Tips For All Trainers
1. Join your local community
Most likely there is a local Pokemon Go community you can join. The most common community platforms are as follows:
The role of the local community has evolved over the years. In the early days, there was a lot of use on coordinating EX Raids (for example, someone says he can only join 20 minutes after the EX raid starts and wants to know if there are people who can wait that long). These days, it’s more about uncovering rare Pokemon spawns (there are scanners that report rare spawns) and occasionally reporting when a Pokestop has a desirable research task.
2. Join Pokemon Go communities on Reddit
Reddit has several communities dedicated to Pokemon Go. The one I frequent the most is Silph Road, where most of the members are hard-core Pokemon Go players. There is also /r/pokemongo, which has a wider audience base that includes casual users, and /r/SilphArena, which is dedicated for battling in Pokemon Go. People on Silph Road are very knowledgeable and passionate, but I’ve certainly seen instances where there is a lot of negative attitude (especially towards Niantic — the prevailing attitude is “they make so much money, why can’t they QA their game?!”), and I’ve also seen occasions where newbie questions get downvoted.
3. Have a playing partner
Pokemon Go is a social game, and having people you can play together not only adds to the fun, but it also makes certain tasks easier. For example, it’s much easier to find a partner to trade with. Also, if there are two people who play together, the two of you can take down any three-star raids if you are at least level 35 and have good counters to the boss Pokemon.
4. Add friends
You can have a maximum of 200 friends in Pokemon Go. There are several benefits of adding friends:
- XP increase. When you gain a new best friend, you earn 100,000 XP. Coupled that with a lucky egg, you can get 200,000 XP at once. Best friend XP is currently the largest source of XP in Pokemon Go.
- Item replenishment. When you receive gifts from friends, these gifts will often contain useful in-game items such as potions and Pokeballs.
- Real-life friendship. By being friends in game, you can build up actual friendship with local trainers. Before the pandemic hit, it is quite common to see people exchanging friend codes before or after a raid.
5. Interact with your friends
You can level up friendship in the following ways:
- Send / receive gifts
- Battle together
- Battle each other
- Trade Pokemon
6. Use the infinite incubator wisely
You always have at least one incubator, and that is an infinite incubator that does not expire. You may also have additional incubators that have limited use (usually 3-use or 1-use). There are two rules to follow on using the infinite incubator:
- Always use the infinite incubator to hatch an egg.
- When you are using more than one incubator, always use the infinite incubator on the egg that requires the least amount of distance.
7. Think about your goal for your buddy Pokemon
Buddy pokemon serves a variety of purposes. Some people use it for battling (a best buddy gets a 0.5 level boost). Some people use it accumulate candies (and candy XL for those above level 40). Some people use it to show off a rare Pokemon they have caught. Some use it to achieve certain tasks (for example, walk 10 km with an Eevee). Some people may select a buddy Pokemon just because it is their favorite Pokemon. When you select your buddy Pokemon, you should think about what your goal is, and based on that, select your Pokemon.
8. Use Adventure Sync
Adventure Sync allows you to gain distance even when the Pokemon Go app is closed on your device. This is helpful in hatching eggs and achieving any distance-related tasks.
9. Take advantage of special bonuses
There are often events in Pokemon Go, and different events will offer different bonuses. For example, often community days will offer a triple catch XP bonus. If you activate your Lucky Egg during the event, that means you are getting six times as many XP as you usually do. So now an excellent throw is worth 6,000 XP!
10. Use tags
Tags are very useful in pre-selecting Pokemon. For example, if there is a double candy transfer event coming up, you’ll want to tag all the Pokemon you want to transfer ahead of time. This way, when the event starts, it’s a simple matter of selecting that tag and transfer all Pokemons associated with that tag in one shot.
11. Know your search strings
Often you’ll want to search for a specific type of Pokemon. For example you might want to search for all your lucky Pokemon, or you might want to search for all your shiny Pokemon caught within the last 10 days. To do this you’ll want to get familiar with search strings. This guide has the search strings you can use.
12. Raid battle tapping
In raid battles, tap on the bottom center where the charge attack circle is. This allows you to fire off a charge move as soon as you have enough energy. Note this is not always a good idea when you are doing a PvP battle, as there are occasions when you might want to save up residual energy.
13. Do trades
Trades offer the following advantages:
1) It gives you more candy for your Pokemon.
2) It will reroll a Pokemon’s IV. When you trade a Pokemon, you may notice that the screen tells you
3) You may get a lucky Pokemon. A lucky Pokemon will cost half as much stardust to power up. In fact trading is the only way to obtain a lucky Pokemon.
4) You may get candy XL for your Pokemon. In fact, in the Legends event, candy XL is guaranteed in any trade.
14. Don’t transfer immediately when doing bulk trading
If you are doing multiple trades with someone else, do not check IV and transfer away undesirable pokemon immediately after each trade. Rather, you can do this after you are done with all the trading in bulk. For example, if I just finished doing a bunch of Squirtle trades after Squirtle community day, and I want to transfer away all the squirtles I got via trades that are not lucky, I can simply type, “traded&squirtle&!lucky” to get all the Squirtles that satisfy these criteria, and then mass transfer them. This will save you a good amount of time.
15. Add remote friends
I like to add remote friends (those who live in a different country) for a few reasons:
- Pokemon hatched from 7 KM eggs obtained from these friends will be from a different country and hence will give more candies when traded.
- I can learn more about the country by looking at the gifts I receive from these friends.
The only downside of having remote friends is that in the event that you become lucky friends, it will be extremely unlikely for you to be able to meet that friend in person to complete the lucky trade (at least until Niantic implements global trading and in-game messaging).
