It is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody has a fucking clue how Pokemon GO really works.
Seriously, there’s so much speculation and outright misinformation out there – it’s like being on the playground as a kid again and hearing about how you can catch Mew under the truck in Pokemon Red.
The truth is that it’ll probably be a while before we truly understand everything, because developer Niantic seem to be allergic to actually explaining anything.
As a result, here are a few widely accepted tips and tricks for playing Pokemon GO. Again, none of this has been confirmed by Niantic, but a vast majority of players seem to agree on the below information.
Alternatively, if you’re new to the AR mobile game, why not check out our tips for getting started on your Pokemon journey?
Get The Eeveelution Of Your Choice
A few people have said this particular trick doesn’t work, but there’s a fair bit of evidence to the contrary on this Reddit post, and I’ve seen it with my own two peepers – maybe it was a fluke, but there’s no harm in trying, right?
So as you may know, Eevee is capable of evolving into Vaporeon (water), Jolteon (electric), or Flareon (fire). To guarantee your desired Eeveelution, you actually need to to nickname your Pokemon based on the Eevee Brothers from the original anime.
Naming your Eevee either Sparky, Rainer, or Pyro will get the result you’re after. I’ll leave you to work out which is which.
Make Sure To Keep GOing
The best way to play Pokemon GO is to actually go places. Not only are you more likely to come across ‘mon you don’t often see, but hitting PokeStops is a quick way to get items and exp.
PokeStops reset roughly every 10 minutes (in my experience), so if you live or can get to somewhere that has a decent route taking in multiple PokeStops, you can essentially go round and round to grab as many items and as much exp as you want.
Plus, all that walking will keep you fit – but who really cares about that?
Know Your Eggs
You probably know by now that Pokemon eggs in GO work just as they do in classic Pokemon. You have to walk a certain distance before you get the delicious Pokemonny centre.
Eggs come in three varieties: 2km, 5km, and 10km. Obviously, the greater the distance required, the better the Pokemon inside. The below chart seems to be a pretty accurate representation of what to expect when you’re expecting…
Obviously, walking 10km to get an Eevee when you could have had a Lapras or a Sycther would sting, but the rest all seem fair enough.
Don’t Waste Your Stardust
Observe the above chart. Memorise it. Okay, maybe don’t memorise it, but save it somewhere, as it could come in handy. Don’t waste your stardust powering up your Pokemon if it gets less than the amount of CP per upgrade in said chart.
If you have a Pokemon you plan on using frequently in battle, or maybe just have a favourite, I advise waiting till a higher level and then trying to nab one near your CP cap. If you do that and then evolve it, it will be even closer to the CP cap and you’ll use less stardust/candy overall.
So basically, use the above chart and always evolve a Pokemon for max CP potential.
Minimise Damage Taken In Gyms
This method (as picked up on by valkuma) might not actually be a foolproof way to avoid damage altogether – especially on slower phones – but it’s at least a handy tip to avoid taking more damage than you might usually.
Pokemon that defend gyms always seem to open with two attacks, which are telegraphed by a brief flash. Wait for this flash, and then dodge to avoid damage (see why that might not work if your phone lags?)
In essence, if you have the type advantage then your best bet is to mash the attack and build up your special, which should then do hella damage. If you don’t have the type advantage, then get dodging and get your licks in where you can.
That’s all the big stuff for now that, at the very least, seems to work for the majority of players.
Until such time as Niantic actually decide to explain how their game works, these tips should give you the upper hand while you’re out battling and catching ‘mon.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.