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Pokémon Go tips and tricks: How to become a Pokémon Master

Update: Guide added

Nintendo had nothing to offer the smartphone space for more than half a decade and then it hit a home run with Pokémon Go. It's a crazy popular app, but it's not always intuitive, and many people are still in the dark on some of its less transparent features. To help ensure you become the best Pokémon Trainer you can be, here is a list of the best Pokémon Go tips and tricks around.

Pokémon Go guide

Items: There are many items in the game. You need them for different actions. Here are the most important ones:

  • Poké Balls: The balls catch wild Pokémon. In the beginning, you gain Pokéballs, then Super Balls and later, Hyper balls. Whether there will be more ball types in the future is currently unclear but updates come pretty regularly.
  • Potions: From level five onwards, you also get potions and animators because this is when you’re allowed in the arenas. When your Pokémon are injured, you can heal them with these items.
  • Smoke: Smoke is designed to attract more wild Pokémon for 30 minutes and therefore will allow you to play more effectively.
  • Razz Berries:  From Level 8 onwards, you can benefit from these berries. They may be used before you throw a ball while hunting wild Pokémon so that they do not run away as often. These can be collected easily and are especially useful when you find a strong but unruly Pokémon.
AndroidPIT Pokemon on PC
Just another day at AndroidPIT... / © AndroidPIT

PokéStops: 

PokéStops can be found everywhere on the virtual map. At these points, you gain new items and 50 experience points. The items may vary depending on your level.

Arenas:

Sure, you will have noticed the colored PokéStop-like structures. These arenas are a ton of fun for you from level 5 on. Take advantage of this by fighting with your Pokémon and get experience points and PokéCoins, which can only be acquired through real money otherwise.

PokéCoins:

This is the in-game currency for Pokémon Go. With these coins, you can acquire special items that rarely exist anywhere else. As such, they are not absolutely necessary for the game but they can get you to your goals faster.

Teams:

You can select from a team from Level 5 on by tapping on an arena. There are three teams in the game from which you can choose: Team Mystic, Team Valor and Team Instinct. It’s best to select a team with friends, which is usually the most effective way to go about it.

1. Quickly find nearby Pokémon

You can view nearby Pokémon by tapping the white rectangular bar at the bottom right of your screen. A window will open revealing which Pokémon are close by; tap one of them and they will appear in the white bar on the main screen (as a silhouette, if that Pokémon hasn't been discovered yet).   

Want to find exactly where they are? When you move in that Pokémon's direction you will see a green rectangle flash around the white bar: this means you're on the right track. Keep heading in that direction to find that Pokémon. 

Also, consider the number of footprints beneath the Pokémon icons. One means they are very close to your current position while three means they are much further away.

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Check out the Pokémon footprints to know if you're getting closer to them. / © AndroidPIT

2. Make use of the commute

Poké Stops are where you can stock up on your Poké balls and other items, but unlike catching Pokémon, this can easily be done from within moving vehicles.

The number of Poké Stops will differ depending on your route, but you should be able to cash in on them even when flying past. Just have your phone ready and start spinning that dial before you approach.

3. Get more from your Lucky Eggs

Lucky Eggs temporarily boost your XP: for thirty minutes, it will be doubled. Use this in conjunction with Incense, which makes Pokémon more likely to appear for 30 minutes, and you will optimize your potential XP gains.

4. Gather all items automatically

This is my number one time-saving tip and I didn't find this out until days after I started playing. At a Poké Stops, you don't need to physically tap all of the bubbles that appear to retrieve the items there. Just hit the X button and they'll be added to your inventory. Yes, really. 

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Tap the X button once your items have dropped to collect them all without popping the bubbles. / © AndroidPIT

5. Catch ‘em all

You should catch every Pokémon you find, even if you already own that type of Pokémon: you still receive additional evolution candy either way. What’s more, you can trade the Pokémon to Professor Willow for even more candy. 

6. Spend all your candy on one, common Pokémon

Candy is used to evolve your Pokémon and it's specific to the Pokémon caught. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your catches, upgrade only a creature which is commonly found in your area.

This means that you will find much more of the candy of that Pokémon type, thus you can make one creature particularly powerful, which will give you the edge when fighting at gyms.

7. Save battery

Pokémon Go is a battery killer: plain and simple. It requires internet, GPS, your camera and lots of screen-on time. To get more out of your device, head to the Pokémon Go settings menu (tap your Poké Ball then hit the settings icon at the top right) and you'll find a battery saver function. Enable it.

