Nintendo had nothing to offer the smartphone space for more than half a decade and then it hit a home run with Pokémon Go. It’s already crazy popular and part of your new exercise plan. But to help ensure you become simply the best Pokémon Trainer of them all here is a list of our favorite Pokémon Go tips and tricks.
1. Quickly find nearby Pokémon
You can view nearby Pokémon by tapping the white rectangular bar at the bottom right of your screen. A window will open revealing which Pokémon are close by; tap one of them and they will appear in the white bar on the main screen (as a silhouette, if that Pokémon hasn’t been discovered yet).
Want to find exactly where they are? When you move in that Pokémon’s direction you will see a green rectangle flash around the white bar: this means you’re on the right track. Keep heading in that direction to find that Pokémon.
Also, consider the number of footprints beneath the Pokémon icons. One means they are very close to your current position while three means they are much further away.
2. Make use of the commute
Poké Stops are where you can stock up on your Poké balls and other items, but unlike catching Pokémon, this can easily be done from within moving vehicles.
The number of Poké Stops will differ depending on your route, but you should be able to cash in on them even when flying past. Just have your phone ready and start spinning that dial before you approach.
3. Get more from your Lucky Eggs
Lucky Eggs temporarily boost your XP: for thirty minutes, it will be doubled. Use this in conjunction with Incense, which makes Pokémon more likely to appear for 30 minutes, and you will optimize your potential XP gains.
4. Gather all items automatically
This is my number one time-saving tip and I didn’t find this out until days after I started playing. At a Poké Stops, you don’t need to physically tap all of the bubbles that appear to retrieve the items there. Just hit the X button and they’ll be added to your inventory. Yes, really.
5. Catch ‘em all
You should catch every Pokémon you find, even if you already own that type of Pokémon: you still receive additional evolution candy either way. What’s more, you can trade the Pokémon to Professor Willow for even more candy.
6. Spend all your candy on one, common Pokémon
Candy is used to evolve your Pokémon and it’s specific to the Pokémon caught. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your catches, upgrade only a creature which is commonly found in your area.
This means that you will find much more of the candy of that Pokémon type, thus you can make one creature particularly powerful, which will give you the edge when fighting at gyms.
7. Save battery
Pokémon Go is a battery killer: plain and simple. It requires internet, GPS, your camera and lots of screen-on time. To get more out of your device, head to the Pokémon Go settings menu (tap your Poké Ball then hit the settings icon at the top right) and you’ll find a battery saver function. Enable it.
Also consider turning the vibration off to save even more battery, though it does make the experience a little less fun. Similarly, the classic ‘turn your display brightness down’ tip will work well here too.
8. Make use of others’ lures
Unlike Incense, Lure Modules don’t just affect the person who created it, but anyone in the area where the lure is placed. Though the effect works best for the original user, if you’re with friends or see it on your map (represented as confetti at a Poké Stop) make sure you take advantage of this.
Beware, however, that some people have used Lure Modules to tempt people into secluded areas to rob them. Be careful that you only make use of it in safe areas.
9. Pikachu (I choose you)
Here’s a neat trick to getting Pikachu as a starting Pokémon. When you create a new account and start the game, the professor will ask you to catch your starting Pokémon. Rather than catching a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, walk away from them instead.
Keep walking until your device vibrates and the three starter Pokémon appear next to you again. Repeat this several times until a Pikachu pops up. Catch him to make him your starting Pokémon.
10. Know your limits
It’s not guaranteed that you will capture every Pokémon you want to, so don’t waste Poké Balls on creatures that are too strong. How do you know which ones you can snag? Easy, when you see a Pokémon, look at the colored ring surrounding it: the smaller it is, the easier it will be to capture.
The color of the ring is also a big clue here. If it’s green, it means it will be easy to capture. Yellow means it will be a little more tricky and red means they will be difficult to bag.
11. Spread your wings
Though it’s important to catch a lot of one type of Pokémon to evolve your favorites (see point six), it’s also worth exploring beyond your usual area: the type of Pokémon you can catch changes depending on where they are found.
12. Rustling leaves
You see those rustling leaves on your map? Those are the potential locations of Pokémon. It’s not a guarantee that you will encounter one there, but it’s worth taking a look, right?
13. Gain extra XP when making a catch
This is another tip I missed out on for my first few levels. If you tap and hold a Poké Ball before launching it at a Pokémon, and begin moving it in a circular motion, you will starts to see sparks fly. Release it once this happens and if you catch a Pokémon this way you will sometimes receive a 50 XP bonus.
14. Disable AR
You can disable the AR component of Pokémon Go to make Pokémon easier to catch. Not only that, but it will also save battery life in the long run.
To do this, tap the “AR” symbol at the top right of the screen when you encounter a Pokémon. This does really ruin the atmosphere of the game, though, so I recommend it only if you’re really serious about catching Pokémon at all costs.
15. Spend your coins wisely
Don’t waste coins buying Poké Balls: these are readily available at Poké Stops and finding these is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Furthermore, Poké Stops refresh regularly, so it’s not really necessary. If you’re going to spend coins, best put it into Incense or Lure Modules to help you get more XP, Stardust and Candy.
16. How do I hatch Pokémon eggs faster?
You may find Pokémon eggs on your travels, these hatch after you have walked for so many miles. If you want them to hatch quicker, you have to do more traveling. Riding a bike is great for this, but note that you can’t cheat the system and cruise around in your car, when you’re going too fast, the progress won’t be counted.
And if you want to know which Pokémon you’re likely to discover from each type of egg, consult our graphic below.
Pokémon Go is still very fresh and there are lots of bugs to be found (and I don’t mean Weedles). One of the most common Pokémon Go problems so far relates to servers but many people have reported freezes and crashes, as well.
Most of these problems can be fixed by restarting the app, but you can also visit this Pokémon Go server status site to make sure that the server in your location is still up and running. If it’s not, you’ll have to wait until it’s back online before you can continue your adventure.
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