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Pokemon GO Guide: How to Use Incense Correctly

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Incense is a valuable tool in any Pokemon GO trainer’s arsenal, but using it with these tips will make it an even more effective way of catching Pokemon.

Catching Pokemon is how players get anything done in Pokemon GO: challenging gym leaders, controlling gyms, leveling up, and evolving Pokemon in one’s possession are all achieved with a bounty of captured Pokemon. Incense can help players to achieve this feat, increasing the quantity of Pokemon that appear in the area to be captured, but making the most of this item involves a little more than just using it.

As with nearly all things in Pokemon GO, the developers didn’t provide much explanation for how Incense works, except to say that it lures Pokemon to the trainer. (Not to be confused with Lure Modules, which increases Pokemon spawns for all trainers in the area.) Although some players have used Incense in order to continue capturing Pokemon while they’re sitting still at work or at home, it’s not the best way to use the item.

Getting Incense

If you don’t already have Incense in your inventory, there are a couple of ways you can acquire some. Players start out the game with two Incense in their inventory, so if you haven’t used it yet, you’re ready to go. Otherwise, Incense is given to Pokemon GO trainers as a reward for reaching level 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20.

pokemon go shop incense cost pokecoins

If you already used all your reward Incense or don’t want to wait for your trainer to reach one of those levels, you can purchase it from the shop with 80 PokeCoins.

Choose Your Area Wisely

No matter where you use Incense, the item will draw Pokemon near the trainer. However, the Pokemon that appear will be chosen from the list of currently-nearby Pokemon. If you’re looking for specific Pokemon to either fill out your Pokedex or to evolve a Pokemon already in your possession, using the Incense won’t help if the Pokemon you want isn’t in the area you’re using the item.

pokemon go map gym pokestops

To determine which Pokemon are in your current area, you’ll need to open the Pokemon Tracker Tool, which is located in the lower right-hand corner of your main map screen. This list will display all of the possible Pokemon in the nearby area, with silhouettes appearing for Pokemon you haven’t captured yet. If the Pokemon you need isn’t displayed there, you should try traveling to another area. If you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, the PokeVision Tool may be useful.

Start Walking

Pokemon GO was designed for players to walk, rather than playing while holding still, and Incense is no different. If you so desire, you can use an Incense without walking around and still benefit from it, but the bonus of spawning Pokemon pales in comparison to walking while using Incense.

Players who use Incense while holding still will receive a boost of one Pokemon appearance per five minutes while the Incense lasts. Since Incense only lasts for half an hour, the most Pokemon one can find while standing still is six. Considering that Incense is rarely awarded without spending money, it’s not worth using it this way unless you absolutely can’t walk around.

pokemon go trainer walk map

On the other hand, players who walk while Incense is active will be rewarded with one Pokemon per minute spent walking, or for every 200 meters traveled. This means walking trainers can find up to 30 Pokemon with a single Incense, and their incubated eggs will be closer to hatching, too.

What’s your favorite way to use Incense, trainers? Let us know in the comments below.


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