Explore Your Surroundings
In a game that tracks your movements with GPS and recreates this in the game, this may seem like common sense. However, while it’s easy enough to just stick to your nearby area, heading far away from your home is going to allow for more variety in the Pokemon you come across. Of course, it’s not just Pokemon that you’re going to find on your adventures in the great outdoors. Pokestops and Gyms can be found at local landmarks and places of importance, so make sure to keep an eye out for their blue symbols on the in-game map, too.
The more you explore, the more you will get out of the game. Oh, and the more walking you do with the app on, the faster you’ll level up. Who knew exercise could be so rewarding?!
Visit the Pokestop
So now you’ve gone exploring around the local area, you may have come across, or at least seen the symbol for, the local Pokestop in your area. Now that you know where at least one of them is, you’ll want to make sure you head over here as much as possible. Pokestops are the free way to get Pokeballs and other cool items. While you start out with a pretty good amount of Pokeballs and some samples of other items, you won’t want to run out when you’re face-to-face with a rare Pokemon.
Always be prepared and stock up on the items you need. Of course, stopping off at more than one will allow you to get more items and potentially some different ones too.
When you first start up Pokemon GO, Professor Willow will give you a quick introduction, before throwing you into your first encounter with a Pokemon. Once this is over, you would normally have to get up and go outside to start catching Pokemon. Well, the game gives you a helping hand to start filling out that Pokedex with the minimum amount of effort, and supplies you with Incense in your bag.
Using Incense will release a purple smoke around you, as can be seen in the screen above, and will work for 30 minutes. This will lure Pokemon toward your location meaning you don’t have to go outside and aimlessly walk around your neighborhood in search of that Drowzee. You don’t have to use the Incense straight away, of course, but just don’t forget that you’ve got it in your Inventory. Use it wisely, too. Once it’s gone it’s gone and unless you want to use real-life money to buy Pokecoins to buy more of it from Pokemon GO’s store you’re unlikely to see it again for quite a while.
Level Up Quickly
While a lot of Pokemon GO’s content is open from the beginning, one of the most interesting and social aspects of the game requires you to reach at least level 5. Upon reaching this level, you’ll then be able to partake in the Gym aspect of the game. This means you’ll be able to help defend a Gym if your team already controls it, or challenge a Gym if another team does.
For those who are craving finally getting into some Pokemon battles, the Gyms offer the closest you’re going to get to that in Pokemon GO. Combining taps and swipes for attacking and evading respectively, you’ll battle Pokemon one on one, with the creatures’ CP scores being the ultimate decider of who will emerge victorious. In order to boost your level, walking, capturing Pokemon, and visiting Pokestops will help you to raise your level. Don’t worry, you’ll be level 5 in no time.
Power Up and Evolve Your Pokemon
Now that you’ve got yourself to level 5, have caught yourself a few Pokemon, and have begun to frequent your local Pokestops on the daily, it’s about time you start expanding on your Pokedex and training up some formidable ‘mon. Both of these things require the use of Stardust and/or Candy. Each time you capture a Pokemon, you’ll gain Candy for that ‘evolution family’ and a bunch of Stardust too. Evolving your Pokemon will, as you may have guessed, help to fill out your Pokedex, but also raise your Pokemon’s HP and CP, making your creature much stronger in battle.
Powering up your Pokemon gives your creatures CP a bit of a boost, which will not only help you be a more formidable opponent in battle, but can ultimately be the decider between retaining or losing your team’s Gym. Power up and evolve your Pokemon as early as possible, you won’t regret it when you’re reigning supreme in the Gyms.
Pay Attention to the Leaves and Footprints
While checking out your surroundings, you might notice some leaves rustling. Follow that beat! That will lead you to some Pokemon, and lets you know they’re nearby.
Additionally, tapping on the bottom right silhouette area of the screen will let you see all of the nearby Pokemon. You can click on each one to zero in on them, as the footprints allow you to tell how close or far you are from them. Three footprints designate its far from you and one is that it’s very close.
Use these two indicators to gauge what kind of Pokemon you’ll catch and how far from them you are!
Trade Your Excess Pokemon!
You shouldn’t not catch a Pokemon, of course, because every single one can add to your XP and your Stardust. But you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do with all of those Pidgeys and Rattatas. Transferring your Pokemon to Professor Willow will net you a candy for that specific Pokemon. These will allow you to level up your Pokemon and evolve them with enough candy. Don’t let them just sit around your collection, going to waste!
Check Pokemon CP
Each Pokemon in Pokemon GO has a CP score. CP is the new measure of how powerful your Pokemon’s attack is and stands for Combat Points. Therefore, the higher your Pokemon’s HP and CP, the more powerful it is. When you’ve been out exploring and have caught a bunch of the same Pokemon, the one thing you should be doing is keeping hold of the Pokemon with the highest CP. This is just like keeping the Pokemon with the highest overall level in the normal Pokemon games. With no EV training available in Pokemon GO, you’re left with simply having to build up their CP, and so you’ll save yourself a lot of time just going with the highest leveled.
Not only will it save you a bunch of time, but you’ll also save yourself a ton of Candy and Stardust that you’d otherwise have to spend Powering Up your Pokemon.
As soon as you reach level five you’ll want to start making your way to your local Gym. Gyms are an important feature of Pokemon GO and will have you battling your Pokemon as you attempt to either defend or capture the location from the opposing teams. This is a great way to quickly earn XP and level up faster, but also a great way to help train up your Pokemon, too. More importantly, having a Pokemon at a Gym is the only way you can earn PokeCoins in-game at this moment in time. Otherwise, you have to buy them with real-life cash.
Always Be Prepared
Finally, this doesn’t necessarily apply to actually anything in the game but more a word of caution for using the app. You may have noticed that Pokemon GO can be pretty darn heavy on your smartphone’s battery. If you’re just going to nip out for five minutes or so, having your battery at whatever percentage it’s at is probably going to be okay. However, if you’re planning on spending an afternoon out hunting for Pokemon with friends, you’ll probably want to make sure you’ve got plenty of juice in your device.
Charge up before you go out, and if you’ve got a power bank that you can take with you to charge your phone while you’re out and about, even better. Don’t forget that the app also has a battery save mode which can be useful if you’re on the hunt for a Raichu and you’re running dangerously close to your phone dying.