It seems like everyone is playing Pokemon GO, and with an easily understandable reason. The game is highly addictive, gets players outside to enjoy the summer, promotes socializing, generally makes the world a better place (see how here!), serves up a hefty dose of nostalgia, and… well, it’s fun!
The basics are simple – walk around the real world to collect items and catch & hatch Pokemon using Augmented Reality and GPS technology. However, like many mobile games, there are lots of tricks to help you level up quickly… but no instructions.
That’s why we’ve created this little guide to help you be the very best, like no-one ever was. First up – Leveling Up! Pokemon GO is currently capped at Level 40, but that’s a long way away for most users, so here are some of the best ways to get there as quickly as you can.
Catch Pokemon (And Aim Carefully)
Catching Pokemon is the obvious way to acquire XP, and as it’s also the point of the game, you shouldn’t need much encouragement! However, many players won’t attempt to catch a Pokemon that they don’t necessarily feel ‘need’ to acquire again, which means missing out on XP.
New Pokemon grant users 500 XP, but capturing any Pokemon gives 100 XP, which is worth it to help level up. You will also gain extra XP for the quality of your throw – whether it is Nice (10 XP), Great (50 XP) or Excellent (100 XP), plus an extra bonus if you throw a successful curve ball (10XP). Hatching Pokemon also gets you XP, so make sure you always have an egg in your incubator.
Pokestops and Gyms
Both Pokestops and gyms can help players with XP growth, and it adds up quickly. Pokestops give 50 XP whenever they are hit/spun. Players cannot collect the XP if their bag is full however, so make sure to clear a few of your least-used items before spinning. If you're hanging out at a Pokestop with a lure (an item that attracts nearby Pokemon for 30 minutes), remember to keep hitting the stop whenever it turns from purple back to blue to keep getting the XP bonus.
Gyms also grant XP through battling and the amount gained depends on the situation:
- If fight was won at a gym belonging to your team (50 XP).
- If fight was lost on an opposing team’s Pokemon (100 XP).
- If fight was won against an opposing team (150 XP).
Because training against your own team and losing against another team still reward some amount of XP, get training and battling - even if you aren’t sure that you can win. Players holding gyms earn coins (a feature many users do not know about), which you can use to buy tools that will help you level up - Lures, expanded backpacks, Lucky Eggs and Incubators are among the rewards for sale.
The Pidgey Grind
Gamers of free-to-play games and especially, mobile games, know all to well about “grinding” – performing repetitive, mindless actions in-game for the sole purpose of leveling up... just to do more of the same. Pokemon GO is no different, and with this game, you’ll be grinding low-level Pokemon into that all-important XP.
The basics are pretty simple: low level Pokemon are easy to catch, and don’t take a lot of candy to evolve. Evolutions net 500 XP each, no matter the strength or level of the Pokemon. So to grind your way to the next level, it’s a simple matter of catching and evolving as many low-level Pokemon as possible. This is often called the “Pidgey Grind” because Pidgeys are everywhere, are very easy to catch (usually), and require the least amount candy for an evolution (only 12!). That makes them ideal meat for the Pokemon GO Grinder.
Lucky Eggs (Use Them Wisely)
Players can boost their grinding efforts significantly by simply using Lucky Eggs at the right time and being patient in saving them and by saving up evolutions. Don’t evolve your Pokemon as soon as you are able – save them all up until you have several ready and waiting. Then, use one a Lucky Eggs - which doubles all the XP earned over a 30 minute period. Spend that half hour working through every evolution ready to go and reap the benefits of 1000XP each – and even more if you are adding a new Pokemon to your Pokedex.
Using these tips, you can rack up that XP in record time. A single Pidgey could reward 1210 XP if caught with an 'Excellent' curve ball and then evolved with a Lucky Egg whereas a regular catch and evolution without waiting to use an egg would reward only 600 XP. Of course, ignoring it grants players nothing.
By hitting as many Pokestops, catching as many Pokemon, and battling at as many gyms as you can, it’s possible to level up much more efficiently, especially at the start, when less XP is required for the early levels. Even at the higher levels, it’s worthwhile. 1210 XP may not seem like much when a 100 000 XP needs to be earned (at level 22-23 for instance), but every bit helps for dedicated players. This strategy can help players level up more than twice as fast so is worth it in the long haul.
As developer Niantic releases new updates and augments the Pokemon GO, we will keep you updated on new features, tricks and tips!