Pokémon Go asks you to make a big decision when you reach trainer level 5: what team will you join? You can pick from Team Mystic, Team Valor and Team Instinct, each represented by one of Gen 1's legendary bird Pokémon. The decision mainly affects who your real-world teammates are as you take gyms in the game for those sweet PokéCoins.
However, one player decided that the path of strife and gym battling was not for them, and opted to walk the path of peace by not picking a team at all. They recently reached the maximum trainer level currently allowable in the game — which means they made it a full 35 levels without ever deciding on what team to represent.
Pokémon Go gymless player: why they decided against joining a team, in their own words
In a Silph Road Reddit post titled "I reached level 40 without joining a team," user Aqailo wrote a little bit about their experience playing the game without ever participating in gym battling.
Aqailo's gymless account is actually their third — they started an account with Team Mystic because they thought "when legendaries were eventually released they would be exclusive to each team," and their second account was Team Instinct, owing to the team's lack of representation in Aqailo's area. They started their third account on July 12, and didn't bother joining a team by accident.
"By this time many people had reached the mid teens," they wrote in their post. "I was severely behind, so I didn't bother with joining a team. In the meantime, I was having so much fun hunting for Pokémon (both rare and common) that I kept putting off joining a team."
Although Aqailo's friends tried to convince them to join a team as they continued to level up, they stated that their decision to consciously remain teamless didn't happen until they reached level 30 last September.
"It was around the time I reached the late 20s that I began to think I was possibly one of the highest level people playing who had not joined a team," they wrote. "I reached level 30 in September, and it was at that time that I became set on my play style — I would not be joining a team."
Thanks to gaining 2.7 million XP during the Thanksgiving event that brought Aqailo to level 36 and a further 5 million during the Eggstravaganza, they reported that they finally reached level 40 on May 10. Although Aqailo states that they're not interested in joining a team anytime soon, it doesn't mean they don't have goals for their gameplay.
Now that they've completed the regional Pokédex for Gen 1, they want to focus their efforts on getting a full Perfect IV Pokédex and assuming Niantic releases a full roster of shiny Pokémon, Aqailo wants to catch a shiny version of every one as well.
More Pokémon Go guides, tips and tricks
If you're booting up the game for the first time in a while to get ready for Gen 2, be sure to check out Mic's guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10-kilometer eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.