15 Secret Pokemon GO Tips & Tricks To Catch 'Em All

It was only a matter of time before someone announced that they were the first to catch all 142 Pokémon available in the US. It’s surprising how quickly it happened, but – considering the amount of work he put into it – Nick Johnson deserves to be known as a Pokémon Master.

He announced his achievement on reddit with a screenshot of his completed Pokédex as proof. The satisfaction of being the first to achieve this milestone isn’t the only thing he gained though because Marriott Rewards is sponsoring a world trip so that he can catch the last region specific Pokémon. He’ll travel to Australia in search of Kangaskhan, to Europe to catch Mr. Mime, and to Asia to find Farfetch’d. The best part? It’s an all expenses paid trip.

But for those of you that are still adding Pokémon to their collection, there are a few tips and tricks that might help you on your way.

15 The best way to use your Incense

You’ll get Incense when you level up in the game, but you can also buy it via an in-app purchase. After using Incense a number of times, Tumblr user, Mystic Coyote, shared some tips about how to use it to your advantage.

Firstly, it only lasts 30 minutes so you'll need to make the most of your time. While Lure Modules generate Pokémon for every trainer within range of it, Incense will only spawn Pokémon for the trainer using it. While it’s active, the game will spawn about 1 Pokémon every 5 minutes, which means that for every Incense you deploy, 6 Pokémon should appear. These are normally common Pokémon or ones that are already in your nearby list.

There are conflicting reports about whether moving around changes the effectiveness of Incense. Some users say that they’ve noticed an increase in the number of Pokémon that show up if they’re walking. Mystic Coyote has suggested that this is a myth and that, because you’re walking around, you’re just encountering the Pokémon you would’ve come across anyway. It only seems like there are more when you add that number of encounters to the number you get with Incense.

14 Get Pokémon over 1000 CP

If you’re at the stage where you’ve picked your favorite team (or been pressured into one by your friends) and are starting to think about taking over gyms, you’ll need Pokémon with over 1000 CP. You have very little chance of holding a gym if your Pokémon have a CP that’s lower.

Kyurun, a member of the Pokémon subreddit, has worked out the CP levels needed to get a Pokémon to over 1000 in it’s last stage of evolution. There’s a table that charts the number each Pokémon needs or, if that’s not clear, you can use the CP calculator to check if your Pokémon will reach the highest CP possible.

There’s a chance that your Pokémon might be off by a few points because not all Pokémon are created equal – they have Individual values that you need to take into account too. (More on that later.) The best way to make sure you can do this is to save up your Stardust until you have Pokémon with the CP needed – don’t use any of it until you’re evolving them. That way you’ll definitely have enough of it.

13 Use third-party sites and apps to up your game

If you’ve been using PokéVision to track your Pokémon, you’ve probably already heard that Niantic have banned it. They say it’s cheating. Everyone else calls BS. The only reason people were using PokéVision to begin with is because the in-game tracker never worked properly! To solve this problem, Niantic just removed the tracker altogether. In response, the app rating dropped to 1.5 stars in the Japanese app store. There’s a lesson here: Don’t mess with Redditors.

While tracking sites and apps like Pokévision may be down, there are still some apps that will add an extra something to your quest for Pokémon. Poké Radar (iOS) is still working. You can use this app to catch the Pokémon you’re missing from your Pokédex by discovering what species have spawned in a specific area. It’s a crowd-sourced app so information is being constantly updated.

Since Pokémon GO has overtaken Tinder as the most downloaded app, some enterprising Pokémon fan thought it would be a good idea to combine the two and created PokéMatch. It’s exactly what it sounds like: You can use it to find other single Pokémon trainers. You can even filter potential matches by team. (Do you like eggs too?)

12 Use the buddy system to beat other gyms

There’s a reason you should consult your friends before choosing a team. The easiest way to take over a gym is to gang up on the team holding it. After entering the gym at the same time, you both need to hit the ‘battle’ button and you’ll battle the gym together. While you’re battling, you can even see your friend across the gym.

The only time gang activity is OK is when it’s Pikachu related. In fact, the best way to hunt Pokémon is in a group of people because, by splitting up and heading in different directions while on a PokéWalk, you can cover more ground. When one of you finds something interesting, you’ll all be able to take advantage of the find. Plus: When there are more than two of you, you’ll look less ridiculous when you get excited over an imaginary electric mouse-creature.

Another useful tip: Get hold of a second phone so that you can keep the game open to be used as a radar while you’re using your phone for other things. Or dominating gyms.

11 Learn to use the metric system

If you’re frustrated at having to figure out how far you need to walk to hatch an egg because Niantic (like every other country in the world) chose to use the Metric System, here’s a handy guide to US distance equivalents and how long it will take you to walk them:

A 2km egg = 1.24 miles and will take you about 45 minutes from start to finish (about 2670 steps)A 5km egg = 3.11 miles, which will take you an hour to walk if you do about 6670 stepsA 10km egg = 6.21 miles, which will take you two hours to walk if you do approx. 13 300 steps

(This is based on a calculation where each step is about 0.75m and you walk at less than 5km an hour. Short-legged people: You might need to jog to keep up with your friends. Or hire someone to do it for you.)

