If you don’t know your Dragonite from your Charizard, your Ultra Balls from your Poke Balls and still get confused and amused when people ask “Have you incubated your eggs” and moan “I’ve only got two balls left”, then you clearly haven’t played Pokemon Go. For the rest of you, read on.
Pokemon Go is reported to have lost 10 million players worldwide last month, but the mobile game clearly shows no signs of stopping in Singapore, where people are still spending entire evenings in various locations across the island. Places like Yishun Park, for example, are full of players hoping to snagging a rare Snorlax. I should know, I was one of them.
Are you still playing Pokemon Go in Singapore? If so, you would’ve notice a difference…
A month has gone by since the game launched here, but last week, an update in the App Store and Google Play Store saw significant changes in the way Pokemon were appearing across the island. One type Pokemon that used to appear consistently in one spot were now replaced by another type. Kent Ridge Park, which used to be a great place to catch Jynx, were now spawning Magmars. Universal Studios Singapore, which used to draw crowds with multiple Pikachus, were now home to the much less adorable Sandshrews.
Over at infamous Hougang Ave 10, which had been in the news all of last month for players littering and being road hazards, crowds are still forming, but the rarest Pokemon just aren’t spawning quite as often there. You’d be lucky to get an Eevee.
Whatever it is, it’s pretty obvious who the semi-hardcore Pokemon Go players are. They’re the ones who have caught at least 80 different types of Pokemon by now, or who are Trainer level 18 and above.
And if you’re a hardcore player, the temptation to spend money is high
Many useful items can be bought from the game’s shop for a certain amount of gold coins. And gold coins cost real-life money. Sure, you can technically earn gold coins every 21 hours by defending gyms, but for Singapore players? You’d be lucky to collect more than 10 gold coins a day. When the cheapest item you can buy is 80 gold coins – that’s more than a week just to buy a single-use Incense.
Oh, and if you haven’t already figured it out… don’t buy Incense
Incense has got to be the worst value-for-money item in the game. Not only do you get incense for free as you level up, it’s just not that effective. We live in Singapore, where Pokestops are easy to access and multiple Pokestops are often found in the same location. Spending money to increase the number of times a Pokemon appears before you just doesn’t make sense when it already happens for free.
So… what should I be spending on then?
Yes, there will be times when you might desperately need to buy Pokeballs in the middle of a hunt, or times when you wish you had increased the number of items you can carry at any one time with a Bag Upgrade. Both items are admittedly useful especially when you’re planning a Pokemon Go excursion to East Coast Park or VivoCity.
But by far, the true MVP when it comes to buying items with real-life money? Incubators.
Why incubators? Don’t I get them free when I level up?
Yes, yes you do. Not quite enough, though. By the time you reach Level 5, you would only have gotten 5 free incubators. And while it’s easy to get an egg from a Pokestop, you can only carry up to 9 at a time.
Now, here’s where it gets complicated.
There are three kinds of eggs – 2.0km, 5.0km and 10.0km. While it’s not proven to be 100% accurate, the general expectation is that 2.0km eggs will give you more common Pokemon, while 10.0km will give you much rarer Pokemon. Though it’s not confirmed beyond a doubt, it’s believed that you can also get the region-specific Pokemon from incubating those 10.0km eggs. So ideally, you would want to get as many 10.0km eggs as you can, right?
Except you can’t.
The only way to free up space for the 10.0km eggs is to incubate your 2.0km and 5.0km eggs first. And if you’re going to rely on your unlimited-use incubator and the free 3-use incubators you get from levelling up, you’re going to run out of incubators pretty quickly. Also, what many people don’t realise is that hatching eggs is quite a fast and dirty way to accumulate stardust, which you will need later on in the game should you want to upgrade your better Pokemon. Of course, you could always just go catch hundreds of Pokemon…
So here’s where buying incubators come in…
Definitely put the 2.0km eggs in your unlimited-use incubator. If you’re lucky enough not to have any, put a 5.0km egg in. Always make sure you have at least one egg incubating at any point in time. Then, decide how much real-life cash you’re willing to spend.
An incubator is 150 gold coins. Because game developers Niantic realised this was the most value-for-money item, they’ve wisely made it the only item you can’t buy in bulk at a discount.
What you can buy in bulk at a discount though, is gold coins.
If you’re willing to splash out S$148.98, that will get you 14,500 gold coins, or the equivalent of 96 incubators and change. Buying gold coins at this rate is the best way to maximise your spending, but at a terrible cost to your wallet.
But if that seems like a lot to spend at a time, I would suggest getting 1,200 gold coins instead, at a cost of S$14.98. That’s the cost of 8 incubators, exactly, so you won’t be tempted to buy more gold coins after that. Don’t forget that each incubator can be used 3 times, so on an actual per use basis, it works out to about $0.63 per egg hatched.
Why only 8 at a time? Because the truth is, as hardcore as you are today, you may stop playing Pokemon Go tomorrow. Unless you play 24/7, 8 incubators should be more than enough to last you a month. So pay as you play, even if it means buying gold coins at a slightly higher rate.
What level is your Pokemon Go trainer? Do you have any other Pokemon Go tips and tricks to share?