Once you’ve mastered the basics of Pokémon Go, advanced to curve balls and tried your luck in gyms, it’s time to turn it up a notch and start exploiting the game to boost your chances of being a champion.
There’s nothing illegal about these tips, but some may find them unsporting. Others rely on them to get an edge over their competitors. Here are five tips to help give you a boost.
1. Pidgey stacking
Increasing the level of your trainer is crucial to get access to both higher level Pokémon and the tools to catch them. Above level 20 you gain access to Ultra balls, which make life a lot easier when trying to keep hold of the rarer beasts. Levelling up can be a bit of a slow grind, but Pidgey stacking can boost your trainer by at least one level.
It’s pretty simple. All you need are lots of Pidgey and a lucky egg. Low powered Pidgey are plentiful in most places and require only 12 candies to evolve into Pidgeotto, an act that normally gives you 500XP. With a lucky egg active, which doubles your XP for 30 minutes that becomes 1,000XP per evolution.
At lower levels that’s enough to jump at least one, possibly two levels. After you’re done with all the Pidgey, just trade in the resulting Pidgeotto to start collecting candies to do it again.
You can use any Pokémon that can evolve, of course, but Pidgey is the most candy efficient given its abundance.
2. Hidden value calculations
Not all Pokémon are created equally, that much is obvious. But what you might not know is that two Pokémon of the same type and level are also not equal. Each monster has a series of hidden values that dictate how much HP and CP it has per level, as well as its secret energy rating, which determines how long it takes for the special attack energy bar to fill up.
These so-called individual values (IVs) cannot be directly interrogated, but using some calculations based on the health and power of a particular Pokémon for its given level, you can infer them. By doing so you can work out which Pokémon are worth spending time improving using stardust and evolution candy and which are not.
There are several ways to use IVs, with the simplest being to compare Pokémon of a same type and similar level to see which has the higher CP and HP values. But for those that want to take it further, an IV calculator is required.
The IV rater allows you to quickly estimate how good your Pokémon can be, and whether it is worth hanging on to, simply by moving some sliders.
3. Eevee evolution
One of the more powerful and easier to get Pokémon in the game are the evolved forms of Eevee, but unlike most other beasts in the game, Eevee has three different evolved forms in Pokémon Go.
Eevee can become the fire-based Flareon, the electricity-based Jolteon or the water-based Vaporeon. They’re all solid in their own ways, with some being more effective in certain situations than others. But the most powerful for both attack and defence of the lot is Vaporeon.
To choose, rather than have Eevee randomly evolve into one of them, you have to rename your Eevee after one of the Eevee brothers from the Pokémon TV show before evolving it.
Calling it Pyro spawns a Flareon, while Sparky becomes a Jolteon and Rainer a Vaporeon. Rename Eevee, hit save and then reload the Pokémon Go app just to make sure the name saved. Then evolve the renamed Eevee to net yourself your desired Pokémon.
4. Leave your phone plugged in on
Hatching eggs is one of the best ways to get powerful Pokémon, but if you don’t walk for your commute or in your general day, it can be hard to clock up the kilometres required to incubate them.
You might find, however, that if you leave your smartphone plugged in and on a desk, that your location wanders around, enough to add up to half a kilometre a day to your walking total in my testing depending on how accurate the smartphone can put your location.
5. Pokémon appearance maps
Once you’ve caught your 100th Pidgey, unless you’re Pidgey stacking, you’re probably after some of the more rare Pokémon. You could aimlessly wander the streets or rely on word of mouth, but if you’re less keen on clocking up the kilometres, there’s a better way.
Various maps or radar apps have popped up that promise to show where Pokémon are and for how long at any given moment. Putting in your location and searching will bring up all the Pokémon around you, but you can narrow down your search to specific Pokémon and search a much wider area. You still have to put the leg work into getting there before the timer runs out, but Pokévision, and others like it, should help take the guess work out of catching the less common varieties of Pokémon.