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15 ADVANCED Pokémon GO Tips & Tricks


Turn off AR mode

We know, the “augmented reality” portion of Pokemon Go is arguably what helped word of the game spread like wildfire. Initially, it was fun to see your Pokemon pop up and zany, real life places, sharing them on social networks with reckless abandon, but trust us — we’ve seen it all before so just stop.

Instead, turn off AR mode (switch in the upper right corner) and you’ll find catching Pokemon quicker, easier, and save a bit of battery in the process. This seems like a given, but we can’t tell you how many times we’ve been on hunts and are still seeing people attempting to catch Pokemon in AR mode. We know, it doesn’t make the game feel real anymore, but we’re talking about cartoon pocket monsters here. Grow up.

When farming candies, run away from common high CP Pokemon

At this point, you’ve probably already caught all the basic, low-level Pokemon you’re going to find in your area. You know what we’re talking about, all those Rattatas, Ekans and the like. You’ll occasionally run into the higher CP forms of these Pokemon the higher your character level.

While you’re out farming for candies (or just trying to gain some valuable XP), it’s probably best to not waste your time on these as they’ll be really tough to catch and likely wont evolve into anything worthwhile to begin with (Raticate, for instance, caps at CP1444, so don’t even waste your time farming Rattatas).

Instead, while you’re out there grinding for XP, it’s best to just run from these Pokemon when you come across them, especially if you see an orange/red circle. This is especially true if you’re looking for Growlithe candies and come across a red-ringed Arcanine or some higher evolution Pokemon. Run. Just run. You’ll have more Poke Balls in your pocket and live to fight another day. Save your Poke Balls for the easy kills or more important Pokemon. Fun facts that may also be helpful to know:

  • Abra has the highest flee rate
  • Venasaur, Charizard, Blastoise, and Dragonite have the lowest capture rates

Head to college campuses, beaches, or large parks to farm for Pokemon

If you’re neighborhood or local parks aren’t turning up much in your search for different types of Pokemon, you’re going to want to visit somewhere with a little more activity. Whether it’s a college campus, downtown, or even a mall with a handful of PokeStops — making the effort to get out of the suburbs and into hotspot locations like these can greatly increase your enjoyment of the game.

In the LA area, most of our piers are overrun with Pokemon of nearly all types, so even if it’s a bit of a drive, make a day of it and hit up those community hotspots and always keep an eye out for locations with a cluster or PokeStops. If it’s an area with lots of traffic, you’re more likely to find Lures being activated on the regular.

People have also noticed “nests” for specific Pokemon popping up in their area. These are typically parks and will continually spawn a specific type of Pokemon (in addition to random others), more regularly. For instance, I discovered a Ghastly nest in my area where I can go and farm Ghastly candies. Pretty valuable knowledge so keep an eye out.

Hit inside the ring or spin your balls for bonus XP

Okay, so this one is pretty obvious by now, but since XP is so hard to come by, you’ll need every last bit to take your character to that next level. Originally it was thought that the smaller the ring, the better your chances of capturing a Pokemon were. While that may be true, landing your Poke Balls inside the ring is what you should aim for to get the “Nice, Great, and Excellent” bonus XP (and some claim increase your chances of capture).

Of course, you can also master the art of spinning your balls, something we definitely recommend. It’s tricky at first, but becomes easier once you get the hang of it. Why even bother? Well, this way you’re not caught off guard when Poke Balls occasionally spin on their own every once and awhile. Plus, you’ll nab yourself some precious bonus XP in the process.

Hit PokeStops in the car

Pokemon GO Screenshot_20160728-204739

Although we don’t condone playing Pokemon Go (or anything for that matter) while behind the wheel, if you’re in the passenger or back seat then anything is fair game. One of the things I always make sure I do when heading to dinner or cruising around town (as a passenger) is hitting up any and all PokeStops on the way. Since many are located on street corners or close enough you can hit them in your pulse, you don’t even have stop. Of course, this is easier said than done.

The trick is to start spinning the PokeStop ahead of time — and keep spinning — until you see the items appear. This is because the in-game UI lags behind the actual GPS, so if you don’t start spinning until you’ve activated the PokeStop, by then you’re already too late. It’s tricky, but after awhile you’ll get the hang of it.

Hatch eggs faster by walking in straight lines

Because it takes constant pinging of Niantic’s servers to spawn new Pokemon, capture them, pull items from PokeStops — just about do anything in the game — this is often why the game feels slow, laggy, and unstable. This is also why you may have noticed some pretty big lag when attempting to cover ground to hatch eggs.

When walking, the game pings the servers about once per minute on a good day, this is why if you’re zigzagging around town (or perhaps walking in circles) it may not register the actual distance you’ve traveled accurately, no matter how many steps you’ve taken.

To get the most out of your egg hatching, try to keep to walking in a straight line so that Niantic knows exactly how far you’ve traveled whenever the game gets around to pinging the servers.

