Unless you’ve been on another planet this summer, you’ll know the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm since its release in July. Timing is everything, and Niantic cleverly planned the highly anticipated augmented reality game to be released during the summer break in a hope that we would all get outside and enjoy hatching those eggs in the sunshine. However this has meant that many of you who are keen Pokémon trainers, especially those who are brand new Bradford Freshers, won’t have experienced the gold mine of Pokémon Go bounty right on your doorstep, both on campus and in Bradford town centre. Being an active player and Pokémon enthusiast myself, I wanted to share some of my Bradford Pokémon Go top tips, hotspots and experiences with the new Buddy System update to help you get the most out of all the Pokémon delights Bradford has to offer.
The hills are alive, with endless Drowzees
As a child of the 90s Pokémon was a huge part of my childhood, and before Pokémon Go the closest I had ever gotten to being a Pokémon Master was ruthlessly hunting down shiny Pokémon cards or playing one of the legendary Nintendo Gameboy games (Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition always being my game of choice) whilst trying to see past the pixels. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every glorious minute of them and genuinely think I must have spent the entirety of my pocket money solely on Pokémon paraphernalia and Beanie Babies; not to mention countless hours watching the hit TV show and trying my hardest to be Misty (Togapi you will be mine one day). But Pokémon Go is on another level; with its fantastic graphics (thanks to the wonders of augmented reality) it has actually brought Pokémon into our world, and makes you feel like you’re 8 years old again on a real life Pokémon adventure. Being a member of university staff who has to work over the summer break usually comes with its grumbles of longing to be a student again with a summer of fun ahead of them. However, thanks to Pokémon Go this summer came with a new perspective – Bradford was my Cloyster (warning, more terrible Pokémon puns to come). I would be able to get first dibs on all the Pokémon and Pokéstop goodies that normally would be snatched from under my nose by the student lead competition; especially with our campus being next door to Bradford College – twice as many students to compete with.
I started out experimenting whether there would even be anything to catch by playing on my everyday walk to work from Bradford Interchange Station (through City Park, past the Alhambra Theatre and up the hill to Great Horton Road). I was utterly amazed. On my first day of playing I had caught over 20 Pokémon just on this route alone including a Blastoise in front of the fountain in City Park; for a first attempt I felt pretty jammy. Ever since it has become somewhat of a daily ritual to play on my way to and from the train station, improving my multitasking skills as I go. It soon became apparent when I played in other towns that Bradford is full of Pokémon, and I have now genuinely caught 90% of my best Pokémon/collected all of my 10K eggs just on these daily travels or walking around town on my lunch breaks. I also believe Bradford must be a Drowzee/Hypno and Jynx nest as they are everywhere you turn. I normally come across at least 20 Drowzees a day with 9 times out of 10 having them spawn in groups, causing me to accidentally take part in many a humorous Drowzee conga line.
Jynx also likes to make a daily appearance and always seems to be on my sightings panel. As Jynx is seen as a very rare, high level Pokémon that you can get from hatching a 10K egg (which takes a fair bit of time and effort), having an abundance of them to choose from has definitely impressed my friends. Even more to my delight Bradford is thriving with Gastlies and Haunters, which has proved fantastic in my quest to evolve a Gengar.
Despite there being these regular spawners and your common Pokemon (like Rattata, Pidgeys and Spearows), Bradford also has a wealth of rare Pokémon that like to pop up all over the place such as Porygon, Lickitung, Dratini, Mr Mime, Omanyte, Dewgong, Cubone, Abra, Grimer, Victorybell, and all three evolutions of Squirtle to name a few!
Give me the deets – Where and Who?
With all of these Pokémon just waiting to be caught in and around Bradford City Centre the next question surely is where should you be looking? I’m glad you asked…
Here are some of my personal Pokémon hotspot observations and regular spawn points in the town centre for you to Exeggcute success (okay I promise no more puns):
- Our City Campus
- Not only are we flooded with Pokémon and Pokéstops on our city campus, but we also have a gym right at the Main Entrance on Great Horton Road – what more could you ask for?
- The best spots for Pokémon seem to be the Main Entrance/Richmond Building, Student Central, Unique Fitness and the Re:Centre where I’ve seen and caught goodies such as Magnemites, Voltorbs, Geodudes, Kinglers, Sandshrews, Parasects, Weepingbells, Pidgeots and Fearows.
