pokemon go leveling guide
Forwarning and Disclaimer: This is really more for people living in or around larger towns or cities. Rural areas are stuck right now so I really hope they fix this soon! Regarding the red ring theory you’ll find below: this is just what I’ve found. I’d be happy to be wrong if we figure out what’s actually going on.
THIS JUST IN I’ll use this space so that if you come back to this post, you can check on the latest developments. Later I will move these to the bottom.
Tapping a missed pokeball picks it up??? Debunked
There is an update out for the game, at least on iOS!
Debunked! Holding a gym for 24 hours does not give you any reward. Instead, read “Reaping the Pokecoins from Gyms” near the bottom.
CATCH EM ALL – Every pokemon you encounter has value in one way or another. If you see it – catch it. You get 3 candies for that pokemon and its evolutions for each you catch, and you get one extra candy for transferring it to Professor Willow.
RUN, WALK, BIKE, OR JOG through your nearest area with dense pokestops – if you’re running out of pokeballs, it’s probably because you’re not doing this step. Pokestops recharge about every 5 minutes or so giving you potions, pokeballs, and everything you need on your journey to becoming the best. Only veer off path for pokemon you really want or to hang out with friends! I live at a University with a large drill field with plenty of pokestops, so I just make loops around that.
TEAMS ARE PURELY PREFERENCE: There is no inherent advantage or disadvantage to each team. I think, however, that being in the current minority of instinct (yellow) gives you more gyms that belong to mystic and valor that you can take down for easy xp boosts, so it’s better to be instinct if your shooting for the stars when it comes to trainer level. Your area will vary, but I think globally the fewest people picked instinct. Check out your local gyms and talk to more experienced players before you pick.
RED IS FOR FIGHTING (BUT ONLY A FEW) – EDITED As of the current state of the game, no one is max trainer level. When someone or everyone is, then this will most surely not be the case. From what I’ve found in my area, the pokemon I encounter that have a red ring have a higher CP.
If they have a higher CP, I have to spend less candy and stardust on them to get them to their max CP and health. If I spend less on that pokemon, I can spend more on the next one. If I level up a bunch of reds, as opposed to ones that I caught at green, then I’ll have a stronger team with the stardust I have.
General Rule of thumb if you’re just starting level up and spend stardust on your red pokemon. Your mileage may vary.
This paragraph is from the original post: If it doesn’t have a red ring on it when you encounter it with a pokeball in hand, don’t evolve it to the max evolution or spend stardust on it. Ring color is a true indicator of worth and rarity, and that is true whatever trainer level you are at (5 or 25). You may not see red pokemon until around level 10. For best results, you want to evolve the lowest evolution red you have. It looks like for higher evolutions caught in the wild, the game is saving you candies, so it takes that out in potential of your pokemon. Rarer pokemon like starters also seem be a darker red than other pokemon with their catch CP.
Spend stardust and candies to max evolve and power up maybe three of your pokemon. I keep about 50k stardust ‘in the bank’ for whenever I catch a higher starting CP (red-er) pokemon.
If you want to play the long game, don’t spend any stardust and just level up by beating your nearby trainers to higher trainer levels, leading you to have a better team. You can also try not even attacking gyms, making your presence anonymous, and just stomping everyone when we reach end game. I had heard end game was level 50, and since gaining levels was taking so long, I decided to cash out and just make my presence known for the moment. It’s fun to plop a 2000 snorlax on a gym when everyone else’s highest pokemon is CP 1500 or so.
High CP in the wild = Red ring = frugal baller team making
MARK FOR GREATNESS: Following the last point, if you catch a red, put that in its name so you know to spend stardust on it and evolve it to max level for fighting! If it’s not red when you catch it, don’t waste stardust and candies to power it up or evolve it to max evolution. Other players don’t see the names you make for your pokemon, so I’ve started using the name as a space to keep track of that pokemon’s worth and growth. If I catch a red, orange, or rare pokemon like a starter, I use this system to name it: CP level I caught the pokemon at. My level when I caught it. It’s evolution level when I caught it. And it’s ring color with a pokeball in hand. For instance, here are my two of my top pokemon: Snorlax: “1742.21.1 10E” I got it at 1742 CP, my trainer level was 21, it only has one evolution level, and I got it from a 10 kilometer egg. Pidgeot: “650.22.2 R” I caught it at 650 CP, my trainer level was 22, and it was the second evolution stage of pidgeotto when I ran into it. Its ring was red. I also use RO, and OR to indicate orange reds. Y for yellow, and G for green.
