Now that we've introduced you to what Pokémon Go is and how it works, we're going to go over some basic safety information for playing the game. After all, we wouldn't want you to get hurt or end up in some other unfortunate situation while playing Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you follow two basic rules. First of all, always pay attention to your surroundings while playing. Second, use common sense and don't do anything that you otherwise wouldn't normally do. These two rules should keep you from getting into any trouble.
Just because a Pokémon appears in the middle of a busy street doesn't mean that you should walk over there to catch it! Some people have been hurt or otherwise found themselves in sticky situations because they weren't paying attention to what they were doing, or what was going on around them, while playing Pokémon Go. Always take a second to look up from your mobile device's screen and see where you are and what's going on around you. This is a rule that Pokémon Go itself will remind you of frequently, and it will go a long way towards keeping you safe while playing.
Along these lines, don't play Pokémon Go while you're doing something else that requires a lot of concentration, especially if you could hurt yourself or others if you're not careful. Examples include driving a car, riding a bike, skateboarding, or operating heavy machinery.
While part of the fun of playing Pokémon Go is exploring the world around you in order to see what PokéStops you can find and what Pokémon you can capture, finding a rare Pokémon isn't worth risking life and limb -- or violating other people's privacy rights. Beware of entering closed-off or other out-of-the-way areas (such as forests, swamps, or fields of long grass) in search of Pokémon; you might be attacked by real animals or injured by other elements, and not have people around to help you.
By the same token, be careful of trespassing on private property or in semi-private areas (such as churches, hospitals, etc.) when searching for Pokémon. If you are asked by someone to leave the premises, apologize and depart immediately.
Again, it's fun to explore your surroundings to see what Pokémon show up there and what PokéStops you can get items from in Pokémon Go, but you have to take your personal safety into account, too. Some Pokémon -- and even some PokéStops and Gyms -- will appear in isolated areas, and some people have been robbed or otherwise harmed by unscrupulous individuals at these locations. If you can, try to stick to searching for Pokémon, PokéStops, or Gyms in areas that you are very familiar with, or that at least have enough people around to deter would-be troublemakers from publicly trying anything shady.
Each player in Pokémon Go has a by-and-large separate experience. That means that there's no penalty for multiple players playing together in a group, since catching a nearby Pokémon or using a nearby PokéStop won't make it unavailable for anyone else. Therefore, it's always a good idea to play together with a couple of other players at once, or at least have someone nearby who can supervise you. This makes it less likely that you'll end up in dangerous areas or situations, since the people in the group can help each other out by guiding each other around the area and deterring would-be troublemakers.
While playing Pokémon Go may open up opportunities for friendship with fellow players, others may not want to be disturbed while they are playing. Respect their wishes and be polite, especially if you are battling against someone else at a Gym. Also, playing Pokémon Go may look suspicious to certain people, including authority figures such as police officers. If you are confronted, politely explain what you are doing. And again, if you are asked to leave a private area, apologize and do so immediately.
If you follow these tips, you should have a fun time playing Pokémon Go! Next, we'll go over how much Pokémon Go costs to play.
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