The Pokemon Go phenomenon is sweeping the world with people of all ages out and about with their cell phones trying to catch ’em all! It’s currently shaping up to be the biggest mobile game of all time, forcing players to go outside to catch new Pokemon, gain items, and level up. As luck would have it, theme parks have become an exceptional location to play the game and Universal Studios Hollywood is no exception. This guide will give you tips on how to be the very best that no one ever was just by enjoying your day at the park!

But first, here’s a basic rundown of how the game works:

As players walk around in the real world, their GPS tracks them on a map. The goal is to level up by completing tasks that consist of catching Pokemon, using Pokestops, or competing in gyms. As players explore the map, they will come across these landmarks that will help guide their journey.

Pokemon can be found virtually anywhere – even in your own home. Within the game, there is a tracker in the bottom right corner which can show how close a Pokemon is to your location. When you come across a Pokemon you wish to catch, the game switches to a first person perspective where you can actually see the Pokemon standing in the real world around you. Use items such as Pokeballs to attempt to catch them.

Pokestops let you stock up on all sorts of items, including – but not limited to – Pokeballs, potions, and eggs. They are a crucial part of the game, and they are premised upon real world locations that players must be standing near in order to gain their benefits. They usually offer between 3 and 5 free random items to use on your journey.

Pokemon Pokestops
Pokemon Gyms

Once level 5 is reached by collecting enough Pokemon or using Pokestops, players choose from one of three teams: Mystic (Blue), Valor (Red), and Instinct (Yellow). This gives players the ability to compete in a gym. Every gym a player encounters will be controlled by one of these teams. If the gym belongs to an opposing team, players must use a team of their collected Pokemon to battle to win the location. Most likely, the gym will require multiple players from the same team to attack in order to successfully take it over. If the gym already belongs to the player’s team, they are able to leave a Pokemon behind to help solidify defenses. It really helps to have a community of friends who are in the same team as you.

Those are the basics, now here are a few tips for playing around Universal Studios Hollywood:

  • Pokestops take about 5 minutes to reset. Find a route for yourself on the Upper Lot and do a few laps and you’ll be stocked up on items in no time. I suggest walking from The Simpsons Ride, down to Sweet Liberty, through Baker Street, up to Super Silly Fun Land, and back to Springfield. Simply rinse and repeat. When a Pokestop is blue again, it’s ready to give you more items!
  • The Studio Tour is a fantastic place to play Pokemon Go for a variety of reasons. You’ll see tons of Pokemon, pass by lots of Pokestops, and encounter 2 gyms that you can only access if you’re on the tour. If you happen to be incubating an egg, the Studio Tour is the place for you! Eggs require you to walk a certain distance to hatch and with the Studio Tour, you can easily get around 2 kilometers under your belt. In addition, varied locations like The Red Sea can be a great place to find water type Pokemon. Just be courteous of other tram goers and put your phone away during dark segments such as King Kong 360 – 3D and Fast and Furious: Supercharged.
  • To save battery and avoid looking needlessly frustrated, switch off the augmented reality mode while you’re catching Pokemon in the park. Although it can be fun to see Pokemon standing right in front of you, it can actually make the game a bit frustrating in a crowd and especially if you’re riding on the tour. If the tram takes a quick turn, the Pokemon will no longer be in front of you and you’ll be forced to contort your body in uncomfortable ways. The game is actually a huge drain on your battery, so do anything you can to conserve power by turning augmented reality off is a step towards the right direction.
  • On that note, be conservative with battery power. Turning augmented reality off is a good first step, but the game actually comes with a power saver mode as well. In order to take advantage of this mode, turn your phone upside down when you’re not using it. This stops your phone from rendering the entire map and darkens the screen. Don’t worry – your phone will still vibrate when you come into contact with anything of interest.
    • Another helpful tip? Turn off your Wi-Fi. Smartphones are on the constant hunt for hotspots, which can drain your battery. Turning off Wi-Fi helps your phone conserve that precious power.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. There are thousands of guests walking around the park on a constant basis. Make sure you keep your eyes open so you don’t bump into anyone or – even worse hurt – yourself or other guests. Accidents can happen, but if you remain aware of your surroundings, you can greatly decrease the chance of causing one.
  • Some Pokestops are out of date/mislabeled, with a few Pokestops that may be somewhat perplexing to find. For example, CityWalk features a stop labeled “red dragon,” with a photo of the now defunct Infusion Lounge dragon located near the fountains. The actual Pokestop, however, is really located somewhere inaccessible to guests. The park, on the other hand, also features a stop labeled “Flintstones Hot Dogs,” which has since been demolished. So don’t tear your hair out trying to figure out what’s going on, but instead realize that some Pokestops are not exactly what they seem.
Keep in mind of old or outdated locations, such as this "Flintstones Hot Dogs" restaurant
Keep in mind of old or outdated locations, such as this “Flintstones Hot Dogs” restaurant
  • The park is a great place to take advantage of lure modules. Lures are items can be bought in a shop that can attract Pokemon to a designated Pokestop for thirty minutes. The best part is: lure modules work for everyone in the area! That means if one person deploys a lure, everyone in the area reaps the benefits! There are usually lures deployed all over the park with dozens of Pokemon roaming around. You can tell a lure module is in use when there are pink hearts flying around a Pokestop.
Pokemon lure modules within the park
  • Finally, plenty of people can be seen playing Pokemon Go around the park. Try making friends and asking which team someone is apart of. Who knows? You and your new friend could help each other take down a rival gym if you work together! Pokemon Go is not just augmented reality; it’s also a way to meet new people.