- Great Horton Road and the Alhambra Theatre
- The Route from City Park/Centenary Square up to campus is a goldmine for Pokémon and Pokestops – perfect for catching on the move as they pop up every few metres. Outside the main entrance and the stage door of the Alhambra. Theatre is normally a hive of activity; for instance I’ve been greeted by pokemon here such as Jynx, Squirtle, Wartortle, Victory Bell, Eevee and Gastly on my morning walks up the hill.
- The further you progress up Great Horton Road towards Bradford College, the rarer the pokemon that seem to also pop up like Porygon, Ekans and Snorlax. Yesterday my dreams came true and I finally caught a Gengar just next to the Sainsburys Local! I’d been working for weeks on evolving my Haunter into a Gengar, endlessly catching every Gastly I could find; when low and behold a Gengar appeared on my sightings list. I found it at the top of Claremont Road (the slip road just next to Sainburys) and think this must be a spawning point for some of the more rare pokemon sightings I’ve come across whilst on Great Horton Road – with the added bonus of only being across the road from our campus entrance too!
- City Park and Centenary Square
- I would say City Park and Centenary Square is the busiest Pokémon centre of Bradford. With the huge fountain in the centre it’s crawling with water Pokémon and loads of Pokéstops all next to each other. Lots of Horseas, Magikarps, Staryus, Krabbies, Squirtles, Psyducks, Slowpokes, Seels and Dewgons. Not to mention immeasurable amounts of Gastlies, Likitungs, Grimers, Jynx, Oddish, Drowzees and Hypnos.
- Probably the busiest Gym in all of Bradford at the monument just outside Wetherspoons and never seems to have a champion longer than a couple of hours – great place to prove you’re a Pokémon master!
- Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square Stations
- Bradford Interchange is part of my daily commute and usually has a ton of your more common Pokémon just in the station entrance to welcome me, such as Zubats, Rattatas, Drowzees and Pidgeys. However it is also a hotbed for Voltorbs, Magnemites, Bellsprouts and Nidorans (both male and female). Additionally a good spot to stock up on Pokéballs with numerous Pokéstops and one even right on platform 1.
- I don’t venture to Bradford Forster Square station very often, but when I have done I’ve seen bucket loads of Clefairies (one of my all-time favourites) and even caught a Clefable here. They also seem to be there even more in the evenings, as they are supposedly meant to be more active when the moon is out – Clefairy and Celfable lovers go here!
- National Media Museum
- Not only a national treasure, but a great spot for Pokéstops and a regular Geodude and Mr Mimes spawn point in my experience!
- Broadway shopping Centre and Wool Exchange shops
- I’ve had regular run-ins with Vulpix as well as Jiggly Puffs in these spots. Also there’s a sneaky Pokéstop inside Waterstones.
- Kirkgate shopping Centre
- 4 Grimers appeared at once for me here, all while I was in Primark on my lunch break; win-win situation! Good spot for Pokéstops too, worth the visit not only for the shopping.
The New Buddy System Update has been my favourite update so far and has really improved the rate of getting your hands on precious Pokémon candy. After choosing your buddy Pokémon, every step you take your buddy will take with you, earning you 1 candy after a certain distance is walked. This is brilliant for evolving/powering up some of your more rare or 3 stage Pokémon that are normally hard to come by. However before jumping straight in and choosing your favourite Pokémon, it’s wise to double check the distance you’ll have to walk per candy, as this varies depending on the type of Pokémon you choose. This can range between Pokémon from 1K – 5K so be sure to choose carefully.
Since Niantic released the update a couple of weeks ago I’ve had Pikachu as my buddy, not only to get me the Raichu I so desire, but also so I could be like Ash Ketchum with my childhood dream sidekick. I’ve already managed to walk almost 10K with my little yellow buddy, meaning I’ve earnt almost 10 Pikachu candies; and to top it all he’s even hopped on my shoulder now! The buddy system also means you can earn candies at the same times as walking hatching your eggs. If you haven’t updated your app yet do it now, you’re missing out!
Share your glory
We’d really love to see what you’ve caught and seen around Bradford and Campus. Prove you’re a Pokémon Master by Sharing your photos, videos and sightings using #BradfordPoGO on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
LOOK OUT – During the Fresher’s Fayre today (Wednesday 21st September) the Student’s Union have arranged for lures to be set up on all the surrounding Pokéstops. Be sure to take a Peekachu (okay I’ll really stop now), you never know what you might find!
Lucy Wood-Ives, Rich Media Co-Ordinator