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Pokémon GO: Tips and Tricks to Make You the Very Best, Like No One Ever Was

Pokémon GO is literally taking over the world. As awful as the launch of the game has been due to countless server issues, no one can seem to stay indoors anymore. Even the White House and the Pentagon are getting in on the action.

True to the original Pokémon games, Nintendo and Niantic didn’t explain much about the game in terms of “How To,” so to help you level up quickly and find the best Pokémon, let me be your Professor and give you some Pokemon GO tips and tricks while out playing.


Just GO

Seriously, just go for a walk. This is in the game’s name for a reason. The world is nice outside, and I know this time of year can be hot, but just try it. The best way to level up is to catch Pokémon, and the best way to catch Pokémon is to explore the area around you. This is something Nintendo has been trying to do for years through step counters on your 3DS and failed peripherals, but with GO, it’s actually rewarding. The stories about people meeting up while out searching for Caterpies is 100% true, I’ve run into more than a few fellow trainers on my travels so far. There are people in your city right now hunting for these virtual sprites. Go join them!

Lucky Eggs and Leveling

Your trainer level is everything in Pokémon GO. In addition to picking your faction of choice at level 5 (#teamvalor), you’ll naturally start finding stronger Pokémon to capture. The game rewards you with goodies when you level up as well – me turning over to level 12 bagged me 10 Great Balls to use on some Pokémon captures. The best way to power level is to stack your items. If you pop a Lucky Egg, your experience gained is doubled for 30 minutes. After the Lucky egg is activated, turn on a Lure or Incense, catch as many Pokémon as you can, evolve the Pokémon, and power up Pokémon. By doing this, you’ll see your level start to skyrocket. Work smarter out there, trainers.

Pokemon GO Screenies 9Pokemon GO Screenies 10Pokemon GO Screenies 8

Here’s How to Track Pokémon

The “nearby” section of the game is one of the least explained, but potentially most rewarding. Here’s how it works. Channel your inner “Who’s That Pokémon?” skills and decipher what Pokémon is near you, and select that Pokémon. Turn your phone so that your character on screen also rotates and if you see a white circle pulse out when you face a certain direction, you’re facing the right way. Head in that direction and you should find the Magmar that you were so desperately seeking.

Training vs. Battling Gyms

Once you hit level 5 and choose a faction, you’ll start the endless war of building and destroying Pokémon gyms. Once you take control of a gym, it starts at level 1. That means it can hold one Pokémon. If the gym is owned by an opposing team, you’re battling for control. If you win, the spot is yours! If you’re on Team Mystic and come across another Mystic-controlled gym, you can train against that gym. If you win, your character gains some XP and the gym levels up. Once it hits level 2, the gym can hold two Pokémon. This makes it harder for opposing trainers to topple your hard work. Gyms can go up to level 6 when you beef them up enough. Gyms are worth the trouble because if you have a Pokémon in a gym, you will get in-game currency to spend, depending on how many gyms you have Pokémon in. You’ll find that under the “Store” tab in the top right.

Pokéstops Refresh Every 5 Minutes

Hit them up as much as you can. You’ll start running out of Pokéballs soon enough, trust me. Not only will you be provided Pokéballs, but Stops also provide berries for luring, potions, and more. Become familiar with the Stops around you, then if possible, adjust your routine or commute to hit up as many as possible along the way to your final destination.

Pokemon GO Screenies 3Pokemon GO Screenies 5Pokemon GO Screenies 4

Here’s How to Spin the Pokéball

Cool trainers know how to catch their Pokémon with style. When you’re throwing your Pokéball, hold down and spin it around in a circle to give it some english. But, be warned: this gives it a curve once you let go. You’ll need to compensate the arc of your throw to make sure you hit your intended target. While curving the ball does add difficulty, the game rewards you with extra “Curveball” bonus XP.

Leveling Up vs. Evolving

The debate has raged since Pokémon GO’s launch – Should I power up Pokémon before evolving, or wait until after? Early research shows that there isn’t much of a difference. As I said before, trainer level dictates more than existing Pokémon level. If you eventually get enough Pidgey candy to level up your little bird, your high trainer level will bring him into line with the Combat Power where your level is at. However, make important note that the higher your character’s level, the stronger Pokémon you will encounter in the wild. Pro Tip – always and only evolve your strongest Pokémon, making them more difficult for enemies to defeat in your Gym.

