Pokemon Go guide
We're still obsessed with Pokémon Go here, and we've been working (well, playing) hard to bring you the best tips and tricks to get the most out of this addictive mobile game. Even in the short amount of time Pokémon Go has been available, the game has seen many new updates which add (and also take away) features, so this Pokémon Go tips and tricks guide is constantly evolving.
Keep checking this guide as we add more tips and tricks while we continue to play Pokémon Go. We've already added loads of new Pokémon Go tips and tricks since the release of the game. We've also added a new video that compares some of the most popular smartphones to see how well their batteries last while playing Pokémon Go.
- Check out our guide on how to download and play Pokemon Go right now
We've got 40 top Pokémon Go tips and tricks to transform your smartphone into a veritable Poké portal.
Completely new to the world of Pokémon? Then check out Pokemon Go: A complete beginner's guide, which will show you how to get started.
If you encounter any problems while playing, head over to our how to fix Pokemon Go problems guide for information on how to solve them.
1. Keep the app updated
As our how to fix Pokemon Go problems guide demonstrates, there are some problems with Pokémon Go that can result in a frustrating experience when playing.
Thankfully, the creators of Pokémon Go are constantly updating the app to add new features and improve the stability of the game. Therefore, our first Pokémon Go tip is a rather straightforward one - make sure the Pokémon Go app is updated to the latest version.
To do this you can go into the app store you downloaded it from, search for Pokémon Go, and if there's an update waiting you should see a button to 'Update'. You can also turn on automatic updates for your smartphone.
A new version has just been released which improves load times (making the Pokémon Go app faster), transfer speeds are improved and glitches have been addressed.
However, before you rush to download the latest update, do a bit of research about it first. One of the latest updates, version 0.31.0, has seen some people's progress in Pokémon Go. So before you update, make sure no one is highlighting any problems or bugs with the update. If they are, then hold tight for another update which should fix those problems.
2. Get Pikachu as your starter Pokemon
Before you dive into the world of Pokémon Go, here's a nifty tip to get the famous electric Pokémon, Pikachu, as your starter.
Sign up for a new Pokémon Go account and choose your player character. You'll be asked by the Professor to catch a Pokémon - and this is where you usually get the chance to catch the classic stater Pokémon Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur.
Instead, walk away from them (in real life), and continue to walk away from them until your phone vibrates. The three classic stater Pokémon will appear again. Walk away again, and repeat that 3 to 5 more times and Pikachu should appear - allowing you to capture him as your starter Pokémon.
3. Rustling leaves equal wild Pokemon
Pokémon Go utilises augmented reality, but that doesn't mean you'll constantly be gazing into the world through your smartphone's camera. In fact, a great deal of the game is spent traversing a virtual map of the area you're currently inhabiting.
Since the aim of Pokémon Go is to collect Pokémon and train them into new evolutions, you'll need to hunt them down out in the wild. The best visual sign that one is nearby are plumes of leaves rustling on the map. Approach these random events to try and catch it. Remember this tip: different areas will house different types, so be sure to vary your location.
4. Master the art of capture
When you do decide to throw down with a wild Pokémon, there's just the small matter of actually bagging said creature and adding it to your growing roster.
Rather than battling a wild one as you would in a regular Pokémon game, Pokémon Go instead uses a special 'Capture' mode. The virtual world is swapped for the real one as your camera jumps into AR.
Focus your camera on the Pokémon in question and the white ring you use as a pointer will change size and colour - the smaller the ring, the more likely you'll be to capture the Pokémon.
Before you throw a Pokéball, check the colour the ring changes to - green equals easy, yellow equals moderate and red equals tough. Know these colours and you'll be on your way to mastering Pokémon Go.
5. Catch Pokemon from further away
Many of the recent updates to Pokémon Go have been controversial, but there's been one tweak that has made playing the game a bit more easier.
The circle around your character, which represents the area your character can detect wild Pokémon in, has been increased.
This means you can find and catch Pokémon from much further away than you previously could, with the new distance being around 200 metres, so if you've had trouble catching Pokémon in the past, load up Pokémon Go, update it, and get out there!
