With Pokemon Go mania in full swing, I have been collecting as much info about the game during its infancy in order to be efficient in leveling and collecting the original 151. Below are some tips and tricks that will help you level into the 20s, as well as track down the rarer Pokemon.
1. Tracking Down Specific Pokemon
This tip is partially derailed by the current “3 step Bug” that has been plaguing the game, supposedly on account of the server issues the game has been experiencing. Normally, the tracking meter in the bottom right of the screen shows a set of footprints, between 1 and 3. Currently, every Pokemon will show 3 steps, making it more difficult to locate the Pokemon.
Regardless, it is still possible to track down specific Pokemon. First, when you bring up the chart, it will show up to three rows of 3 Pokemon each. The basic structure is that the Pokemon in the bottom right hand is furthest away, while the upper left is the closest.
So, if you are looking to track down a specific Pokemon follow these steps:
1. Note where the Pokemon is in the tracking grid
2. Walk one direction and periodically check if the Pokemon you want moves in the grid
3. If the Pokemon is moving up the grid, closer to the top left spot, you are on the right track
4. If the Pokemon is moving down the grid, change direction immediately
Once Niantic fix the 3 Step bug, the footprints underneath will be of further guidance in pinpointing the specific Pokemon.
2. Location, Location, Location
Of course, you want to know how to bring rare or interesting Pokemon into the grid in order to be able to track them down. Luckily, there are a few methods that have helped narrow down where the big fish are biting.
First, as a general rule, city parks appear to be hotspots for not only swarms of Pokemon, but also rarer Pokemon. One park near my house is notable for its Electabuzz. These locations also generally have an abundance of Pokestops, so they are perfect locations to go hunting.
Second, you can try the PokeRadar app (which at this time is the second highest free app on iOS). This app uses crowdsourcing to show where certain Pokemon have been seen and caught. It uses Google Maps and gives an overlay of where Pokemon have been spotted. Users then vote up or down on the reported sightings.
I have had some success with the accuracy of the app so far. I have gone to various locations purely on the basis of the app and have found what was reported. It can be a little delayed due to the need for user input, but it gives a good map for where to find things. Further, it has filter so you can hunt for a specific Pokemon.
3. Use the Curveball + Colored Ring For Some Extra Experience
When catching any Pokemon, you have probably noticed that there are two rings: one that is static and white, and one that slowly diminishes, and has some shade of green to red. You may have also noticed the words Great! or Excellent! when throwing the Pokeball. These are indicators of additional experience to be gained.
The color of the ring that shrinks corresponds to its difficult to capture. Green is easiest, yellow a little harder, and red very difficult. Red rings may require the use of a Razz Berry, which makes catching the Pokemon a little easier.
Next, the size of the ring is relevant for getting the Nice, Great, or Excellent modifiers. Each of these grants additional experience upon successful capture of the Pokemon. The larger the ring is, the less experience you will receive. Note however that you must hit the ring on the throw, hence, the smaller ring is more difficult to activate, and thus awards more experience.
Lastly, you are able to throw a “curveball” which grants a little extra experience as well. Simply hold down on the pokeball and rotate it in circles before tossing at the Pokemon. The ball will light with golden sparks, and have a bit of a curved flight. Successful capture with a curveball gives a smidgen of additional experience.
4. Name Your Eevee For Your Desired Evolution
This one has become more common knowledge but is useful to remember if you are looking for a specific evolution of Eevee (Jolteon, Vaporeon, or Flareon).
To control which evolution you will get, simply name the Eevee after the following characters from the show:
Rainer = Vaporeon
Pyro = Flareon
Sparky = Jolteon
Remember to name the Eevee BEFORE evolving to get the desired effect. You can always rename the evolution to whatever you desire afterwards.
5. Pidgey/Weedle Grind
Sick of finding only Pidgeys, Weedles, and Rattatas? Well fear not, these Pokemon are crucial for gaining and grinding experience, which in turn affects the appearance of rarer, and stronger, wild Pokemon.
First, make sure to catch every single Pokemon you see. You receive experience for doing so, as well as the critical accumulation of candies for this grinding method. The more Pidgeys, the better.
Next, use this calculator (http://www.pidgeycalc.com), which will do the math, and tell you exactly how many of the Pokemon to transfer before beginning the mass evolution.
Once, you have calculated the transfers and have the requisite candy stash, you will need a Lucky Egg (different from the eggs that hatch in the incubators). These can be randomly found or purchased within the app. There function is to double all experience gained for a 30 minute period. It is this bonus we will exploit.
Next, you activate the egg, doubling experience. As quick as you can, begin evolving Pidgeys into Pidgeottos (but not into Pidgeots), for up to the full 30 minutes. The key is to be constantly evolving during the entire Lucky Egg timer. Each evolution grants 1000 experience. If you are evolving into a new Pokemon that you did not previously had, you will get 2000 experience.
Utilizing this method will catapult players into the 15-20 levels with ease. The key is make sure you have evolutions for the ENTIRE 30 minute window. The calculator will give you an estimate on how many minutes it believes it will take to evolve your collection, so use it as a guide.