Pokémon GO is one of the most popular and successful mobile games of all time. Having the Pokémon experience on a smartphone was an idea that was too good for many people to pass up. Not only were fans of the series captured by its world and mechanics, but so were tons of new people who had never picked up a Nintendo handheld in their lives.
The game seemed simple enough, only asking players to capture all sorts of Pokémon and take on gyms, with the ultimate goal being completing one’s Pokédex or having the strongest team around. With new Pokémon constantly added into the adventure as well as new items and daily quests, it has kept players busy since its launch two years ago.
However, with so many people playing and making use of the various mechanics, it wasn’t long before the most efficient ways to play were discovered. Certain tricks and helpful pieces of advice were shared among the community. That said, there were and still are many players still making a few mistakes that halt their progress as they try to become the very best, like no one ever was.
With people still playing Pokémon GO, it’s time to discuss 25 mistakes players are still making. This is not meant to chastise anyone who is doing thing these things, but a helpful piece to offer some advice so that they can become better players. After all, the grind to get to the top of the food chain is a long one.
25 Ignoring Low-CP Pokémon
People tend to see what’s right in front of them. In Pokémon GO, this leads to many players ignoring the low-CP Pokémon in favor of using their resources for stronger creatures. However, that kind of thinking leads to them losing out on valuable experience and Stardust. However, just because a Pokémon has a low-CP (or at least a lower one), that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. There are other stats that go into making a Pokémon useful beyond just CP.
24 Not Efficiently Using Poké Balls
Often times, most people will spend their days hunting for rare and strong Pokémon. As they all know, those creatures can be difficult to capture, having the odds against the player. Many will blow through their entire amount of Poké Balls just trying to get ahold of a new or rare Pokémon. However, there are benefits to catching all Pokémon. For starters, it gets the most experience and Stardust for the amount of Poké Balls one is using. By only catching rare Pokémon, that experience gain is significantly less.
23 Making A Big Deal Out Of CP
Just like most new players of the Pokémon games will parade around a level-100 Pokémon as the greatest thing ever, so will Pokémon GO players rally behind the Pokémon with the highest CP. CP does not equal success. This is especially important before players get to a higher level. As it stands, CP is meaningless up until about level 30, when players can start to capture and train strong enough Pokémon to hold Gyms for a long amount of time.
22 Evolving Because They Can
Evolving Pokémon can be a long and tedious process in Pokémon GO. Instead of leveling them up like in the main games, you collect a set amount of a specific Pokémon’s candy (which can only be obtained by capturing or transferring the same species) and then using it to evolve them. Most players, eager to see new Pokémon, will evolve their beloved pets as soon as possible. The problem with this is that it often ignores whether the Pokémon is actually good in battle, and is done way before it reaches a level where evolving it makes a difference.
21 Not Transferring In Bulk
When the game first came out, the only way players could transfer unwanted Pokémon was by manually tapping on each one individually. With an update, it’s now possible to transfer multiple Pokémon all at once by tapping and holding each one. Many players don’t use this feature, as they don’t realize it exists or got in the habit of doing it the difficult way. When there are tons of Pokémon in their storage boxes, though, it becomes an invaluable tool.
20 Completing The Pokédex
One reason people still play Pokémon GO is that they have dreams of completing the Pokédex. There are two problems with this desire. The first is that there are constantly new Pokémon being added to the mix, which would send completionists down a very long and frustrating road. The second is that there is no reward or benefit for doing so. At least in the main games, players would get an increase in Shiny Pokémon spawn rates or a starter from a different region.
19 Saving Their Pokémon
There’s a collecting aspect to Pokémon GO, which leads a lot of people to hold onto almost every creature they capture. The issue with this is that they end up wasting valuable, limited storage space. Many of the Pokémon people have in their storage are useless in battle anyway, leaving almost no room to keep them. Then there’s the issue of having multiple of the same kind of Pokémon. Just transfer all of the extras and be done with it.
