It's been almost 3 years since the massively popular mobile title Pokémon Go exploded onto the scene (feel old yet?). Yet, many amateur Pokémon Masters are still venturing and battling their way to the coveted level cap of 40. Developer Niantic has trickled in elements to aid towards gaining XP at a faster rate with features like Raids and various bonuses. Still, leveling up still requires tons of exploring and fighting, as well as gathering precious Pokémon and useful items.
Whether you're a heavy user of the app or rarely play; a resident of the burbs, a rural area, or even a bustling city, Pokémon Go demands dedication, persistence, and resourcefulness. It doesn't help that the amount of XP required to level up exponentially balloons as you reach the higher levels.
With that said, let's touch on 10 effective Go strategies which can help save you some needless walking and/or grinding in your endless quest to become a Pokémon Master.
Gym battles aren't just a neat way to show off your Pokémon to fellow trainers that happen to pass by; they can also land you a good chunk of xp, assuming your Pokémon are formidable enough to tangle. Most people think of gyms as a nice means of raking in coins as they sit back ideally while their Pokémon hold down the fort for them.
Yet, defeating Pokémon at these gyms nets you 100 XP per vanquished foe, and an additional 50 for wiping out the whole gym, which can add up nicely over time. So seek out a gym filled with low CP Pokémon and let the easy XP roll in!
The next time you hit the city, or a bustling event like a festival, it would behoove you to get that phone out and get to some hardcore Pokémon Go grinding. Just make sure you watch where you're going, so as not to collide into passersby - or far worse, traffic!
Not only are busier, more urban areas easy pickins' when it comes to Pokémon, they're also typically home to an abundance of Pokéstops. It's certainly one of the more fun and simplistic ways to land XP. Simply walk over the Stops and spin the icons, and voila! You've got an easy 50 XP, along with a handful of random items in your pocket! You can even do a double take and revisit old areas, which refresh after a mere 5 minutes.
Gathering Candies is an important aspect to Pokémon Go, as it's the currency you use to evolve your Pokémon. This doesn't just produce stronger and cooler Pokémon to have in your arsenal, but a simple evolve earns you a whopping 500 XP.
This means you'll want to evolve your Pokémon as much and as quickly as possible. The fastest way to achieve this? Simply collect an army of Pidgeys! These meager Flying types may not be much use in battle, but their threshold of just 12 candies to evolve allows you to morph them into Pidgeottos at a rapid pace. Weedles and Caterpies also have the 12 candy requirement, and are similarly abundant and easy to capture in the wild. You can further exploit this by whipping out Pinap berries when facing them to increase the candies gained to 6, making for an even quicker process to evolve these little guys.
Sure, gym battles can make for an epic time, but Niantic has recently incorporated an even more epic, and more cooperative experience in Pokémon Go, called Raids.
Using a Raid Pass and entering an arena at a designated time will pit you against a massive super-charged Pokémon with an absurd amount of CP that clocks in at 8-10x the max CP or their normal counterparts. Just be sure to bring some friends, or at least join up with a bunch of strangers! You'll be in for a fight, especially when engaged in a Legendary Raid. After chipping away at the beast's health, your target will eventually drop, and, depending on the difficulty tier, you'll rake in XP numbering in the thousands!
As a side note - If you're the lone wolf type, you can often take on a lower-tiered raid on your own, assuming your Pokémon are strong enough to hang.
Landing Pokémon doesn't have to always be done in the traditional manner. You can also nurse an egg and hatch it into a random Pokémon, Misty-style. This produces an exciting "Christmas" vibe of opening virtual gifts, though it also grants XP simply from walking a certain distance and hatching eggs kept in your Incubator.
You'll have at least one Incubator by default, though you can get more to increase the rate in which your eggs will hatch. You can snag additional Incubators randomly at Pokéstops, or for 150 Pokécoins at the shop. Each hatched egg with net you 200 XP.
As a side note - to "kill two Pidgeys with one stone" so to speak, you may want to focus on the higher "5-10 km" eggs. These will require more walking, but will also typically yield rarer Pokémon. If XP is your main goal though, focus on the quicker 2km eggs.
It may not seem like much, but busting out stylish Pokéball tosses and landing the extra 10-100 XP for each one can certainly pile up over time.
Simply landing your Pokéball within the outer white circle will prompt a "nice!" message and land you 10 XP. Though, you'll specifically want to shoot for the smaller circle while it shrinks when flicking your Pokéball at a target, as these will give you 50 XP for "great" tosses and 100 for "excellent" ones. You can also execute a tricky, yet satisfying curveball (good for another 10 XP) by swiftly rotating the ball, which prompts it to sparkle, before releasing it.
As it so happens, this variety of Xbox-Playstation-style achievement thresholds are not just for show - they also yield XP upon completion. It's a small amount, but it can add up when focusing on these objectives.
Thus, you'll often want to take a gander at the achievement requirements and focus on notching the more doable tasks to earn extra XP. These range from feats such as hatching a certain amount of eggs, to winning several gym battles, to simply nabbing a certain number of Pokémon of a particular Generation or type. You'll also get "Catch Bonuses" when earning Pokémon-based Medals, making it easier to catch Pokémon (and thus XP) of that particular type.
In typical mobile game fashion - especially one that tries to promote fitness - Pokémon Go rewards players who keep coming back on a regular basis. Simply venturing out and knocking out basic tasks once a day can go a very long way in earning you tons of extra XP.
Just spinning your first Pokéstop of the day, for instance, nets you 500 XP, as does your first catch of the day. You can further exploit this by landing a 2500 bonus for spinning seven consecutive daily Pokéstops, or catching at least one Pokémon for seven days straight.
With the more modern Pokémon Generations trickling into the virtual AR world of Pokémon Go, coming across new catches is easier than ever! Clashing with a newly discovered monster and logging it in your trusty Pokédex for the first time is exciting in its own right. Though it's even nicer knowing you net an additional 500 XP on top of the typical 100 just for capturing a newly discovered variety.
So venture out to some new locations and get to hunting! Those Hoenn region Pokémon aren't going to catch themselves!
This tactic is a rather simple one, and yet it's super effective! You'll essentially want to couple this with just about any of the other strategies mentioned here as much as possible to get real use out of it.
The Lucky Egg helpfully doubles your XP - though it's only for 30 minutes, so you'll want to make solid use of your time. Hatching eggs, evolving Pokémon, hitting Stops, and/or using Lures are particularly resourceful actions to take during this window. These coveted eggs can be either purchased, obtained at Pokéstops, or earned at certain level thresholds. So take a stroll through a busy city street, bust out a Lucky Egg, and watch that sweet XP roll in!