Pokemon Go Starter Guide

There are a lot of guides for Pokemon Go out there, but none of them are exactly helpful to people new to playing video games like Pokemon and other role playing games. So as a long time gamer with a decent amount of experience with MMORPGs and with the Pokemon franchise itself, I’m going to give you, the new trainer who is unfamiliar with RPG elements, Pokemon or Pokemon Go a few tips to make the most out of this amazing experience.

On Leveling

The number one focus of any player should be getting to as high a level as they possibly can in the shortest amount of time they possibly can.

Pokemon quality don’t really matter early on because they will be too weak to use for the end-game anyway.

Level up first

Leveling up comes with so many benefits when it comes to gameplay. A player’s level is directly related to the level, power and rarity of Pokemon they encounter. Needles to say, the higher the level, the stronger and rarer the Pokemon encountered in the “wild”.

According to some sources, Pokemon levels stop increasing by the time you reach level 30. So when you do reach level 30, that’s when you can start considering Pokemon quality because the Pokemon don’t get any stronger. Until then, keep playing with cards you’re dealt and keep finding new Pokemon instead of training the ones you have.

Evolve to Level up

The quickest way to gain experience for leveling up is through evolutions. Each time you evolve a Pidgey or Rattata, it’s 500xp instantly. Do the math and if you’ve caught 50 Pidgeys with each Pidgey giving you 3 Pidgey candy, at 12 Pidgey candy to evolve into a Pidgeotto, chances are you’ll be able to squeeze in 4 evolutions, meaning 2000xp.

Do this with a Lucky Egg on and that translates into 4000xp, a little more and you’re sure to level up.

Don’t bother evolving it into a Pidgeot just yet, often times second stage evolutions can be found in the “wild” anyway, and the chances are the moment you do find one, it will be stronger than any Pokemon you caught and evolved earlier because you caught them at a lower level.

Also note that evolving to second stage takes significantly more candies, Pidgey to Pidgeotto takes 12 candies but Pidgeotto to Pidgeot takes 50. Save up on those candy for when you hit level 30.

Don’t Power Up

Powering up a Pokemon all the way only to see that it’s kinda weak can be frustrating. I did the same for my Golduck and got its CP to 700+ only to, a day later, catch a Golduck with 800+ without being maxed out.

Unlike the main games, each Pokemon is even more unique in that its growth levels are drastically different and are unchangeable. As a trainer, your aim is not to see its current state but to consider its potential.

There are many programs online these days that can calculate Individual Values (IV). Unlike the IV’s of the console games, these are more vital to checking the competitive viability of each Pokemon. It determines in ranges the level and potential of each Pokemon.

Run your Pokemon through one of these IV calculators and you’ll find a field that describes maximum level. This is the level that your Pokemon will stop growing. Needless to say, a low level cap means low potential.

Even without an IV calculator you can see the potential of your Pokemon by the arc near the figure of its CP. The fuller the arc, the closer it is to being maxed out. You’ll also notice that the closer it is to being maxed, the more Star Dust is required to power it up.

From 200 Star Dust the power up cost reaches the thousands, so you’ll want to save your Star Dust for when it really matters and that’s when you’re sure of its potential.

Moving Incense/ Lures

It’s been said many times before, while Incense attracts Pokemon based on time, it also does the same based on distance traveled. That being the case, the best time to use Incense is on a 30-minute commute (not drive. Don’t play and drive). This way you’ll be spawning a Pokemon every 5-minutes and spawning another one for every 200 meters traveled. Doing this I managed to level up from level 3 to level 7 on one long commute catching all the Pokemon I could find.

The same trick applies to Lure Modules, however from a different perspective. Lure modules instantly spawn a Pokemon when you enter its range but take time to spawn a new one. The conventional idea is to just wait around for the next Pokemon to pop up. But if you’re in an area with multiple Pokestops that have Lure Modules on them, walk back and forth between them. You’re more likely to catch more Pokemon because the random encounter comes into play as well and you’re approximating the timing of the new spawn, giving you a bit of exercise between catches.

Plan Lucky Eggs

Lucky Eggs double the amount of xp you gain for 30 minutes. This is xp from ANYTHING. So when using a Lucky Egg, make sure you’re in position to do a lot of xp generating things in the next 30 minutes.

For example:

Maximize the number of evolutions you can trigger in that 30 minute span. If you’re evolving a Pokemon that you don’t yet have on your Pokedex, best do it while you have a Lucky Egg.

Evolutions give you 1000xp, new Pokemon entries give you another 500xp, so why wouldn’t you want to double them? And, the xp gained from new Pokedex entries can only be earned once in a gameplay, so why not maximize it?

Ideal scenario to trigger a Lucky Egg:

At the start of a long steady commute with Incubated Eggs about to hatch with several Pokemon ready to evolve while passing one Pokestop after another en route to take over a gym.

Desire sensor

Don’t tell the game what Pokemon you want to catch, it will not spawn that Pokemon if you do, just to spite you. Lol JK There’s not such thing.

Pick Team Instinct

Because that’s my team. Lol. #TeamInstinct


Well, here are just some ways I’ve found to maximize the training time spent on Pokemon Go. Do you have other tips to make training more efficient? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. Until then, GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!


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