Good luck keeping your data costs down while in pursuit of a hatched egg.

10 Battle tactics

Before you head into battle, you need a plan. To start, make sure you choose opposing Pokémon types to the ones you’ll be fighting – especially if you have lower CP Pokémon. Being strategic about this can help you take down Pokémon that are much stronger.

Here’s a list of strengths vs. weaknesses:

Normal: FightingFire: Water, Ground, RockWater: Electric, GrassElectric: GroundGrass: Fire, Ice, Poison, Flying, BugIce: Fire, Fighting, Rock, SteelFighting: Flying, Psychic, FairyPoison: Ground, PsychicGround: Water, Grass, IceFlying: Electric, Ice, RockPsychic: Bug, GhostBug: Fire, Flying, RockRock: Water, Grass, Fighting, Ground, SteelGhost: GhostDragon: Ice, Dragon, FairySteel: Fire, Fighting, GroundFairy: Poison, Steel

Another tip from Pokémon gym masters: Dodge at the start of the battle by swiping left or right. Before you target has the chance to catch up, you’ll have gained an extra move or two – especially if your Pokémon is one of the smaller types with quick attacks.

When it comes to Pokémon GO battles, picking on someone your own size is essential battle strategy. Pick fights you know you can win – a huge difference between your Pokémon’s CP and your opponent’s can win or lose a battle.

Battles are closer to arcade games than to strategy RPGS – button smashing will win the day. Swipe and tap as quickly as you can and you’ll emerge victorious.

9 Helpful hatching hacks

When you start your journey in Pokémon GO, you get an incubator that you can use as often as you need. As you level up, you’ll get more of them, but if you’re new to the game, be strategic about how you use incubators because the ones you receive later will have a limited number of uses. Put your 10km eggs in one of the limited-use ones because they’re turn based not distance based.

Some users have noticed that you can add mileage when you’re sitting still. If you open the game and put your phone down, you might see that your trainer wanders around while your GPS is calibrating. While this is happening, steps are being counted. If you have no choice but to be stuck behind a desk instead of out looking for Squirtle, you might as well leave it open. (But only if you have Wi-Fi, or you’ll be wasting data for nothing.)

When talking about how he managed to catch all 142 Pokémon Nick Johnson said that he’d noticed that the game is better at noticing a jog than it is a walk. Which is good news for runners, not so good news for the rest of us. He also said that – because the app calculates distance in a straight line – walking in circles is pointless. Walk in straight lines instead.

As far as spending money on the game goes, he also says that the best thing to drop cash on are incubators. He worked out that they’ll end up costing you approximately 33 cents per hatched egg.

8 Know your Pokémon

Redditors have been taking notes when it comes to CP and leveling up your Pokémon. After doing the calculations that could work out what CP you needed each Pokémon to be if you wanted it to eventually reach +1000, people noticed that their Pokémon were often a few points off the calculated total. That’s when they realized that Individual Values – a part of all other Pokémon games – play a part in Pokémon GO too.

Attack, Defense and Stamina stats are the same for each type, but individual Pokémon for each of those three categories have secret stats that range from 0 to 15. At the moment, the game doesn’t tell you what they are. Luckily, we have Silph Road. They’ve found a way to estimate an individual Pokémon’s combined attack and defense statistics and its stamina.

All you need to do is visit their IV calculation site and enter the fields required – they’ll do the rest. This way, you can decide which Pokémon in your Pokédex are the strongest and use your Stardust on those ones. You still have to think about what moves they have though. The last thing you want is a Pokémon with a high CP and no moves.

The second strongest Pokémon in the game is Vaporeon and it’s relatively easy to get one. While Flareon and Jolteon are strong evolutions of Eevee, you should aim to evolve one to Vaporeon before you get the other two. To ensure your Eevee evolves into Vaporeon, you just need to name it Rainer.

7 Technical hacks

You might have noticed that glitches in gameplay happen frequently. That’s what Niantic gets for releasing a game without considering how many 30-somethings have always wanted to be Pokémon masters. One of the things you can do to keep the game running slightly more consistently is to deactivate the option to always scan for WiFi even when turned off. For some reason, this causes phones to drop their connections.

If you can’t leave the house but need to hatch an egg, you can use your phone’s GPS confusion to your advantage. Open Pokémon GO and then switch to something else, then switch back again. In an attempt to lock down your GPS location, your trainer will walk around a few steps and they’ll count towards your total walked distance.

When the game freezes just as your Pokémon has entered the Pokéball for good, don’t panic you will still find it in your Pokédex. When you reopen the game, check your journal to make sure and you’ll see the latest catches – even the ones that glitched out – listed.

6 Know your moves

There are many things to consider before you give your duplicate Pokémon to the Professor to be minced into candy, including their CP, rarity, evolution level and potential IV. There’s another thing you need to look out for too: What moves they know. Especially if they’re in their final stage of evolution. For example: If you have a 80CP Staryu and a 100CP Staryu but the one with the lower CP knows better moves (like Psybeam), while the stronger one only knows basic moves, keep the weaker one.

