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11 biggest Pokémon Go myths DEBUNKED


Pokemon Go mania is quickly spreading across the globe and with that, new players are scouring the net in search of any info they can find on how the game actually works. Like Snapchat, there’s so much the app doesn’t tell you when booting it up for the first time. Sure, there’s a brief explanation on a few core gameplay mechanics, but those hoping for the app to go into a bit more detail are sadly out of luck.

It’s because of this, Pokemon Go has given rise to a slew of social media “fan” accounts, seeping out from the woodwork and spreading false “tips” in hopes of capitalizing on the game’s success. These can be found circulating social networks like Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit (we’re sure you’ve already come across plenty) all in hopes of gaining likes, re-shares, and further spreading misinformation among players.

Here are 11 of the biggest myths going around the internet that we’ve personally had the pleasure of debunking. Enjoy.

1. Spinning your phone around will hatch eggs for you


This is a video that’s been making the rounds on Facebook that seemingly has a lot of people fooled. The idea is that by putting your phone on a record player — and allowing it to spin right round, baby, right round — the game will somehow think you’re walking in circles, logging in those steps as actual distance to help hatch Eggs.

This, of course, is 100% false as your general GPS location hasn’t changed at all, so the app just thinks you’re doing just that (spinning around), not actually traveling any sort of distance. I was able to confirm this myself by simply spinning around in circles for a half hour and just as I thought, the Egg distance hadn’t changed. Guess the joke was on me, huh?

2. Pokemon rarity lists

Pokemon Go Rarity List

A popular image floating around the net is one someone created after playing the game for a few days, charting the Pokemon he had run into on his journey. Pokemon are listed according to the chances you’ll have coming across them, but as most anecdotal evidence involving the game goes — it was completely false.

While this might be true for this particular user, Pokemon are based on your geographic location (and possibly elevation) which just so happens to be different for almost everyone. What we can tell you are Pokemon we know that aren’t in the game (yet), but according to the app’s source code, could be added in the near future:

  • Ditto
  • Mew
  • Mewtwo
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Articuno

3. Tap a Poke Ball after a missed throw to pick it back up

pokemon go 2

A good “tip” that turned out to be false is to quickly tap a missed Poke Ball to quickly add it back to your inventory. After countless hours of testing, we can confirm that — without a doubt — this one is false. Tapping on a ball (or anywhere on the screen) can cause it disappear, making it seem like you’ve picked it back up, but all it’s doing is spanwing a new Poke Ball for your next throw.

4. Find ghost Pokemon at cemeteries or graveyards

ghost pokemon cemetaries

A very popular myth going around is that you can increase your chances of spawning ghost Pokemon — like a Ghastly or Haunter — by visiting a cemetery or graveyard. On the surface, this myth sounds the most plausible, but as we mentioned with the rarity list is actually false. Not only would this be incredibly disrespectful to the dead (something Niantic Labs and The Pokemon Company would want to avoid), it’s been reported false by a handful of players who have spent hours at their local cemeteries only to come back empty handed.

5. Weather affects Pokemon spawn types


Image credit

On that note, another big myth is that weather also affects Pokemon spawn types. The idea being that, when raining, you’ll find more water-type Pokemon, thunderstorms attracting electric-types. windy days flying-types — you get the picture. This is totally false as reported by countless users.

Not only would Niantic Labs and The Pokemon Company not want people wandering outside during a thunderstorm, we’ve mentioned this before: Pokemon are based on your geographic location. While climate might play a role in this, the current weather in your area does not. For more on this, check out this helpful video here.

6. Some Pokemon only appear during the day or night

This one is a little interesting because it’s both true and false. You wont increase your chances of running into Ghastlys or Clefairys based on the general time of day (we’ve discussed that Pokemon are based on geographic location and mostly specific to your area), but some Pokemon have a set time and location they appear at each day.

Pokemon Go update Android map DSC00426

For instance, every morning at 9AM, a friend of mine finds a Charmander in his front yard (lucky). For me, it’s an Aerodactyl that shows up at the Redondo Beach Pier at 11PM. I’ve been able to find other specific spawn points for other Pokemon in my area as well, allowing me to travel to that location at that exact time to catch them every single day.

