21 more tips and secrets Pokémon Go won’t tell you

Last Updated January 24th, 2022

You may have thought we were done with our first tips and secrets guide, but it turns out we only saw the tip of the Pokémon Go iceberg! Here are yet more secrets to help you along on your Pokémon journey.

You Can Use Math to Plan Gym Victories

You don’t have to defeat every pokemon in a gym to take it. You just have to reduce its prestige to 0. You remove 1000 prestige per Pokémon you beat, and 500 bonus prestige if none of your pokemon faint. This means you don’t have to have a Pokémon that can beat the strongest Pokémon in a gym, just the weakest Pokémon multiple times. This is a key to gym sniping, especially when a high prestige gym has a high CP final defender, but a bunch of weaklings filling out the rest of its slots.

When Choosing Gym Defenders, Start With Pokémon You Can Beat

When you take a gym, you get to install a defender in that gym. DON’T put your strongest pokemon in that gym. We elaborate on this a bit in our article on how to win a gym battle. Not only do you want to save your strongest pokemon for taking other gyms, you want to be able to actively beat the pokemon you put in the gym, yourself! You can train against the weak pokemon you put there in order to raise the gym’s prestige and raise your own XP. Do this to level up the gym before placing a strong pokemon in to defend it when you leave, or when you see a rival trainer coming to challenge the gym.

Hit Your Target for Extra XP

We already told you that smaller circles create higher capture rates. They also create higher XP. Throwing your Pokeball straight through the circle at your target will grant you an XP bonus, and the smaller the circle the better the bonus. This also increases your capture rate as well.

Use Lucky Eggs When Hatching and Evolving Pokémon

Hatching eggs gets you 1000 XP and evolving a pokemon gets you 500 XP. These are some of the biggest XP dumps in the game. If you have a lucky egg, use it right before you hatch a bunch of eggs all at once, or right before you evolve a bunch of pokemon, or both. Lucky eggs give you a bonus to your XP gained, and with a bit of planning you can almost always guarantee a level up through strategic lucky egg usage.

Closing and Re-Opening the App Will Refresh Data Faster

In our previous tips and tricks article, we told you to take a break every so often to allow the Pokémon Go servers to catch up with your app. However, there is a workaround to make them catch up a little faster. Closing and reopening the app (that is, killing the process on your phone) will cause you to download new data from the servers as soon as you boot it up. Some users have also complained about the app endlessly showing the loading icon in the upper left hand corner, and this will also solve that problem. In fact, if your phone accidentally makes the app idle, we suggest reloading it immediately just to be sure it isn’t hanging.

If Your Pokeball Misses You Can Pick It Back Up

This single tip can help you conserve Pokeballs and reduce the need to visit Pokestops. If your Pokeball misses the pokemon you are trying to catch, just tap on it again. It will attach to your finger and you can attempt to throw it another time.

UPDATE: Looks like this one isn’t actually correct. What was confusing people (including us) is that tapping on the screen sometimes loads your next Pokeball into your hand quickly, and it can appear to be grabbing the one that missed. But that’s not actually the case — it’s a new Pokeball.

Play at Night to Avoid Server Load

This might seem like a no-brainer, but the server refreshes faster when fewer people are playing. You’ll have a better chance of having a good connection if most Pokémon Go users are sleeping. Players seem to have the most success starting at midnight eastern time. You’ll also catch special night-time pokemon! Just make sure to poketravel safely, especially late at night.

Focus on Player Level First

While player level doesn’t seem very important, it’s actually the single most important stat in the game. Upgrading your player level makes stronger pokemon appear, which reduces the need to use stardust and candy. It also allows new items to spawn at Pokestops, like great balls and ultra-balls. It’s not particularly useful to spend your stardust or candy until you start seeing pokemon spawn with at least 100-200 CP. Higher level players can raise the CP of their pokemon to higher levels as well.

Pokestops Can Determine Pokémon Appearance Rates

We already told you that Pokémon can be effected by location, time, weather, and trainer level. It turns out that certain Pokestops can also influence pokemon appearance rates. For example, many users report fire type pokemon being frequently seen around gas stations. In general, the types of pokemon you can catch are more diverse around a Pokestop, so if you want to linger anywhere, linger there.