Also consider turning the vibration off to save even more battery, though it does make the experience a little less fun. Similarly, the classic 'turn your display brightness down' tip will work well here too.

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Consider taking a portable charger on your adventure: Pokémon Go is a battery hog.  / © AndroidPIT

8. Make use of others' lures

Unlike Incense, Lure Modules don’t just affect the person who created it, but anyone in the area where the lure is placed. Though the effect works best for the original user, if you’re with friends or see it on your map (represented as confetti at a Poké Stop) make sure you take advantage of this. 

Beware, however, that some people have used Lure Modules to tempt people into secluded areas to rob them. Be careful that you only make use of it in safe areas.

9. Pikachu (I choose you)

Here's a neat trick to getting Pikachu as a starting Pokémon. When you create a new account and start the game, the professor will ask you to catch your starting Pokémon. Rather than catching a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle, walk away from them instead.

Keep walking until your device vibrates and the three starter Pokémon appear next to you again. Repeat this several times until a Pikachu pops up. Catch him to make him your starting Pokémon.

10. Know your limits

It's not guaranteed that you will capture every Pokémon you want to, so don’t waste Poké Balls on creatures that are too strong. How do you know which ones you can snag? Easy, when you see a Pokémon, look at the colored ring surrounding it: the smaller it is, the easier it will be to capture.  

The color of the ring is also a big clue here. If it's green, it means it will be easy to capture. Yellow means it will be a little more tricky and red means they will be difficult to bag. 

androidpit pokemon tips 3
A small, green circle means this Pokémon is easy to catch. / © AndroidPIT

11. Spread your wings

Though it’s important to catch a lot of one type of Pokémon to evolve your favorites (see point six), it’s also worth exploring beyond your usual area: the type of Pokémon you can catch changes depending on where they are found.

12. Rustling leaves

You see those rustling leaves on your map? Those are the potential locations of Pokémon. It’s not a guarantee that you will encounter one there, but it’s worth taking a look, right?

13. Gain extra XP when making a catch

This is another tip I missed out on for my first few levels. If you tap and hold a Poké Ball before launching it at a Pokémon, and begin moving it in a circular motion, you will starts to see sparks fly. Release it once this happens and if you catch a Pokémon this way you will sometimes receive a 50 XP bonus.

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Try swiping across the PokeBall when you throw it to turn it into a curve ball. / © AndroidPIT

14. Disable AR

You can disable the AR component of Pokémon Go to make Pokémon easier to catch. Not only that, but it will also save battery life in the long run.

To do this, tap the "AR" symbol at the top right of the screen when you encounter a Pokémon. This does really ruin the atmosphere of the game, though, so I recommend it only if you’re really serious about catching Pokémon at all costs.

15. Spend your coins wisely

Don’t waste coins buying Poké Balls: these are readily available at Poké Stops and finding these is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Furthermore, Poké Stops refresh regularly, so it’s not really necessary. If you're going to spend coins, best put it into Incense or Lure Modules to help you get more XP, Stardust and Candy.

16. How do I hatch Pokémon eggs faster?

You may find Pokémon eggs on your travels, these hatch after you have walked for so many miles. If you want them to hatch quicker, you have to do more traveling. Riding a bike is great for this, but note that you can't cheat the system and cruise around in your car, when you're going too fast, the progress won't be counted.

And if you want to know which Pokémon you're likely to discover from each type of egg, consult our graphic below.

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These are the Pokémon your eggs will reveal. / © AndroidPIT

17. Items by level

Each level you gain in Pokémon Go will present you with some new items. Here is the list of what you'll receive.

