15 Struggles That Are All Too Real For Pokemon GO Players

So you wanna be the very best, like no one ever was? Is it that to catch them is your real test? And to train them your cause?

Welcome to 1998 2016. Congrats on your new (old) obsession.

Like any fandom, Pokémon GO players share their highs, lows, laughs and frustration with each other. You’ll find people like you on Tumblr or on Reddit on the Pokémon GO subreddit. These are the best places to find your tribe, your people and your Pokémon family. Anyone who doesn’t belong to this family will not understand the jokes, banter and discussions, because they can’t relate - until they give in to the pressure and download the game.

There are a few things that we all experience when playing the game: Server issues, confusing catches, weird glitches and hilarious moments. Sharing them with each other is all part of the fun and one of the reasons why the game is taking over the world.

As a welcome to the global Pokégang, we’ve put together a list of the most relatable moments we've had while playing the game.

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15 When your Pokémon is a runt. Or obese.

When you encounter a rare or High CP wild Pokémon, you expect them to be huge. Like they were in the TV show. And when you’re catching them, they look big. Especially when they escape from a Pokéball 400 times.

Considering how random their weight seems, you’d think it doesn’t really matter at all. Reddit users have been trying to discover what height and weight means since the game came out. They’ve tabulated the stats of a number of Zubats in an attempt to see if there’s any correlation between weight, height and HP.

They’ve found a sum total of nothing. Even users that have been pulling data from the game’s code haven’t found anything concrete. Some people think that these stats might affect the speed of attacks during battle, but until there’s more data, or until Niantic says something conclusive, don’t worry about your obviously malnourished midget of a Pokémon.

14 When the loading screen is clearly lying

The only thing less accurate than a Stormtrooper’s aim is the Pokémon GO load screen (Although it is a relief to see this screen when you’ve been looking at that soul-destroying ‘Servers are down’ screen forever). When you open up the game, the bit that’s supposedly loaded is always the same. Always. It’s just there to fool you into thinking that the servers are working at full power, which has happened about zero times ever.

Niantic have said that they were definitely not prepared for the popularity the game has received. Considering that there are less than 50 people working at the company to service five million users, it’s clear that they had no idea how quickly the game would take off. In the few weeks it’s been available, Pokémon GO has earned over $35 million. We’re fine with the creators using some of that money to buy themselves yachts, but only if they spend the same amount on new servers.

13 When you accidentally transfer the wrong Pokémon

When you decide to start evolving your Pokémon and need as much candy as possible, you’ll be transferring those 11 billion Pidgeys as fast as you can. Before you know it, you’ve accidentally transferred your +1000 CP Pidgeot. Oops. No take backsies!

If this is your plan, don’t forget to activate your Lucky Egg first. Evolving Pokémon gives you a ton of XP and a Lucky Egg doubles it. It’s entirely possible to receive over 1000 XP just by evolving a Pidgey. Do this and you’ll be leveling up in no time.

But before you transfer, look at that cute little Bulbasaur. Are you sure you want to hand him over to the Professor? You know he’s not going to a farm to live out his days running freely through beautiful meadows, right? He’s going into the Professor’s candy machine. You know that gadget that butchers use to make sausages? That’s where your Bulbasaur is going.

JK. The machine is a haymaker.

12 When you waste valuable Pokéballs on a 10 CP Zubat

For such a pathetic Pokémon, Zubat is a tricky little SOB to catch – even when you turn AR mode off. And you can forget about catching one with a curveball. But once you’ve used one Pokéball on it, you’re committed. Better follow through or the struggle was for nothing.

If you’re looking to make sure you cause every Pokémon a concussion, there is someone who came up with a solution: A 3D printed ball aimer case. It was designed so that you could throw a Pokéball perfectly every time. The user responsible for this work of genius, Jcach3DPrinting, has had to shut down his shop in an attempt to catch up with the number of orders he received (You’re not the only one sick of struggling with Zubats). If you think you could do with one of these nifty cases, you’ll have to keep checking to see when he’s up to date and taking new orders.

11 When you hit Level 5 and enter your first gym

Gyms in Pokémon and gyms in real life have a few things in common: You’re guaranteed to run into a bro. You’re also guaranteed to feel intimidated (in real life, the smaller you are, the more intimidated you are. In Pokélife – it’s your 10CP Pidgey that will make you feel inadequate next to the 1500CP Vaproeon.) Getting to the gym is more irritating than being at the gym. And when you first join, you have no idea what to do, but it seems like everyone else does.

