Pokémon GO: tips and tricks

Tips and tricks from one week of playing, that is. Ahem. Here are my Pokémon, sorted by CP, so you can decide if you even want to take advice from me:



1. Turn off AV

AV mode looks cool because it uses your camera and places the Pokémon in the real world with you, but the downside is that it requires you to face a particular direction. This makes it awkward to play when you’re walking (believe me, I’ve walked crablike, backwards, etc) and also awkward in a moving vehicle. If you turn off AV, you can face any direction.

2. Use the Sinathrow

It makes it easier to catch Pokémon and keep them caught. I’ve tried it and it takes me fewer balls on average to catch one.

3. Spin the Pokéstops even if your bag is full

You get the 50 XP anyway, you just don’t get items.

4. Save evolutions for lucky egg time

You can do about 1 evolution per minute. You have 30 minutes of double XP when you activate a lucky egg. Instead of 15k XP, you can earn 30k if you save them up for when you have a lucky egg going. Even better if you have eggs about to hatch and you can walk around while you evolve, and get double XP for your newly hatched eggs too.

5. You *might* be able to choose what your Eevee evolves into

This Buzzfeed article says you can if you rename your Eevee before evolving. I haven’t tried it personally, but the poll results at the moment show that it’s working for 75% of people who have tried it (12% success, 4% fail, the rest haven’t tried it).

6. Wait to power up / evolve

It is tempting to evolve or power up your Pokémon as soon as you can, but from experience, I’ve gotten better results from just walking around and finding higher CP Pokémon. As you level up, the Pokémon you find will also have higher CP. For example, if you start powering up an Eevee that’s CP 10, it would cost you about 26 Eevee candies (not to mention stardust) just to get him to CP 400, but you’re likely to just find one of that CP once you level up enough. And with all the Eevee candies you’ve saved, you can evolve the higher level one!

7. Items you get at different levels

When you level up, you start seeing new items at Pokéstops:

Level 8 – Razz Berry, which are a bribe and make it easier to catch Pokémon
Level 12 – Great Ball, like a Poké Ball, but with a higher catch rate
Level 10 – Super Potion, restores HP of one Pokémon by 50 points
Level 15 – Hyper Potion, restores HP of one Pokémon by 200 points
Level 20 – Ultra Ball, like a Great Ball, but with a higher catch rate

[The following discussion of gyms becomes relevant after you reach level 5. At which point you should choose to be on Team Mystic.]

8. Cash out at gyms

You can collect 10 gold coins and 500 stardust for each Pokémon you leave defending a gym. But you can only cash out once every 21 hours. If you think you can leave Pokémon at several gyms at once without anyone getting kicked out before you can collect, feel free to wait. Where I live, gym takeovers are swift, so I collect right away. Just go to “Shop” and you’ll see the shield in the top right corner — click on it to collect your coins. Coins you can use to buy things like more Pokéballs, lucky eggs, more storage, lures, etc.

9. Leave Pokémon at gyms

You can leave a Pokémon defending a gym even if you didn’t ever train there. Look for a button in the lower left corner of your screen when you enter a gym. A gym of level N has N spots for defenders. Sometimes gyms have an empty spot. Leave someone and cash out.

10. How home gyms work

At a home team gym, you only get to pick one of your Pokémon to fight everyone defending the gym. If you win at a home gym, that doesn’t mean you get a spot. You only get the chance to leave one of your Pokémon defending the gym once the gym levels up. Even then, someone could swoop in and leave one of theirs before you do.

11. How enemy gyms work

You can choose a team of 6. If you win, (or even if you manage to beat a few of the gym defenders) the gym prestige goes down. When it goes down to 0, it becomes “unclaimed” and you can take the gym over for your team by leaving one of your Pokémon there. But if you don’t do it fast enough, again, someone else could swoop in and claim the gym, even if you were the one that ousted the last team.

For more info, AppUnwrapper has written a comprehensive post on gyms.


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