Now that we've explained what Pokémon Go is and how it works, as well as outlined some safety precautions to take while playing Pokémon Go, it's time to talk about how much Pokémon Go costs to play. Don't worry; you can download, install, and play the game without ever spending a dime on it, but we'll show you some ways to get ahead in the game... if you're willing to pay.
Most aspects of Pokémon Go are free of charge. It costs no money to download and install the game, nor does it cost money to sign up for an account. The only thing that costs money in Pokémon Go is buying extra items through the use of PokéCoins. This is an in-game currency that can be bought or earned.
The majority of money made from Pokémon Go is from the sale of PokeCoins. Nintendo and Niantic, the creators of Pokémon Go, are also considering the sale of peripheral devices, as well as a form of affiliate advertising, with businesses paying to have PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms located at their premises.
Pokémon Go doesn't cost any money to download or play, but it will cost you money to get PokéCoins (in most cases). These can be exchanged at the in-game shop for various items. For example, if you spend $10, you get 1200 PokéCoins, which you could exchange for 8 Lucky Eggs, 4 Egg Incubators, and 4 Lure Modules.
The real-money prices of PokéCoins, as well as the PokéCoin costs of various items, are listed below.
(NOTE: All of these prices are in U.S. dollars. They may change according to the value of your local currency.)
From the game's main map screen, tap the main menu icon (it looks like a Poké Ball) in the bottom-middle portion of the screen.
From the main menu screen, tap Shop.
On the shop screen, tap the item that you would like to buy, and then tap Exchange to exchange your available PokéCoins (shown at the top of the screen) for that item. If you attempt to buy PokéCoins, you will need to set up a method of payment with your Google or Apple account in order to pay for them (if you haven't already)... and maybe get your parents' permission first!
There is a way to earn PokéCoins, as well. Note the shield icon in the top-right corner. If you tap this while you have at least one Pokémon stationed at a friendly Gym (see the "Battling at Gyms" section of our How to Play Pokémon Go tutorial), you will earn 10 PokéCoins and 500 Stardust (see the "Strengthening your Pokémon" section of our How to Play Pokémon Go tutorial for more on Stardust) for every Pokémon that you have stationed at a friendly Gym. Note that you can only collect this bonus once every 21 hours, so try to balance between how many Pokémon you have stationed at Gyms versus how long you expect them to last there.
One more thing: tap the "X" at the bottom-middle of the screen to exit the shop.
Well, that's a short explanation of the potential costs associated with playing Pokémon Go, and how to use the shop in the game. Next, we'll review the game's pros and cons.
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