So how do you get friends from different countries? There are several ways you can find friend codes online, and the one I use is https://www.pokemongofriendcodes.com/. On this particular website you can pick the country and you’ll see a list of QR codes from Pokemon Go trainers who are interested in adding friends. You can simply take a picture of the QR code and an invite will be sent to the trainer. One caveat: the location that the trainer claims to be may be different from the actual location. I’ve had multiple instances where I thought I am adding a trainer from a certain country, but once they accepted, I realize they are not in the country they claim to be. This is usually not a big deal because my personal goal is to find someone who is at least 100 km away from me so I can get long-distance eggs that will allow me to get more candies when I trade.
16. Make physical trips worthwhile in Pokemon Go terms
Take advantage of any trip you take that is more than 100 km away from where you usually are. You’ll want to catch as many pokemons and spin as many pokestops as you can in your destination. This is for a few reasons:
- These pokemons can yield more candies when trading.
- You’ll move towards achieving platinum level of Sightseer badge, which requires you to visit 2,000 unique Pokestops.
- You’ll have a record of having visited that place, as Pokemons caught show the location where they are captured.
17. Best use of PokeCoins
PokeCoins are best spent on purchasing Pokemon storage and item storage upgrades. The reason is that those are permanent purchases..
18. Be patient
Pokemon Go is a long-term game, and you should play with the realization that the goals in game are often not something that can be done right away. You’ll want to have patience.
For example, one of the tasks in Level 43 Challenge is to power up Pokemon 43 times. Now, rather than doing this all at once (which is easily doable for everyone unless you are severely low on stardust), it would make more sense for you to achieve this naturally by doing power-up field research requests. By the time you complete 15 “Power up your Pokemon 3 times” field research, you will have accomplished this Level 43 Challenge task.
Level 40 and above:
1. Leverage current promotions
For example, in the Season of Heritage event, each trade yields a candy XL for the Pokemon you are trading. Combined with community day, this is a good opportunity to accumulate enough candy XL to level a Pokemon up to 50.
2. Prepare for level up requirements
Above level 40, to advance in each level, you will need to achieve certain tasks. There are a few tasks that you can (and should prepare for):
- Level 41–>Level 42: Evolve Eevee into each of its unique evolutions: Pre-walk two Eevees for 10 KM, earn 70 hearts with an Eevee, and have a Mossy Lure and a Glacial Lure ready.
- Level 42–>Level 43: 5 Platinum badges
- Level 44–>Level 45: 10 platinum badges
- Level 44–>Level 45: Purify 100 shadow Pokemons: Save up on all shadow Pokemons that require only 1,000 stardust to purify.
- Level 46–>Level 47: 20 platinum badges
- Level 46–>Level 47: Evolve 3 level 50 Pokemons: Obtain 296 candy XL for three species of Pokemon. Strictly speaking it doesn’t have to be three different species, but realistically it is most likely easier to obtain 296 candy XL for three species than, say, 592 candy XL for one species and 296 candy XL for another species.
- Level 49–>Level 50: 35 platinum badges
Below level 40:
1. Team selection
When it comes time for you to choose a team, you’ll want to get a sense of the distribution of the teams and make a decision based on this. You can do this by either talking to other players in your area, or by observing the colors of the gyms. In general you don’t want to be on a team that is either too dominant or too weak. The reason you don’t want to be on a team that is too dominant is in that case you might have a hard time putting your Pokemon on a gym. The reason you don’t want to be on a team that is too weak is in those instances, even if you beat a gym and put a Pokemon there, your Pokemon may get knocked out before other people on your team put their Pokemon in.
2. Catch’em All
When you first start out, you will want to catch as many Pokemons as you can. This is because,
- You can gain XP
- You can gain in-game resources such as Stardust and Pokemon candy
- You can learn to throw more accurately. Nice, great, and excellent throws yield bonus XP, which adds up over the course of your game play.
- You can fill out your Pokedex with new pokemons
3. Learn curve ball throws
There are a few reasons for this:
- Curve balls increase your chances of catching a Pokemon.
- When you catch a Pokemon with a curve ball, you get a 20 XP bonus.
- With some practice, you may find it is easier to do excellent throws with curve balls.
4. Practice your throws to try to hit excellent.
An excellent throw is worth 1,000 XP. This is a significant improvement over a great throw (which is worth 100 XP) or a nice throw (worth 20 XP). Over time, the extra XP you get from excellent throws will add up.
5. Power up strategy
When you first start out, aim to build a high level Pokemon of certain types for taking down gyms. Because gyms are often filled with high-HP normal types such as Blissey, Chansey, Snorlax, and Slaking, a good idea is to build up a strong fighting type. I recommend building up a strong Machamp. There are a few reasons for this:
- The first evolution, Machop, is relatively plentiful. It has had its own community day, and several events have had Machop as one of the featured pokemon. This not only means that you’ll have more chances of catching a Machop, but it also means many experienced trainers have plenty of Machop / Machoke / Machamp. This is important because,
- There is no candy cost when evolving a traded Machoke to Machamp! So, if you can find someone to trade you a Machop or Machoke, you can get evolve it into a Machamp relatively cheaply.
- Occasionally Machamp is available as a 3-star raid boss. So if you can win the raid battle, you have a chance to obtain a Machamp directly.
After you have a good fighting type, the next one I would recommend is a good dark type, since dark types cover fighting type’s weaknesses well. The one Pokemon I would target for this is Tyranitar. Tyranitars are not as easy to come by as Machamps, since Larvitars do not spawn nearly as often as Machop. However Tyranitar is also available in raids, so there are also opportunities to obtain a Tyranitar directly.