18 Not Using Berries
Berries are an addition to Pokémon GO that make it easier to catch a Pokémon or keep a Gym. Many players ignore that they’re there and end up not using them. However, it can become extremely useful to throw a Razz Berry at a Legéndary Pokémon to increase the odds of capture. Furthermore, if players are up against a rare Pokémon, they can throw Pinap Berries to double the candies they receive for capturing a certain Pokémon. They offer a nice boost, and with how easy they are to get, it’s a waste not to use them.
17 Playing While In A Vehicle
We all understand that playing Pokémon GO while driving is a bad idea. However, it’s not great even if you’re a passenger. Most times, you’ll be moving too fast to detect, let alone capture a Pokémon. It might work if you’re slowly traveling through a populated area, but people don’t often have that luxury available to them. Good luck trying to hit Poké Stops while you’re on the road as well. It’s difficult enough to get the game to recognize that you’re spinning one when standing right next to it.
16 Using A Lucky Egg Prematurely
If you want to increase your level quickly, then a Lucky Egg is the way to go. These items double the experience you gain for 30 minutes. However, most players don’t maximize the benefits from this item. Some throw it out without a proper idea of what to do. They catch a few Pokémon and call it a day. The best way to use a Lucky Egg is to stock up on candies and Pokémon and evolve as many of them as possible. With the bonus of a Lucky Egg, players receive at least 1000 XP per evolution.
15 Not Using Battery Saver
It’s no secret that Pokemon GO is demanding on a cell phone battery. Too many times do people run their phones dry trying to gain steps or catch new Pokémon. However, Niantic implemented a method that can help players conserve their battery life: the battery saver feature. It doesn’t impact gameplay. All it does is essentially put the phone screen in “sleep” mode when the device is turned upside down while the game is running. It can save a lot of battery while you’re just trying to hatch eggs.
14 Using AR Mode
One of the most novel features of the game when it first came out was that players could encounter Pokémon in real life with the AR feature. AR mode has proven to be more of a hindrance, though. Not only does the AR mode use up more battery (your phone must open the camera as well), but it makes Pokémon difficult to capture. Players have to position their devices just right to be able to catch the Pokémon. Without AR mode, the Pokémon are always directly in front of them.
13 Walking In Circles For Hatching Eggs
Some of the most exciting moments in Pokémon GO come when players hatch their 10 km eggs. However, those who are desperate to hatch their eggs may resort to some ineffective measures. Walking around in circles doesn’t help players hatch eggs. The game functions by calculating distance from point A to point B, not tracking steps. If players have the Apple Watch version, then things are a bit different. On the phone, walking in circles is every bit as useless as a Rattata.
12 Ignoring The Tracker
With the help of a few updates, tracking Pokémon in Pokémon GO isn’t that difficult anymore. At the bottom right of the screen, a helpful display pops up that shows what creatures are nearby and what Poké Stops they’re close to. This feature has become extremely helpful, to the point where consistently tracking nearby Pokémon is a cinch. Unfortunately, some players still don’t use this feature, and wander around aimlessly, hoping that they find something interesting to add to their Pokédex.
11 Constant Curve Balls
Throwing a curveball is a neat little trick added to Pokémon GO. However, it’s not all that helpful. Sure, it can increase the odds of capturing a Pokémon, but that’s something that can be done more efficiently by hitting “Great” or “Excellent” throws (which are almost impossible while throwing a curveball). Furthermore, successfully capturing a Pokémon with a curveball only rewards the player with 10 more experience than usual, which doesn’t add up to much over time.
10 Effort On Gyms
It’s natural for new players to be eager to tackle Gyms, but with how the game is designed, it can be a massive waste of resources with little reward. If there is an open slot where you can insert a Pokémon for some extra coins and points, then go for it. Otherwise, it’s best to ignore it. Most Pokémon that take over Gyms are stronger than anything most players have available. To conquer a Gym, it requires a lot of time and items with very little reward.
