Long gone are the days it seems when we could look forward to an international release for Pokemon. Ever since introducing this phenomena with Pokemon X and Y, Nintendo has failed to deliver another international release for their subsequent games in the franchise. Europeans were forced to wait an extra five days for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and it seems that we are left to suffer yet again. While the rest of the world can pick up Pokemon Sun and Moon on November 18th, those of us across the pond are left to anxiously wait until the 23rd. How exactly do you survive these extra five days, then? Well, hopefully we can provide you with some advice on how to cope with this torturous wait, and for those who do not need to fret over this, maybe you can learn to be sympathetic towards your gaming neighbors over here in Europe.


Step One: Be Wary of Social Media

This step should already be in full force in all honesty. Sadly, some people have managed to get early copies of Sun and Moon well before launch and have begun to leak the contents of the game online. This goes from people uploading the entire story campaign to YouTube to leaking the entire new Alola PokeDex on different social media sites. As much as it may pain you to do so, you may want to try and avoid using such sites as Tumblr or even Reddit for some time leading up to the release. More commonly used sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be harder to actually manage as you don’t know what’s going to pop up onto your feed until it’s too late. Luckily there are some search bar tools that allow you to black list certain keywords on websites or hide content relating to a subject from your view. It may be worth investing the minute or two to safely install these into your browser if you are adamant about not having the game spoiled. Probably the one place that will be safe to browse is Instagram, but there may be the chance of someone you’re following posting a picture relating to the new releases… really, nowhere on the Internet is safe, but you probably already knew that!


Step Two: Distract Yourself with Other Games

Still tempted to check the Internet? Fear not, as there is something else that can distract you from both the web and from thinking too much about how much fun the rest of the world is having on their Pokemon adventure. Play some other video games! Yes, it may be shocking to realize that Pokemon is not the only video game franchise in your life, but it’s true. Have another look over your video game library. Is there a game hiding in your collection that you have yet to complete? Crack it back open and dive right in, you do have a five day wait after all. Craving that urge for exploration and adventure? Give yourself a good little wander around in a big expansive game like Skyrim or maybe even Minecraft. Feel the need to prove that you are the very best, like no one ever was? Jump right into some Overwatch and vent your frustrations onto other players. Need a shoulder to cry on now that you know your online friends are getting a good head start on their journies? There are plenty of video game characters waiting to comfort you in some dating sims, just like Asagao Academy and Hatoful Boyfriend. Other video game recommendations are available, of course, but the point is that sometimes you need to play a different video game when you are stressing out over another one.


Step Three: Go Outside

This step is a lot more helpful than you may think. With the wait for Pokemon, you may have forgotten that we are entering the festive season. It’s the time to be jolly and all that jazz. Take a little wander outside, maybe go to your town and take a look around. You’ll see the gentle glow of street lights and the smell of Christmas inspired hot drinks in cafes. Shops will be twinkling with tinsel and maybe while you are walking down the high street, your game store might have some good deals in the window. Still wanting your Pokemon fix while outside? Well, if you haven’t given up completely on Pokemon GO, then you could take the time to hatch some eggs and give your Buddy Pokemon a good little walk. While many websites like to claim that the app game is dead now, there is clearly still a decent fan base for the game in existence, otherwise Niantic wouldn’t still be working on updates for the game. Recently they have improved the spawn rates of Pokemon so you’re more likely to encounter a better variety of them, with less Pidgey and Rattata clogging up your screen. There have also been confirmations that data in the app does allude to a future update that will add the Johto Pokemon to the game at long last. Finally, after the great success of the Halloween event for Pokemon GO, there is a strong possibility that they may roll out an event for Christmas as well.


Step Four: A Problem Shared Is a Problem Halved

Surely you have local friends who are suffering the same horrid wait for Pokemon as you are. Take the time to meet up, spend time with those friends, and share in your outrage that yet again you have been cheated out of an international release for your monster catching game. It can be quite therapeutic to share your problems with your friends and better still if you know that they are going through the exact same thing. You can both channel your frustrations into something positive. Get the whole gang together, just like in the new Pokemon Sun and Moon trailers, and start training! Bring out your copies of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and help each other complete your PokeDex. Prepare your boxes for trading over your older generation Pokemon into Sun and Moon when they release, and maybe even challenge each other to some battles or unique challenges. Give each other tricky quests to complete, like who can be the first to encounter a wild Shiny Pokemon or who can catch the most Pokemon in a set period of time. Socializing will reduce your stress and anxiety and prove something to your parents: playing video games does help you make friends!


Step Five: Imagine Your Dream Team

Assuming that you have only exposed yourself to official reveals by Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, you at least have an idea of some of the newest Pokemon that will debut in Sun and Moon. You can spend the time mulling over your starter decision if you haven’t picked one all ready. Will you pick the fiery Litten, the playful Popplio, or the adorable Rowlet? With several islands to explore and all new type combinations to have on your team, there is a lot of planning to be done to figure out who you want to take with you on this important journey through Alola. There is, of course, the decision of which version of the game you will buy, unless you intend to go the whole hog and get both versions of the game. Your decision may help or hinder you as there are some version exclusive Pokemon outside of the main legendaries. Take that into consideration, and after you have drawn up your catching plans, you should have filled up a decent percentage of your waiting time.


On the other hand, you could easily just ignore all of this advice and go to the greatest of extremes to wait out this delayed period. You could gather up all the snacks you own, go down to your basement, and essentially hibernate for the entirety of the five days so that you know for absolute certain that no one is going to spoil anything for you. That is a tad extreme and we wouldn’t recommend it. At the end of the day, we have all been waiting the entire year for Sun and Moon to finally be released, so in the grand scheme of things, five extra days of waiting shouldn’t be too bad. Soon enough, everyone all over the world will be able to enjoy Pokemon Sun and Moon, we just have to keep calm and catch ’em all when it is finally released.