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Pokémon Go: What’s keeping you in the game?

Pokémon Go has really become a phenomenon in under a month. In the short time since its release, it’s been more popular than Facebook, Minecraft and porn.   Even though the initial release was buggy as hell, many players slogged on through in hopes of catching as many as they can. One of the biggest hidden benefits has been that it has gotten many people outside and exercising. Many people, myself included, have discussed some of the benefits of a game like this helping people, young and old, re-discover the simple art of basic exercise, but also finding some local landmarks as well.

Another benefit to Pokémon Go, has of course been the social aspect of playing. There never been anything that has brought people closer together than random strangers meeting up and going for Pokémon hunts. Not only has this been beneficial to players but businesses as well because of the combination of exercising and socializing has brought business into their stores.

However, the big question is, how long can Pokémon Go sustain players? Even with some of the patches, there are still a few issues that gamers would like to see addressed.


One of the biggest ones happens to be that as players advance higher, they are still seeing the same Ratattas, Pidgeys and Zubats. While there is a benefit to catching them because simply, the XP helps gamers to level up, it’s become more of a chore and a grind getting them especially when some are causing players to waste pokéballs to catch them. Others are still waiting for the ability to trade as well as have player vs player battles.

Can Pokemon Go keep players in for the long haul or will we look back on this as a fad in a few months? Let’s look at what some gamers in our Facebook groups (here and here), have said.

Starting with myself, after 3 weeks of playing Pokémon GO, I have to honestly say that I am still somewhat onboard with the game. I am at level 19 and it’s starting to feel like a serious grind to hit 20. I am disappointed with the proliferation of pigeottoes, that at higher levels they become difficult to catch for no reason.  By far my biggest surprise catch had to be the Scyther hatched for a 5km egg but no complaints from me. As of this writing, I was however pleased, that with the latest update that helped me net a Rhyhorn and a Sandshew.


If Niantic wants to keep me around, I am hoping that further updates will give a bigger variety of basic Pokémon to catch. The biggest change that Niantic could incorporate is how to collect coins that helps when wanting to buy larger bag space or other items in the store.  So far, there are only two ways to get coins and that is by holing a gym or by buying them.  If catching Pokémon could net some coins, then it would give players some more incentive to play. As far as how would I convince others to play? Kind of difficult to say other than “gotta catch them all”. But really, it’s fun to get out and meet other players, even more fun to hear stories of what others caught and I believe once the trade system kicks in, more people will be onboard.

Lawrence G.

When Pokémon Go launched, I figured it would be something I play casually. A week later, I found myself planning around my work schedule to allow myself enough time scout for Pokémon. It wasn’t long before I hit level 21. I even slipped away from a family function to just to capture a few. While things have been a little slow lately due to my obsession with farming Dratini, I still find this Pokémon enjoyable, no I don’t have a “problem” and I can quit anytime!

Emily H.

I was a part of the beta for Pokémon Go and I felt like it was a childhood dream come true. With the release of the full game I am still just as excited. Currently I am a level 21, and I have not only been out walking more, but I have rerouted my drive home to include a known Magikarp spawning area in my neighborhood.


My biggest surprise was catching a Magmar in the wild, not a very high CP, but I didn’t expect to see one in Northern Virginia. My biggest disappointment would be all the Rattatas and Pidgeys that dominate the area, my nearby list is always cluttered with them. In future updates I am hoping for more diverse Pokémon spawns, trading, and trainer battles. As far as convincing others to play, Pokémon isn’t for everyone, if nothing else showing them the game and talking about all of the cute animals out there to collect!

Lea S.


Hi, all! Lea here, Mystic Level 23. I have been playing since the Pokémon Go app was released and I haven’t slowed down. I am known at work as the “co-worker outside at lunch catching Pokémon and making friends.” This newest incarnation of Pokémon is just a sensible progression for me since the earliest days of the Gameboy versions. My big surprise Pokémon came to me early this morning — Snorlax. My only disappointment is the plethora of Pidgeys and Rattatas. I am hoping for a huge expansion of the number of Pokémon, daycare, and maybe Nurse Joy! I find that playing and talking about Pokémon Go generates interest and if folks choose to play, I am here to provide enthusiastic encouragement. Gotta catch ’em all!

Christopher C.

So far I’m level 21 and I’m still enjoying the game and having fun.


My surprise catch was a 988 Tauros that I caught with a normal Pokeball in only 2 tries. Nothing really that disappoints me having all the pidgeys and Rattatas because it helps a lot with XP so it doesn’t bother me. My hope with the updates is really being able to battle with people in your area not just taking over a gym. Pokémon Go is also a great way to get to know even more people. As far as getting others to play, it’s just showing how this is very social and allows for a fun way of getting exercise would be the start.

Samuel R.

I’m level 14 and kind of hit a road block in the game. I don’t honestly think the common tier Pokémon spawn enough in the game to really make your leveling experience better where I live. I live just outside Fort Myer where i work, so you would think there would be more spots to grab, but there isn’t. I have to drive about 15 minutes to get to a cluster of spots where still common tier Pokémon barely spawn. I see people playing all the time and that excites me because Pokémon is my childhood game that I still play to this day via emulator or my 3DS. But when I do go out, I haven’t once encountered anyone from my facebook group. All the guys I work with who are playing, we aren’t the really friends so, all my hype for this game, I’ve kind of lost. I have almost no motivation to go, especially when you’re unable to go because you get yelled at for wanting to go out to much instead of being home. My best catch was the Tauros i caught outside of my apartment at 500cp. I was super stoked about that and even bragged about it for a day. I’m more so hoping they improve the common and uncommon spawn rates as most of the Pokémon in that tier are honestly low tier gym fighters. I’d also would like to get people to join me because we would all be playing together, and hopefully that would spark their want to play the game more, even on their own.


Megan P.

I’m level 21. I’m still pretty excited, but I get lulls where I feel annoyed or sad. I go out nightly looking for good stuff and nice people and tend to travel around. I’m close to a Gyarados, and my favorite catch so far is my little runt Magmar I caught in Reston. There’s lots of great activity at night in many places, but people barely play in Ballston anymore at lunch, so it’s mainly Pidgey and Rattatta. I also get frustrated at how difficult it is to get Pokémon to stay in the ball – it took me almost 12 balls to keep a 300cp Wartortle recently, and all through Occoquan last night things regularly took 3-4+ balls, even on ‘nice’ and ‘great’ throws. While I know Niantic has awesome stuff in store, I think they need to balance the catch rate for upper level players.

As you can see, there are different reasons why people are playing. As many of us have expressed, the reason why many will still play hinges on Niantic to improve the game on further updates.

What about you? Where do you stand on this game? Leave your comments below and tell us about your experiences.

About Armand (1271 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill

1 Comment on Pokémon Go: What’s keeping you in the game?

  1. Reblogged this on Webster Style Magazine and commented:

    We know you are still Playing Pokémon Go…


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