6. Catch Pokemon easily by dropping the AR
Augmented reality might make for some pretty hilarious screenshots, but did you know using that particular feat makes catching Pokémon in Pokémon Go noticeably harder?
For this Pokémon Go tips, if you want to increase your chances of those Pokéball throws paying off (and avoid paying for expensive Master Pokéballs), then hit the button on the top-right of your screen that says 'AR' during Capture mode.
This will switch off your camera and take you back into the virtual Pokeworld. It certainly doesn't look as cool as seeing a Pokémon in your local park or on the beach, but it will improve catch rates.
7. Don't be afraid to have doubles
Since the appearance of Pokémon is totally randomised in Pokémon Go (with factors such as time of day, location type and nearby landmarks all making a difference), there's a good chance you'll have the opportunity to catch more than one creature of the same type.
8. Transfer your Pokemon to help you evolve others
Naturally, you might be inclined to avoid wasting a Pokéball on a Pokémon you already have, but having duplicate Pokémon has its uses.
Extra Pokémon can be traded to Professor Willow for candy, which helps increase the stats of your best Pokémon and even helps them evolve. To do this, click the Pokéball icon, select 'Pokémon' and then tap on the menu icon (with three horizontal lines) in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Hit 'Transfer' and you'll be given the option to trade the Pokémon with Professor Willow.
9. Go for Pokemon with better move sets
During your time with Pokémon Go, it's likely that you'll encounter more than one of the same Pokémon. If you do get a chance to capture a Pokémon you already have, take a look at the moves the wild Pokémon has (listed in the Pokémon's information screen after you've captured it) - they may have a better move set than the one you already have.
If that's the case, then remember this tip: capture the new Pokémon, then trade your existing Pokémon for an instantly-better fighter. It's ruthless, but that's the world of Pokémon Go.
10. Play at different times of the day
Different Pokémon appear at different times of the day, so if you're stuck doing the same journey each day, or there's an area you're always in, try visiting at different times to see what new Pokémon you can find.
It's also worth changing your routes to work or home every now and again to find new Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go - but be careful going to unknown places late at night. You may be addicted to Pokémon Go, but you still have to keep yourself safe!
11. Combine Razz Berries with better balls
If you encounter a rare (or just hard-to-catch) Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go, you don't want it to escape.
One of the best tips for making your life easier when trying to catch these Pokémon is by using razz berries in conjunction with strong PokéBalls.
Razz berries are items that you can feed to Pokémon to slow them down, making them easier to capture. Once the Pokémon has eaten the razz berry, throw a Great Ball, or an Ultra Ball, to capture the Pokémon. It will greatly improve your chances.
To use a razz berry, tap on your Backpack, then select a razz berry from the list of items. This will send it to the wild Pokémon you've encountered.
12. Spend your Pokecoins on lures and incense
Pokémon Go being a free-to-play game means there are plenty of microtransactions in place to help you fill up on items with real world cash. And whether your increase your balance with actual dollar or the defence of gyms (more on that in the steps ahead), it's how you spend that moolah that makes all the difference.
Your first thought might be to stock up on that iconic commodity - the good ol' Pokéball - but the game actually provides you with plenty of free ones. If you visit every PokéStop on your journey, they should drop them pretty regularly. Now spend those coins on far rarer items such as incense to lures.
13. Use incense to get Pokémon when not moving
Unless you're hoping to jack in your job and take up Pokémon hunting full time, there are times where you'll have to stop walking around gazing into your smartphone for rustling leaves, PokéStops and other important landmarks.
When you're stuck at your desk or at home, you'll need to use lures to attract Pokémon to you. Pokémon Go uses items such as incense to do this and they'll prove some of the most important gear in your virtual backpack. Simply hit the Pokéball at the bottom of the screen, tap 'Items' and select 'Incense' to draw those creatures in - a purple ring around your avatar will show you it's in effect.
14. Make incense more powerful
While using incense is a good way to attract Pokémon without moving, a Reddit user has uncoveredcode that shows by moving around, you can make incense work harder.
According to the code, using incense in Pokémon Go while standing still will spawn one Pokémon every five minutes.
