Lures in Pokèmon are like incense, except they’re better. A lure is an in-game device that is dropped, or more precisely, attached to a Pokèstop. It causes Pokèmon to spawn around the Pokèstop so that anyone who can access it can catch the Pokèmon spawning around it. Where incense works only for the player who has used it, the lure is for everyone. You can buy lures using the in-game currency or you can get them when you reach certain levels. Attaching a lure to a Pokèstop isn’t the same as dropping incense. In fact, it’s quite different and not really something you can really figure out by just tapping on your screen. Here’s how to attach a lure to a Pokèstop.
Visit a Pokèstop that doesn’t already have a lure attached to it. A Pokèstop with a lure is surrounded by what can best be described as pink confetti. Below is an image of a Pokèstop with (left) and without (right) a lure added to it.
To attach a lure, tap a Pokèstop so that you can view it. You can do this from a distance as well and need not be in close proximity to the Pokèstop. Tap on it and you will see a little rounded rectangle just under the Pokèstop’s name. It’s not just a design element. This is a slot for the lure. Tap it.
If you have lures in your inventory, they will appear on your screen. Tap the lure, and tap ‘Use’ to attach it to the Pokèstop.
Lures work for thirty minutes i.e. from the time you drop/attach a lure to a Pokèstop, to thirty minutes after. There is no way to tell how much time you have left until a lure expires. Neither you nor other players in proximity know how much time the lure has so there’s always a chance that a player might see a lure and arrive a little too late to get any benefit from it.
A lure will spawn Pokèmon almost every five minutes however, there is no guarantee that they will all be unique ones. You might just end up with Rattatas or loads of Pidgeys. You might also catch one or two new ones. There is no way to predict this.