7. Eevee evolution is based on its attack type

Pokemon Go Eevee evolutions DSC00429

Eevee is one of the few Pokemon that evolves into one of three different forms: Vaporeon (water-type), Jolteon (electric-type), or Flareon (fire-type). In the original games, this was based on the type of evolution stone you chose to evolve it from. In Pokemon Go, things are much different.

Since there are no stone, some guess that the evolution was based on the type of gym you joined, while others thought it could have something to do with the specific Eevee’s attack types. However, all of these have been proven false from a multitude of reports from users, showing us that like most things in the game — it’s completely random.

Update: Looks like someone did find a way to force this, but it’s only by editing the Eevee’s name prior to evolving it (based off the Eevee Brothers episode from the TV show). Here’s how:

  • Pyro = Flareon
  • Sparky = Jolteon
  • Rainer =Vaporean

Important note: Make sure you close the app, then reopen to save the changes with the server. Only when you have verified the name was saved should you go ahead with the evolution.

Thanks, Wolf0491!

8. Nearby pulses green when you’re facing the closest Pokemon

pokemon-go-green pulse-nearby

Nearby, while a great way to see the Pokemon that are closest to you, is still a bit confusing for some. Tapping on a specific Pokemon can lock them on your sights, showing their distance according to how many footprints are beneath them. You don’t know their exact location, so you’ll pretty much have to run around in different directions while keeping a close eye on the footsteps to see if they grow or lessen. That part we know.

What’s causing confusion is occasionally, you’ll see Nearby pulse green. Some believed this meant you were facing the right direction of the closest Pokemon in your tracker (or the Pokemon you have selected), it’s actually completely false. In our testing — and from a multitude of reports from others — we’ve been able to confirm that this is false. What it does seem to do is pulse green when you’re close to a Pokemon listed in Nearby (or possibly when new Pokemon are added to the list). Of course, if you’re quickly approaching a Pokemon it probably means you’re facing it which is probably where the mix up began.

Whatever it’s doing, it doesn’t seem to be very accurate so don’t worry too much about the pulses, just keep an eye on the foot prints and you’ll be set to tracking those elusive Pokemon. For a quick cheat sheet, here’s the actual distance those footprints are measuring:

  • 1 footprint = 40 meters (130 feet)
  • 2 footprints = 60 meters (200 feet)
  • 3 footprints = 90 meters (300 feet)

9. You’ll can always find Pokemon on the map hiding in the rustling grass/leaves

Pokemon GO Android DSC00425

One would assume that the sparkling grass, rustling leaves, whatever you want to call it, shows the exact location of Pokemon on the map, but it’s not exactly true. It’s weird because it seemed like a given considering how the Game Boy titles were played, but after logging countless hours inside the virtual world we can confirm… it simply isn’t true.

Sure, Pokemon can occasionally show up around there, but in our experience it’s been completely random where they pop up. So what do the grass/leaves on the map actually mean? Beats us, but we’ve been doing a good enough job by not paying attention to it.

10. The Pokédrone

A video of a new product that allows Pokemon Go players to use a drone to help catch Pokemon has been making the rounds. More of a concept than an actual product, the idea behind TRNDlabs’ Pokédrone is that it supposedly uses built-in GPS to spoof the location of your smartphone, allowing players to reach far off Pokemon they normally couldn’t.

Not only would something like this require rooting or jailbreaking your device, it’s also against the game’s terms of service, which could get you banned. Still, if you’re curious to see what comes out of the project, you can sign up for updates via their website right here.

11. Download offline Google Maps in your area for “smoother experience”

Pokemon Go Google Maps offline myth

This had a lot of people going given the fact that Pokemon GO is built by the same guys who made Ingress (which just so happens to use the Google Maps API to grab location information). Unfortunately, it’s not only confirmed to be false by Googler Sam Thorogood, but I tested it myself by downloading offline Maps and found it made no impact on how quickly Pokemon Go was able to load its own map data (whether it was there or not). De-freakin’-bunked.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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