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10 Tips (Plus 1) for Pokemon GO

Looks like PoGO is out in the Philippines now, so here are my top 10 tips for getting ahead and making efficient use of your game time.

1. Level Boosting Using Lucky Eggs

Why the hell is Pidgey everywhere?! Don't fret. That's actually a good thing. You'll need a lot of these guys to do this trick.

I've actually already written about it. It's way too long to post again, so just read it here.

UPDATE: While you can read the detailed post about boosting with Lucky Eggs from the link above, I've decided to put the short version here:

Get 150 to 180 Pidgey, Weedle, and Caterpie. That's total, not 150 to 180 per Pokemon. The ratio doesn't matter. For example, you can have 100 Pidgey, 30 Weedle, and 20 Caterpie.

Next, transfer 2/3 of each Pokemon to Professor Willow. You'll be left with 50 to 60 of these Pokemon. For example, if you have 90 Pidgey and 60 Weedle (for a total of 150), transfer 60 Pidgey and 40 Weedle to the Professor, leaving you with 50 Pokemon (30 Pidgey and 20 Weedle). You should then have enough candies to evolve all of them. (Okay, this isn't really exact, it's just a general rule so you don't need to make too many calculations, but you should have enough candies to evolve ALMOST all of them after doing this.)

Now, go to your bag, select the Lucky Egg, and activate it. Once the Lucky Egg is activated, immediately go to your list of Pokemon (not the Pokedex!), and evolve all 50-60 Pokemon. If you do this right, you will complete all evolutions before your Lucky Egg's timer (30 minutes) runs out, and your Pokemon trainer will be boosted by 50,000 to 60,000 XP.

2. Don't Bother With Curveballs - Go For Straight Greats

You probably have already discovered that there is a way to throw a curveball in Pokemon GO. All you have to do is spin the ball around and throw it at an angle. Catching a Pokemon this way will get you 10 extra XP.

Unless you're super accurate, I'd recommend not doing that at all. Instead, focus on getting "Nice", "Great" and "Excellent" shots. They are easier to get a hit with, increases your chances of capturing a Pokemon, and the last two types of shots gives you more extra XP.

Do you see that circle getting smaller infront of your Pokemon as you hold on to the ball? For low-level Pokemon trainers, you're likely only going to see green circles. But as you level up, you will start seeing them in yellow and red, and various shades in between. These colors represent how difficult it is to capture a Pokemon, green being the easiest, and red being the hardest.

When the colored circle is very small and you hit right dead center, this will give you an "Excellent" shot, which bags you an extra 100 XP. A hit within the circle when it is mid-sized will get you a "Great" shot with 50 XP as a reward, and strking the inside of the circle when it is large rewards you with a "Nice" shot worth 10 XP.

Of course, you can argue that the Excellent shot with a curveball nets you the most extra XP with 110 points, but the chances of you hitting that shot is pretty slim. Curveballs in general are also harder to land than just a standard straight throw, so you will likely lose more PokeBalls before capturing the Pokemon you're trying to get. Although the game gives you a ton of PokeBalls in the beginning, pretty soon you're going to see them dwindle fast, and you're going to be relying a lot on PokeStops to get more balls.

Personally, I aim for straight Great shots. They're easier to hit than an Excellent, and only a bit more difficult than Nice, but you get a reasonable amount of extra XP.

So, if you're not trying to impress the person looking over your shoulder with your fancy curveball throw, I'd recommend you go straight for the greats.

UPDATE: Since the release of the latest PoGO update (0.33 on Android), curveballs have become more accurate. I think with enough practice, you can probably rely on it a bit more, but I'd still recommend throwing straight, especially if you're up against a rare Pokemon.

3. Bag Full? You Don't Need To Throw Too Many Things Out

Your bag has a maximum capacity of 350 items. That sounds like a lot, but believe me, it's going to fill up quickly. When it does get full, you don't need to throw out, for example, 10 items to make room for 10 new items. Just be sure you are at least 1 under the max capacity (in other words, 349 items or less).

At 349/350 items, when you spin a PokeStop, you will still get ALL the items in that PokeStop, even if it contains, for example, 5 items. So you'll end up with 354 items.

While this trick isn't that important, it's useful if you're unwilling to throw away too many things, or if you're just in a hurry to grab what's in a PokeStop and your bag is already full.

UPDATE: Of course, if you're willing to spend money, or if you've been collecting PokeCoins from Gyms, you could always buy a Bag Upgrade from the in-game shop (200 coins) which increases your bag's capacity by 50.

4. Spin PokeStops Even If Your Bag Is Full

Not interested in getting more items? Spin the PokeStop anyway! You'll still get 50 XP out of it.