However, if you move around you will spawn 1 Pokémon every minute - or every 200 metres you travel. So, if you want to really make the most out of the incense in Pokémon Go, make sure you move around while you use it.
15. Power up Pokémon before evolving
Pokémon Go doesn't quite make this one clear when you check the main stats of each Pokémon in your collection, but the power of an evolved Pokémon is directly tied to the strength it possessed prior to evolving. So to get some really powerful creatures at your disposal (especially if you're into touring gyms for XP) use plenty of candy and stardust to get those CP levels on the up.
Try to apply this tactic to the most formidable or useful Pokémon in your collection - this will make them ideal for leaving behind to defend gyms in your team's honour
16. Evolution equals full health
If you're a bit of a Pokémon Go gym bunny, chances are your trusty band of Japanese creatures have taken a bit of battering over the weeks. That's okay, everyone loves a bruiser, but what happens when some of your best Pokémon get KO'd at the worst possible moment? Well, there is a cheeky emergency trick you can pull.
You can feed candies and apply stardust to unconscious Pokémon (we don't know why either), but this means you can initiate an evolution on a downed creature. Ergo, your Pokémon will evolve and revive with full health.
17. Use the new Buddy feature to evolve Pokemon
This Pokémon Go tip requires the recent update to the game. A new "Buddy" system has been added to Pokémon Go, which allows you to select a Pokémon as your buddy, so that they appear next to your avatar.
This isn't just a cosmetic feature, however, as a Pokémon that you select as a buddy earns extra candies as you walk around, making it quicker and easier to level up and evolve that Pokémon.
18. Gyms and PokéStops equal coins
Coins are the in-game currency of Pokémon Go, but like most in-game currencies the AR-powered smartphone app is decidedly stingy when it comes doling out the cash. Thing is, coins are essentially once you breach level 20 as XP accumulates at a crawl so you'll need coins to buy key items from the store.
PokéStops do drop coins, but the rate at which they appear is so low you can't build any sort of strategy out of using bar pure chance.
Gyms, on the other hand, are much more generous with gold. Defending a gym grants you a tasty Defence Bonus that nets you 10 whole coins. Defend those gyms regularly to bank that moolah.
19. Study gyms before you attack
Pokémon Go's combat doesn't have the nuance or the subtlety of the main games it draws from, but it is still based on the same theories. That means certain Pokémon will be naturally stronger and weaker against other types. So if you're looking to go throwing a few Poképunches in your local gym, be smart and check out the Pokémon that have been stationed there to defend it.
Don't just select the most powerful creature on your roster, instead play smart and select a type that would cause more damage to your opponent's by default (water types weakening fire types, grass types weakening water types, etc). Sometimes a less powerful Pokémon will be far more effective than your favourite fighter.
20. Don't just win gyms - defend them
When you reach level five, the real Pokémon Go begins. Now you're at a high enough level you can begin earning in-game cash by joining one of three teams (Valor, Mystic or Instinct) and capturing or defending gyms.
Other trainers will leave some of their best Pokémon behind to defend them and you'll need to enter Combat mode to claim the territory as your own. Once you've won them, leave a Pokémon there to defend them.
Defending a gym for long enough will generate coin bonuses which you can then collect from the top right of the shop menu.
21. Join a team
While it's still fun to play Pokémon Go on your own, the game really comes into its own if you play with others.
Once you reach level 5 you'll be asked to choose a team when you first set foot into a gym. There are three teams in Pokémon Go to choose from, Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). So which team do you choose?
The yellow team Instinct is represented by an icon of the legendary electric Pokémon, Zapdos, and as per the team's name, it believes that Pokémon should be allowed to be themselves and to trust in their instinct.
Team leader Spark tells you, in a bid to get you to join the team that "Pokémon are creatures with excellent intuition. I bet the secret to their intuition is related to how they're hatched. Come and join my team. You never lose when you trust your instinct!".
If you've been playing a lot of Pokémon Go, you've probably noticed many Gyms being run by the blue team Mystic.
Team Mystic, which has the legendary ice Pokémon Articuno as its mascot, is an incredibly popular choice, though despite its hippyish name, this team is actually focused on studying and analysing Pokémon in an attempt to figure out the best way to use them in battle.
