One of the main goals in Pokémon Go is to travel in order to catch Pokémon that aren’t available in your area. For some people, that means traveling to a nearby town or, in the case of this mega gamer, traveling around the world. In order to see how much Pokémon really vary by area, we conducted an experiment to see how traveling to another state with a vastly different landscape affected the types of Pokémon we encountered. Where to start? America’s oldest national park of course: Niagara Falls!
To begin, we started in a rural area and small town in North Carolina. There were plenty of the readily available Pokémon like pidgeys, rattatas, and weedles. There weren’t any major landmarks or historic areas nearby so finding rare Pokémon wasn’t really expected. Since it was rural and didn’t have many PokeStops or Gyms, there wasn’t a ton of Pokemon in the area and not a lot of places you could access by walking. It was pretty much average.
- Landscape: rural/small NC town
- Commonly Seen: Pidgey, Rattata, Weedle, Caterpie, Spearow, and the occasional Eevee or Ekans
- New Pokémon Occurrence: Infrequent
- Overall Rating: 2/10
Our flight had a layover at the Atlanta Airport for two hours so we were able to scout around a bit and see what Pokémon and PokeStops were available at the airport. For such a small area, the terminals have a surprising amount offer as far as locations go – there were several Stops in each terminal along with one gym near the center. However, there were not a lot of Pokémon to be found so, unsurprisingly, lures were plentiful during our stay. There was at least one lure in each terminal going on the whole time we were there.
- Landscape: Atlanta Airport
- Commonly Seen: Psyduck, Nidoran (both), Bellsprout, and one Ghastly
- New Pokémon Occurrence: Infrequent
- Overall Rating: 4/10
New York & Niagara Falls
When we first stepped off the plane in New York, we were a little disappointed to find that the Pokémon nearby didn’t seem that much different than in the North Carolina town we started in. Pidgeys and weedles were around the airport and showed up very infrequently, leading us to believe that we might have made the trip in vain. However, once we reached the national park, things got interesting. Right off the bat, we found multiple Pokémon that we hadn’t encountered before including Kabuto, Machop, Clefairy, and a Geodude. There were more common Pokemon there as well, including several Magikarps but no nests that we could find on the American side of the falls. After happily catching several new additions to our Pokedex, we traveled to Buffalo, New York where we stayed at a hotel in the inner city. The number of Pokémon appearing downtown varied but was significantly more than we had experienced so far in our travels. There were many more ghost and poison type Pokemon, including Drowzees and an elusive Jynx as well as PokeStops and Gyms as far as the eye could see. Overall, a paradise for Pokemon Go playing visitors.
- Landscape: Inner City Buffalo & Niagara Falls National Park
- Commonly Seen: Drowzee, Ghastly, Venonat, Nidoran (both), and sometimes Machop or Kabuto
- New Pokémon Occurrence: Frequent
- Overall Rating: 7/10
The Take Away
Traveling for Pokémon Go was certainly an interesting experience. Although we encountered several Pokémon that are not common in the area where we started, by and large, the common Pokémon in North Carolina are the same as the common Pokémon found by Niagara Falls and the Atlanta Airport. The biggest difference was playing in the city vs in a small town. Pokémon go players who live near big cities have a major advantage over those in smaller towns and the spawn rate of Pokémon significantly increased in the city. Was traveling out-of-state worth it? Not if you don’t have other business there – I wouldn’t recommend anyone drop what they are doing to fly to another state just to catch a Pokémon. But catching a Magikarp at the United States’ oldest national park? That was pretty cool.