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I see pictures online of everyone having all these Pokémon to catch being everywhere around them, but it seems like I can only ever see one or two. I live in a rural area, but even walking miles through the farmland, it's rare to find any Pokémon.

Why is this? How can I find more Pokémon?

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Pokémon spawns in Pokémon Go are random, so it could just be bad luck if you don't have any near you, and you might want to try again later. However, the spawn locations are also weighted based on population density. Much like in Niantic's other game Ingress, Pokémon Go uses Google Traffic to get the traffic density in each area by tracking the GPS locations of Android phones. The more people that frequent an area, the more Pokémon there will be there.

Ironically, the best way to find wild Pokémon is to go to the city, not the wild.

I believe that PokéStops are also weighted a bit more heavily, because I saw many Pokémon spawn directly on top of my church in the country, but I suppose that could just be because a few hundred people spend a few hours there every week. Regardless, this could be a useful plan if just because many people go to those locations.

If you are really in the middle of nowhere though and unable to find fellow humans, the best plan would be to wait. Even if there are no Pokémon near you when you start the app, just having the app open will cause at least some Pokémon to spawn near you. I don't think I've waited long without having any Pokémon near me, so I would just go look for the one or two that are nearby, because more should spawn while you catch those.

And then if you don't want to move or wait, you can always just pay money. Using Incense will make more Pokémon spawn near you for 30 minutes, so that's a pretty good solution for the rich farmer. If you are at a PokéStop and you want more Pokémon, you can also use a Lure on one and it will cause more Pokémon to spawn by that PokéStop. If you're lucky, someone else may have already used one on a local PokéStop and you can benefit for free.

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    The article which claims "just having the app open will cause at least some Pokemon to spawn near you" has numerous factual errors. Pokemon spawns are reportedly on a timer, something like randomly once an hour at each spawn point, and the Pokemon de-spawns after 15 minutes. The number of spawn points in an area is based on the Android GPS location data. – LeBleu Jul 13 '16 at 19:02
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    "Even if there are no Pokémon near you when you start the app, just having the app open will cause at least some Pokémon to spawn near you." I beg to differ, I have had the app for 5 days now and I have not seen a SINGLE pokemon nearby since the starters, checking it regularly for the first 2 days, not so much anymore. I live really out in the boonies. Even took a few 1-3 km walks and still nothing. Have to go to the village nearby for anything to spawn – CoqPwner Jul 17 '16 at 13:18
  • Is it really based on Android Smartphones? I heard of regions like Boston where iOS has user rates of about 90 percent. Would that mean that there are nearly no Pokemon in Boston? :D – h0ch5tr4355 Jul 18 '16 at 11:07
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    @h0ch5tr4355 Boston has more then 600000 People living there.if only 1% of them is using Android that will be enough.i live in a very small town and even here i can find some.only when i go in the wood or field where no houses or streets are,i find no pokemon at all – kl78 Jul 20 '16 at 21:30
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    I wonder if more people go to church now... – Mehrdad Jul 21 '16 at 21:22
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I work on a military air base with a nice cushy desk job. I've spent an entire day refreshing and keeping the app running without finding a single pokemon. It helps to have multiple people with their apps open all together. Increase appearances. Density is everything

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    Millitary/Government areas are given a 0% spawn rate. – Fredy31 Jun 25 '18 at 22:51
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Ullallulloo is right. It's kind of random. I have even used an incense and had none spawn in the 30 minute duration. High traffic areas are better. Our shopping center has 4 gyms and 2 pokestops in the same area. The entire thing can't be more than a km across...

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