So you’ve figured out the basics of catching Pokémon, shaking down PokéStops for supplies, and hitting the gym to train or battle. Now you’re ready for some next-level education. Here are several tips that will help you gain more levels in less time, train stronger Pokémon, and win more battles.
Conserve Poké Balls
Image via Flickr by Shikiro Famu
Early in the game, Pokémon are easy to catch and Poké Balls are plentiful. It’s tempting to stop and throw some balls at every creature you see, but it’s a bad habit as the game progresses. When you level up, you’ll start encountering tricky Pokémon who fight back when you try to catch them. Inevitably, you’ll run out of Poké Balls while you’re facing the rarest and most desirable Pokémon. There’s one good way to conserve them early on: ignore Zubat, which are hard to catch and take 50 candies to evolve.
Catch Unevolved Forms
Another way to conserve balls is not to chase after evolved forms of common Pokémon. A Pidgeotto is worth exactly the same amount of stardust and candy as its little brother Pidgey but is much harder to catch. Focus instead on accumulating the lower forms that you can transfer for candies and on finding new forms. Each new form you discover earns you a 500 experience point (XP) bonus.
Use Lucky Eggs Wisely
A Lucky Egg doubles your XP for 30 minutes. You’ll earn XP for finding new Pokémon, hatching eggs, and leveling up the creatures in your collection. So the best way to use your Lucky Egg is to keep catching and transferring low-level Pokémon and save up the candies you earn. Pidgey, Weedle, and Caterpie are the easiest to evolve, so load up on them. Use this free online calculator to help you decide whether you have enough candies and critters to make your Lucky Egg worthwhile.
Once you have a full set of Pokémon and candies, walk around until the eggs in your incubators are nearly ready to hatch. Then head to a new place that should be a hotbed for new species — a major park or local attraction, for instance. Activate your Lucky Egg and quickly evolve as many Pokémon as you can, then spend the rest of your 30 minutes walking so that you can hunt new species and hatch eggs. Another option is to go to an area full of PokéStops. You get 50 points of experience per stop, which doubles with the Lucky Egg.
It’s best not to get overly attached to any particular Pokémon. As your level increases, you’ll be catching higher-level versions of your early evolutions anyway. But if you’re holding two Pokémon with similar CP levels and trying to decide which one to evolve, there are some factors you should consider. The most important ones are the relative HP and which attacks each monster knows. Familiarize yourself with the attacks you see most often so that you’ll recognize the special ones when they appear. Some sources are reporting rumors that the relative weights of each Pokémon might also matter.
Use Multiple Devices
If you have the option of playing Pokémon GO on an iPhone 7 or another smartphone with a large screen and a SIM card, you’ll enjoy all that extra space. Throwing Poké Balls on a larger screen is a real treat. On the other hand, a small phone makes it easier to leave the app open in your pocket so that you can rack up mileage to hatch eggs. If you have more than 60 Pokémon to evolve when you activate your Lucky Egg, you can log into your game on both devices and go crazy.
You’ve probably heard that your Pokémon will be stronger if you wait until you’re above level 10 to evolve them. It’s best to wait until after they’ve evolved to power them up, too. Save up your stardust and candies until you’re at higher levels and you’ll bring a much higher caliber of Pocket Monsters into battle.
If you’re patient and wise, you can maximize your own level and the power of your Pokémon team. But remember that the main point of the game is to have fun. If you never win a gym battle but you’ve explored new territory, made new friends, and enjoyed some fresh air and sunshine, then you’ve come out ahead.