Instinct, Mystic and Valor. Three teams from which you'll choose. And you'll want to choose wisely.
So you've finally reached Level 5 in Pokémon Go. That opens up an entire new world of gameplay. Gyms are now a huge deal. You can actually do things with them.
But more important is that you can now join one of three teams. (Remember factions from Ingress? Same sort of thing.) And once you're on a team, it's time to do team stuff. Like get jackets made, come up with a theme song and learn a cool dap. (That's a secret handshake, boys and girls.)
Here's what you need to know about the three teams in Pokémon Go:
Does it matter which Pokémon Go team you choose?
Yes! It matters a great deal! It's everything, really! Only, no. It doesn't matter at all. That is, gameplay is the same for each of the teams. One isn't inherently better than another. It's when a team is acting as a group that things get interesting. It's the makeup of the entire team itself — the individual levels and items from each player — that makes a difference.
So you'll probably want to pair up with people you know. Or, if you prefer confrontation, play on a different team than someone you're actively playing with.
This team is yellow. So if you don't like yellow, you'll want to look elsewhere. And it's led by Spark. And Spark thinks that you should trust your instincts. (Thus the name of the team. Instinct.)
The Instinct logo is, of course, none other than that beautiful bird Zapdos.
Mystic is blue, with Articuno (that's another legendary bird, if you're just getting into the Pokémon world), leading the way. Blanche leads Mystic and employs that sort of calm analysis you'd expect from someone who chases Pokémon while wearing boots.
Candela leads Valor — the red team. And Candela's bird is Moltres. If you think Valor projects an air of power, well, you're right. Training and strength are at the top of this team's playbook.
Can you change your team?
Nope. Currently you're not allowed to change your team on Pokémon Go, and for the obvious reasons. (Ingress allowed a change, for what that's worth.) So maybe ask your friends before deciding which team you want to join. See who's picked what.
And choose wisely.