Team leader Blance has this to say: "The wisdom of Pokémon is immeasurably deep. I'm researching why it is that they evolve. My team? With our calm analysis of every situation, we can't lose!"
If you're more of a rough-and-ready Pokémon Go player who's always up for a battle, then the red team Valor may be the best choice for you, as its belief is that that by battling over and over you will become the best Pokémon trainer.
The team's mascot is the legendary fire Pokémon, Moltres, and its leader Candela boasts that "Pokemon are stronger than humans, and they're warmhearted, too! I'm researching ways to enhance Pokemon's natural power in the pursuit of true strength. There's no doubt that the Pokémon our team have trained are the strongest in battle!".
22. Listen to your team leader's appraisal
A recent update to Pokémon Go has made the team leaders even more useful, as they can now tell you about a Pokémon's special defence and attack moves in a feature that's known as "Pokémon appraisal".
These appraisals can be really useful for planning your tactics before launching into a particularly tricky battle. To find out what your team leader thinks of your particular Pokémon, open up the Pokémon screen and select the one you want to be appraised.
Now tap on the round button on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and then tap 'Appraise' in the menu that appears.
Your team leader will now appear and ask you if you want to know more about the Pokémon. Tap the screen and you'll get taken through your Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses, as well as if the Pokémon is large or small, which can affect its performance in battle (larger Pokémon hit harder, smaller Pokémon are more nimble).
23. PokeStops equal prizes
PokéStops are Pokémon Go's way of turning special landmarks in your town or city into interactive events. Visiting these special points of interest will drop random loot, including Eggs for hatching new Pokémon (see our next step for Egg hatching tips), Pokéballs for catching new ones and Potions or Revives for healing your Pokémon while in Combat mode.
Be sure to visit these PokéStops everyday if in the same area, or open the app in new areas to reap the rewards of travel. To use one, walk up close to it, tap the blue icon then swipe it to make it spin. All your randomised loot will then appear.
24. Hatch Eggs by keeping the app open
Here's a handy Pokémon Go tip: much like any other Pokémon game, hatching Eggs for new Pokémon is still a thing - only this time you need to monitor said Egg like a Tamagotchi to expedite the process.
Hatching rates are based on how many miles or kilometres you've walked with the app open - and until the special Pokémon Go wearable is released over here this is the only way to rack up that mileage. You'll need to make sure you put the egg in an incubator so that it registers your miles as you walk.
To check the progress of your Poké ovum, tap the Pokéball, then select the Eggs menu from the list. The Pokémon that's born out of each egg is also randomised, so don't get too disappointed if you get any doubles.
25. Play Pokemon Go on public transport
We probably don't need to tell you to play more Pokémon Go if you're as addicted to this game as we are, but we've found a great tip: playing Pokémon Go on public transport such as trains and buses, is a great way to catch Pokémon you usually wouldn't find in your local area.
You don't get steps when siting on a train, but you will cover a lot more distance, and pass a lot more Pokéstops during your travel. It's safe to play when someone else is driving, and it makes that morning commute into work or school go by much faster!
If you're going on a long journey, make sure you pick up some incubators as well, as you can hatch some Pokémon while you're whizzing through the countryside.
26. Buy a battery pack. No, seriously
If you've read any of the coverage Pokémon Go has received recently, there's a good chance you've heard the app is a real battery killer. Since it requires you to always have it open, while accessing Wi-Fi, GPS, your camera and more, the Nintendo app will suck even the newest of batteries down to the marrow in less than half an hour.
Nintendo says it's working on a solution, but in the meantime you'll need to find alternative means. For a start, you might watch to switch off the AR component permanently and invest in a portable power pack.
27. Activate battery saver mode
If you're not in the mood to carry around an extra battery pack, you can also activate Pokémon Go's battery saver mode to prevent your handset from quickly running on empty.
Go to "Setting" in the top right corner and scroll down to battery saver. Select it and make sure it's checked. You can then turn your phone screen upside down, which will dim your display. You'll still be playing as the mode doesn't shut off the game or lock up your phone.
