The popular mobile game of Pokémon Go might be at least 2 years old, but it’s still hugely popular with 147 million monthly users. I’m actually a daily player myself in my quest to “catch ‘em all”!
If you’re one of those hundred million and plan on visiting Bristol soon, (or you’re a local), then here is a guide to all things Pokémon Go in Bristol… enjoy!
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Pokémon Go Bristol Travel Guide
What is Pokémon Go?
For those of you who may have stumbled across this blog post by mistake or for those of you who want to learn more about the addictive game your children are playing, I’ll quickly recap on what Pokémon Go actually is.
Pokémon Go is a hugely popular mobile phone game, which currently has over 147 million active monthly users across the world. The premise of the game is pretty simple — you’ve got to walk around your city or out in the countryside looking for wild Pokémon with a goal to collect all of the available Pokémon species across four generations. It utilises your phone’s GPS to place your virtual character on a map at your exact location.
Along the way, you can do other things too like visit Pokéstops, power up your captured pokemon, battle in gyms or raids and hatch eggs. But we’ll come to all of that shortly.
For now, the main thing you need to know about Pokémon Go in relation to travel, is that it’s a great game to help you get to know a new city or area. Pokéstops and Pokégyms are the main reasons why…
— Cursed (@Winskillfull) August 8, 2016
Pokéstops in Bristol
A Pokéstop is a very important aspect of the game. They allow you to collect balls with which to catch Pokémon, as well as fruit to make catching them easier and potions to help revive Pokémon you’ve battled in gyms with.
NB: If you’re interested in levelling up quickly, you should make it your goal to visit at least one Pokéstop per day — you’ll get a great bonus on the 7th day!
Generally speaking, Pokéstops are places of interest and landmarks within cities and neighbourhoods such as commemorative plaques, interesting statues, historic buildings and pubs or restaurants.
When visiting a new city or area, I’d recommend reading the blurb about each new Pokéstop as it’ll often tell you something interesting about what it is you’re looking at.
Notable Pokéstops in Bristol
Some of the most notable Pokéstops in Bristol (and therefore, the ones you should add to your visit list) include:
- Bristol Harbour Railway
- M Shed Museum
- The Matthew of Bristol
- Bristol Docks History Mural
- The Observatory
- Clifton Cave
Pokémon Gyms in Bristol
A Pokémon Gym has a few purposes. For one, they act as Pokéstops whereby you can collect all of the items mentioned above.
But you can also battle in gyms and take part in raids in order to raise your character’s level and catch legendary or rare Pokémon not commonly found in the wild.
Notable Pokémon Gyms in Bristol
Some of the most notable Pokémon Gyms in Bristol (and therefore, the ones you should add to your visit list) include:
- Clifton Suspension Bridge
- Cabot Circus
- Cabot Tower
- St Mary Redcliffe Church
- St Peter’s Church
Plus there’s all the gyms (and Pokéstops) that are linked to street art and murals. One of the best areas for that is along Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road and Gloucester Road (you could even combine Pokémon Go with a self-guided Banksy walking tour if you want!)
Battles at Gyms
For battles, you’ll simply select your best suited Pokémon to fight against the Pokémon that are currently ‘protecting’ the gym. There could be anything from one to ten Pokémon guarding one gym (based on the gym’s level and popularity).
You’ll win a battle once you’ve depleted an opponent’s Pokémon’s HP (health) to 0 unless all six of your selected Pokémon faint first. Your team wins control of the gym once you’ve defeated all of the defending Pokémon.
By keeping your Pokémon on a gym, you’ll earn 1 coin every 10 minutes (up to a maximum of 50 per day), which can be spent on various items in the shop to increase your chances of levelling up or for cosmetic changes to your virtual character.
You can increase your chances of keeping your Pokémon on a gym by using Pokémon with a high HP and/or defence level and by putting them on less popular gyms. (This is when you may need to head further out from the city centre!)
Raids & EX-Raids at Gyms
Although raids take place at gyms, they’re slightly different from the general battles you can do at any time.
Raids take place at selected gyms, at selected times throughout the day, and they have star ratings attached to them (1 being the easiest, 5 being the hardest).
You have 90 seconds (for Tiers 1-4 raids) and 5 minutes (for Tier 5 raids) to use your best Pokémon to defeat the Pokémon you’re up against (by decreasing its HP level to 0). Once you’ve won the battle, you’ll be able to attempt to catch the Pokémon you’ve just been battling.
For raids from 3 to 5 stars, you’ll need to compete with friends in order to have any chance at winning the raid, but the easier raids are possible to win on your own with your best fighters.
How To Get Raid Friends in Bristol
As mentioned, for harder raids, you’ll need to compete with other people in order to have a chance at winning.
Aside from convincing your friends and loved ones to raid with you, there is another surefire way to get raid friends in Bristol.
That’s to join the Pokémon Go Bristol Facebook Group. There’s over 4000 members in it and it’s quite an activity community with many people requesting (and responding to) potential raid partners.
Most Active Raid Gyms in Bristol
If making friends isn’t quite of interest, then another way to up your chances of winning a high-level raid is by going to the most active raid gyms at peak times (such as weekends, evenings and lunchtimes).
This will greatly increase your chances of someone else (or multiple other people) competing in the same raid as you.
Some of the most active raid gyms I’ve found in Bristol are at Castle Park, Cabot Circus, Queen’s Square and the Bristol Children’s Hospital.
There’s also the opportunity to take part in EX raids. These are one-off raids that you’re invited to if you’ve been particularly active at an EX eligible gym. This is your best chance at catching rare legendary Pokémon such as Deoxys.
In central Bristol, you should make it your mission to battle regularly at these EX eligible gyms:
- St Matthias Park
- Temple Gardens
- Queen Square
- Cabot Tower
- Thomas Chatterton’s School
- Little Tower
- Riverside Park
Current Nest Locations in Bristol
Throughout large cities like Bristol, you’ll often find that Pokémon commonly frequent an area. Within the Pokémon Go circle, these are referred to as “nests”.
By heading to a known nest area, you’ll increase your chances of finding a specific Pokémon… perfect if you’re looking to complete your set or evolve a particular species!
Although nest locations change regularly, I’ve found keeping an eye on the Poképedia website to be super useful and it’s often up-to-date.
Additionally, another website called The Silph Road also has a wealth of information about Pokémon Go, as well as its own community who report nests and other noteworthy Pokémon Go events.
I hope this Pokémon Go Bristol guide proves useful! Anything missing? Do you have questions? Leave me a comment below and I’ll reply back asap!
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