Here’s a map of all the Pokestops and gyms on the property. Pokestops are signified by a blue “P” and gyms are red pointers with a “G”. Please keep in mind that we’ve added a Pokeball symbol to “P” (red and white) or “G” (red and green) stops to make them more noticeable on the following maps.

Let’s start with the entrance. There are only two stops here, but I’m including it for the sake of completion. Of course, do not play Pokemon Go while driving, so grab the entrance Pokestop only if you’re on foot. The other Pokestop is at the Hilton’s fountain.

Pokestop locations within the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood.

CityWalk has a number of Pokestops and two gyms. Some of the Pokestops are mislabeled, so worry more about the location of the Pokestop than the actual name of it. As mentioned previously, the “Red Dragon” Pokestop is actually not accessible to park guests. Another Pokestop appears to be in front of Buca Di Bepo, but is actually located at near the end of the E.T parking structure. Don’t be confused – just move on.

Pokeballs and gyms within CityWalk Hollywood

The Upper Lot is probably the best place to complete a Pokestop loop. It’s possible to just walk in a circle in order to earn new items. There are no Pokestops in The Wizarding World, so you can cross that off your list. Always keep in mind that there are a few outdated Pokestops in this area. Flintstones BBQ and the grapevines at Louie’s Pizza & Pasta are a thing of the past. Don’t be afraid to disregard the name of a Pokestop and instead just worry about their location.

Pokestops within the Upper Lot
Pokestops within the Upper Lot
Meowth, spotted in Mulligan’s Pub & Spirits
Meowth, spotted in Hard Rock Cafe
Check out Diglett's new home in front of the Universal marquee
Check out Diglett’s new home in front of the Universal marquee

The Lower Lot has a few confusing Pokestops as well. If one were to go by name alone, two of the Pokestops would be within the Jurassic Park queue when in reality one of the Pokestops is actually on the ride itself. There are also two Pokestops and one gym located within Transformers, though you don’t actually have to go inside the attraction to access them all. The “Big Minion” Pokestop is once again, mislabeled, so just focus on the location

Pokestops and a gym on the Lower Lot
Pokestops and a gym on the Lower Lot

As we mentioned, the Studio Tour is a great place to catch Pokemon as well as hit up Pokestops. It’s a nice side project for anyone who has been on the tram a number of times. As stated before, the tram is also an incredible place to incubate eggs. The green line indicates the traditional tram route as long as there is no filming occurring on the backlot. The Studio Tour also has the possibility of passing by two gyms. The tour route is subject to change on a daily basis, but it will still pass by most of the Pokestops. Remember to put your phone away while you’re inside the major attractions.

Studio Tour Pokestops and gyms
Studio Tour Pokestops and gyms
Catch Pidgey at the Red Sea!
Catch Pidgey at the Red Sea!

As you can see the potential for leveling up in Pokemon Go at Universal Studios Hollywood is huge. Hopefully with these tips you can acquire tons of items, destroy your opponents in the gyms, and catch all the Pikachus your heart desires. Let us know what you find and comment below!