Pokémon GO thankfully doesn’t require us to wade through tall grass to encounter Pokemon, but as a tradeoff, we encounter less of them. Encountering Pokémon is simple right? You just walk while Pokémon GO is open on your smartphone and check it when it vibrates. While it may look as simple as that, in traditional Pokémon style, these simple things actually have a lot going on in the background and what may look like a simple random Pokémon encounter is actually decided by a lot of factors.
Right now, there are a lot of theories going on about the specifics of biomes and there are very few definite facts that we know of. In general, a biome is a 0.26 sq. km area that contains a specific set of Pokémon that will spawn there based on how Google Maps Identifies the area. For example, an urban biome will contain Pidgeys and Rattatas as common spawns while an Exeggcute or a Raticate will be a very rare spawn in an urban biome. All you need to know is that each 0.26 sq. km “tile” of land in Google Maps has an associated biome with it and a set of specific Pokémon that will spawn in that biome.
Lures and Incenses
Lures and Incenses might make it appear that you’re attracting rarer Pokémon than what you would normally encounter, but actually you won’t encounter Pokémon that will not spawn in the biome you are currently in. It may appear otherwise, but it only looks that way because you’re encountering more Pokémon than normal when using either of these items and the chances of rarer Pokémon appearing would look higher.
Pokémon Nests are a big thing in the Pokémon GO community. There are coordinated efforts to track Pokémon nests and even speculations on the next nest migrations. Nests offer increase spawns of a certain Pokémon and a small chance to encounter an evolved form of the nest Pokémon. Imagine finding a Charmander nest, within that nest you’ll encounter a lot of Charmander and sometimes, a Charmeleon and even rarer, a Charizard. But those evolutions appearing don’t really matter much since spending a day just catching those nest Charmanders will net you enough candy to fully evolve one.
Nests aren’t all sunshines and rainbows though. Most nests don’t offer 100% spawn chance and there could still be unwanted Pokémon spawning in Pokémon nests, like Psyducks on Magikarp nests. Also, nest Pokémon commonly have very low IVs which takes away their potential for battling. However, you’re in the clear if you have a Pokémon with high IVs since if you can find a nest, you’ll have enough candies to evolve and level up that Pokémon so you can conquer more gyms.
So, what’re you waiting for? Now that you know more about how Pokémon encounters work, you can use that knowledge to strengthen your Pokémon party.