So you’ve been playing Pokémon Go for a few days now and are already well-versed with Pokestops, Gyms, Stardust, Candies, etc.
Chances are, you’ve already managed to achieve Level 8 or 9 by now just by catching every Pokémon that pops up on your screen. But did you know you can optimise your resources to level up more quickly?
Tip #1: Lucky Eggs
As you progress through the game, you’ll start to come across more unusual items like Potions, Crystals, Razzberries, Incense, Eggs, Lure Modules and the like. Some – like Potions and Crystals – can be obtained at Pokestops, but other items have to be unlocked, like the mucho valuable Lucky Egg, the first of which you’ll receive when you hit Level 9. (Of course you could also buy Lucky Eggs with cold hard cash, but where’s the fun in that?)
You’ll want to hoard this Lucky Egg like Smaug did his mountain of treasure in The Hobbit, because a Lucky Egg gives you double XP for everything you do in the half hour that it is active – yes you read that right, we said double XP. There are a few ways to utilise this most valuable of resources, depending on how kiasu you want to be:
Option 1: Tumpang glamour
Find a PokeStop with an already active Lure Module and activate your Lucky Egg so that when the Pokémons start spawning, all the ones you catch will confer you double XP. Bonus: if you catch a new one that isn’t already in your Pokedex, boom! That's 1,200 XP (100 XP + 500 XP multiplied by two) in your pocket.
Chances are good that you’ll be kept very busy trying to nab all the Pokémons that start appearing, so make sure you have a whole lot of Pokeballs first!
Option 2: Mass assisted evolution
Line up a whole lot of Pidgeys, Weedles and other commonly found but comparatively low-ranking Pokémons like Ratatas to evolve to get double XP from their evolution. Pidgeys are considered the best because they’re cheap and cheerful – each Pidgey comes with three Candies, and if you transfer it to the Professor as well, you get another candy – that’s a total of four Candies per Pidgey. Considering it only takes 12 Candies to evolve one Pidgey, they’re the most worthwhile evolution.
You’ll have to do a bit of prep work first to identify which ones you want to evolve and which duplicates you want to get rid of, but once you’re ready – with the requisite amount of creature-specific Candies as well as Stardust to enable evolution – sally forth and find a good spot to activate your Lucky Egg.
By that we mean don’t just drop your Lucky Egg any old place – identify a sweet spot near three (or more if you can swing it) Pokestops, then activate the Egg. Shopping malls seem to be the best bet as most will have at least one Gym and several Pokestops, depending on the size of said mall.
Some reports say that the first Pidgey evolution with a Lucky Egg active will net you 2,000 XP with 1,000 XP for subsequent ones – meaning if you evolve 10 Pidgeys, you’ll get 2,000 XP for the first one plus 9,000 for the other nine Pidgeys. Going by that math, it should be well worth your time to line up as many different types of Pokémons to evolve as you can manage to leverage that first 2,000 XP for every different type.
Option 3: Maximum returns
If however you’re after maximum bang for your buck and you can handle evolving all your captured Pokémons and collecting new Pokémons within half an hour, then maximise your gains by combining Options 1 & 2 – drop a Lure Module and Incense at the same time as your Lucky Egg, so that you can get the best of both worlds, namely higher XP for normal captures and evolutions.
Unconfirmed reports also say that utilising both the Lure Module and Incense in an area without an active ‘Sightings’ menu will bring forth rare Pokémons, but hey, no harm trying out that theory, right?
And, if you’re feeling generous and feel like sharing the bounty, you can tip off your mates that you’ll be doing this so they too can nab the Pokémons that appear. However, you’re the only one who’ll be getting double XP (you’re the one using the Lucky Egg after all).
Once you’re done with that, walk around and activate the PokeStops to collect double the amount of XP you’d get from PokeStops as well within that half an hour.
Tip #2: Hatching eggs more efficiently
In case you hadn’t noticed, there are two types of Incubators – the first one you got (with the Infinity sign next to it) can be used repeatedly without it wearing out, but the second type that you most likely obtained from a Pokestop will break after three uses, therefore you need to use them judiciously.
The best strategy is to use the Infinity Incubator on shorter-term eggs like the 2km eggs so that you can hatch more eggs quickly, and deploy the limited use Incubator for the longer-term eggs, like the 5km or 10km eggs, so that they don’t break as fast. Generally speaking, the shorter term eggs yield more common Pokémons like Pidgey and so on.
You’ve probably already heard about how being in a fast-moving vehicle negates any accumulation of ‘frequent flyer miles’ for the eggs, and you wouldn’t be wrong – some people report having better luck on public transportation like buses (but not trains), so if you have a long-ish and slow commute, you can at least look forward to hatching eggs while on the move.
However, moving in a straight line gets you credit for moving the full distance – for example, if you walk in a straight line for 1km from Point A to Point B, you get the 1km credited to you. But if you walk half a km in one direction from Point A and then turn right or left and walk another 0.5km to Point B, you only get 0.71km credited to you, namely the most direct line from Point A to B.
Don’t forget that hatching eggs also nets you XP – the going rate seems to be the number of km required to hatch the egg multiplied by 100, so a 2km egg will get you 200 XP, a 5km one 500 XP, and so on. Not a bad way to rack up the XP, provided you remember to leave the app open while you walk or bike to hatch your eggs – Pokémon Go won’t run in the background so if the app is closed, the eggs won’t hatch.
Tip #3: Hit up all the Pokestops
Every time you tap on a Pokestop, you get 50 XP on top of goodies like Pokeballs, Potions, eggs, etc. Plus, as you can return to the same Pokestops repeatedly after a cooling down period (which is usually a few minutes), and assuming the mall or park you went to has four Pokestops, that’s an easy 200 XP minimum per visit.
A simple way to rack up the XP and benefits from Pokestops is to park yourself near one (or two, if you can manage it) during mealtimes so that over lunch or dinner, with your Pokémon Go app open, you can tap repeatedly on the Pokestop every time it refreshes from purple to blue. It’s that easy!
So there you go, three easy(ish) steps to rack up the XP points fast. Now that you know, go out there and level up like a boss!
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