You'll save precious battery life, and can keep catching 'em all till your heart's content.
We've also got a video below where we test out some of the most popular smartphones in the world to see how long their batteries last when playing Pokémon Go.
28. Save data by using offline maps
Pokémon Go pulls map data from Google, and if you download your home and work areas on your phone via the Google Maps app it will improve the performance of Pokémon Go. You phone won't have to keep constantly redrawing your surroundings.
Open up the Google Maps app, select the Settings menu (shown by an icon with three horizontal lines) and tap on 'Offline areas'.
Press the '+' icon then use the map to drawn a square of the area you want to download, then tap on 'Download'.
This will mean you won't burn through your mobile data allowance quite so quickly, and it can help save your smartphone battery as well while you play Pokémon Go.
29. Throw a Curve ball for extra XP
Pokémon Go gives you plenty of unique ways to capture Pokémon, and this way will help you level up much faster.
When you're about to catch a Pokémon, hold down on your Poke Ball and spin it in a circular motion with your finger. This will create a curve ball, and if you hit and capture a Pokémon with this move you'll gain some extra XP.
30. You can even change your name
Not a fan of your Pokémon Go nickname? It's not too late to change it. Be warned though: you only get one chance to switch it so choose something you want to keep for life.
Remember all other Pokémon Go players are likely to see your name whenever you take over a gym so choose something you're happy with.
To do it you need to go to the Settings tab within Pokémon Go and press Change Nickname. You'll be given a warning about how you can only do it once and you'll be ready to change your name to whatever you want.
31. Use other people's lures to catch Pokemon
While playing Pokémon Go you can increase the number of Pokémon who appear near you by either using Incense or a Lure Module, which attracts Pokémon to a Pokéstop.
Incense only works for the person who activates it, and no one else can see it, but Lures work for everyone. While playing Pokémon Go you might see other player's lures, and these can be seen on the map, represented as confetti.
To use another player's Lure, just hang around near it, and you'll soon find extra Pokémon without having to use one of your own!
32. Keep an eye on your Sightings
While playing Pokémon Go you'll see Pokémon icons (or their silhouettes if you've not encountered that type before) in the bottom-right hand corner of your screen.
This shows you nearby Pokémon. Tap on this area to bring up the larger Sightings menu, listing all the Pokémon near you.
However, while you used to be able to see how close a Pokémon is to your current location by the number of paw prints underneath them (the more paw prints they have under them, the further away the Pokémon is), since update 0.31.0 you can no longer see those footprints - which weren't always that accurate.
If you want to catch a specific Pokémon, then use this tip to make the most out of the new Pokémon Go Sightings system.
Keep the Sightings window open while you walk around and keep an eye on all of the Pokémon icons it displays. If the Pokémon you're after has an icon in the Sightings window, and it suddenly disappears, then it means you're heading in the wrong direction. Turn around and move back to where you were until the Pokémon icon reappears. You then know you're on the right track.
33. Ensure your Pokemon are the strongest
Ok, so this is where things get a little deeper, but stick with us and we guarantee you'll end up with an unbeatable Pokémon army.
As you should know by now, every Pokémon has a CP (Combat Power), that dictates how strong it will be in battle. What you don't see are the hidden base stats that make up the CP, which are attack, defense and stamina, along with what are known as IVs (Individual Values) that help determine how these base stats vary from one Pokémon of the same species to another.
The IVs range from 0 to 15 for each stat, and the higher the IV of each, the more powerful that Pokémon has the potential of becoming. This means you don't want to waste time powering up a Pokémon with low IV, even if it currently has a higher CP than another.
So how do you determine a Pokémon's IV? It's not straightforward, but thankfully some fan-made solutions are available, including this one on the fan site Sylph Road.
These calculators let you enter information about an individual monster and then produce a calculated IV and how it fares to other Pokémon of the same species. Oh, and Pokémon that come from eggs have a higher chance of having better IVs.
34. Level up your team's gyms
As well as capturing other team's gyms you can also battle your own gyms to level them up. You'll be limited to using just one Pokémon, but for each of the monsters you defeat at the gym you'll build up the gym's XP.
