Pokemon Go — The Complete Guide (Tutorials, Tips & Tricks)

This Post was long pending [My work kept me busy] Its been about 3 weeks since I achieved all the below mentioned accolades in the game

*** This Article is REALLY LONG, If you just want the Guide then scroll down

Yes I got ASH KETCHUM’S Cap ❤ #PokemonGo

I’m going to start out by stating a few facts.

  1. My name is Dr Rushindra Sinha & I’m 26 years old
  2. I began playing Pokemon when the original gameboy games (Red & Blue) came out in 1996 [I was 6 back then]. I was obsessed and never left home without my gameboy. I caught every Pokemon you could on the blue version and then moved onto the red.
  3. I have played almost every Pokemon game between 1996–2001 [I had a 5 year affair with Pokemon and then moved on]
  4. I played various versions of the game intermittently between 2001–2016 (Ruby / Sapphire — X / Y etc)
  5. I had almost every Pokemon card there was and was a huge collector (Almost 3000 of them).
  6. I lost all those cards in a flood that occurred in 2005 in Mumbai, India
  7. I can name every single Pokemon by name and number with moves and history about them in the first gen (i.e the first 151).
My most desired dream as a 6 yr old kid was that Pokemon were real, little did 6 yr old me know that Nintendo would make that dream come true 20 years later.

6th July 2016

Nintendo released Pokemon Go (An Augmented Reality game based on the platform Niantic Labs had created for their game ingress).

Although the actual game wasn’t enough like the trailer (things seldom are), Pokemon Go became an overnight sensation. It was all people could talk about not only on social media but also news channels. Nintendo stock sky rocketed by almost $20B in the coming days and everyone was hooked onto the fact that there was a Pokemon Game on mobile that required you to get out into the real world and explore it to catch different types of Pokemon. This was a childhood dream come true. Even though it only launched in USA, UK & Australia to begin with I was fortunate enough to have a US iTunes store account and get the same on the day of launch. Being piggy backed on the Ingress platform meant that even though Pokemon Go had not officially launched in India, I had access to a plethora of Pokestops & Gyms and most importantly Pokemon.

I quickly understood the dynamics of the game and began venturing out. I wont bore you with the details but pretty quickly I was at level 5 battling for control of all the gyms in and around my locality. The excitement of Augmented Reality and seeing Pokemon in the real word was really exciting for me.

I began looking for Pokemon everywhere I went and then I started going out more just to look for Pokemon. I began meeting more friends and we would go hunting together and then there were times I would say yes to certain plans I wouldn’t have otherwise just to have an excuse to go to another part of the city and catch different types of Pokemon. During my time with Pokemon Go I was the most social I had ever been in my life. I caught up with friends I hadn’t in months or even years. I made more plans to get out and explored my city more than I ever had. Oh and I WALKED! I walked a LOT!. The amount I have walked in the entire time I played the game is not to be taken lightly.

77.59 kms walked is NO JOKE! Thats just under 49 miles and almost 2 marathons worth

I’m going to show off my achievements a bit more before I reveal all my Pokemon and then get onto the guide, so for those of you that want the guide hold on to your horses.

I played the game for roughly a month (4 weeks). In those 4 weeks I managed to capture 135 Pokemon which is almost all of them. I would have had them all but then it got boring and it just felt like grinding to me because I just had to capture more of the same and got bored and then this thing called ‘REAL LIFE’ got in the way and I never got around to doing it. My pokedex has been dormant since the first week of August and my pokeballs are gathering dust.

The primary Pokemon I don’t have are Charizard, Alakazam, Porygon, Chansey, Gengar, Wheezing, Tauros, Farfetch’d, Mr Mime, Kangaskhan (Not Available in my Region). The 3 legendary birds (Articuno, Moltres & Zapdos) along with Mew, Mewtwo & Ditto are not released yet (The leaked ones online are either fake or bugs which have been fixed)

Out of these the only two I haven’t CAUGHT are Chansey & Porygon (Although I had a really close encounter with this one)

The other 4 are purely those I have to evolve by spending hours catching Charmander, Abra, Ghastly & Koffing by the dozen (Which I would gladly do but the new update which makes it that much harder to catch Pokemon after Level 20 allowed many of the Pokemon I tried to catch escape leaving me tired and frustrated. I could spend a few more hours / days doing this but I no longer see the point so I left it at that.


My main focus was catching Pokemon and filling my Pokedex and NOT having the strongest Pokemon or being the highest level. If i dedicated the same amount of time to leveling my character up or training my Pokemon to get a higher CP and capturing gyms I wouldn’t have had half the Pokemon I do. Here’s a list of my highest CP Pokemon.



Finally Getting to the actual GUIDE

Pokemon Go — The Complete Guide (Tutorials, Tips & Tricks)

Rule Number 1

Don’t be stupid. This might sound stupid in itself but PLEASE use Common Sense when playing Pokemon Go. There have been enough accidents on account of stupidity and ignorance. Don’t be one of those people. Driving and playing is stupid. Not being aware of your surroundings is stupid. Going into an unsafe neighborhood to catch a Pokemon is stupid.

