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.
6. Can I Optimize Egg Hatching? And What's a Kilometer?!
While visiting Pokestops, you'll probably pick up some eggs, from which Pokemon hatch. But first, you need to incubate them, and then walk around. To do that, go to your Pokemon collection, and in the upper-right you'll see an Eggs tab. Tap that, choose an egg, then an incubator. Then you walk around and wait for the hatch.
Here's some advice: Don't waste your time incubating the 2K (kilometer) eggs unless you really want more low-level Pokemon (though that isn't a bad way to get a starter you missed or snag yourself a Pikachu). The 5K eggs can net you some decent ones like Cubone, Porygon, Machops, or Sandshrew. The 10K eggs get you more powerful, uncommon ones like Snorlax. Take a look at this handy infographic for a more in-depth egg breakdown, courtesy of Reddit.
You can even hatch eggs if you're on a bicycle, bus, or train. The app just registers that you're moving; it won't actually care that you're not walking. So, you can hop on your bike and keep the app open to not only get some exercise, but hatch some sweet Snorlax bros as well. Another great way to incubate and hatch eggs is to go for a run!
To pick up more incubators, you can either buy them outright in the real-money Shop or by getting lucky at Pokestops, though they are rare. You also gain more incubators and other more rare items as you level up. And remember: Pokestops replenish every 10 to 15 minutes, which is remarkably fast for a free-to-play mobile game!
By the way, 5 kilometers is about equal to 3.1 miles. Pokemon Go, not only does it bring us together, it educates.
7. Pokeball 101
When capturing wild Pokemon, you can throw a curveball to gain more XP. All you have to do is jiggle the ball! Jiggle it good! Basically, you tap the ball, hold it, and spin it around clock- or counterclockwise until it sparkles. Once it's shining up, toss it and boom! If you capture the critter you'll get a curveball XP bonus.
But wait, there's more: Where you throw the curveball depends on how you throw after the spin. Apparently, it helps to throw the ball in the opposite direction of the initial spin. So, if you're spinning it clockwise, you'll want to toss the ball to the left. How the ball moves after a spin seems pretty random to me, though.
Supposedly, if you botch a toss you can tap the Pokeball when it bounces or rolls away in order to retrieve it. But I've been tapping away and trying this out for a while, with no real indication that it works. But some people online have say it works for them. Huge, if true.
8. The Razz Berries Taste Like Razz Berries!
We explained in our primer that razz berries are items you can feed a Pokemon to slow it down before you capture it. More importantly, you can use razz berries in tandem with a stronger Pokeball (especially once you start leveling up and unlocking Great Balls and Ultra Balls) to catch particularly feisty or extremely rare Pokemon that cross your path.
One of the aspiring trainers right here in the PCMag Labs caught themselves a Dragonair doing just that. Feed the Pokemon a razz berry, take out a Great Ball, give it some good arc on your throw, and catching just got a whole lot easier.
9. Gain More XP! Faster!!
The best way to grind XP is to capture multiple low-level Pokemon, pay attention to the number of candy they require to evolve, and wait until you have enough Candy for multiple evolutions at the same time. By capturing the same type of Pokémon over and over you gain more Stardust and Candy. So, don't think ill of all those Doduos, Caterpies, and Weedles! They're potentially useful because you can transfer duplicates, which will earn you 1 candy of that Pokemon type. Then, use a Lucky Egg and evolve all of the Pokemon at the same time to gain double the amount of XP. Pidgeys are especially pretty good for this.
Some words of wisdom on Stardust and Candy, though: think carefully about what Pokemon you want to power up now, and which ones you want to save for after you evolve. The more you power up a Pokemon you eventually plan on evolving, the longer it'll take you to collect the 25, 50, or 100 candies you need to evolve that little guy and see the Pokemon's CP skyrocket anyway. Pro tip: evolve the Pokemon first, then power it up. Better to use your stardust on Pokemon that are finished evolving or only have one form to optimize your battle lineup, with a bunch of even stronger Pokemon waiting in the wings, piling up candies to take your squad to the next level once they evolve.
10. But, Wait! What the heck's a Lucky Egg?!
It's an egg that's lucky! Really, it's filled with happiness and most importantly, grants you double the amount of experience points you can gain for 30 minutes at a time. You can only buy these in the Shop, with Coins. If you've got a couple Pokemon you're almost ready to evolve, save up those candies until you've got a Lucky Egg, then evolve them all one after another while the Lucky Egg's dank XP aura is in the air to double down on that extra CP and XP.