While Pokemon GO may not have the hype is used to when it first released, it’s still insanely fun and popular. The premise is simple and easy for anyone to understand- you walk around in the real world and fight and capture Pokemon that appear. Yes, while it does sound simple when put like that, there are a lot strategies and tips you may not be aware of.
All the best Pokemon GO trainers out there are aware and utilizing some of these tips right now to stay on top, and now so can you.
1. Turn AR Mode Off
Yes, augmented reality mode can be cool and sometimes funny depending on where the Pokemon appears, it will help you out in the long run to turn it off. It’ll make capturing the Pokemon easier and your phone’s battery will thank you for it. Plus there’s always the upside of not accidentally pointing your phone at someone’s face and having an uncomfortable interaction.
2. Use Incubators Wisely when Hatching Eggs
Eggs that you collect at PokeStops or from gifts can be a nice way to help fill out your Pokedex, but you need to know the best way to hatch them. To hatch them you need to place them in an incubator and walk the required distance for that egg. You’ll start with an incubator that has unlimited uses. You’ll eventually get some 3x incubators which hatch your eggs faster, but break after three uses.
So when should you use the upgraded Incubators? Well the simple answer is only on eggs that require the longest distances.
Egg distances can range from: 2km , 5km, 7km, 10km and 12km. This Reddit post shows a chart of all the outcomes for each egg tier.
3. Know your Pokemon Types & Advantages
Knowing which Pokemon type is strong against what is crucial when trying to battle. If you find yourself struggling fighting Pokemon, it could be that you’re simply using a type that’s weak to your opponent’s type. For example, Water types are strong against Fire, Ground and Rock types- meaning they’ll do more damage when attacking those types.
- Bug > Dark | Grass | Psychic
- Dark > Ghost | Psychic
- Electric > Flying | Water
- Fairy > Dark | Dragon | Fighting
- Fire > Bug | Grass | Ice | Steel
- Fighting > Normal | Rock | Steel | Ice | Dark
- Flying > Fighting | Bug | Grass
- Ghost > Psychic
- Grass > Ground | Rock | Water
- Ground >Poison | Rock | Steel | Fire | Electric
- Ice > Dragon | Grass | Ground | Flying
- Poison > Grass | Fairy
- Psychic > Fighting | Poison
- Rock > Flying | Bug | Fire | Ice
- Steel > Fairy | Ice | Rock
- Water > Fire | Ground | Rock
4. Plan your Pokemon Evolution Carefully
Make sure you check your Pokedex to see how a specific Pokemon will evolve. Knowing your Pokemon’s evolution path is critical to ensure you don’t waste your time and candy evolving useless Pokemon. It’s always advisable to prioritize the rarer, stronger evolutions rather than spamming out a bunch of mid-tier evolved Pokemon.
It’s also worth checking the evolution path because many Pokemon have other evolved forms that will open up as the game developes and expands.
5. Don't Waste your Incense
Incense is an item that will cover you in a fragrance that attracts wild Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes. Sounds great, but if you’re standing still at most you’ll see one Pokemon every 5 minutes.
Sounds less great, huh? Well the solution for this is to simply start moving around and go for a walk! This way you should see a Pokemon appearing about every 200 meters! If the weather outside is bad or you don’t feel like going out, you can always use a lunar module instead.
6. Buddy Up with Rare Pokemon
Because some Pokemon don’t appear very often, it’s a good idea to set them as your buddy once you’ve caught one. While walking your rare Pokemon buddy around you’ll start slowly earning candies for that type.
Also note that changing your buddy will cause you to lose any progress you’ve made earning hearts. So if you’re close to earning that candy, get the candy first then switch.
7. Pokeball Curveballs
When capturing a Pokemon you can throw a curveball to gain more XP. All you need to do is tap on the ball, hold it and spin it around clockwise or counter-clockwise until it starts to sparkle. Once you see the shimmer toss it at the Pokemon and snag some sweet bonus XP.
If you find yourself missing the target completely, remember that you’re putting “spin” on the ball. So if you rotate clockwise, you need to throw the ball to the left and to the right for the other direction.
8. Power Up your Trainer, Then your Pokemon
As your Trainer levels up the rewards you get will grow with your Trainer level. You’ll hatch and evolve Pokemon at a higher level and be able to power them up further.
Speaking of powering up your Pokemon, did you know it costs more candies the lower your Trainer XP is? Well it does, which means it may be better to save those power-ups until you’ve gotten to around level 20 or so.
We’ll do a more in-depth guide on how to level as fast as possible, but here’s a few tips for getting XP quickly:
- Catch everything you come across
- Evolve base Pokemon with excess candies. EX: Rattata / Pidgeys
- Use lucky eggs when you have time to actively play
- Battle with friends to get XP when you take over Gyms
9. Don't Fight a Losing Battle
Knowing what you and your Pokemon can and can’t handle will be a critical skill you’ll develop as you play. Remember that when you lose the fight you’ll have to go and revive / heal your team, so pick your fights carefully.
Make sure you inspect the power of the Pokemon in any raid battle before entering. As for Gyms, you can wear down your opponents slowly overtime, so don’t be too afraid to try and take a Gym.
10. Raid Remotely from Home
The pandemic did have at least one positive outcome and that’s the introduction of Remote Raid Passes. These passes let you join a Remote Raid without having to physically be at the location of the Raid.
To join a Remote Raid, you need to head to the Gym that has the Raid Egg above it. Then just hit the battle button and you’ll be sorted with other trainers. You can always play with friends by joining a private raid and using the group code to join up.
11. Capture Gyms when you're Strong Enough
Capturing a Gym not only gives you XP, but it also is the only way to earn some free PokeCoins. You’ll need at least 6 strong Pokemon to start with and your trainer to be level 5 or above. Then just find a Gym that is either doesn’t get much traffic or that has the weakest team defending it. Fight the weakest Pokemon first and work your way up to the strongest.
If you manage to win and capture a gym, you’ll want to leave some Pokemon behind to defend it. This will slowly start to earn you some coins. Avoid Gyms that are in densely populated areas as much as possible. You may like our guide on How to Get Free PokeCoins.
12. Redeem Rewards for Controlling a Gym
As important as it is to capture a Gym it’s even more important that you actually redeem your rewards for controlling them. Players are limited to earning up to 50 PokeCoins per day, so you’ll want to make sure you collect your coins each day.
To claim your rewards, just go to the in-game Shop and tap the shield icon. You’ll also get some stardust too! You’ll have to wait up to 21 hours before being able to tap the shield again.
13. Know your Pokemon Locations
Pokemon, like real animals, can only be found in certain locations. For instance, if you’re trying to catch water types, your best bet is to search around lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. This applies to other types as well, so make sure you know in what location the Pokemon you’re searching for can be found.
You can also track nearby Pokemon using the “Nearby” feature. You can even see silhouettes of Pokemon that are nearby landmarks to help guide you to the correct locations.
14. Don't Waste your Lucky Eggs
15. Know which Actions give more XP
Another key factor in getting the most out of your lucky eggs and your time is knowing which in-game actions give you the most XP.
Capturing a Pokemon: 100 XP
Registering a new Pokemon in your Pokedex: 500 XP
Evolving a Pokemon: 500 XP
Checking a PokeStop: 50 – 100 XP
Capture Bonuses: Nice: 10 XP | Great: 100 XP | Excellent: 100 XP | Curveball: 10 XP
Hatching a Pokemon: 2km: 200 XP | 5km: 700 XP | 10km: 1000 XP
Training and Battles: vary based on success.
16. Weather Affects Pokemon Too
Similar to the location, weather will also affect what kinds of Pokemon you’ll see. For example if it’s raining you’ll be more likely to see water-types. Weather will also buff that specific type’s strength and give you extra stardust when caught.
Here’s a quick list of what weather boosts which type:
- Clear/Sunny: Fire, Grass and Ground.
- Partly cloudy: Normal and Rock.
- Cloudy: Fairy, Fighting and Poison.
- Rain: Water, Electric and Bug.
- Snow: Ice and Steel.
- Fog: Dark and Ghost.
- Windy: Dragon, Flying and Psychic.
17. Extend your Battery Life
One way to ensure the game doesn’t devour your battery life is by turning on “Battery Saver” in the settings. This will shut off the screen while your phone is pointed downward in your pocket. The app still tracks your distance to hatch eggs and vibrates to alert you when a Pokemon appears. Your phone will need an accelerometer in them to know when your phone is pointing downwards.
18. Check the Moves of your Pokemon
Got some Pokemon duplicates and unsure of which one to send to the Professor for candy? Check the Pokemon’s moves because each one can be different.
For example, one pikachu may know Thunder Shock and Thunderbolt while your other one only knows Quick Attack and Discharge. So you’ll want to prioritize keeping the Pokemon with the better moves. You can also see how much damage each move does and other useful information.
Don’t be afraid to keep a Pokemon that has lower CP but better moves because you can always power them up later.
