémon at your local Gyms have an average of 400 Combat Points, especially when the game is only just available here. You can of course jump in, go crazy and throw everything you've got at the reigning Pokémon with 800CP but you're going to end up with a lot of very poorly Pokémon.
There is actually a science to this. If you want to get anywhere in the game it's a good idea to research a bit. I really liked this link qz.com/731057/the-ultimate-guide-to-pokemon-go/ which helps to explain a number of basics in the game but also has a very handy chart that tells you what Pokémon have an effect of which others. It all boils down to elements (fire vs water type thing) but seems a bit more complicated. I'm going to blame my parents for my lack of knowledge on this one. We didn't have a TV growing up so I never had the chance to really put in the hours of necessary research to become a pro Trainer for a futuristic game that would come out 20 years later.
There doesn't appear to be any way to trick the game into thinking you're walking when you're not. This is especially important if you want to hatch Pokémon eggs which require you to walk a certain amount of distance whilst they incubate (2km, 5km or 10km). It won't work if you're in the car or on the bus for example, and you have to have the game open on your phone. This means that for anyone lucky enough to live in a rural area you get to explore the wonderful countryside! You lucky things you!
Pokémon Perks at Art & Mór