When you start playing Pokemon your in-game starter kit includes Poke balls and incense. The Poke Balls you already know what to do with but the incense is also incredibly useful. The incense attracts Pokemon to wherever you drop it. It can cause Pokemon to spawn where the incense has been dropped and it can also attract Pokemon that are nearby to the location. You can’t target what type of Pokemon is attracted to the incense because they do still spawn according to habitat. If you’re in range of a few Pokemon and unable to physically go and find them, a little incense can do wonders. Here’s how to use it.
To access you items inventory, tap the Poke Ball and select ‘Items’. The incense is at the very top. Tap it and you will switch back to the map screen with the incense floating on top.
Drag & drop it wherever you want. The incense has a range which is slightly larger than the player’s own range for capturing Pokemon. If you change your mind about using the incense, just tap the little cross at the bottom.
The incense lasts thirty minutes. Once dropped, a pink mist cloud appears inside the player’s range circle. The circle will be slightly larger than it normally is. When the incense is active, a timer appears just below the compass at the top right of the map.
Keep the game running and eventually a Pokemon will show up for you to catch.
The incense continues to work for thirty minutes and you can capture as many Pokemon that appear within range. The incense only serves to attract the Pokemon and doesn’t aid in capturing them. As a player, you’re free to move around. The incense will follow you and not just work on the location you dropped it on. Walking around with incense will allow you to capture far more Pokemon than you would by just staying in one place.
You’ll quickly find that using the incense is incredibly tempting. The best time and place to use it of course is when there are lots of Pokemon nearby. Use the Nearby menu and the rustling grass on the map to see how close Pokemon are before you decide to use the incense. If there are no Pokemon nearby, you can still use incense and it will attract Pokemon. The spawn rate might be lower than it would have been if there were lots of Pokemon nearby. It’s also worth mentioning here that not all Pokemon that are nearby will show up. If there are lots of them nearby and one or two of them are rare, you shouldn’t expect the rare ones to spawn definitely. As we mentioned earlier, you cannot target a particular Pokemon.
You start out with just two incenses and they will go quickly while you try and get the hang of it. The question is, where to get more? You can get incense in two different ways; you can buy it using the in-game currency, or you can get it free from a Poke Stop.
In my personal experience with incense, I was able to catch four Pokemon in the span of thirty minutes. There were quite a few of them nearby and the incense did the trick. The incense works only for you i.e. other players cannot benefit from it nor will they know the area you’ve dropped incense on is a hotspot for Pokemon.