Pokemon GO 1Pokemon GO 2Pokemon GO 3

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

Hitting up Pokéstops will sometimes drop you Pokémon eggs. The Pokémon lore says that all of these pocket monsters hatch from eggs, but you actually have to hatch them. When you get an egg, they come in 2km, 5km, and 10km varieties. The different eggs require you to walk those distances before the Pokémon eventually hatches. Make note, cheaters – Driving does not count for incubation steps! These eggs first have to be placed in an incubator before your steps start counting. Go to your collection of Pokémon, then swipe to the right to see your eggs. Click on an egg and select “Start Incubation” to get going. Extra incubators for speeding up your hatching process can be purchased with the gold coins, and you can also earn incubators by leveling up your character. Typically, hatched Pokémon are stronger than ones you find in the wild. You also get a few candies for that Pokémon by successfully hatching their egg, making the candy-collecting evolution process a bit quicker! The egg spawns are also somewhat random, but the internet has a head start on identifying which Pokémon come from which eggs.

Bring a Battery Pack

Riding around a bikeshare (riding a bike will hatch your eggs, but driving does not) in downtown the other night, the little portable battery I forgot I had came in handy big time. Keeping the screen on, GPS running, and the Pokémon GO app running can be pretty taxing, but the extra battery kept my phone running for almost an extra hour after I thought it would have died. Again, be smart out there trainers.

Try and Act Normal

Listen, I want that Porygon as much as you do, but don’t go climbing into people’s yards and restricted areas going after Pokémon. Frankly, I’m surprised how widely accepted this game has been by the mainstream public, but let’s not ruin that by becoming creepers wandering around places we aren’t supposed to be. If it’s after dark, be aware that someone standing outside a house will look a little more questionable than it does during the day.

Be Safe

The night is dark and full of terrors (Ghastlies). There are already multiple stories about people getting in car accidents, being robbed, and even finding dead bodies during their Pokémon GO adventures. Just be aware of your surroundings while you are out there. Travel with groups of known friends, or new friends that you find while you are out. Oh, and one last thing, do NOT Pokémon GO and drive. Seriously, people.

Do NOT Pokémon GO and Drive.


Follow these tips and tricks and you will be on your way to Pokémon master in no time. If you think we missed an awesome tip, please leave it below and we will gladly add it to the post for everyone to notice. Now, go out there and catch ’em all.

  • PokeGoPicachu

    Got some freebies just for doing a quick survey. Not great but a little bit extra always helps! http://www.readydownload.com/pokemongo/

  • Thanks for Updating Useful article about Pokemon Go. I will try those tips and tricks to get Master Pokemon Go Game

  • Terri B

    I am stumped, please help. I purchased 1200 coins and went to shop for 200 poke balls, but the game will not let me purchase them! It says my collection is full. I assure you, I have no poke balls in my collection. Then I bought a bag upgrade (holds 50 more items, even though my Items screen says 293/400, so not full), transfered some Pokémon to professor, AND bought poke storage upgrade (holds 50 more Pokémon). It STILL won’t let me buy the balls, it still says my collection is full! Halp!

  • Who has some Pokemon tips for picking a team? We are level 4 and will need to pick a Pokemon team soon. If anyone has any tips on tricks on picking the best team in Pokemon for Alberta Canada area then please share!

  • Das Ende

    I tried to play on my local bike path Saturday, but the Pokemon weren’t near as enticing as the hot coeds running around. I didn’t catch any coeds, buy did get to feed one an ice cream filled donut, so there’s that. 😜

  • Swangurl

    I never joined a team at level 5. How do I join now at level 7?

  • Kacper Bardecki

    Are you sure that a white pulsing circle means you’re heading the right way? I thought you had to track Pokemon(s?) by paying attention to footprints and their position on the ‘Nearby grid’. This would be sick if it worked, yet I tried it out on a Rattata and whatever way I faced, the circle would beep white when it, the pulsing circle, reached its maximum size. Can someone please verify/help? I’m not convinced.

    • I’m seeing the same thing. Only get the white ring at the end of the pulse no matter what direction I face. Is anyone having luck with this tip?

