Even if you don’t play, you’ve definitely heard of Pokémon Go.
The popular game of the late 1990s is making a comeback with an augmented reality app that uses your phone’s GPS to travel around local cities and suburbs to find and catch Pokémon.
The object of the game to is walk around different places to catch new Pokémon, find PokéStops, and battle other players at “gyms.”
Wanna be the very best? Downtown Detroit has everything you need to become the ultimate master trainer and we have the inside scoop on the best gyms, PokéStops, and most populated sights to catch ‘em all!
Tips and Tricks
Before we travel across the land, let’s discuss some of the best tips and tricks discovered by Pokémon fanatics everywhere.
Keep Your App Open
According to Paul Tassi from Forbes, the game will only alert Pokémon when your app is open. You also need the app open to track your steps; this comes in handy when you’re incubating eggs.
We know: this is horrible news for iPhone and Android batteries but if you want to be the very best, you gotta keep the app open! We suggest a battery pack!
Teach Radar also suggests activating your phone’s battery saver mode.
In addition to keeping your app open, keep your eyes forward. The app will send you an alert, usually a noise or vibration, to indicate a nearby Pokémon.
The Time of Day Matters
While this tip varies by location, Greg Kumparak from Tech Crunch states that the later in the evening, the more rare the Pokémon. Just make sure to be safe and always consider your surroundings!
Kumparak also advises playing together in a large group. Not only does it add a fun, social aspect to the game, it provides for a safer environment for you and your friends to train together!
Play in Different Places
This goes along with time of day: if you only play within a 500-ft radius, you’re more likely to catch the same thing. While this is great for powerups and evolving, it can get tedious after awhile. For example, I spent an hour in Campus Martius and caught 10 Drowzees. Now that’ll put you to sleep!
Here are some cool facts we found on Metro’s website, written by Duncan Lindsay.
Using a spin-move to catch Pokémon will add a spin bonus and extra XP. Continuously draw a circle around your Pokéballs while releasing to achieve this trick.
Make sure to click and hold the Pokéballs, only releasing hold when you’re ready to capture a Pokémon. This will better your aim, and decrease the amount of lost Pokéballs.
However, if you’re like me and have horrible aim, Pokéballs can be picked up if you miss. Lindsay suggests that if your reflexes are good, you can tap on the ball and recover it before it disappears.
The Best Places in Downtown Detroit to Catch Pokémon
Now that you’ve read some of our favorite tips and tricks, it’s time to search far and wide and find the best places to catch Pokémon in downtown Detroit.
In an article featured on the Now Loading website, Michael Mitchell reveals the best locations to find PokéStops and Pokémon.
Designated by a blue-square, PokéStops are usually found at cultural landmarks, like murals, sculptures, and historical buildings and landmarks.
Churches, parks, college campuses, and museums are other places of interest. While it varies, Pokémon are usually found in these populated locations. Additionally, you can set off a lure by a stop to attract more Pokémon…but we’ll cover that later!
While this article just covers downtown Detroit, be sure to check out the murals at Eastern Market, the campuses at Wayne State, and the Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown for more opportunities to increase your collection.
Campus Martius Park
One of the best city sites to play Pokémon is in the heart of Detroit, Campus Martius Park (CMP).
First and foremost, CMP has five PokéStops; most of the time they’re lured, a rig placed at a PokéStop in order to draw in more Pokémon. These are designated by pink “confetti.”
Usually attached to places of interest, PokéStops contain items like Pokéballs, medicines, incense and eggs. Pretty much a one stop-shop for everything you need to play the game.
The stops in CMP are: Campus Martius Monument West, the DTE Energy Sculpture, the Iron Brigade Sign, the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment Sign, and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Monument. Thanks to all these stops, there should be no reason to purchase more eggs from the store.
