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Two things I know are:

But what if I walk without using incense? Will they spawn after X meters Y seconds?

Or is it just luck to pass by a spawn point at the right time?

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    luck is required - there needs to be a pokemon in your scan radius and the scan needs to have caught it (not moving too fast that scan bubbles 'miss' pokemon) – Kevin L Sep 2 '16 at 12:59
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Pokemon will spawn regardless of whether you walk or not. Unless you're incensed, Pokemon are spawned at locations for everyone rather than for people specifically.

This is the reason that people in rural areas have voiced complaints about the spawn rate for the game.

To answer your question, finding Pokemon is mostly just being in the right place at the right time (even more so since tracking has been reverted to a work-in-progress).

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Pokémon spawn on natural spawn points, Lure modules and Incense, so you'll have to rely on natural spawns in your area. Pokémon don't spawn, because of your sole existence there.

If you don't come across natural spawns your route might not have any, but you can't tell for sure just by going there once.

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