  • Swangurl

    I never joined a team and now I’m at level 7. How can I join now?

  • Pamala Adams

    My daughters pokemon go character is invisible — anyone able to tell me how to make her reappear?

  • TyMan181

    First Gyms can reach Level 10 and dropping a Pokemon off will put it in the lineup based on CP. Evolving a pokemon should not be focused on moves but only CP as the moves can and usually are changed randomly upon Evolution. Also evolving a Pokemon statistically has the same multiplier bonus for each specific Pokemon (Pidgey to Pidgeotto is always about 1.6 etc) they’re is a list of known multipliers and a survey to include your data on Google

  • David Kirby Dean

    Very good article – But there is an issue. The “Here’s How to Track Pokémon” section has actually been debunked. The “pulsing” is NOT the game telling you a Poké is in that direction – Its your list being updated. You can test this out by pointing in the complete opposite direction – And just waiting a min.

  • Gdom

    Are you stuck with the attacks that your pokemon has? Do they learn new attacks when they evolve?

  • NepinRith

    we have level 8 gyms here where I’m at, so you can definitely get gyms above level 5

  • Margaret Lawrence

    <<o. ✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤:::::::!gq240p:….,….

  • Darth_DJP

    Wrong on a few accounts. First, gyms can get to at least level 7, maybe higher, not just 6 (there’s a level 7 next to my apt now). Second, berries don’t lure Pokémon, they make them easier to catch once they’ve already been encountered. The modules lure Pokémon. Third, when evolving, don’t JUST focus on CP, also look at that pokemon’s attacks to pick which one. I have a Raticate with hyper beam, when my previous one only had hyper fang. Don’t evolve the pokemon that have low normal attacks, even if they have the highest CP. Finally, just a tip, use lucky eggs and evolve a bunch of the same kind of pokemon all at once. For example, pidgeys, rattatas, weedles, etc. Only take 12 candies to level up. Instead of getting that one pidgeot for 50 candy, upgrade 4 pidgeys during lucky egg and get 8,000 xp! Time it right, I went from level 11 to 14 in 15 minutes.

    • PokeBaller

      I’ve seen level 9 gym by me so I concur that level 6 is definitely not the highest gyms go.

    • Petmalu

      Great info…. Thanks

  • D.VA | 비상탈출

    THE BIRD IN THE NORTH!
    #Team Mystic

  • st3b3n

    I found a little bit more extended tutorial here http://www.pokemongoprotips.com/definitive-starter-guide/

  • Skittlez

    ok. which pokemon do you keep, the one with the higher CP, or the one with higher attack values?

    • Darth_DJP

      Attack values. Absolutely. You can always power them up, but you can’t change their attacks

  • Your best Pokémons in PokémonGO for FREE! Visit our website http://www.cheatspokemongo.net

  • Charles Rogers

    What I wouldn’t give for some damn sidewalks. I want to play more but I really hate walking in the road.

    • Mikel Neal

      It really does make you realize how poor our infrastructure is for pedestrians. At least where I’m from.

  • Joshua Saxton

    #teaminstinctisbetter

  • Dan the Dude

    best article of my hole life thanks dad

  • pappy53

    Welcome to Pokemon-life.com. Smh…….

    • Hey! This guy doesn’t care about Pokemon GO!

  • shelooga

    is this really where our world is heading? this is now the most important and popular thing, even to people over 10 years old?

    • Sounds like you hate fun things. I bet you’re a blast at parties.

      • shelooga

        alright, that does it. crossing Eric Rees off my birthday party list.
        but in all seriousness, I do not attend parties where we play pokemon go. we’re a jenga group

        • Skittlez

          ahh. the caveman route. going back in evolution. “me build! it fall :-(“

  • DonSerrot

    The thing with powering up vs evolving is that the CP arc at the top will hold the same position after you evolve a Pokemon. What I’ve heard is you want to push the CP up as high as possible since your Pokemon get’s a higher max CP after evolving but the bar doesn’t go down and the CP goes up to match the bar position.

    • Darth_DJP

      Not really accurate. It doesn’t matter whether you power up first or evolve first. But generally, yes, the higher starting CP the less powering up you need. It’s more important to upgrade pokemon with better attacks tho.

