As you often find with a new game or app, it would be useful to have decent guide to get you up and running. The one game can be more complex than the other, but today I wish to share the absolute minimum knowledge for playing PokemonGO. And to be honest I wish I knew these things when I started playing over two years ago. Oh well. Coming up are the 15 key tips I personally chose for you as a beginner or even slightly advanced PokemonGO player. I am no Pokemon Master with his own Youtube channel, so go do one Logan Paul. Should you require the very basics on the game then be sure to first read my earlier article: PokemonGO is still fun, social addictive and worth a play
No.1 Catch everything dammit!
Oh isn’t Bulbasaur cute?! No, Charmander is cuter, actually I like myself some rats, so come here Rattata! The point I am trying to make is that we all have our own opinion on which Pokemon we think is cool or cute, and to a certain degree I can understand that you wish to catch a lot of Rattata’s if rats are your thing. However plain and simple you should try and catch every bloody Pokemon you encounter. Yes, you will have to catch and catch thousands of the critters to get somewhere in this game. Not only for evolving certain Pokemon, gaining XP (experience points for our noobs), and ultimately levelling up quicker!
No. 2 Be patient with evolving
Please, please, please do not make this mistake. I bet you did though? Yes, dammit I did. So when you get started or are already on your way of collecting 400 Magikap candy to evolve into that majestic Gyarados, well please hold your horses there for a min before evolving. When catching Pokemon you want to check two things really, CP and IV.
When looking at the above picture you can see the overall rating of the Pokemon as in ‘CP1274’ for Exeggutor, as well as this white rainbow shaped, curved line with a little dot at the end. As you can tell Exeggutor has some space left on his curved line compared to Electabuzz who is almost at his maximum. This means that if I wish to power up my Pokemon that Exeggutor in this case can grow much stronger and higher in CP than Electabuzz as he is practically at his max already. Should you catch a Pokemon that you wish to evolve, power up and use for gym battles and raids then make sure you always have some space left on the curved cp bar.
Next up IV. To define a Pokemon’s overall level of brilliance or lack of, you have to calculate the IV of set Pokemon. No need for Einstein mind boggling excel column bashing mathematics, just use an app. Or in this case PokeGenie for iOS (and Android) or Calcy for just Android. These apps will help you define the percentage IV of your Pokemon, which ultimately will make you decide to keep it or transfer it (chuck it away).
When you are in the PokemonGO app and you caught or selected any Pokemon, check in the right bottom corner for the button ‘appraise’.
What follows is a some odd person (your team trainer, red/yellow/blue) popping up and asking to look at your Pokemon, why not creep? Now, I personally ignored this whole button for a very long time until I understood that it is vital to the game and understanding the overall strength (IV) to your Pokemon.
When you click the appraisal button you will get a set of appraisals from your trainer and when you use an app like PokeGenie it will use these to calculate your Pokemon’s IV. Catching a 100% Pokemon is rare but it happens, that’s why you should ‘always’ catch everything. Once you get used to the phrases its very easy to figure out if the Pokemon you just caught is worth keeping or not. For a more detailed explanation on IV’s go to: Player.One’s website
No.3 Be social
Become friends on PokemonGO as it will help you exchange so called ‘gifts’ which contain XP and items, I suggest doing this on a daily basis to increase your friendship level from good friends to best friends. This will give added bonuses when fighting raid bosses, fighting gyms and getting a lot of useful items.
There are thousands of WhatsApp/Telegram groups out there for your town, or even neighbourhoods so get out there and if you bump into a group of Pokemon players ask them if they are part of a group. Why would you do this socially frightening thing you say? Because without friends in Pokemon it is impossible to most raids, get the opportunity to catch Legendary Pokemon and find friends to add and exchange gifts with. I personally encountered this situation last summer, as I bumped into such group by accident here in town and since then it has helped me get the most out of PokemonGO and especially raids. The Silph Road is ‘the’ go to place online to find such groups online as well as much more info on the game.
No. 4 Spin it!
With a bit of luck you might have a PokeStop or Gym in your street or very close by. I suggest you spin it at least once a day, because you can earn yourself a bunch of item bonuses and XP after a 7 day streak if you do so. This also counts for catching Pokemon every day, seven days in a row.
P.S. those items that pop up on your screen when you spin do not need to be tapped one by one, they are automatically stored.
No. 5 Lay me some eggs
Along the way of your adventure as a PokemonGO player you will encounter a variety of eggs. They are specified as 2km, 5km, 10km or special 7km Alolan eggs. These eggs are an easy way of randomly obtaining Pokemon that do not spawn as often and will come along with some additional candy saving you a lot of work. When you are walking about always make sure you have an egg in an incubator, PokemonGO tracks every move and kilometer you walk. Sitting in a car, public transport or on a bike or in other words cheating, will not work. Yeah boo hoo. Stop being lazy.
No. 6 Coins, coins, coins!
You can buy in game currency called Pokecoins, but they’re not the cheapest. So the best and only way to earn coins is by taking over gyms and defending them. However keep in mind you can only collect 50 PokeCoins per day, even if you defend 10 gyms. So your approach needs to be a bit strategic here. But why would I need these coins? Well if you wish to dress up looking like a yellow idiot then you can use these coins to buy just yellow outfits in the store. Or more importantly you can buy items like lucky eggs (double XP for 30 mins) or expanded storage for your item bag or Pokemon bag.
No. 7 Research
One way of obtaining rare Pokemon is by doing daily research tasks and by completing special research for Professor Tree, sorry Oak. This research can be collected by spinning Pokestops and I advise you to try and complete one a day to fill up your research progress as shown below. On day 7 you will receive an additional bonus and a special rare Pokemon to catch. It is well worth it. This rare Pokemon will change every month.
