If you haven’t heard of Pokémon Go yet, you are probably living in a cave.  It’s the fastest app every to become a best seller in 13 hours on the iTunes app store.  Nintendo is boasting that 9.5 million users are logging in each day.  They are roughly logging on for 43 minutes per day.  Those are massive numbers.

If you don’t know what it is, or are confused by the terms and how to play, you are not alone.  As a starting point, I will give you all the terminology.  This is a helpful tool for me as I try to get a hand on what Pokémon Go is and what it can do in the context of my youth ministry.

Here are all the terms you need to know!  Enjoy.  Also, if you are completely lost, just find someone in your youth ministry who is patient to tell you how to play the game.   


At rival Gyms, you can battle other teams’ Pokémon for a chance at claiming the Gym.

Each rival Pokémon you defeat reduces the Gym’s Prestige and potentially lowers the Gym’s level. Reduce the Gym’s Prestige to zero to capture the Gym for your team.

Combat Power (CP)

A Pokémon’s attack strength is measured in units of Combat Power. A Pokémon’s CP determines how well it will perform in battle.

Defender Bonus

You can receive a daily reward of Stardust and PokéCoins for defending a Gym. The Defender bonus can be claimed at the shop.


Pokémon Eggs are items that can be found at PokéStops. Once you place an Egg in an incubator and walk a specific distance, the Egg will hatch into a Pokémon. (This is the best way to get high ranking Pokémon)

Experience Points (XP)

Your advancement is measured in Experience Points (XP). Increase your XP to advance to higher Trainer levels.


Gyms are locations where you can battle the Pokémon of rival teams, or train your Pokémon by battling against the Pokémon assigned there by other members of your team.
Gyms belonging to your team are known as friendly Gyms, and Gyms that have been claimed by other teams are known as rival Gyms.

Gyms that have not yet been claimed are known as open Gyms. Lots of churches are already gyms in the game.

You can apply for your church to be a gym or a pokestop.


Incense attracts wild Pokémon to your location with its aromatic scent.


Placing an Egg into an incubator allows it to hatch into a Pokémon as you walk. (It takes 5 miles or 10kms to incubate an egg)

Lure Mode 

You can attract wild Pokémon to a PokéStop for a limited time with a Lure Module. (This is very useful for youth pastors and youth ministries)

Lucky Egg 

You can double the amount of XP you earn in a certain amount of time by using a Lucky Egg.


Medals are awarded to you for an array of gameplay achievements.


Poké Balls are items used to capture wild Pokémon. They can be found at PokéStops and purchased in the shop.

Great Balls, Ultra Balls, and Master Balls are high performance Poké Balls with a greater ability to catch wild Pokémon.


PokéCoins are currency that Trainers can exchange for premium items in the shop. Users can also buy PokéCoins in the shop.


Your Pokédex is where you’ll find info about all the Pokémon species you’ve caught or encountered.


PokéStops are locations where you can gather items such as Poké Balls, Potions, and Eggs.
A PokéStop will change its shape when you walk close enough. Touch it to interact with it, and spin the Photo Disc to get items.


There are various Potions you can use to heal Pokémon. These items restore their HP (Hit Points).


Using Stardust and Candy, Trainers can power up their Pokémon to increase their CP and HP.


Prestige is how a Gym’s progress is measured. Prestige is earned when Pokémon train at the Gym.

Increase a Gym’s Prestige to advance the Gym to higher levels.

Razz Berry

During an encounter, you can feed this item to a wild Pokémon to make it easier to catch.


Stardust is acquired by catching Pokémon, hatching Eggs, and earning the Defender bonus. It is used to Power Up Pokémon.


At friendly Gyms, Trainers can battle Pokémon assigned there by other members of their team to increase their XP and the Prestige of the Gym.


Trainers are people who play Pokémon GO.

Wild Pokémon

Pokémon that have not been caught are known as wild Pokémon.

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