Its the First thing you see when you open the game… Pay Attention to it.

Power Leveling 101

The most important trick starting out make sure you use Lucky Eggs early on in the game because when you capture Pokemon for the first time you get 600 exp which turns to 1200 exp using a lucky egg (I cannot stress enough on the importance of this since getting exp later on is a drag).

Make sure you save ALL your evolutions for when you have a lucky egg on. Evolving Pokemon grants you a lot of experience which you can capitalize on if you have a Lucky Egg active.

Catch ALL the Pokemon you encounter. Even if its your 100th Pidgey and 500th Ratatta or 1000th Doduo. The Tagline ‘Gotta Catch Em All’ works very aptly in this scenario. You can not only get more candy for that Pokemon but also collect a lot of stardust which is an essential commodity at higher levels which gets depleted faster than you think. Evolving pidgey to pidgeotto about 20 times is better than evolving it 5 times to pidgeot because each of those 20 evolutions will give you exp, so pull out all your weedles and caterpies and get them evolving (but make sure you have your lucky egg on)

Getting Stronger Pokemon

Its no secret that everyone wants stronger Pokemon but how do you get them? well one way is evolving Pokemon but more specifically evolving Pokemon at a higher level. A trainers level is the cap to Pokemon CP. Meaning the higher the trainer level, the higher the Pokemon you get. Save your evolutions and egg hatches for when you’re a higher level. Use the power leveling strategy mentioned above and try to save all your rare* evolutions and hatches till after you hit level 20 to make the best of it.

*Rare Evolutions — Pokemon you dont have too many of

** Don’t bother waiting on common Pokemon like caterpie, weedle, ratatta, pidgey, doduo etc and spam evolve them for more exp.

Use stardust and candy to power up your strongest Pokemon. I mentioned above that catching all Pokemon gives you more stardust. Well here is where you’ll need that stardust because at higher CP the Pokemon need a lot more stardust for power ups (eg. My Dragonite needs 3500 stardust PER power up and catching a Pokemon gives only 300 stardust). So save that stardust and use it for only your best Pokemon don’t waste it on the rest.

Start hunting down those hordes of magikarps because Gyarados is going to be your new best friend. (You will usually find magikarps near water bodies like lakes, rivers, beaches etc).

Source — Google

Travel In Groups

Not only is Pokemon Go more fun when you play with friends (and safer) but as per Niantic’s algorithm it actually means that there will be more Pokemon spawning around you. Pokemon spawns are usually dependent on 3 major factors Gyms, Pokestops & Trainers. We can’t control the first two factors so lets capitalize on the one we can control. The more the trainers in a certain area the higher the chance of there being more pokemon spawning in that area. This also works well because this means when you use incense or lure modules you can alternate between the group and will end up spending less of your own resources and still gain optimal results.

Lure Vs Incense

Personally i’d choose incense over lures any day but it depends on your playing style. If you find a nice cafe or bar which is a pokestop then it makes sense to plant yourself there for a bite or drink and put up a lure and keep catching Pokemon in the process. If you want to be moving around then incense works better.

Incense once activated will cause Pokemon to come to you. It also generates spawns of Pokemon that may not normally be in that area so this is a great way of catching different types of Pokemon. The trick to making the most of your incense is to keep moving. The best rate is around 200m per minute. This will almost ensure that you have a new Pokemon spawning every minute.

WARNING — If you are in a car moving at a faster pace Pokemon will not spawn at all .

Pro Tip — Do not combine Incense and Lure, Incense requires you to walk around and Lures expect you to be stationary. The best way to get most Pokemon on Lures is to stay still and the best way to get more Pokemon with Incense is to keep moving so you can see how using them together would be counterproductive. You will still get Pokemon if you use them both at the same time just not as many. [My strategies are all about optimization]

Eggs

2 km — Common

5km — Uncommon

10km — Rare

There isn’t too much to say about these because all you have to do is raid as many pokestops as you can to get as many eggs.

Pro Tip — Use your infinite incubator (The free you already have) for all the 2km eggs and use coins to buy more incubators for the 5km / 10km eggs since that will make them last longer (Store bought incubators expire after 3 uses so dont waste them on 2km / 5km eggs)

Also as per the algorithm make sure you’re walking in a linear manner to detect motion and hatch eggs faster.

Trick — I have hatched many an egg while driving in traffic (The car needs to be below 15–20km per hour for it to detect) This worked out perfect for morning commutes [DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE GAME — have a passenger do this for you or turn the game on before you start your engine]

Pokemon Nests

Each City / Locality has something called Pokemon Nests. These Nests are locations where Pokemon spawn constantly and densely. This is almost directly proportional to the number of trainers in the area [Think Central Park, New York City]

Some Pokemon Nests go to the point of having ‘Native’ Pokemon to those nests. eg. Pikachu might be native to the Pokemon Nest at the Eiffel Tower. Native Pokemon mean that they will almost certainly spawn in that location at some point in the day. Niantic / Nintendo changed what Pokemon spawn at nests and the native nests of many Pokemon with the most recent update.

