Pokémon Go is all about traveling across the land, searching far and wide — but not just for Pokémon. Venturing into locations familiar and foreign to find PokéStops, the game's specially marked places of interest, is just as compelling as the hunt for monsters.
What are PokéStops?
PokéStops are an area's coolest, quirkiest, most interesting locations. These include buildings, monuments, statues, public art and other community hotspots. For Pokémon Go players, these locations offer players a chance to become familiar with the communities they're traveling through, as well as pick up some special items.
How do I find a PokéStop?
When you're walking around playing Pokémon Go, keep an eye out for a blue marker on the map. When you're far away from one, these markers look like floating cubes. When you're close enough to actually enter a PokéStop, however, it will transform into a Poké Ball.
These map markers will be obvious as you walk around while playing Pokémon Go. If you'd like to travel outside of your hometown but want to maximize your PokéStop visits, players have come up with maps to help locate PokéStops around the world.
What can I do at a PokéStop?
Tap on the marker, and you'll see a real picture of the monument that the PokéStop represents, as snapped by a player (of Ingress, Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs' other augmented reality, location-based game). There's not much more information about where the PokéStop is located beyond the picture and a name, unfortunately.
The biggest appeal of PokéStops is collecting items. Swipe on the picture that pops up to reveal a selection of items that range from Poké Balls to Potions you can use for healing. If you get lucky, you may even grab an egg to hatch into a new Pokémon. (For more on finding and hatching, check out our guide to Pokémon Go eggs.)
The higher your trainer level, the more — and better — items you'll be able to grab at a PokéStop.
Can I find Pokémon at PokéStops?
Yes! It's no guarantee, but there is a way to make them spawn there. You can buy items called Lure Modules from the in-game shop to attach to PokéStops. They cost 100 PokéCoins each, or $0.99. These attract Pokémon, who appear like wildfire around these markers. This makes PokéStops great places to get some catching in. You'll know if a PokéStop has a Lure Module attached if there are pink flowers floating around it.
Where does PokéStop data come from?
Thank Ingress players, who submitted this location data during that game's early years. Learn more about that — and how to use that to your advantage in finding more PokéStops — in Polygon's Pokémon Go location-hunting guide.
Okay, now what?
Go out there and find some! And go battle some gyms, too, while you're at it. Don't forget to join a team first; you may also want to check out our primer on how to catch a Pokémon too, while you're getting ready to head out there.