Collecting items at PokéStops

Pokémon Go is based on another popular Niantic game called Ingress. Both titles encourage players to explore the world around them, rewarding them with virtual items when they reach real-life landmarks highlighted by the app. In Ingress, these points of interests are called portals; in Pokémon Go, they’re called Pokéstops. Niantic used a small subset of the location data from Ingress as the basis for Pokéstops in Pokémon Go.

Pokéstops are marked on the game’s map with a floating blue cube. Tapping them will show more details about the landmark, including a photo. Players can only collect items if they are close enough to the PokéStop (sometimes this means you can be across the street from it, sometimes this means you have to get right up to it). If the app deems you’re close enough, swipe the image of the landmark to spin it, and it’ll spit out three or more items. When you claim items from a PokéStop, the icon turns from blue to purple, but PokéStops refresh about every five minutes so you can return to collect more items.