Manage your items better


Hit up enough PokeStops and you’ll soon realize your bag fills up with items quick. It’s tough to give a blanket statement on how anyone should manage their bag, but you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re on top of it so that you don’t miss out on any important items you might find at a future PokeStop (Eggs or Lucky Eggs for instance).

Really it depends on your play style. If you’re still grinding away for XP and trying to build your character level up, Poke Balls will be your priority and you’re probably not going to need very many potions and even less revives.

If you like building up your own team’s gyms, then you still wont need revives since your Pokemon don’t feint when fighting your own gym color. If taking over the opposing team’s gym is your priority, then sure. Keep a few revives on hand just in case, but even then you should be quick enough in gym battles that you swap out a Pokemon before it feints.

No matter how you play, it’s especially important to clear out potions are more powerful versions are accumulated. This should be done regularly to keep your bag from becoming overstuffed.

Level up friendly gyms quicker by battling with lower CP Pokemon

Pokemon GOScreenshot_20160802-005311

You already know that battling your own colored gyms increases their Prestige level, opening up more slots for teammates to place Pokemon in, while making it harder to get taken down by an opposing team. While you’re probably beefing up your gyms using your highest CP level Pokemon, did you know that using your lower CP Pokemon will get you more Presitge (thus, leveling up your gym quicker)?

For instance, if a gym is packed with 1,500+ Pokemon, you can easily clear it out using a CP 2,000 Pokemon for about 500 Prestige. That’s fine and dandy, but if you used a CP 1,000 Pokemon (anything under the lowest CP Pokemon in the gym), you can get a whopping 1,700 Prestige — even if you only beat a few Pokemon in the gym.

The quickest, most powerful attacks work best

Okay, so battling gyms can be tough, especially when the Pokemon inside are of a much higher levels. To do well, you need to know what to look for when picking which Pokemon to use in these fights. Most of the time, it’s just a button mash fest to see who can get their attacks in before the other (computer attacks once every 1.5 seconds).

Since every type of attack fires hits at different rates and inflicts varying amounts of damage, it’s the quickest — and most powerful — attacks that will give you the best advantage in battle. Here’s a list of the moves to keep an eye for when deciding which Pokemon to keep, which to transfer to the Professor, and which ones to use in battle.

Quick attacks (Damage per second):

  1. Pound
  2. Metal Claw
  3. Psycho Cut
  4. Water Gun
  5. Bite
  6. Dragon Breath
  7. Scratch
  8. Wing Attack
  9. Fire Fang
  10. Shadow Claw
  11. Feint Attack
  12. Zen Headbutt
  13. Poison Jab
  14. Steel Wing
  15. Bug Bite
  16. Frost Breath
  17. Mud Slap
  18. Mud Shot
  19. Tackle
  20. Bubble

For charge attacks, things get a little more complicated. Originally, you could spam quick attacks and hope for the best (this was actually the best strategy in most cases), but a recent update nerfed many of the quick moves, placing a greater importance on your charge moves (executed by long pressing the screen in battle).

With charge moves, DPS is nice, but you also want something that charges quickly (high Energy Per Second), while considering the Same Type Attack Bonus (which deals 1.25x more damage) and of course, type advantages. It’s a lot more complicated, but you can find the full list of moves — as well as sort them by their DPS or cooldown, or Energy Per Second — over at www.pokemongo.gamepress.gg. It’s a great resource and something we’re sure will be a big help for many of you.

Learn how to dodge effectively

Dodge is one of those moves nobody seems to take advantage of. As we talked about in the previous section, for most people gym battles often turn into button mashing contest, with the challenger continually attacking until the fight is over. Dodge just seems like it gets in the way of you taking down your foe, but like any good sports team The D is also equally important.

The problem with dodge is that it seems too unreliable. Sometimes the games tells you it was a success, while other times you’d still get hit. Here are a few key tips that will have you dodging like a pro.

First, no matter what the moves are of a Pokemon in a gym, the computer always attacks about once every 1.5 seconds. Not only that, before they attack, the Pokemon will also flash yellow, giving you the cue to get the eff out of the way. Keeping a close eye on these visual clues — as well as mastering timing — is crucial to minimizing the amount of damage you receive and will help you take on gyms occupied with higher CP Pokemon.

The trick is to attack 2-3 times during this time (don’t forget the DPS moves list above), then dodge, rinse and repeat. If they’re charging up their special move, just keep dodging 2 or 3 times in a row until they’re finished. If you time it perfectly, you’ll take no damage and even if you don’t, you’ll still take reduced damage.

As gyms become occupied by higher level trainers with CP 2,000+ Pokemon, dodging is something more advanced players need take advantage of to help minimize damage and continue fighting.