The best thing to do is to ask someone to help you out. Which is exactly what you should do when you’re playing Pokémon. It’s why you should join the same team as your friends, because if one of them doesn’t already know what to do, at least you’ll find comfort in your shared inadequacy. Until you figure it out and, when you do, you’ll dominate the gym and make everyone who dares enter feel as small as you did. The only time it’s acceptable to say, ‘Come at me, bro’ is when you have a Dragonite at your side.

10 When you first encounter a real Pokémon

When you start playing the game, all you’ll hear are tales about the greatest Pokémon. A friend will brag about their Charizard. Your cousin will show you a screen grab of a Gyarados. The game will tease you with cute starter Pokémon. But all you’ll see are Zubats, Pidgeys, Weedles, and Rattatas.

But then something rarer than a real hair from Donald Trump’s head will appear. If you’re lucky, it’ll be something amazing. Even if it isn’t, you’ll be excited to encounter your first REAL Pokémon. You’re going to spend at least 10 Pokéballs trying to catch it – and it will escape every time – but it’s these encounters that make the game so addictive. Now just imagine how you’ll feel when you successfully evolve a little Eevee into a Vaporeon (Don’t forget to name your Eevee Rainer if that’s the evolution you want!). That feeling you’ve just had? It’s called Pokéfever. Also known as The Last Time You’ll Ever Have Data.

9 When you hatch your first egg and it’s a huge disappointment

Everyone is talking about how Pokémon GO has caused couch potatoes to turn into triathletes. You know, if the events in a triathlon included rapid phone swiping, server-related tantrums, and nerdy high-fiving.

If you’re lucky enough to live in place where you can do a lot of walking, hatching eggs won’t seem like an unachievable task. If you live in a place where walking isn’t possible, any time an egg hatches, it will feel like you’ve won an Olympic medal. If you’re training to be a Pokémon master, there’s not much better than that ‘Oh’ screen that pops up when your egg has incubated for long enough. Your adrenalin starts pumping. The world stops. Time slows down. And out pops a …


Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that’s felt that sting of disappointment. But if you keep walking and walking and walking and… walking… eventually an egg will hatch with that Snorlax you’ve been hoping for.

8 When you’ll do anything for a lure model

Seeing a Pokéstop with a Lure Module is like finding a Wendy’s that’s actually participating in an advertised promotion. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be tempted to stop whatever it is you’re doing to spend a few minutes (Who are we kidding? More like hours!) there. Hopefully it’s been placed in an area that has more than just Weedles.

Where there are people who are (innocently) enjoying something, there are people who will take advantage of them. There have been reports of people placing Lure Modules in sketchy places, and some stories about criminals using them to draw people to in. Considering how many weird Pokéstops there are out there, you can only imagine the weird places modules are popping up. The best thing you can do is keep the home screen in mind: Pay attention to your surroundings.

According to Niantic, future updates to the game will allow you to buy specialized Lure Modules that will turn Pokéstops into PokéCentres where you can heal your Pokémon.

7 When the tracker is a POS

Since the game came out, Niantic have been telling people that they can track Pokémon using the tracker on the bottom of the screen. Supposedly, the closest Pokémon is at the top left. The furthest is at the bottom right. The idea is that, if you’re tracking a specific Pokémon, you just keep an eye on where it appears in that tracker box and adjust your direction accordingly.

The number of tracks underneath each picture also tells you how far away they are: One print means they’re close. Three prints mean that you’ll need to do a bit of walking or, if it’s a rare Pokémon, full-on sprinting to reach it.

It’s great that they were thoughtful enough to include a tracker into the game. Except that it never works. Ever. Luckily, where Niantic has failed, some determined trainers have succeeded. Some trainers might consider this cheating, but there’s a way you can find all the Pokémon around you and see how long they’ll be spawning in that location – it’s called Pokévision. You can find it online or download the app.

6 When you’ll do anything for a rare Pokémon

Every Pokémon trainer has been there. The excitement of potentially catching a Pokémon is an adrenalin rush. One of the most dangerous things you can do is Pokémon and drive. But even Mew isn’t worth getting yourself – and anyone on the road with you – into an accident!

Nothing, however, is stopping you from playing the game when you’re a passenger. If you do, activate Incense and wait for the Pokémon to come to you. And when anything as rare as a Dragonite pops up on your screen, catch it and return the favor by driving for your friend next time.

