Pokémon Go Gaming Tips and Tricks: Part 2

Pokémon Go gaming tips

Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm lately. Being launched in early July 2016, this game takes the iconic Pokémon franchise maxim “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” and turns it into a real-world, augmented reality game for your smartphone, one which you must hunt your city and neighborhood in an effort to catch as many virtual pocket monsters as possible. Therefore, we have put together a few Pokémon Go gaming tips.

Pokémon Go Gaming Tips

Whether you have yet to begin assembling your collection, or you are well on your way to filling out your Pokédex, we will breakdown all the games nuances and various ways to play. We will cover everything, from how to find, catch and train your Pokémon, to how to best use your items and maximize your strengths in battle.

How to Train and Evolve Your Pokémon

Some may believe once you’ve caught one copy of a Pokémon, you’re all ready to go. However, this is not the case in Pokémon Go. The objective is to catch as many of each as you can and every Pokémon possible, and for good reason. The only way to power up and evolve these creatures is by feeding them candies and stardust. You can collect these by catching Pokémon, hatching Pokémon and by transferring them to Professor Willow.

However, transferring Pokémon is not reversible. You won’t be able to get those you’ve transferred back. You should only deposit the weaker extras of the same Pokémon, and hold on to the strongest one.

Evolving Your Pokémon with Candies

While evolving your Pokémon is one of the main goals of the game, it takes a lot of effort. To evolve a Pokémon, such as Eevee, you will need 50 Eevee candies. For every Eevee you catch, you receive three candies. Transferring these grants you another per transferred Pokémon. So, every extra Eevee you catch and transfer, you get four candies. This means you will need to catch about 13 Eevees in total to evolve just one.

You will need different amounts of candies for evolutions of different Pokémon. Evolving Pokémon such as a Ghastly to Haunter, for example, only requires 25 Ghastly candies. Whereas, evolving a Haunter to a Gengar will require 100 Ghastly candies. Evolving a Magikarp to a Gyaradoes requires a whopping 400 Magikarp candies (about 100 Magikarps). Candies are only available in basic Pokémon varieties, and are rewarded for catching any Pokémon in a particular evolutionary chain.

Catching so many copies of the same Pokémon may sound tedious at first. However, it becomes addictive, especially when you consider that evolving your Pokémon greatly increases their combat points (CP) and hit points (HP). These points make your Pokémon more effective in battle.

How to Manage and Hatch Pokémon Eggs

Until the game developers introduce trading, the only other way to collect Pokémon besides catching and evolving them is by hatching Pokémon eggs. Pokémon eggs can be collect as rewards for leveling up, and randomly at Pokéstops. However, eggs do have a couple requirements to hatch.

The first thing you will need is an incubator. An incubator with unlimited uses will be rewarded to trainers early on for leveling up. You can also collect limited-use incubators at Pokéstops. Usually, these are good for about three uses. Once you have your egg in an incubator, you will need to walk. Depending on the egg, there will be a distance requirement ranging from 2km, 5km and 10km. Once you walk the necessary distance, the egg will hatch. The longer the distance requirement, the more likely it will be a rarer or stronger Pokémon. But this doesn’t mean you should neglect hatching smaller eggs. Smaller eggs still yield more experience and candies than if you were to catch the Pokémon. Keep in mind that while many Pokémon are hatchable from eggs, only the first level evolution or non-evolving Pokémon will hatch from eggs.

It is also important to note that you can only hold nine eggs at a time, and any excess eggs you receive from Pokéstops will be discarded. With this in mind, keep your eggs incubated and hatch them as quickly and often as you can. Therefore, you don’t miss out on any rare Pokémon.

Lucky Eggs

Lucky Eggs are in-game items that you get after hitting level 9. However, you can also purchase them in the shop. These eggs double the amount of experience points you collect in a span of 30 minutes.

A trick you can use to level up quicker is by holding onto every type of Pokémon you catch and then activating a Lucky Egg and evolving your common Pokémon. When doing this, you should also try activating a Lure Module or Incense to catch as many Pokémon as you can — that also doubles the amount of experience points you receive. Fighting a friendly or enemy gym can also help. Doing all of this will maximize the amount of points you can receive, and it’s all doubled thanks to the Lucky Egg.