  • Fozzybare

    How does one actually battle? do you tap? swipe? i don’t get it.

    • Tapping on the screen does an attack. Most pokemon have a charge attack as well, that builds up as you attack. Swiping left and right can sometimes “dodge” the gym pokemon’s attack, but it’s often pretty damn buggy.

  • buckeyelife

    Of course we asked if it was the best video game ever?
    https://www.instagram.com/trendendo/

  • ctk4949

    Droid Life is so much better than Pokemon Central right now. They made a single post for each “tip and trick”, just terrible!!

    Good Job Droid Life!!

    • Orion

      Yeah getting tired of that damn website.

  • Michel Zeigler

    Actually if you drive and tap the phone on your wrist constantly it fools your phone into thinking your biking(or walking very very fast), thus counting steps

    • Or you could just, not drive and play a mobile game at the same time. That’d be a hell of a lot safer for everyone.

      • Michel Zeigler

        True, but I don’t play and drive. I ride the bus and play though. That 10km egg not gonna hatch itself ya know.

        • TRUUUE

        • Ryan

          Did that work for you? When I ran on my lunch today it definitely did not track very accurately and I had the phone in my hand the entire time. Maybe I’ll just have to swing my arms more, it’s not like I don’t already look crazy running all around town into and then quickly out of parks to get a pokestop!

          • Michel Zeigler

            It works. You just have to position the phone in a place that simulates a step. In my way, I tapped my phone on my wrist in a fashion where it looked like I was jogging(rhythm&pace) and I went from 0.3km to 2.7 while on the bus. As for joggers position it on let but start app while on your legs. The Pogo screen darkens(and starts the no touch bug) Is lowered to dark if app is opened while elevated.

  • AntCaravalho

    for tracking pokemon , if I select on a certain pokemon to find, anyway I look the ring will pulse from purple out to white and lil pulse of purple? what should I be looking for specifically when tracking?

    • You should be looking for the smaller white pulse when the ring gets to it’s edge. Once you see that, start walking in that direction, the little feet underneath the Pokémon should go from 3-2-1. If the number of steps hasn’t changed in 50 feet or so, you might need to readjust.

      • Flying_Timbus

        Everywhere I turn the circle pulses white at the edge, I’m not sure this information is correct.

  • DanSan

    Not sure if its just me but i wish the screen wouldnt time out while playing the game. I had to set my screen time out to be a lot longer but i’d rather not do that.

    • I totally agree. Would be so much easier to walk and count steps toward incubation if the screen stayed on.

      • DanSan

        Have we figured out, does it still count if the screen turns off while the game is playing?

        • From my experience, the answer is no. When I’m out actively trying to hatch n’ catch (that’s a good term right there) I just leave my screen on.

          • Ryan

            It also seems to have a speed limit of less than ~8 mph. That or when I was running, with the screen on, it didn’t track very well because I ran 10 km and it only tracked about 7 km total.

          • moew

            This is about what I’m seeing, basically with the screen on it seems like it is not registering close to the actual km walked.

          • Ryan

            I was hoping I’d be able to get 2 of the 5K incubated but I only got about 1 3/4 of the 5K and had already started on my 10K so finished it and got most of the way with one of the other 5K.

          • Eben Ernstof

            I read somewhere (don’t ask where. Been reading way too much about Go) that you have to be traveling less than 10 kph. I think it was kph as opposed to mph but can’t be sure, although if you maintained a pace of over 10 mph for a distance of 10k you must be a hell of a runner. Going to see how mowing the lawn works later today. Have a big yard so should burn some miles, or kilometers.

          • Derick

            You got better results than me. I’m only registering about 1/3 of the distance I’ve run.

        • Higher_Ground

          Pretty sure it doesn’t.

        • I turn on the Battery Saver in the Pokemon Go settings and then disable my screen timeout. Then I hold the phone upside down when walking (battery saver feature) and I can play for hours without running out of battery and get a lot of steps in that way.

  • Bigmatt503

    Facebook, local media are loving this!! Literally every newscast has a Pokémon story.
    Friends on Facebook are looking for “pokestops”! I don’t get it (I’m old though).