You Can Download Google Maps Offline to Help Conserve Battery and Data

While this hasn’t yet been confirmed by the programmers, many users are reporting that downloading Google map data offline will help conserve data and battery while playing Pokémon Go. The game uses the Google Maps API so downloading them offline should work. You can do this by opening the Google Maps app, going into settings, and clicking the option for offline maps. More testing is needed to see whether or not this actually works, but it’s worth a shot.

UPDATE: While this would be very helpful, an engineer at Google has confirmed it isn’t true

Incense Can Help Other Players

Incense increases the rate at which you find wild pokemon. It’s like your own personal lure. We have tested incense in groups and routinely were able to catch all the pokemon that the incensed player could see. So if you are using incense, use it in groups so multiple people can get the benefit. 

UPDATE: Lots of confusing reports about this for a while, but now seems confirmed that the pokemon you see summoned via incense are NOT visible to other players. 

Don’t Let Your Bag Get Full

If your bag is full and you stop at a Pokestop, it will appear as if you activate it normally –  however you will get no items, just XP. It’s better to use items instead of hoarding them, especially when it comes to Pokeballs, which are the easiest item to replenish. If you need to ditch items, Pokeballs are probably what you are going to throw away.

If Your Bag is Full, Level Up!

There is only one circumstance in which the game lets you go over capacity, and that’s when you level up. Leveling up gets you a ton of item rewards, so it’s easy to fill up your bag. You’ll have to use or delete items to make space, but you won’t lose the level up reward, unlike the rewards for Pokestops.

Don’t Travel Over 20km/h

You may have already noticed that Pokémon Go won’t track your distanced traveled if you are driving in a car. It turns out that it’s speed and only speed that goes into this calculation. If you want to hatch eggs, travel below 20km/h. You can do this in any vehicle, it doesn’t matter. As long as you are traveling slowly, you will rack up distance for egg hatching. This means you’ll hatch those pesky 10km eggs in only a half hour, if you go cruising in your car.

Attack Gyms at the Same Time!

We previously suggested that you take on gyms as a group, but you should probably attack gyms at the same time – literally! Battling gyms at the same time will cause all the pokemon involved to show up on the screen at once, however, the opposing pokemon will only be able to attack one at a time. This will spread out the damage and greatly increase the chances of taking a gym. This is especially useful if no single player has a pokemon with a comparable CP rating to the gym’s defender.

Evolve First!

After testing, it appears to make no difference in CP whether you evolve a pokemon first or power it up first. Thus, you almost always want to evolve it first. This will keep your pokemon at its highest possible CP level throughout its lifetime of powering up. Evolving also gives your pokemon a chance to learn new moves, and thus far it’s the only way to learn new moves. So if you plan to use a Pokémon in any capacity, evolve it.

Evolving Restores a Pokémon to Full Health

Don’t waste your revives or heal potions. Evolving a pokemon restores it to full health regardless of its condition. Yes, this includes fainted pokemon. A good way to get incredible mileage out of one pokemon is to take it into a gym battle. Battle it until exhaustion. Evolve it to revive it at full health and power it up, and then send it into battle again.

You Can Turn Dead Pokémon into Candy

If you are planning to turn a pokemon into candy, bring it into a gym battle first. Let it take a few potshots at the gym’s defenders before dying. You can turn dead (sorry, fainted) pokemon into candy with no penalty. So allowing them to valiantly sacrifice themselves in battle is the best way to use an otherwise useless catch.

Pokémon Size Affects Stats

Yes, size does matter. Large pokemon tend to have higher HP but lower CP, and smaller Pokémon have the exact opposite. In general, we suggest keeping smaller pokemon of the same species, as CP matters much more than HP in battle.

Play Two Handed

This is a simple tip, but don’t throw Pokeballs with your thumb. The natural positioning of your thumb will cause the ball to curve in the direction of your hand. Use two hands when throwing (one to hold the phone and the other to aim and throw) and you will be more accurate.

Your Pokémon Go App Might be Malicious

If you downloaded your app from the Google Play store or iTunes, you are fine. However, if you downloaded an independent app in order to get the game early, it might be malicious. A version of the game infected with “DroidJack” was propagated prior to its official release. Check your apps permissions. If it asks to directly call phone numbers, edit text messages, record audio, notify your contacts, read your web bookmarks, change your network connectivity, or run at startup, then your app may be infected.

Keep it here at yourstandard.us for more Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and news.