If you can find out where there are the most trainers in a city you’ll also know where there are the most Pokemon.

Contrary to popular belief — The Rarest Pokemon are in the most crowded areas and NOT in quite an secluded areas. Eg. You are more likely to find a Charizard flying around Time’s Square as opposed to the Swiss Alps.

Find the Pokemon Nests in your city and spend a good amount of time there and you are more than likely to catch dozens of Pokemon everyday.

Spawn Timers

This is a very important part of Pokemon Go because is the part not visible to players. Each Pokemon has a spawn timer and a despawn timer. eg. A pikachu spawns near you, it will be there for roughly 12–15 minutes and then despawn and then appear somewhere else in your city (could be 1 km away or 100 kms away). This is the reason you may see a pokemon in your tracking system one minute and then find it vanishes the next. The spawn timer varies from 2 minutes to 15 minutes depending on the rarity of the pokemon. I have seen a Blastoise disappear within 2 minutes of it spawning. You only have a fixed amount of time before it disappears so make sure you tap on the pokemon as soon as it appears and don’t waste time taking screenshots or photos to show off to your friends (Yes this happened to me and a venasaur that was on the map escaped by the time I took a screenshot).

Catching Pokemon

This is pretty straight forward and is the first thing you learn but is something that you’ll need right till the end.

There is a colored ring around the Pokemon that denotes the difficulty of catching the Pokemon.

Green — Easy

Yellow — Medium

Orange — Hard

Red — Extremely Difficult

There are many ways to work around this. The easiest being use a higher tier pokeball. eg A Charmander shows a red ring around him. Tap on the items bag to the right of the screen and switch to a great ball. The ring around him would now be either orange or yellow. Switching to an Ultra Ball may turn that ring Green denoting that it is now much easier to catch.

You should also make sure to throw in a Razz Berry before attempting to catch rare Pokemon to reduce the chances of them escaping.

Another lesser known fact is that the smaller the ring gets around the pokemon the higher exp you get for catching that pokemon and higher chance of you catching that pokemon. Its not very easy to do at first but with some practice you can get pretty good at it.

Bonus — Spinning the ball around in a circular motion causes the ball to be thrown as a curve ball, this doesnt increase the chance of you catching the pokemon but does increase the exp gained if you catch that pokemon (This is a lot harder than it looks and I wouldn’t risk trying it unless you have a lot of pokeballs to waste)

Backpack Storage

Unless you spend $$$$$$ and buy lots of storage you’re stuck with a limited amount.

When I recommended running around to every pokestop collecting items that meant that your bag would also fill up pretty quick. The best way to deal with this is disposing of lower tiered items. eg if you’ve started getting super potions and hyper potions it might be time to either use or throw those regular potions. As for pokeballs, once you have enough great balls and ultra balls I recommend throwing away most of your regular pokeballs and keep the number at 50. Also keep Razz Berries at 50 is good enough since you wont be needing as many. So either use them or throw them but make sure you don’t end up with a bag thats so full that you can’t loot any more pokestops because thats your only source of Pokemon Eggs.

Hacks

So a lot of people have been using HACKS where in they modify the game so that they can walk around in the game without having to walk around in the real world or use ways to find Pokemon and access places you wouldn’t normally be able to access. Well my singular advice on this issue is DON’T!.

Not only will you risk your account getting banned (Niantic and Nintendo have been permanently banning any player using hacks or cheats of any kind) but also it sucks the fun out of the game. You are defeating the entire purpose of the game. Its like using a Ferrari to race in a cycle race and rejoicing at your victory. Not only is it unfair but its pointless. Play the game the way its meant to be played and you will have the time of your life and meet loads of other trainers along the way. Otherwise you’ll be stuck trying to catch all the Pokemon from your parents basement & then get banned for it.

Just go play one of the original Blue / Red or Yellow Version gameboy games if you want something to do while stationary or at home, it will be a lot more fun than hacking and cheating at this game.

Conclusion

To conclude I would just like to say that this article is a lot longer than I wanted it to be and still i’ve only mentioned HALF the things I wanted to say. To anyone who wants to ask any questions please feel free to do so. If anyone has any disputes to what i’ve written feel free to let me know. All the above is nothing more than my opinion based on the experience I have had with the game, your mileage may vary.
As for me, I’ve hung up my trainer hat for now to get back to life…. I had a brilliant 4 weeks and might be back when the next generation of Pokemon are released or when they add new features like Trading & Battling, but until then this is me Signing Off.

Happy Hunting ❤

[There is still a pretty good chance you’ll have the one off chance to bump into me when i’m dominating a gym because I was bored xD]