Then there is special research with Professor Oak. This is where you get the opportunity to find legendary rare Pokemon like Mew and Celebi for example. You also receive a lot of XP and items during this research so it is well worth being on top of these tasks.
PS. if you are going for your first Gyarados (yes 400 Magikarp candy) wait with the evolve until you have come across the special research quest in ‘A Mythical Discovery’, stage 6 of 8 called ‘Evolve a Magikarp’. Thank me later.
No. 8 Berries hmmm!
There are a few types of berries that you will collect along the way and are very helpful. The Nanab berries will slow a wild Pokemon’s movement down considerably, making them easier to catch. Then the Pinab berries are very useful as they double the amount of candy you will catch once you caught the wild Pokemon (instead of 3, now 6 for example). Another one is the Razz berry which when used makes it overall easier to catch that wild Pokemon. The catching ring might even go from red to orange or yellow to green. Additionally we have a Golden Razz Berry which can be collected by winning raids. These drastically increase the chances of catching a Pokemon, even more so than a regular Razz Berry. The Silver Pinab Berry is hardest to obtain, often as a bonus, and will double the candy amount as well as make it easier to catch a wild Pokemon. Last but not least the coloured ball you see below in the middle is called a Rare Candy and can only be won during raids or as research bonus and will allow you to dedicate 1 candy to any Pokemon in your Pokedex.
No. 9 Shinieeeee!
If you manage to get lucky you will come along a ‘shiny’ Pokemon. These are rare, but can be so exhilarating to find when you do. Play during community day events as during those three hours there will be many more shinies spawning than usual. These ‘shinies’ can be recognized by the stars around them and the three star symbol in the Pokemon inventory. They are even more recognizable as they will have a different colour than the standard version of that Pokemon.
No. 10 Ditto where are you?
Yes, the infamous Ditto! Where the hell can I find one to complete my special research?!!! Well you are in luck because it’s actually a lot easier than you thought, although it will require some grinding in terms of catching Pokemon you would probably ignore normally. The below image shows as which Pokemon Ditto could be hiding, because Ditto is a shapeshifter and can take the form of any Pokemon. But specifically to catch Ditto you need to catch the below Pokemon. And if you are lucky, once you have caught one of the below Pokemon the display will say ‘Oh’ and simsalabim, there is Ditto.
No. 11 Love those curves
No I was not admiring your girlfriend there pal, but expressing the need to throw curveballs at all times. You will earn much need XP and additionally Pokemon are more susceptible to being caught from a curve throw than a straight one. I briefly touched on these techniques in my previous basic tutorial article: PokemonGO is still fun, social, addictive and worth a play. For more tips on how to throw check out the in depth guide from Eurogamer.
No. 12 Settings and battery life
Your smartphone generally does not have the reputation for great battery life and even more so when using PokemonGO to be fair. However here are some simple tricks to help you out.
– Turn on the battery saver function in the settings of PokemonGO
– Turn off AR mode when catching a Pokemon (switch top right of screen), it will also make it easier to catch the Pokemon
– Turn on the low power mode on your iOS or Android phone
– Buy a portable powerbank (they come very cheap nowadays) that you can carry with you, especially handy during community events
No. 13 Evolving Eevee
Let alone the fact that nobody still knows how to properly pronounce this Pokemon, Eevee is a special breed you could say. Eevee can evolve not into one or two types but five completely different Pokemon! Later one with the addition of Gen 4 Pokemon even 8 types. To avoid the random selection of the evolve you can change the name of Eevee as follows:
- Rename Eevee as Sakura to evolve into psychic-type Espeon
- Rename Eevee as Tamao to evolve into dark-type Umbreon
- Rename Eevee as Rainer to evolve into water-type Vaporeon
- Rename Eevee as Sparky to evolve into lightning-type Jolteon
- Rename Eevee as Pyro to evolve into fire-type Flareon
Important note – the trick only works once per evolution type, so make sure you choose Eevees with the best CP values before you evolve them into the type you want. Gen 2’s Umbreon and Espeon also have a second evolution method. Walk your Eevee as a Buddy for 10km, then evolve it either during the night (Umbreon) or day (Espeon) and it’ll turn into the desired evolution.
Note you specifically need to walk 10k and earn two Candies in the process, have Eevee still as your Buddy when evolving for it to work, and be either day or night during the game itself for it to work. (with thanks to Eurogamer)
No. 14 Damn you inventory!
The makers of PokemonGO, Niantic, were not stupid and made it obvious that without coins you would have to pay for the expansion of your Pokemon storage but more importantly your item storage. Easy way to make money because plenty of players will actually pay for this with real money. However you will encounter situations where you quickly need to get rid of some storage and this is what I often do. Instead of hoarding all four types of potions as depicted below I keep just the hyper or max potions (depending on which level you are at). I always throw the potion, super potion and often super potions away. The same I do with Nanab berries. And don’t forget the easiest way is to chuck some of those standard Pokeballs away. By spinning any Pokestop you will easily collect some again.
No. 15 Buddies
You can now pick any Pokemon you have caught and in your Pokemon inventory to be your Samwise Gamgee, or buddy. This way you will be able to collect additional candy just walking with your buddy. Handy if you need just a few last candy to do that evolve you were rooting for!
Last but not least I would like to point out that there are many many more tricks, especially if you are an advanced player that really wants to get everything out of this game. That will require some serious dedication and a lot of time and walking. However it is great fun to do and as of this summer with the big update, PokemonGO is more social to play than ever.
Should you have more need for reading and are still awake after this bible of critters and also want to go full blown PokemonGO Master then check out these great guides from some cool websites: