Pokémon Go is serious business. When you're at a PokeStop sitting on a lure and a large posse roles up on their bicycles you want to be the champion don't you? You want players to both fear your name and stare in awe when it's you're Pokémon sitting on a gym's throne. Well, we've compiled tips and pointers to make sure your rivals don't stand a chance.
1. The most important part of Pokémon Go is leveling. Catch every Weedle, Caterpie, and Pidgey you find, using incense—if you've got it—around lured Pokestops. Leveling increases the potential max Combat Power (CP) of Pokémon you run into in the wild. Plus leveling unlocks new items like Razz Berries at Level 8, Great Balls at Level 12, and Ultra Balls at Level 20. Here's a handy leveling chart compiled by CNET.
2. Save your special items for hard catches: Great Balls, Razz Berries, and Ultra Balls. Pokeballs can be found at nearly every Pokestop, but that doesn’t mean you’ll obtain Razz Berries and Great/Ultra balls every time. Create a stockpile so you're prepared when a CP 500 Arcanine spawns. Don’t be tempted to use them on Rattatas when you’re out of normal Pokeballs. Take a walk around a park to refill instead. You'll be thankful you were a hoarder at higher levels.
3. The catching ring color indicates how difficult it's going to be to catch a Pokémon. The ring starts at green and can show up as yellow, orange, or red, listed in the order of how difficult a catch might be. So, a high CP Dragonite is undoubtedly going to be red—that's why you save items! Switching up your normal Pokeballs for a Great or Ultra, or using a Razz Berry, will affect the ring color accordingly.
4. The type of Pokémon that spawn is heavily correlated with your climate and local terrain. The evidence is not conclusive but suggestive. The Silph Road used an array of data points to determine that grass types were more commonly found on Golf courses, while water are almost certainly found near sources of water (seems obvious right?). At the beach you can find a variety of water Pokemon such as Tentacools and Goldeens, while up in the mountains you might find Clefairies. The evidence is largely anecdotal but that does not mean it's not useful.
5. Not all Pokémon are created equal. When deciding which Pokemon to boost with your stardust handpick Pokémon with the highest CP. Choosing these to evolve will end up saving you stardust as you will have to spend less on powering them up. Keep in mind it takes a lot of stardust to power up Pokémon and you want to save your stardust to power up its final form, such as Nidoking.
6. Use Lucky Eggs to evolve Pokémon in batches. Lucky Eggs are rewarded every few levels and grant double experience for 30 minutes. They are the key to fast leveling. Evolving Pokémon grants 500 experience normally (when evolving Pokémon you've already evolved) which becomes 1000 experience with an Egg. Stocked up Pidgey's, Weedles, and Caterpies are perfect for evolving batches. They only cost 12 candies to evolve into their second form, an easy couple of levels given enough Pokémon. Do not evolve them into their third form when you're grinding. The cost is too high and the experience gained is the same. Save your first time evolutions for Lucky Eggs too, for a huge boost to experience.
7. Head to areas with a high player population. Not only is it safer, but it's suggested that players catch a wider variety of Pokemon when around other trainers, based on anecdotal evidence. Areas that have multiple Pokestops will usually have active Lures which will also increase your chances. Lures are indicated by a storm of flower petals around a Pokestop on your map; they typically attract groups of players.
8. Use Ingress to determine where Pokémon are spawning. Ninatic's first game was Ingress, a similar augmented reality title where players explore their neighborhoods. Opening Ingress will shows you points of light, which are XM in Ingress' lingo, and display areas of high cellular usage. Traveling to concentrations of XM should reveal Pokémon. It's well worth using for players who live in rural areas.
9. It follows that areas in your town where many people frequent are prime locations to find Pokémon: parks, Walmarts, malls, restaurants. However, hiking trails, obscure lakes, isolated volcanoes, and senior citizen homes are unlikely to reveal many Pokémon, graveyards included. Some of the best spots, as reported by users, are malls—wherever large groups of people congregate.
10. Keep a few lower level Pokemon around. You’ll want to have low level Pokémon for powering up friendly gyms. Also, using a low level Pokémon that's super effective against a stronger Pokémon at a gym reaps greater rewards. You can gain as much as 1000 prestige by fighting a 300 CP fire Pokémon with a 150 CP water Pokémon.
11. When you evolve Pokémon their move-set changes so keep a few copies of each Pokemon you plan to evolve. Jolteon doesn't have the same abilities as Evee, and two Jolteon's can evolve with different attacks. So you want to hoard as many of the same type of Pokémon as you can and evolve them to get the right combination of moves.
12. Turn off augmented reality to save battery life and make catching Pokémon a little easier. As soon as you enter a battle you can make the swiping motion on the Pokeball to throw it when the Pokémon is nice and up close, leading to a gauranteed hit but not a guaranteed catch. Thanks to YouTuber Nicolai for this neat little tip.
13. If you play you know Pokémon GO kills batteries without remorse. Instead of heading home to charge you can pick up a portable charger from Amazon, Best Buy, Microcenter, or wherever you shop for electronics. Both I and gUMBLE use the Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger. It's bigger than it looks, like carrying a brick in your pocket. But it's good for six charges and can connect to multiple devices. Pretty handy when you're camping a Pokestop for a long time.
Some Helpful Links
TheSilphRoad Reddit - Lots of helpful information from Redditors who love to dissect Pokémon Go.
If you have any other tips or you see anything here which is wrong let us know and we'll tidy it up.