19. Transfer Pokemon for Candies
20. Use Adventure Sync
Whenever you don’t have time to play but still want to hatch some eggs passively as you walk around, use Adventure Sync. Just turn it on in the game’s settings and it will be synced with the step counter on your phone. Now you’ll still be able to hatch those eggs without needing Pokemon Go running and eating up your phone’s battery life.
21. Pikachu as your Starter Pokemon
This only applies to those who haven’t yet played Pokemon GO and chose their starter Pokemon. When you’re given the option to pick from Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle for the first time, just walk away without picking any of them.
Eventually Pikachu will show up for you to take and this is the easiest way to get one early on.
22. Don't be a Hoarder
Just like sending excess Pokemon to the professor, it’s also a good idea to not hold onto so many items/potions needlessly. I doubt you’ll need 99 of every potion type and you’ll need room for more Pokeballs, so just drop the excess and manage your inventory well.
23. Complete your Research Tasks
These tasks are a great way to get some Stardust, items and rare Pokemon encounters. You get them by spinning the Pokestop. You can only have three active tasks at a time, but you can abandon any task that you cant do by trashing it. When you abandon a task it will allow you to take a new one, so make sure you’re only picking up the ones you can feasibly do.
Currently, there are three different types of tasks:
Field Research: Usually very simple tasks with one objective such as “Spin a Pokestop”. The rewards will vary, but they are quite easy and you can complete a lot of them per day.
Special Research: More complex tasks usually involving multiple goals/steps. Ex: catching and transferring a certain Pokemon.
Research Breakthrough: These tasks involve collecting stamps. You can get some nice rewards like Stardust, more items and rare Pokemon encounters.
24. Use PokeStops Efficiently
A small tip for when you’re visiting a PokeStop is to collect your items just hit the X at the bottom to close the Stop. So instead of tapping all the items released you can save some time by just hitting the one button. Also if you’re planning on staying near the stop for some time, you an revisit the same PokeStop for more items every few minutes.
25. Look out for Pokemon when Travelling
This one is kind of a no-brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people forget to check for new Pokemon when they’re travelling. Your local area will probably not have all of the different types of Pokemon, so you’ll need to travel a bit to find them.
This could be something as simple as getting off the bus a few stops early and walking home, or having an excuse to finally visit a relative.
You could even get super lucky and come across a special event in that region. These introduce special or rare Pokemon that otherwise wouldn’t have shown up in that area. Be sure and check the news section of the Pokemon GO app to see if one’s happening.
26. Favorite Pokemon you want to Evolve
Pokemon GO is always adding more regions to explore and Pokemon to capture. This makes keeping up with what Pokemon you’re trying to evolve difficult. To combat this, make sure you favorite any Pokemon you’re actively trying to evolve, which places a star on them so you can find them easily.
27. Know how to Evolve your Eevee's
This little furry friend has 7 total evolutions! Knowing what they are and how to evolve into them can seem daunting, but it’s not that difficult if you know the tricks. Read our full guide on how to evolve Eevee!
Nickname Trick: You can rename Eevee to one of the following names in order to guarantee it will evolve into your desired forms. Once you’ve successfully renamed it you’ll see the “EVOLVE” tab change from a “?” to the silhouette of your desired form. You can only do this once per form.
- Vaporeon: Rainer
- Jolteon: Sparky
- Flareon: Pyro
- Espeon: Sakura
- Umbreon: Tamao
- Leafeon: Linnea
- Glaceon: Rea
- Sylveon: Kira
28. Capturing a Boss Pokemon
Well you’ve finally beaten a Boss Pokemon and you’re ready to capture him, but how? Well you can’t use any regular PokeBalls, you’ll need “Premier Balls” which you’ll get for just beating the boss. These Premier Balls are the only type of ball that can capture a boss Pokemon.
The amount of Premier Balls you receive depends on how well you performed during the battle. These balls will disappear once you’ve tried to capture the boss, so you’ll want to use berries or any item to improve your chances of capture.
29. Trading Pokemon to get a Lucky one
Besides transferring your Pokemon for some Candies, you can also trade Pokemon with your friends for a chance for them to become lucky. Lucky means they’ll require less Stardust to power up than a regular Pokemon. Note that it’s a chance to upgrade, so not every trade will result in a lucky Pokemon.
30. Use your Rare Berries Carefully
Because Golden Razz Berries and Silver Pinap Berries are so rare and sought after, you’ll want to save them for a good use.
Golden Razz Berries will help increase your chance to capture a Pokemon by about 25%. You’ll want to save your best berries and Pokeballs for when you come accross a rare or difficult to catch Pokemon. Be sure you don’t use multiple berries at the same time because they don’t stack.