9 Solo Raid Battles
Many people live in populated areas where finding a team for a Raid Battle isn’t difficult. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for those who live in more rural locations. However, it can be much too tempting when you catch a Rayquaza that could be yours if you beat it in a Raid Battle. Unfortunately, solo Raid Battles rarely end out well. Any Pokémon worth the effort takes at least five people to defeat. The only time solo Raid Battles go well is if the Pokémon is noticeably weak and/or common.
8 Wasting Stardust
Stardust is a single resource that accumulates throughout an entire Pokémon GO account. It’s attained by capturing Pokémon and hitting Poké Stops and can be used to level up a Pokémon’s CP. When players start out, they get so obsessed with CP that they waste it on leveling up their Pokémon that aren’t all that impressive in the first place. The Stardust should be saved for use on Pokémon at much higher levels so that they can become the best in the game.
7 Wasting Rare Candies
Rare Candies were an interesting addition to Pokémon GO. They can suffice as any candy for any Pokémon, but they only transfer to a single candy. That’s why it’s important to save them as much as possible. Players desperate to evolve their team, though, will use them on a weak Pokémon because they’re too impatient to nab more specific candies. To get the most out of a rare candy, players should wait until they’re at a high level and they catch a Pokémon with great CP and stats.
6 Ignoring IVs
CP is not the only feature that defines how strong a Pokémon is. There are hidden stats, known as individual values, that define their strength too. Unfortunately, there’s no efficient way in the game to check them. That can be done using outside resources like the Silph Road. By ignoring these IVs, players can bank all their battles on a Pokémon with extremely high CP. However, if it has poor IVs, then it will be practically useless in the long run.
5 Poorly Placed Lure Modules
All of the special items in Pokémon GO can be wasted in some fashion, and Lure Modules are no exception. It’s nice to have an increased spawn rate for Pokémon within a Poké Stop, but it doesn’t do players much good if it’s in an area that doesn’t have many Pokémon, to begin with. It’s best to take a Poké Stop to a place with higher spawn rates. There, it can be better utilized for more Pokémon. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to use a Lure Module with an Incense as well.
4 Leveling Up Basic Pokémon
Some players may be of the mindset that, to have the strongest Pokémon, they need to level up a basic version and then evolve it after its CP has been maxed out. There’s logic to that way of thinking, but it’s ultimately not that useful of a strategy. Leveling up a Pokémon works best when it has reached its final stage in evolution. There, Pokémon get the most bonuses from leveling up. It’s also important to note that this isn’t a great idea unless you have a very high-level Pokémon.
3 Putting Your Strongest Pokémon In A Gym
Inexperienced players will do just about everything they can to keep hold of a Gym they put so much effort into taking. As such, it’s not uncommon to see players throw in their absolute strongest Pokémon in their roster to defend it. The problem with this is that it leaves players at a disadvantage in future battles. Their strongest Pokémon needs to be used for attacking rather than sitting at a Gym, waiting to be kicked out. It’s a good idea to place the third or fourth-strongest Pokémon in a Gym instead.
2 Buying Poké Balls
Pokémon GO has a section dedicated to microtransactions, where players can spend Poké Coins to obtain special items, bag upgrades, or Poké Balls. Because Poké Balls are a crucial and exhaustible resource in the game, it’s common to see coins being spent on more of them. Not only is this a waste because of more useful, exclusive items being present in the shop, but all it takes is a run to a few Poké Stops to get loaded back up on Poké Balls. They’re not a resource that needs to be bought.
1 Not Upgrading The Bag
As you play Pokémon GO, it will only be a matter of time before you go to hit a Poké Stop, only to be hit by a message that says your bag is full. Some players will use this as a sign to use their items. What some forget is that they can upgrade their item bag with Poké Coins. In all honesty, saving your Poké Coins for that will pay off in the long run. Being able to carry 50 or 100 more items at a time goes a long way, especially when you’re stocking up on Poké Balls.