If you don’t think playing Pokémon GO while going about your daily life can be dangerous, consider this: In 2015, there were 11 000 injuries caused when people were walking and using their phones. It’s called 'distracted walking' and it’s an actual thing. And there are thousands of people that die every year because they were using their phones while driving. Pokémon GO definitely qualifies as distracted walking.

5 When you’re trying to explain Pokémon to non-players

When someone says they think the game is stupid, warn them that resistance is futile. That’s what everyone said about the Macarena and look how that turned out. Trying to tell them what the game is about, how to play and why they should play isn’t easy. Especially if they know nothing about Pokémon.

Those who watched the show in the '90s, played the trading card game, or the video games will be able to name more Pokémon than countries in Africa. We can also talk about the rare and legendary Pokémon and argue about which is the strongest. Now, try think of a way to explain that to people who have never encountered anything about Pokémon. It's a good idea to have patience when they refer to Poliwag as Holigag or call Pikachu, 'That yellow mouse thing' because they might (one day) lead you to a Blastoise. They’ll be clueless and will believe you when you tell them it’s a useless creature. Then you'll have it all to yourself.

4 When your battery dies and your soul dies with it

It doesn’t matter how good your phone is. Or whether it’s an Android or an iPhone. It’s going to die on you because Pokémon GO doesn’t only eat up your data, it will devour your battery life too. On the road to being a Pokémon master, the worst thing that can happen is for your battery to die just as you throw an Ultra Ball at a Venusaur. After you’ve used your last Razz Berry.

There is a power saving option in Pokémon GO’s settings, but it doesn’t always work (and it can freeze up your game!). So before you even have to face the awful feeling of losing your dream Pokémon, be prepared. Get yourself a spare battery, a power bank and a spare power bank for your power bank. Some will charge your device once, others will charge them two or three times over and others can basically power the New York Subway. Also a good idea: An unlimited data plan.

3 When Niantic’s servers are the worst

Niantic have been very honest about their server issues and they’ve promised to fix them in the future. But that’s about all they’ve said. Reddit users on the /r/Pokémongo subreddit complain that the only thing worse than the tracking bug is their PR. Which is why this Tweet irritated people so much. They felt that Niantic should be focusing on fixing their technical issues – and communicating about their progress – rather than Tweeting with celebrities. And, if they’re going to be doing that, the least they can do is get a mention from someone surprising. Like Meryl Streep. If they can organize that, even redditors might be impressed.

There are other celebrities that have been playing (and talking about) the game. Tyga was spotted playing it while out with Kylie Jenner an we’re sure she’s not the only girlfriend to be frustrated by their boyfriend’s obsession with Pokémon GO. Of course, Tyga has the best defense – it’s guaranteed that Kylie spends more time taking selfies than anyone spends playing PoGO.

2 When your Pokémon are the worst

One of the most fun things about Pokémon GO is the competitive side of the game. Not only in terms of the battle system – because that’s living the Pokémon trainer dream – but in terms of the Pokémon you collect. If your friend catches a Pokémon that you don’t have, you’d better believe you’re going to hear about it. If you catch something rare that your friends don’t have, you’re going to send them a million screenshots of your catch.

When you’re on the lower levels of the game, it will feel like everyone else has a better collection than you. Don’t give up hope though! Even Ash Ketchum eventually caught a Sceptile. Eyes on the prize: Keep catching those Pidgeys. Soon they’ll be Pidgeottos, then Pidgeots. And one day you’ll have that Flareon, Charizard or Dragonite you’ve always wanted. When you do, make sure everybody (especially your friends on other teams) knows about it.

1 When your Pokéstop is a PokéNope

When you’ve been out catching Pokémon all day and have spent 114 Pokéballs on 112 Zubats and two Weedles, you’ll be desperate for a Pokéstop. If you live in the suburbs (or rural Kansas) they’re not as easy to come by as they are in the big cities. So when you do find an oasis of Pokémon items and this screen appears, you’ll want to smash something. Or everything.

Sometimes there’s no explanation for why this screen appears. It might be that you’re in a dead-Fi zone or your data has just run out. Or maybe it’s because you’re a passenger and while driving, you weren’t quick enough and the spinning disc is suddenly out of reach. Be quick with your swiping, and don’t worry about tapping the items that it gives out. Spin until it turns purple and then hit the ‘x’ quickly – you’ll still get all the revives, potions, Pokéballs and eggs.

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