Use the semicircle behind your pokemon to judge its power compared to others of its species.
TRANSFER LOW CP POKEMON: Right now, everyone is still climbing to max level and getting better and better pokemon. I try to keep about 3-4 of each pokemon type (say 3 pidgeys, 3, pidgeottos, and 3 pidgeots) so I have an idea of how my pokemon are ranking up against each other and other trainers. If I’m not stockpiling them for a bulk evolution frenzy, and they aren’t my top three in CP, I transfer them for the +1 candy. Some people are saying that height, weight, and attacks per pokemon matter (each does vary), but I haven’t seen any evidence for the height and weight argument, and no one is at max trainer level yet so the only thing that matters right now is CP, as it directly affects how quickly you can take down other pokemon.
EVOLVE EVERYONE (AT ONCE): There are lots of ways to gain experience for your trainer. The best way is to evolve everything at once under the influence of a lucky egg, which gives you 500 base trainer experience per evolve of any kind. Stockpile enough waiting evolutions to fill up 15, 20, or 30 minutes of evolution animation time, activate a lucky egg which doubles your XP gained for 30 minutes, and evolve just about everything you’ve got. If you can afford to, save enough candies after this step so that if you were to encounter a better, red(er), or higher CP pokemon of that species the next second, you could evolve it to max, spend stardust on it, and use it to take down gyms.
PIDGEY, CATERPIE, WEEDLE (AND OTHER WEAK POKEMON) ARE YOUR FRIEND: To evolve everything at once, you want more pokemon to evolve for cheap. Pokemon like pidgey, caterpie, and weedle that only take 12 candies to evolve are perfect for this! Others that you encounter often are also just as good. Don’t evolve each pokemon past its first evolution unless it was red when you caught it! You’re just wasting candies you could use to get you to a higher trainer level, and thus catch higher CP pokemon.
FULL XP BREAKDOWN: Keep in mind that using a lucky egg doubles each of these while they are in effect.
100 XP – Pokemon caught
500 XP – New pokemon
10 XP – Curve ball
10 XP – Nice throw
50 XP – Great Throw
100 XP – Excellent throw
50 XP – Checking in at a pokestop
100 XP – Battling an opposing team’s pokemon trainer at a gym
150 XP – Beating an opposing team’s Pokemon trainer at a gym
50 XP – Beat a pokemon in training (a gym already your team’s color) at a gym
200 XP – Hatch a pokemon
500 XP – Evolve a pokemon
You can find a video guide on youtube for each type of throw in pokemon go very easily. The game doesn’t give you points right now for throwing a ball that is both a nice, great, or excellent throw, and a curve ball. It just gives you whichever is higher.
HERE is a good pokeball throwing tutorial. He goes on a bit unnecessarily, but if you watch this you will know everything there is to know.
HOW DO GYMS WORK (CLAIMING): Each gym has a level, when you first drop it to neutral, anyone can take it. Just because you brought the gym down to neutral doesn’t mean you are the only person that can put a pokemon in to take over the gym. You can also only put a full health pokemon in a gym to claim it. To make sure you get the gym you are attacking, have a full health pokemon waiting on standby to pop in right when you drop the gym’s level to zero. If yours has the highest CP, you will become the gym leader. Each trainer can only place one pokemon per gym.
HOW DO GYMS WORK (LEVELS): Each gym has a level. For each level the gym has, one pokemon of that gyms color can be placed in it to defend it. If you see a gym that belongs to your team, is level 4 and only has 3 pokemon in it, go run over and pop yours in for free! The highest level gym I have yet to see is level 8, with 8 pokemon in it. Each gyms level is affected by its prestige. Attack and defeat pokemon at an enemy gym to lower their prestige, consequently lowering that gyms level, and bringing it closer to zero and neutral so that you can claim it. Each time you defeat an entire gym, the level will drop by about one, kicking the lowest pokemon out, and leaving it even more vunerable to attack. If an enemy gym is level 8, you’ll have to battle it all the way through about 8 times to make it neutral and claim it. Enemies and friends can battle together! For example, if you’re instinct (yellow) and your friend is valor (red), you can both work together to take down a mystic (blue) gym. Only one of you can claim it, but that’s okay because you both got XP! You can also train a friendly gym to make it harder for enemy teams to take down, and place your pokemon in.
