10 tips and tricks to make you an ultimate Pokémon Go master

Hooked on the mobile sensation? Up your game with these tactics

Pokémon Go has arrived, and it's a worldwide sensation - at least in the parts of the world that have it.

Millions of Poké-fans are now roaming their cities in the GPS-powered game, attempting to fill their Pokédexes and take over nearby gyms, but the game leaves plenty unexplained.

Some of that you'll discover in the initial hours, while other helpful details might evade you entirely.

Luckily, we're here to help: we've been playing for days and have rounded up 10 truly helpful and essential tips to get you started and ensure you're getting the most out of this delightfully active mobile hit. Ready to be a Pokémon master trainer and dominate your neighbourhood gyms? Read this first.

1) Choose Pikachu instead

If you haven't started yet – or you're willing to begin anew – then there's a surprising twist: you can choose Pikachu as your starting Pokémon. Hear that sound? It's the screams of millions of fans learning that crucial detail after spending hours trying to find the iconic yellow creature around nearby towns.

What's the trick? It's funny, really: you just need to walk away from the classic starting trio of Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur that pops up when you first reach the world map. They'll spawn around you a few more times as you wander off, but eventually Pikachu will pop up right alongside them. Catch him and you'll have the charming Poké-pal from the start.

2) Look for rustling leaves

Having trouble tracking down some Pokémon in the world? While you can (and should) use incense items to draw them near or visit PokéStops with active lures – look for the pink flower petals around one for that – there's a subtle visual hint you should pay attention to.

Look on the map: do you see tiny animations of leaves being rustled about? Yeah, head right to that area – there's probably a Pokémon within. They're often found in forests or parks, so ditch the urban terrain if you can and try to locate some wild new friends.

3) Use the tracker

Looking for a particular type of Pokémon, whether it's to expand your roster or grab enough duplicates to evolve one (more on that shortly)? Use the tracker to find which specific Pokémon are in range by tapping the little bar at the bottom right of the screen.

It'll bring up a Nearby menu that shows monsters in your vicinity judged by distance: the more footsteps shown, the further away it is. Start walking in any direction and you'll see how the marker changes, letting you course-correct until you're headed the right way. Pokémon that you haven't caught yet are shown as silhouettes, but eagle-eyed fans can figure 'em out.