5. Prevent Accidentally Sending Your Best Pokemon To Professor Willow

The star is on the upper right of the screen

When you select your Pokemon in the menu, you'll see the outline of a star on the upper right. Tapping it will turn the star yellow, and registers your Pokemon as one of your favorites.

The usefulness of this is that, aside from making it easier to find your best/favorite Pokemon in the list, it also prevents you from accidentally transferring them to Professor Willow. If you click on TRANSFER on a starred Pokemon, you will get a message that says you cannot transfer favorite Pokemon.

6. PokeCoins from Gyms - How Do You Get Them?

It was a mystery to me at first. I had taken over a bunch of gyms and thought my Pokemon had to defend a gym for at least 21 hours before I'd be awarded PokeCoins. Turns out I could get coins immediately after taking over a gym!

Here's what you do. After winning, place a Pokemon in the gym, then immediately head on to the Shop. On the upper right, you'll see a shield icon with the number one. Hit that and you will get 10 PokeCoins. After grabbing your coins, a timer shows up which counts down from 21 hours. You won't be able to get another 10 coins from that Gym until the timer runs out.

One more thing: If the timer hasn't run out yet, don't bother putting another Pokemon in the gym. Doing so will not net you any coins because the timer is still running. Instead, come back the next day and place your Pokemon after the timer runs out.

UPDATE: This is NOT the most efficient way to get PokeCoins. After a discussion with a GameOPS contributor, I decided that I needed to make that clear. The most efficient way is to put several Pokemon into several Gyms before going to the store and collecting coins. That way you get more coins at one time (10 coins per Gym).

However, this really depends on a few factors... First there is the distance between gyms. Second, where you live and how often Gyms change hands. I live in central Tokyo, and all Gyms (at least the ones I've tried) are basically always under attack, so by the time I get to another Gym, my previously placed Pokemon would have already been defeated and kicked out. I find it a waste of time to try to put my Pokemon into many Gyms, so for people who live in heavily-populated areas, your best bet is to get into a Gym and take the PokeCoins immediately.

7. Battery Saver Mode

The only way the app will record kilometers walked and vibrate to let you know of nearby Pokemon is if the app is actually running on screen. But of course, that's going to kill your batteries, right?

That's where battery saver mode comes in. Load up the app, tap on the PokeBall on the bottom of your screen, and then the settings option on the upper right. Look for battery saver mode and turn it on. Next, flip your phone upside down. Your screen will turn black and you'll see the Pokemon GO logo faintly displayed on screen. Now, just put your phone in your pocket, and start walking around. The app will continue to track your steps and vibrate when a Pokemon appears in your area.

Pokemon GO in battery saver mode

A word of warning - this mode is a bit bugged. Sometimes your screen may become unresponsive and will not recover without an app restart. Also, occasionally, the phone will not vibrate despite being right next to a Pokemon.

UPDATE: With the PoGO 0.33 (Android), battery saver has become more reliable. I haven't experienced the unresponsive screen issue since I updated.

8. PokeStops - Not Necessary To Tap On The Items

As you've probably already discovered, you have to spin the PokeStop to get the items in it. You'll see these items come out in little bubbles, which you will tap to acquire. Well, guess what? You don't actually have to tap those bubbles. Basically, all you have to do is spin the PokeStop, and once the items pop out, exit out of the PokeStop. You'll still get all of them.

9. Battles

There's a lot more to this than just tapping the screen, but I don't worry too much about it. Here's all you really need to do.

When a battle begins, tap your screen repeatedly until you see the blue power bar below the HP gauge fill up. When it's full, tap and hold on the screen until your Pokemon unleashes its special move. If the special move is effective (takes a whole bunch of HP off your opponent), repeat the process. If not, don't bother with it again and just keep tapping the screen until one of you loses. Also, don't worry about dodging unless you really know the right timing.

Doing a special move takes time - time in which your Pokemon is left vulnerable. So if the special move doesn't take a chunk out of the other Pokemon's life bar, forget it next time and just focus on continuing to deal as much standard attack damage as you can.

10. AR Is Cool, But Just Turn It Off

It's really awesome to see Pokemon in "the real world". The thing is though, it eats up your battery like crazy. Additionally, Pokemon become much more difficult to capture as they'll move left and right, and even behind you! Turning the AR off will not just save battery life, it'll also make it easier to catch Pokemon because they'll always stay dead center.

Plus 1: How To Get Vaporeon, Jolteon, And Flareon

Normally, when you evolve an Eevee, you get a random chance of getting Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. However, there is a way to actually choose which one you want to get. You can read more about it here.

Why didn't I just say 11 tips? Because I haven't actually tried this out yet, so I can't really vouch for it. I'm saving my Eeveies for another round of Lucky Egg boosting.

UPDATE: I finally tried it out. It works!

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks in the comments below.

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