HOW GYMS WORK (PROGRESS): You may think you have to beat an entire gym to make an impact. That’s not the case. Every time you beat a single pokemon at a gym, you can run from the battle – for instance if the next pokemon is way too high of a level for you and you know you won’t beat it. You’ll get XP for every pokemon you did beat, and the gyms prestige will raise or lower depending on if you are attacking or training (defending).
TAKE DOWN ALL THE GYMS (don’t train them): You get 5 times the XP for defeating an enemy gym than you do for training (defending) a friendly gym. On top of this, you can fight an enemy gym with 6 of your pokemon, and only one if you are training. This makes it so that it’s really easy and worth it right now to take down enemy gyms and reap the experience rewards, than it is to spend 30 minutes raising a friendly gym to the next level so that you can get your pokemon in it. If an enemy trainer comes along and decides they want the gym you’re defending, they can undo just about all the work you’ve been doing in a 6th of the time it took you to make it.
GYM LEADERS VS EVERYONE ELSE – EDITED: Being a gym leader doesn’t actually get you anything other than letting everyone around know you’re the best. Use gyms to show off what you’ve got. EDIT: Let me clarify here. There are multiple people that can have pokemon in a gym – let’s call them gym defenders. Of these four, five, or six (or more or less), there is only one gym defender that has the highest CP pokemon in the gym. This is the “gym leader” as I am using it. There is no reward for being the gym leader. There is however a reward for being a gym defender. Please read REAPING THE POKECOINS FROM GYMS section below.
HOW TO BATTLE: This is very brief, but you can use a base attack by tapping on the pokemon your fighting, use your special attack by holding down your finger on the opposing pokemon when the blue bar(s) are full, and dodge by swiping left or right. I just try to dodge the opposing pokemon’s special attack because it will tell you when they use it. I recommend watching a video tutorial on how to battle.
HOW TO BATTLE (TYPES MATTER): Use this chart to judge which pokemon you want to bring with you into a gym.
Also coordinate with your teammates to place different types of pokemon at the same gym, making it harder for enemies to take it down.
REAPING THE POKECOINS FROM GYMS: If you go to you go to your Shop pane in the menu, at the top right corner there will be a circular button with a shield and a number. The number is how many gyms you currently have pokemon in. When you hit this button, you get 500 stardust and 10 pokecoins for every gym you have a pokemon in. This reward caps off at 10 pokemon though. You can have pokemon in more, but that will purely be for world domination purposes. Once used, this button will start a timer of [21 not 24] hours until you can use it again. To get the most out of this, the first two nights I woke up at 4am when everyone else was asleep and there was no one to take down my gyms, and I claimed just about every gym in my town.
TRAINER LEVELS: Gaining levels really starts to slow down once you hit level 18. It takes 25,000 XP to get from level 19 to 20, 50,000 to get from 20 to 21, 75,000 from 21 to 22, and 100,000 from 22 to 23.
EVOLVES COUNT AS A CATCH CANDY WISE If you have 13 pidgeys and you evolve 12 of them using all of your 144 candys, you will be able to evolve your last pidgey. You gain a candy for each evolve
From beder: About adding prestige to a friendly gym: the level of the pokemon you used to fight matters. Winning of the first weakest pokemon level 500 with a say 550 pokemon gives way more prestige than if you win with a level 700. Keep this in mind when you have a strong pokemon that can’t win 2 battles in a row and a weak pokemon that can win the first
From mast3rcylind3r: My pro tip that will most likely get burried: download Google rewards. It gives you play store credits for answering surveys. You can redeem play store credit for coins in game. I spent 30 seconds and made 88 cents which I used to buy coins.
EDIT: Updated the type chart to reflect fairy types and the newest generation. Courtesy of Anura17
EDIT: Added a link to a good video guide for throwing pokeballs. He goes on a bit too much in my opinion, but if you watch this you will understand everything there is to know. VIDEO
EDIT: 3:07 pm CST, 7/12/16. Clarified the difference between a gym defender and a gym leader in GYM LEADERS VS EVERYONE ELSE. Also added a few things in the THIS JUST IN section at the top.