How to Use Pokéstops and Items

Pokéstops are helpful for numerous reasons. One of these being that they award you with plenty of items like Pokéballs, and a small chunk of experience points that will assist you on your adventure. Pokéstops appear in the game as small blue beacons that animate as you get close to them. This typically takes place at important real-world locations and landmarks. You will want to visit plenty of them to keep your reserves well-stocked and ready for whatever Pokémon you encounter.

Accessing Pokéstops is generally a quick and simple activity. Just tap on the store once you’re nearby, spin the picture and collect your items. However, there are some easy ways you can maximize your Pokéstop use.

First, instead of tapping on each item spawned by the Pokéstop, just spin the picture and close it. The items will automatically be added to your inventory. This can be especially useful if you’re commuting and quickly passing multiple stops. It’s also useful if you need to move quickly to find a Pokémon.

What to Do if Your Bag is Full

At some point during the game your bag is most likely going to be completely full. In this case, you don’t have to stop accessing the Pokéstops. Keep tapping and spinning — while you might not be getting the items, your trainer will be getting experience for every Pokéstop you access. And because Pokéstops reset every five minutes or so, you can access them again and again for items and experience.

You can also discard items. You can do this by going to Items and tapping on the trash can. When you do this, you will be able to select how many of each item you want to throw away. It’s usually best to toss potions and revives, because you will have far more than you need in most situations. Pokéballs, on the other hand, tend to be more valuable. While you have plenty at early levels, at later levels they’re in shorter supply, as Pokémon become harder to catch.

In addition to the items you receive from Pokéstops and leveling your trainer, there is also a store in the game where you can spend real-world money on Pokécoins. A cool $1 equates to 100 coins, which you can use to buy items via in-app purchases. These include rare items such as the following:

  • incense
  • lucky eggs
  • lure modules
  • large quantities of Pokéballs
  • expanded item or Pokémon storage

How to Win Gym Battles and Form Teams

Unlike the classic game series, battles in Pokémon Go are relegated to team-versus-team battles over the control of Gyms. The gyms you can challenge depend on what team you join. Your Pokémon efficacy in battle relies on both careful planning and quick reflexes.

The following are a few helpful guidelines to make the most of your Pokémon combat abilities, and come out victorious:

Picking a Team

Once you get to level 5, you will be able to join one of the following Pokémon Go’s three teams:

  • Instinct (yellow)
  • Mystic (blue)
  • Valor (red)

Picking a team is a binding decision, but which one you decide on doesn’t matter all that much. The team you choose only determines what gyms you are allied with or rivaled against, despite what some of the internet may have you believe.

The Basics of Gym Battles

In your adventure, you will come across gyms. Currently, these are the only way to challenge your might against other trainers’ Pokémon. Challenging a gym requires you to be close enough to the real-world location to begin a battle. Once you’re in proximity to the location, you will be able to assemble a team of up to six Pokémon to battle against that gym’s team if it is held by a rival team.

Unlike the handheld games, where battles play out in turn-based RPG fashion, Pokémon Go battles are in real-time and action-based affairs. You need to tap your Pokémon to attack, or hold down on the screen to use a special attack. Swiping left or right allows you to dodge the enemy’s attacks. Depending on your connection, dodging can be a bit finicky and even laggy at times. But, if your connection is good, you can mitigate damage by looking for the enemy Pokémon’s attack animation and dodging at just the right moment.

How to Win Battles

Tip #1: The CP of a Pokémon measures its strength. The higher the CP, the more likely it will outmatch a Pokémon with lower CP. With that being said, you can always evolve or power up a Pokémon with candies and stardust to increase its CP, but even if your Pokémon are weaker than the enemy’s, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose.

Tip #2: Pokémon have weaknesses and resistances. Pay close attention to the types of Pokémon you are going up against, and the attacks your Pokémon know. Each Pokémon knows two attacks — a basic attack and a special attack — that have a type associated with them. For example, peck is a flying-type of attack, while water gun is a water-based attack. If going up against fire, take a Pokémon with water type attacks, because they’ll do more damage. Other examples include: water is susceptible to electric, grass is susceptible to fire, and so on. The game has several elemental types, and each has its own weaknesses.

Tip #3: Two Pokémon of the same species will not always know the exact same attacks. It’s possible to have a Pidgey with peck, and another with tackle. This is important to consider when building your team.