  • Suicide_Note

    #TeamItsTooHumidOutSoIWillGameIndoorsWithA/C

    • patt

      That’s team McDonald’s

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    Can’t get it to work on my 5x. Can’t ever select Allow in the beginning so it’s useless to me

    • Brian Himes

      If your on android N it won’t work.

      • Jeffrey Tarman

        I’m on marshmallow. And I’m not the only person with a Nexus that seems to be having issues

    • Devhux

      If you’re running Android N Beta, that’s why. Game isn’t supported on it yet

      • Jeffrey Tarman

        Marshmallow, not N beta

  • Synacks

    If you’re gonna BE in a car as a passenger, going under 25mph and in densely populated areas is your best bet. A bicycle with a good phone mount would work better, but I’m not 13 and have the urge to cruise everywhere on a bike lookin for the Pokemans.

    • Higher_Ground

      I foresee a profitable future in pokemon adventure tours 🙂

      • Synacks

        Maybe a theme park ride like the Pokemon Snap game where you go through different types of areas to catch a bunch of different types.

    • Eben Ernstof

      Read above comment. All indications are 25 mph is more than twice max travel speed. Even on a bike you want to keep it mellow.

  • JLV90

    All I ever wanted was to join Team Rocket, and they don’t give me the option FeelsBadMan.jpg

    • If the Ingress model is any indication, Niantic has probably got some events planned down the road.

  • What’s a Pokeman?

  • Butane87

    I’ve always thought of Pokemon as a little kids game. Seriously didn’t realize it was this popular. I guess I’m just an old man.

    • A lot of 20-30 year-olds grew up with this game, and now have the money and influence to make this a pretty notable nostalgia trip.

      • Butane87

        I see it started on ’95. Looks like I just missed the craze by a couple years. Just started high school then.

        • Same here. When I was 20-30 I blew disposable income on car parts and chased women, not invisible things. But to each his own. =)

          • Bigmatt503

            Haha.. Best answer ever. Cars and women always beat out gaming (and android)

          • mickeyB88

            Unless you’re paralyzed and not into women…but that’s besides the point since that’s just your opinion.

          • That’s the saddest demographic I’ve ever heard of.

          • DanSan

            I’m 29, I blow my money on car parts, guns and chase women.

            …. and pokemon. its possible.

          • You’re like a unicorn.

          • DanSan

            I think its more common than you think. A lot of people in their late 20’s and early 30’s grew up with this game. Yes, we’ve moved onto new hobbies as adults but this definitely brings us back to when we were kids.

          • rama

            I am 32 and I blow my money on drinking, my kids , wife and Pokemon. Life is grand.

          • ghetto superstar

            Having to buy car parts to keep your old-piece-of-crap running in order to chase down the women because you’re fugly means you grew up in the ghetto man!
            I see things haven’t changed for you today!

          • My spinners were hella dope bruh.

          • Darkpelt

            but my car runs fine and my girlfriends are also into pokemon…
            :3

  • Eric

    Pokémon Go has taken over my RSS feed. Insanity

    • Yeah, the coverage that it’s getting from the mainstream media channels is pretty surprising.

  • NeilOMalley

    #teaminstinct

    • #bleedyellow

    • DonSerrot

      #WINstinct

      • Margaret Lawrence

        <<o. ✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤:::::::!gq240p:….,…..

    • Freddy Schneider

      Been using this tutorial https://goo.gl/wX7AZU to get my hands on Pokemon Go outside the States.

    • Matt

      #teamvalour

    • Karthikeyan

      Please tell me the pokemon trainer name…

      • NeilOMalley

        I don’t know what you mean.

    • SomeDooD

      #TeamFAP

  • Joey Riz

    Team Valor FTW!

  • My years of Pokémon games have finally PAID OFF.

    • Joshua Saxton

      Oh you’re Team Valor please tell me how useful these tips and tricks are #teaminstictftw

    • Jonilo5

      Is it bad that I evolved 2 pidgey instead of double evolve one?

    • Petmalu

      What does those number and the blue bars on the bottom stats of each pokemon? No one seem to have an answer for this on the internet. For Example:

      ARCANINE:

      Bite 15
      Flame Blast——60

      Is this the damage amount it creates when fighting against other pokemon go? Thank you..