This doesn’t apply when you’re choosing which one you want to evolve since their moves will change with their evolution. But when it comes to which of your Pokémon you want to keep to use in battle vs. which ones you want to transfer for candy, you should definitely think carefully about which ones to transfer.

Once you’ve made the decision, you can use all the stardust you’ve been hoarding to increase their CP.

When you’re looking at a Pokémon’s moves, the number next to the name of the move is how much damage it can do. The blue meter shows you when your Pokémon’s has powered up to be able to use its more powerful second move in battle.

5 Basic Pokéball throwing tips

Catching a Pokémon is easy: How difficult can it really be to chuck a ball at Charmander's head?! It may not look like it, but distance does matter and if you make a long swipe upwards when throwing a Pokéball, it might sail over the Pokémon’s head. Even if your throw is perfect, some Pokémon are more difficult to catch and will escape a standard Pokéball easily. You can tell how difficult it’s going to be to catch a specific Pokémon by looking at the color of the circle around it. Green is easy, yellow less easy, orange is tough and red is next to impossible to catch without Ultra Pokéballs and Razz Berries.

You can get bonuses based on how well you aim your throw. When the colored circle meets with the white circle around the Pokémon, throw the Pokéball. But only when you’re confident that the Pokémon is one that you can catch or one that won’t escape from a Pokéball. For any other types, try to throw the ball when the circle is at its smallest because that increases the likelihood that it will stay in the Pokéball.

4 Tips for disabled Pokémon trainers

When it comes to getting enough distance to hatch an egg, Pokémon GO doesn’t count steps. Instead, it uses GPS with a timer system that keeps track of how fast you’re moving. What this means is that it’s still possible to make miles while in a wheelchair.

Users with mobility issues have pointed out that it would be easier for them to make their distances by using a pedometer, which they could just tap against their leg while moving.If you do need a wheelchair or have other mobility issues, the only way to hatch an egg might be to drive around until you’ve reached the specified distances. Trainers that have tested this say that you’d need to be driving at under 13 miles an hour (20km/h) to trick the timer system into thinking you’re walking.

The most important thing to remember here is to be safe. You’ll need to find areas where it’s possible to drive slowly without causing disruptions to other drivers or traffic. Carparks are the best option for this tip, but even if it’s quiet, you shouldn’t be driving and catching Pokémon. Rather get a friend to drive you around.

3 In-app purchases

We all love that Pokémon Go is a free app. We also all know that free doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never spend money on the game. That’s how they get you: It looks free, but if you want to get the most out of a game – or get through it quickly – you might have to buy items. Pokémon GO is no different. Apple CEO Tim Cook reported that July’s App Store takings have set records – thanks to Pokémon GO’s in-app purchases. In its first month on the App Store, Pokémon GO has generated over $120 million. That number is even more remarkable considering that the servers are down regularly.

For 99 cents, you’ll get 20 Pokéballs, but if you buy large quantities of Pokéballs, you’ll get 20% more than you would if you just bought a few. You might not need to spend money once you start collecting PokéCoins from your gyms, but it’s difficult to collect enough of them.

Unless you live in an area where there are no nearby PokéStops, it’s easy to collect enough Pokéballs because stops refresh every five minutes. Lucky eggs are good purchases since they’ll help you level up quickly. Incubators are the most cost effective, but lure modules are the items you’ll most want to buy. And everyone around you will thank you when you do.

2 Dominate your gym

Once you and your friends have taken over a gym, you’ll need to decide which Pokémon you want to keep in it. You’ll want it to be as strong as possible so that other teams can’t take it back.

To start, put a mid-level Pokémon in there. Pick one that’s strong enough to hold the gym for a short time, but not one that’s too important since its just acting as a place holder while you sort out your gym strategy. The next thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have a well-balanced selection of Pokémon of different types.

The most important part of your strategy is deciding which order to put your Pokémon in. Put your weakest Pokémon in so that you can easily level up the gym by defeating them when you’re training. If you put your strongest Pokémon in there to begin with, you’ll struggle to beat them. The endgame here is to have a gym with the highest level of prestige possible.

Keep training at the gym; adding lineups that increase in strength until all the Pokémon in there are close to unbeatable.

1 Bond with other Pokémon masters

Wherever you go these days, you’re likely to encounter groups of people hanging around with their phones out. You don’t even need a secret Pokémon GO handshake – once you’re playing the game, you’ll recognize the symptoms of PoGO addiction in the people around you.

Watching what they do can give you good clues as to what your next move should be. If they’re all sitting around and aren’t moving much, there’s probably a Lure Module nearby. If they’re checking their phones and suddenly sprint off, they’ve discovered the location of a Pokémon they’ve been looking for. With that level of excitmenet, you can bet that it won’t be a Zubat or a Weedle.

Follow what’s being said online too. The Pokémon subreddit and other Pokémon GO forums share the kind of information that can definitely help you catch all 142 Pokémon. Since Niantic has blocked mapping apps like Pokévision, the best way to find out the locations of rare Pokémon in your area is to ask other trainers in the vicinity. And you’ll find them all online. You’ll also hear about all the latest updates, news and get the opportunity to express your Niantic rage.

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