Tip #4: When attacking, tiny blue bars under your Pokémon’s health gauge will fill up. Once these blue bars are full, you can unleash special moves by pressing and holding down on your Pokémon. Special attacks cause more damage than regular attacks.

Tip #5: If your Pokémon faints or has an injury occur during battle, you can revive and heal them with revives and potion (both found at Pokéstops) before attempting another battle.

Tip #6: You can ensure that an allied gym doesn’t fall into enemy hands by increasing its level to add more Pokémon. For example, a level 2 gym can hold two Pokémon. Each player can only assign one Pokémon per gym. A friendly gym at level one can have its prestige raised by defeating the defending Pokémon with only one of your choosing. Once defeated, this will increase the gym’s prestige and once it reaches the next level, you or another player, will be able to add a Pokémon. The higher the level of the gym, the more Pokémon will be defending it, which also means it will be more difficult for the enemy team to claim it.

Tip #7: Join forces with other trainers. As a trainer, you can fight against enemy gyms alongside other players, and that makes taking down a rival gym much easier.

Tip #8: For every Pokémon you defeat at a rival gym, you will knock down the gym’s prestige level, and your Pokémon will gain experience as well. So, even you don’t beat every Pokémon at a gym, you can still whittle down the gym’s prestige, and make it easier for other trainers on your team to take it over. Teamwork pays off!

How to Defend Your Gym

You can take over the gym if you manage to beat all the Pokémon at a given gym and lower its prestige to zero. A Pokémon will have to be assigned to defend the gym, and if multiple trainers on your team add Pokémon (depending on the gym level), the one with the highest CP becomes the gym leader. While wandering around, it is possible you may even come across an unclaimed gym. In this case, post up one of your stronger Pokémon to defend it on behalf of your team. Keep in mind that putting a Pokémon in a gym means it will be unavailable until it is defeated and returned to you.

Unfortunately, maintaining control of gym doesn’t have any bonuses or benefits for your Pokémon. It simply increases the prestige of the gym, and a higher prestige means more trainers can add Pokémon to defend it. So, try not to leave your highest level Pokémon gone, as they could be gone for a long time.

However, this shouldn’t prevent you from trying to power up your team and take on as many gyms as possible, as every day you maintain control of a gym nets you daily bonus items such as stardust and Pokécoins.

You can claim the rewards by going to the shop. Search for the icon in the upper right. The moment you claim the gym you will be eligible for rewards, so it is ideal to grab them immediately, before someone else has a chance to knock you out of it.

Final Bonus Pokémon Go Expert Tips

Hopefully, by this point you have all the information you need to begin your quest to catch ’em all, and can excel at being a Pokémon trainer. Before long, you will have a cadre of high-powered Pokémon and probably a few gym captures to your name, but there’s always more to learn, such as being able to check the server status before you head out. Here are few more final bonus tips to help you.

Don’t Forget Daily Bonuses

We mentioned this briefly in the gyms and battles section, but make sure not to forget your daily bonuses for controlling a gym.

Walk, Don’t Ride

Walking and running is always more effective than playing the game on the bus or train, as it will be easier for the game to accurately know your GPS position. Also, don’t play the game while driving a car or riding a bike. This is extremely dangerous. It can also cause your catching skills to suffer due to your lack of attention. If you feel the need to catch a Pokémon while driving, make sure to bring a friend alongside to play in the passenger seat. Even this can be problematic though because moving at high speeds will sometimes confuse the servers, which, in turn, can cause the appearance of the Pokémon to mess up. Also, moving too quickly can cause Pokéstops to stop working properly, and can prove problematic when trying to cover more distance.

Keep the App Open

We know Pokémon Go can be a battery drainer, but if you are serious about finding Pokémon and hatching your eggs efficiently, then try to keep the app open and running for as long as possible. Of course, only do so if you can manage the distraction. Keep the app off while driving or operating vehicles and stay aware of your surroundings. Also, don’t drain your battery just for a potential shot at a Dratini. But if you are in a suitable location, and can spare the battery life, then what are you waiting for?


These are just a few Pokémon Go gaming tips. Have fun in your journey to catch ’em all! Remember to stay safe and always be aware of your surroundings.

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