'Pokémon Go' Tips: Where to Hunt for Pokemon in Richmond

Originally popular in the 1990s, Pokémon is back and more popular than ever with an updated and interactive edge to the game. This fun take on the concept of augmented reality has Pokémon Go players walking, running and searching for all sorts of creative characters and level-up quests.

Developed by Niantic Inc., a Nintendo-owned franchise, Pokémon Go gives players the chance to interact with Pokémon characters as if they were in the real world. If you're not familiar with this game that has everybody out and about, you'll want to read on. If you are familiar with it, you'll want to read on for some tips on how and where to find these sneaky little creatures in Richmond.

So, how does Pokémon Go work? To put it simply, Pokémon Go uses the GPS and clock in your smartphone to make the characters appear (on the phone's screen, not in real life). As you move around, more characters will appear. The smartphone vibrates to let you know when they're nearby. The basic concept is that you're traveling around the world (i.e. your community) to find and collect the characters in the game.

The Elements
Since Pokémon characters are based on nature and the elements (such as fire, water, air and grass), check out places like Belle Isle, Brown's Island and the downtown areas along the James River.

Parks, Zoos and Nature Centers
Pokémon have been spotted in parks and hanging around statues, playgrounds, basketball courts and picnic pavilions. Where better to look than places like Maymont, the State Capitol grounds, Deep Run Park or Three Lakes Park and Nature Center? You could also search along the Virginia Capital Trail. Please walk, though. We don't recommend searching for Pokémon while riding a bike.

VCU/Facebook screenshot

Public Spaces and Populated Areas
The more people searching and finding Pokémon in a certain area, the better your chances are of finding them. The areas around VCU and MCV are excellent spots to look. VCU has even posted about Pokémon findings on its Facebook page as well as provided safety tips.

Zosaro's Bakery/Facebook screenshot

Take to Social Media
As with anything else, people like to share. Use the hashtags #pokemongo or #pokemongorva on Twitter or Instagram to see where others are finding Pokémon Go creatures. Richmond businesses have even gotten into the spirit of Pokémon Go with fun signs, discounts and social media posts. Have a treat or two while you're catching 'em all.

Pokémon Go is available for free download on iOS and Android smartphones. The mobile device must have GPS for the game to work. In other words, it won't work on an iPod Touch. The biggest tip we can give for finding those sneaky little Pokémon? Have fun and be safe out there.

App screenshot

Sandy has lived in Richmond for more than 25 years. She writes on lifestyle and travel topics for a variety of media outlets that include AXS and AFAR. She's hoping to find Pikachu or Squirtle hanging out somewhere around town.