11 Hidden Tips for Pokemon Go Fanatics

Pokemon Go is taking over the world (and maybe even making America great again). I, for one, welcome our cherub-cheeked electric mouse overlords.

Sure, the app needs a lot of work—check out our review to find out why—but it's still heaps fun to get out and play. You actually have to get up, leave your house, and visit real-world locations to replenish important items like Pokeballs, and of course, to catch wild Pokemon.

Unfortunately, Pokemon Go provides little in the way of guidance on the nuances of Pokemon catching, collecting, and evolving. In fact, it barely has a tutorial at all. If you're just starting out, see How to Get Started and Catch 'Em All for a primer on what every icon means, what items do, how to capture Pokemon, how gyms work, and other basics. But I've rounded up even more tips and tricks to help you become a Pokemon Master. Check out the this list for more.

2. Turn Off AR to Make Capturing Easier

Turn Off AR to Make Capturing Easier

Capturing Pokemon with AR on is part of the fun, especially when the pocket monsters pop up in inappropriate places, but it's way easier to capture Pokemon without worrying about aiming your phone camera. And strangers, for the most part, don't like having phones pointed at them. Why not turn off AR and relieve them of social anxiety? You can do that by tapping the AR toggle when you're capturing wild Pokemon. Pokemon will then sit perfectly still on a grassy field, though they will occasionally hop or gyrate to make capturing difficult. But at least this way you can focus on just the Pokemon, and not worry about reorienting the camera or suffering the death stares of real-life NPCs.

3. Summon Nearby Pokemon

Summon Nearby Pokemon

While wandering around your neighborhood, you may notice the tab in the lower-right corner of your map with the Pokemon silhouettes. What could they be? It's Pikachu! No, not really. This tab shows you nearby wild Pokemon you can catch. Tap the tab, and you'll see a full list of creatures to kidnap. The footprints below each Pokemon let you know their proximity; the closer you get, the fewer footprints there are. Tap the Pokemon you want to encounter, and that will increase the chance you'll run into it. You can also track the Pokemon by watching to see if the number of footprints decreases. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even go hunting and see if the footsteps increase or decrease depending on the direction you walk. That's what the game wants you to do. 

So, if you're trying to fill out your Pokedex (or you just want to capture a certain type), and you see an empty silhouette in the lower-right tab, open it up, tap your desired target, and you'll run into it sooner.

4. CP Explained

CP Explained

CP simply means Combat Power, and it's the number above each wild Pokemon. It indicates their battle prowess, and as you gain more experience points (or XP) and level up as a Trainer, the CP of the Pokemon you find will become higher. 

We're still learning about Combat Power, but here's what we know so far. In an individual Pokemon's stat screen, you'll see a semi-circle at the top. The part that's bold with a dot at the end indicates that Pokemon's current maximum Combat Point potential. Some Pokemon have higher maximum CP than others. For example, an intimidating, spiky Pinsir will likely be stronger than a tiny, wormy Caterpie. But, if you find a 50 CP Pikachu, that doesn't mean it's stronger than a 20 CP one. For efficiency's sake, though, you'll probably want to Power Up the 50 CP Pikachu with Candies. 

Whether you Power Up or Evolve a Pokemon first is up to you. Some believe powering up a 'Mon before evolving it results in even higher CP, but there's no confirmation of that yet. But, your Pokemon's max CP rises along with your Trainer level, so don't neglect those curve balls (more on that shortly) and be sure to visit Pokestops whenever you can! Get dat XP! 

Extra Note: It looks like your Pokemon's weight/size (XL or XS) could affect their stats, like CP, HP, and dodge speed. Again, there's a lot of rumor mongering and unconfirmed info out there at the moment, so that could be a bunch of Bouffalant hockey.

5. Check the Moves

Check the Moves

You might catch a few different Staryus that are all around the same CP, but take a look at the two moves each Pokemon has when you catch it, and the power level of each move. If you catch a 98CP Staryu and a 105 CP Staryu, and the slightly weaker one has Water Gun and Psybeam, while the stronger one only knows how to Tackle and Body Slam, go for the better move set. 

Next to each move you'll also see how much damage it does, along with a blue power meter for the second (more powerful) move, which indicates when your Pokemon's power move is ready to rock in a battle. Better moves, more power, better Pokemon. You can always make up some CP points later.

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