Not to mention, in the same hour span, I caught 20 Pokémon. These include, but not limited to: 6 Drowzees, 1 Jynx, 2 Gastlys, 1 Tauros, 1 Jigglypuff and Koffing and several minor characters like Paras, Spearow, and Horsea.
The best part about Campus Martius Park is the variety of habitats.
The whole park is covered in grass, providing a prime location for grass-type, flying- type, and poison-type Pokémon. As there is a fountain dead center in CMP, there’s also an opportunity to capture water-type Pokémon. For one reason or another, I caught a ton of Psychic-type Pokémon as well, capturing everything from a Drowzee to a Psyduck.
Campus Martius is also the location of a gym, a place where you can train your Pokémon to increase your stats; this can be achieved by powering them up and fighting other Pokémon.
This gym is located in the One Campus Martius Building at the “Color of Detroit” fountain display (currently owned by Team Mystic.)
If you don’t mind a short walk, the next closest gym is located at Lafayette & American Coney Island, currently in possession by Team Instinct (Go Instinct!)
Haven’t picked a team yet? Take the quiz on Geek & Sundry’s website to find out which Pokémon GO team you should join!
Located at 1234 Library Street, The Belt is a unique hotspot for eager Pokémon trainers.
Library Street Collective (LSC), an art gallery featured inside the alley, is the location of the first PokéStop.
Continue your walk through The Belt and you may catch 1 or 2 Pokémon. While everyone’s experience is different, I caught 2 Spearow and a Rattata in the span of 15 minutes.
The Rattata was fitting in the alley as I found it just outside The Skip, a new open-aired bar in The Belt, whose logo bares a street rat.
While Pokémon won’t appear in The Belt as often as other locations (parks and monuments) you’ll have a lot to do while you wait for your next opportunity.
Detroit People Mover
Wanna take a load off from walking around town? Jump on the Detroit People Mover!
At only 75 cents per ride, find PokéStops at almost every People Mover station in Detroit.
Check out the People Mover website for a complete list of locations. The closest PokéStops to Campus Martius is the Mosaic Arch, located in the OCM People Mover Station.
While public transportation is not the best way to catch Pokémon, the stations provide PokéStops that allow you to stock up on Pokéballs and potions.
Head south on Woodward to the Detroit River walk: a 5-mile stretch from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle.
On your way to the Riverwalk, located at the Passo Di Danza Statue is a gym, currently owned by Team Valor. If you’re a level five or up, stop by for a chance to train or battle your Pokémon and, if you’re lucky, take over the gym.
While the Riverwalk is prime real estate for water-type Pokémon, you’ll be surprised to hear it’s also home to electric-type Pokémon.
We caught up with a few master Trainers from Compuware to see what lies along the River:
“It’s very thematically appropriate to find electric-type Pokémon with the GM Renaissance Center nearby,” said a Compuware worker.
“Pretty much anything on the Riverfront, Hart Plaza, and the RenCen is where you’ll find some great Pokémon,” said another.
Grand Circus Park
Head north down the historic Woodward Ave., to check out Grand Circus Park.
You’ll hit some great PokéStops along the way, like Kern’s Clock and Woodward Avenue Cultural Heritage. More often than not, these signs are lured, providing great opportunities to catch a few different Pokémon.
After just a short walk, you’ll arrive to Grand Circus Park. It’s primarily a grass park, so expect to catch a lot of grass and flight-types.
Make sure to restock your Pokéball pile at the Grand Circus Park PokéStop!
You’ll teach me and I’ll teach you
If you’re like me and grew up collecting Pokémon cards and playing the third generation Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire on your Game Boy Advance, you’ll love Pokémon Go!
The game is truly reminiscent of a simpler time: of trading cards on the playground and battling your friends playing videogames.
This game is also a great opportunity go outdoors and explore the city. Who knows: you just might stumble upon an old historical building or unique mural you’ve never seen before!
Do you know some cool Detroit PokéStops or gyms that you wanna showcase? Comment on your favorite location in the city to play Pokémon Go!