Level Items Unlocks
2 15 Poké Balls  
3 15 Poké Balls  
4 15 Poké Balls  
5 20 Poké Balls, 10 Potions, 10 Revives, 1 Incense Teams, Gyms, Revives
6 15 Poké Balls, 10 Revives, 10 Potions, 1 Egg Incubator  
7 15 Poké Balls, 10 Revives, 10 Potions, 1 Incense  
8 15 Poké Balls, 10 Potions, 10 Razz Berries, 5 revives, 1 Lure Module Razz Berries
9 15 Poké Balls, 10 Potions, 5 revives, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Lucky Egg  
10 20 Poké Balls, 20 Super Potions, 10 Revives, 1 Razz Berries, 1 Incense, 1 Lure Module, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator Super Potions
11 15 Poké Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries  
12 20 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries Great Balls
13 10 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries  
14 10 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries  
15 20 Hyper Potions, 15 Great Balls, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries, 1 Incense, 1 Lure Module, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator Hyper Potions
16 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries  
17 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries  
18 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries  
19 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries  
20 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Hyper Potions, 20 Revives, 20 Razz Berry, 2 Incense, 2 Lure Modules, 2 Lucky Eggs, 2 Egg Incubators Ultra Balls
21 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries  
22 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries  
23 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries  
24 15 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries  
25 25 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 15 Revives, 15 Razz Berries, 1 Incense, 1 Lure Module, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator Max Potions
26 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Revives  
27 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Revives  
28 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Revives  
29 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 15 Ultra Balls, 10 Revives  
30 30 Ultra Balls, 30 Razz Berries, 20 Max Potions, 20 Max Revives, 3 Incense, 3 Lure Module, 3 Lucky Egg, 3 Egg Incubator Max Revives
31 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Max Revives  
32 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Max Revives  
33 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Max Revives  
34 15 Max Potions, 15 Razz Berries, 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Max Revives  
35 30 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 20 Max Revives, 20 Razz Berries, 2 Incense, 1 Lure Module, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator  
36 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 20 Razz Berries, 10 Max Revives  
37 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 20 Razz Berries, 10 Max Revives  
38 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 20 Razz Berries, 10 Max Revives  
39 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Max Potions, 20 Razz Berries, 10 Max Revives  
40 40 Ultra Balls, 40 Max Potions, 40 Max Revives, 40 Razz Berries, 4 Incense, 4 Lure Module, 4 Lucky Egg, 4 Egg Incubators  

18. How to safely let your child play Pokémon Go on your phone

If you want to let your child play Pokémon Go on your device, but that's all you want them to do with your phone, then there's a simple solution: screen pinning. This feature allows you to lock your phone to a specific app or screen that can only be left once you enter your PIN code.

If your device is running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later, go to Settings > Security > Screen Pinning > and switch it to On. Now, open Pokémon Go, and then tap the recent apps button: you will see a pin icon next to your most recent app, which should now be Pokémon Go.

Tap the pin and then you can hand your phone to your child: Pokémon Go will be the only app accessible until you enter your lock screen code again. 

androidpit pokemon go screen pinnning
Pin Pokémon Go and let friends or family use your device without worrying. / © AndroidPIT

19. Pokémon Go Messenger

Pokémon Go doesn't have an in-game chat function, making communication with fellow players difficult (unless they happen to be right next to you). Messenger for Pokémon Go is an elegant solution which runs in a pop-up window inside the Pokémon Go app. Register with your faction and you can easily chat with other players nearby, or even create group chats. 

Until Niantic creates a native messaging solution, this is your best bet. 

Messenger for Pokemon GO Install on Google Play

20. How to hatch eggs faster

Poké Eggs hatch after you've traveled a certain distance. However, you can't simply drive around in a car to make them hatch faster. It's said that the top speed at which you can travel while ensuring your egg incubator still works is 20 mph; when your device is traveling at any speed below that, the distance still counts towards the egg hatching.

People have tried a number of different things to speed up the process, like attaching their phone to their dog or ceiling fan. For us, the best idea is simply to have Pokémon Go active while you ride a bike. You travel greater distances much faster without going over that 20 mph limit. 

21. How to know when to evolve a Pokémon

Understanding the best time to evolve your Pokémon is a nebulous part of the Pokémon Go experience. Thankfully, there's an easy tool you can use to work this out.

PoGoToolkit is an online calculator that attempts to predict the outcome of a Pokémon evolution based on the type of Pokémon it is and its current Combat Power. Enter these details into the calculator and hit the evolve button to see the estimated result. 

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Rattata is one of the most common types of Pokémon. / © AndroidPIT

Server troubles

Pokémon Go is still relatively fresh and there are lots of bugs to be found (and I don't mean Weedles). One of the most common Pokémon Go problems so far relates to servers but many people have reported freezes and crashes, as well. 

Most of these problems can be fixed by restarting the app, but you can also visit this Pokémon Go server status site to make sure that the server in your location is still up and running. If it's not, you'll have to wait until it's back online before you can continue your adventure.

Finally, please be safe out there in general. It's only a game but it's actually causing physical harm to some people. I was nearly hit by a car playing it this morning. No Pokémon is worth three days in ICU.

Do you have any other Pokémon Go tips that could help our readers (and myself)? Let me know in the comments.

With contributions from Sophia Neun of AndroidPIT.de.

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