Once the gym has enough XP it will level up, which unlocks more slots for Pokémon to defend it. Either you can then leave one of your Pokémon there or else another member of your team can do so.
Once your gym is impenetrable you can sit back and reap the coins that will come your way as a defender's bonus.
35. Time your lucky eggs
Short of filling up your Pokédex, evolving Pokémon is one of the activities that will get you the highest level of XP.
You can take advantage of this fact by saving your evolutions for when you have a lucky egg activated. The item, which you can find at Pokéstops, doubles the XP you get for half an hour.
So rather than transferring all the low-level Pidgies you're no doubt accumulating, try evolving several of them right after activating a lucky egg. If done right you should get 1000 XP with each evolution and be levelling up in no time at all.
36. Level up for rewards
The more you play Pokémon Go, the more XP you will earn. After earning a certain amount of XP you'll level up, and each level brings new rewards.
Up to level 10 you need to gain an increasing number of XP points to level up, and the amount increases by 1000 XP each time. So, for level 1 you need 1000 XP, level 2 needs 2000 XP and so on.
The first couple of levels give you extra Poké Balls when you level up, but certain levels give you more exciting things.
When you reach level 5 you unlock Gyms, Potions and Revives, and you get 10 Potions, 1 Incense and 10 Revives as well.
Level 8 unlocks the Razz Berry, along with 15 Poké Balls, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 10 Razz Berry, 1 Lure Modulator.
Level 10 unlocks Super Potions, Level 12 unlocks Great Balls, Level 15 unlocks Hyper Potions, and level 20 unlocks Ultra Balls.
37. Be prepared for tough fights at high levels
The higher the level you achieve in Pokémon Go, the harder the game gets. A committed Pokémon Go player has shared their experiences of playing Pokémon Go at very high levels, proving just how hard this game can get.
This involves once easy-to-catch and low powered Pokémon now becoming incredibly hard to catch thanks to their high chance of evading capture. So you may end up having to use a large amount of Pokéballs to catch Pokémon at this level.
Each level increases the number of XP you need to move on to the level, and by level 30 you'll need 500,000 experience points to move on.
If you gained 100,000 experience points a day (no mean feat in itself), it would take you over a week to go from level 31 to 32. So, if you're playing Pokémon Go with an aim of levelling up fast, make sure you're prepared for a tough fight the higher up you climb in the level rankings.
38. Name your Eevee to determine its evolution
Eevee is a unique Pokémon that can evolve into three different Pokémon - Jolteon, an electric-type Pokémon, Vaporeon, a water-type, and Flareon, a fire-type.
It's been discovered that by naming your Eevee a certain way in Pokémon Go, you can control what it evolves into.
So, if you name your Eevee Sparky it will evolve into a Jolteon, if you name it Rainer, it turns into a Vaporeon and if you name it Pyro it will evolve into a Flareon.
We've tried this trick ourselves and it worked! This is a cool Easter egg, as the Eevee brothers from the Pokémon anime series were named Sparky, Rainer and Vaporeon.
39. Make a Pokémon your Favorite
You can now choose Pokémon to highlight as your Favorites. This essentially 'locks' the Pokémon so that you don't accidentally transfer them, or lose them.
It's a great way to make sure you don't lose any super rare Pokémon you have, and to select a Pokémon as a Favorite, load up the Pokémon Go app, press the Pokéball icon to open up the menu, select 'Pokémon', then tap on the Pokémon you want to add as a Favorite.
There will be an empty Star icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Tap it to fill in the Star icon - you've now saved that Pokémon as a Favorite.
40. Invest in a Pokémon Go Plus
Let's be honest, playing Pokémon Go is great, but not all of us can walk around with the app open all day - day jobs, a life and a finite battery source being just some of the obstacles standing in the way of accelerated Pokéstardom. But there is a way to track notifications without having the app, and its name is Pokémon Go Plus.
The Pokéball-themed wearable is extremely difficult to get hold of at the moment (it's only available through the official Nintendo Store and waves of pre-orders are disappearing fast), but if you're in toPokémon Go for the long haul this Bluetooth-enabled, US$34.99 (£34.99, around AU$46) priced gizmo is your best bet.