Use Incense while walking, Lures when stationary

Pokemon GO incense walking

While you could always use an Incense to attract more Pokemon to your precise location (helpful if you’re stuck indoors somewhere and can’t actually walk around), it actually works a lot better when you’re moving. When you’re not moving, incense only attracts 1 Pokemon every 5 minutes (that’s about 6 Pokemon per Incense). While moving, your Incense will attract 1 Pokemon per-minute for every 200 meters you’ve traveled (roughly around 656 feet).

So if you’re just being lazy, you could make much better use of that incense by getting off your ass and running around your neighborhood. Or better yet, when the Mrs is willing to drive you around for a half hour while you pick up Pokemon. Of course riding a bike or bus can also help you cover this ground quicker, so you may want to consider that as well. Whatever floats your boat.

Oh, and since Incense can be stacked with Lures, sometimes they’re best used together to further increase your chances of running into extra Pokemon. But don’t use a Lucky Egg during this time, you’ll want to save those for really special occasions…

Pidgey’s and Lucky Eggs are a winning combo for leveling up quickly

Pokemon Go Pidgey spam evolution

If leveling up quick is your goal, you’ll need to use every means at your disposal to get there as quickly ASAP. Of course using a Lucky Egg is the best way to level up quick — it doubles the amount of all XP gained during this time — but catching random Pokemon or hitting up PokeStops isn’t the best use of your time.

Instead, only crack open a Lucky Egg when you have a full roster of Pokemon ready to evolve. That means if you have some Pokemon you’re looking to evolve, hold off until you have an army of Pidgeys or Rattatas in your Pokemon Storage (maximum of 60 evolutions per Lucky Egg). Better yet, avoid catching new Pokemon you haven’t encountered yet if you have one waiting to evolve. This will turn a regular ‘ol 500 XP evolution into 1,000 XP, or even 2,000 XP bonus if they’re new.

Pidgey, Weedle and Caterpie work best as they’re fairly common and require the least amount of Candy to evolve (only 12 Candies). Rattatas are also pretty low (25 Candies). So, instead of cursing every time the game throws one of these guys your way, catch them — don’t transfer them to the Professor — and turn them into the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Use a CP calculator to figure out which Pokemon to keep or transfer

Each Pokemon has a different multiplier for its evolution. When trying to decide if you should invest in that CP 420 Geodude or keep that CP 800 Golem, run the numbers through an Evolution Calculator like the one at www.pogotoolkit.com to see the CP bonus your Pokemon will get after you evolve them.

Of course, there’s a little variance in these numbers (some more than others), but it’s a great way to decide which Pokemon stay in your Storage, or get transferred to the Professor for, um… reassignment.

Only invest in Pokemon with high Individual Value (IV)

Pokemon GO IV Calculator

It’s tough to know exactly when’s the best time to invest in the Pokemon you’ve spent so much time trying to catch. Although you’d think CP is the easiest way to decide, there’s actually a bit more to it than that. Each and every Pokemon carries its own set of hidden stats they’re “born” with and can vary from 0-15 points. This is the Pokemon’s “individual value” and includes its Stamina, Attack, and Defense attributes.

Since not all Pokemon are created equal, you can have two of the same Pokemon with the exact same CP, yet still have varying stats (and much different final power).

This means it’s possible to find one that’s 100% of its full potential, aka a “perfect” 15 extra points. For instance, the “worst” possible Charizard available — where all IV’s are zero (0%) — would have 212, 182, and 156 for its attack, defense and stamina. A max’d out Charizard would have 227, 197, 171.

There have been a handful of websites popping up to help you calculate your Pokemon’s IV. A good one is www.pokeassistant.com and we know, it’s all a little bit confusing, but it should help you decide whether or not to spend your Stardust on a Pokemon, or continue traveling across the land, searching far and wide…

The game is harder now, so stock up Poke Balls whenever possible

Pokemon GO items DSC00550

A recent update to Pokemon Go introduced a few more publicized changes to the game — like the removal of the footprints in nearby — but what people are just now noticing is that there have been a few major tweaks to the game itself. It’s now much more difficult to play the game.

For instance, Pokemon are now much harder to catch, attacking more frequently and with a higher flee rate then before. You’ll also notice that the Pokemon detection around your character has shrunk, going from around 100m to about 70m. It also refreshes less frequently (from every 5 seconds to about 10 now) meaning it takes much longer for Pokemon to show up on the map, even if they’re in your immediate area. Our advice is to either move slower, or take frequent pit stops.

With the game being much more difficult than when it first launched, you’ll need to make sure you’re actively hitting Poke Stops for Poke Balls whenever possible. Whether that’s eating out a place with a PokeStop, or just hitting them up while driving (passengers only). Oh, and you may want to consider upgrading your item bag to accommodate for the increase in Poke Balls you’ll now need to catch even basic Pokemon. If spending real money isn’t an option, you can always place Pokemon in gyms, or even download Google Opinion Rewards to gain valuable Google Play credit in exchange for filling out surveys. Then, use this credit to purchase those sought after Poke Coins.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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