How To: Instinct, Mystic, or Valor? How to Pick Which Pokémon GO Team to Join?

Instinct, Mystic, or Valor? How to Pick Which Pokémon GO Team to Join?

To become a tried-and-true Pokémon master in Pokémon GO, there's an incredibly important decision that needs your attention: Team Instinct, Team Mystic, or Team Valor?

We know—it's a tough choice to make, especially when you can't change teams without creating an entirely new account and starting your XP from the beginning.

So to help mitigate some of the trouble of picking a potentially wrong team when you first start playing, here are some tips to help you decide which one to join in Pokémon GO.

1. Don't Piss Off Your Friends

Before you run off and pick a team, consider your social circle. If your wife, husband, friend, sister, boss, or whomever just so happens to be on Team Valor, it's probably a good idea to join the same team. Joining the same team as someone you knows means that the two of you can attack rival Pokémon Gyms, or likewise, raise the Prestige points of a friendly Pokémon Gym together.

Trust us, there's nothing worse than being the odd person out when you're walking the town with a group of friends catching Pokémon and battling for Gyms.

2. Check for Local Gyms

If you don't care about your friends (or whomever), the next factor you should consider is your location. What's around you? Is there a Gym claimed by Team Valor at the Chipotle near you? Is there a Gym claimed by Team Mystic at your workplace?

If there is a Pokémon Gym at a location you visit regularly, it might be best to choose your team based on the faction that currently has control of that particular Gym. Choosing a team based on a Gym located somewhere you regularly visit will make it easier to level up your Pokémon. Battling, of course, is the best way to train your Pokémon and having a convenient Gym nearby can help expedite this process.

Pro-tip: If, for whatever reason, you're stuck at home and wish you could investigate the location of other Pokémon Gyms, there is actually a way to do so. Pokémon GO actually shares many of the same "Portals" as the game Ingress. As such, you can see where the Ingress nodes are located, and more importantly, where the Pokémon GO Gyms are.

Just look at all the potential Pokemon Gyms!

3. The Favorite or the Underdog?

Recent data suggests that the majority of Pokémon GO players out there in the world are pledging allegiance to Team Mystic.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Team Mystic: 43%
  • Team Valor: 32%
  • Team Instinct: 25%

Considering the popularity of Team Mystic, it's quite possible that the portals in your surrounding area could all be claimed by big blue. If this is the case, it might make sense for you to join the rest of the sheep... ahem... I mean, the smart people from Team Mystic in your quest for world domination. After all, there is something quite satisfying about joining the winning team.

If not, consider joining the current underdog: Team Instinct. With a paltry amount of players joining this particular faction, it could certainly use some additional help. And, you know, if you enjoy being the odd person out, Team Instinct might just be the faction for you. You will, however, have to deal with a bit of name-calling.

4. Consider Your Ideologies

We know, it's just a game, no need to get ideological about things... or is there?

If you still can't decide which team to choose, consider the game's actual lore behind the teams. There's not a whole lot of it, but that doesn't mean the ideas lack potency. So, let's look at it briefly:

Team Mystic

Team Mystic is lead by Blanche, and they're all about the nitty gritty—the science, if you will, behind Pokémon. Team Mystic embraces the ideology that through calm analysis of every situation, victory can be achieved. They are the logical ones, shunning passion and intuition.

Image via Jackaloupe

Team Valor

Team Valor is lead by high-energy Candela and they're all about courage, bravery, and hard work. For Team Valor, there are no shortcuts when it comes to becoming the best: the only way to reach the top is through good old-fashioned blood, sweat, and tears.

Image via Jackaloupe

Team Instinct

Spark is the leader of Team Instinct, and they're all about trusting your gut. For this intuitive group, all that matters in combat is the moment—everything else is secondary. There's no need to complicate matters with things like science and hard work: for Team Instinct, you already have what it takes to be the best.

Image via Jackaloupe

If you don't know what team to join now, well, then go with your gut. Just hope that your gut doesn't disappoint you.

More Pokémon Guides:

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Cover image remixed from Soraluk Chonvanich/123RF and Merrit Thomas; screenshots by Jacob Medel/NextReality

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