Pokemon GO Mega Guide – Hatching Eggs, Evolving Pokemon, Pokestops, and More

A complete guide to Pokemon GO.

Posted By | On 14th, Jul. 2016 Under Article, Video Game Tips | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Pokemon GO may be the biggest video game of all time, but for a game associated with Nintendo, and one that has come out on the most casual gaming platform ever, it makes surprisingly little attempt to explain… well, just about anything, really. The problem is that Pokemon GO is full of all sorts of nuances and game mechanics, none of which are really explained by the game- this means that a lot of the game can be a complete and total mystery even to players who may otherwise be experienced with Pokemon.

That’s what this guide is here for- whether you are a Pokemon pro, a lapsed player, or just a layperson looking into the game to try and see what all the furore is about, this guide will be your one stop guide to just about everything. Straighten your Trainer Caps, and gather your Pokeballs- it’s time to become a Pokemon Master.

BASICS AND INTRODUCTIONS

Pokemon GO is a remarkably simple game to understand and master, but regardless, here are some basic tips and suggestions to get you going:

  • The game’s interface shows you on a Google Maps-esque world map. On this map-
    • You may seem rustling grass. That indicates wild Pokemon nearby
    • You may seen Pokemon pop up. Touching them will initiate an encounter with them
    • Catching Pokemon does not require you to battle them. Instead, you just throw your Pokeballs at them and hope for the best. Make sure you throw your Pokeballs right! Later on, you get Razz Berries to distract Pokemon, and make catching them easier, and you get better Pokeballs to use
    • There is a small popup at the bottom right of your screen. This is your radar, and it shows you all the Pokemon in your vicinity.
    • The Pokemon show up either as silhouettes (if you have never caught them yet) or as icons (if you have)
    • They also show up with footprints under them: 3 footprints means they are up to 100 meters away, 2 footprints means they are within 50 meters, and 1 footprints means they are within 10 meters. No footprint means the Pokemon is right there
    • Pokemon encounters take place in the real world by using the game’s cool AR technology. While this can be fun to watch, AR encounters also require that you always face a certain direction, and that you stay within a certain distance of the encountered Pokemon. Consider turning AR off, by flicking the switch that shows up on the top right of your screen during an encounter.
  • Your starter Pokemon choices are Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, who show up on the map around you, and whom you need to engage in an encounter by tapping them, and then throwing a Pokeball at them.
  • That said, if you would rather start out with Pikachu, you need to walk away from the three starters when they show up, and wait for them to respawn. This step may have to be repeated 3-4 times, but eventually, Pikachu shows up with them on the map, allowing you to tap on it and catch it instead.
  • Pokestops are points of interest in the real world that function sort of like Pokemon Marts in Pokemon GO. You need to visit this location in the real world, and then activate the Pokestop (touch it on the map, and then spin its icon disc). This gives you free items, such as Pokeballs and Revives, and even Eggs. Pokestops refresh every five minutes, so you can farm items from them repeatedly.
  • Gyms are special points of interest in the real world that you can train at and claim in Pokemon GO. You need to be at least Level 5 to be able to fight at Gyms, and you need to pick a team to align yourself with before you can. Predictably enough, you will need to walk to the gym in the real world before you can fight there.
  • Pokemon you catch don’t have levels- instead, their strength is denoted by their CP, or Combat Power. Higher CP means higher effectiveness in combat. CP can be increased by feeding Pokemon Candy and Stardust, both of which you get each time you catch a Pokemon.
    • A Pokemon can only be fed Candy corresponding to its species. This means you need to catch multiple specimens of the same species if you want to train and power up your Pokemon
    • Stardust is universal and species agnostic
  • There are multiple items you can use:
    • Pokeballs (and Great and Ultra Balls, unlocked at higher levels) can be used to catch Pokemon
    • Potions (and Super and Hyper Potions, unlocked at higher levels) to heal your Pokemon after battle
    • Revives, used to restore a Pokemon that has been knocked out after a battle
    • Incense, applied to yourself, which can be used to attract Pokemon to you, even if there are no Pokemon in your vicinity on the game map. Incense lasts for 30 minutes
    • Lure Modules, which are applied to Pokestops instead of yourself, but have the same effect otherwise. Lure Modules affect all trainers at the Pokestop.
    • Razz Berries, used to distract Pokemon and make them easier to capture (gained at higher leves)
    • Lucky Egg, which increases the amount of XP you get (gained at higher levels)
    • Egg Incubators, which are necessary to hatch eggs
  • You get these items each time you level up (see below). You can also buy them for Pokecoins, which you get for being a Gym Leader, or which you can buy with real world money
  • You may often get Eggs from Pokemon Stops. These need to be put into Incubators, and then you need to walk around with them. The more distance an egg needs to be walked with before it hatches, the higher the chances of it being a rare Pokemon
  • Battles in Pokemon GO are highly simplified, and only take place at gyms- tap on the other Pokemon to use your physical attack, press and hold to perform your Special attack (you may need to charge your meter before you can use it), and swipe to the side to dodge attacks

TRAINER LEVELS

One of the first things you will notice when you play Pokemon GO is that your Pokemon are no longer given their own levels- instead, you, the trainer, are. Your trainer level is meant to provide information about how well you are doing as a Pokemon Trainer at a glance, and gaining levels is also linked with earning better rewards as you play: for instance, the higher your trainer level, the more powerful Pokemon you will find in the wild, and the better items you will get from Pokestops. Higher levels are also linked with the ability to use better Pokeballs, such as Great and Ultra Balls, and with aligning yourself with a faction and challenging teams.

  • Level 5: You can fight gyms
  • Level 12: You gain the ability to use (and get) Great Balls
  • Level 20: You gain the ability to use (and get) Ultra Balls

That apart, you are also given rewards when you level up:

  • Level 2: 10 Pokeballs
  • Level 3: 15 Pokeballs
  • Level 4: 15 Pokeballs
  • Level 5: 20 Pokeballs, 10 Potions, 10 Revives, 1 Incense
  • Level 6: 15 Pokeballs, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 1 Egg Incubator
  • Level 7: 15 Pokeballs, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 1 Incense
  • Level 8: 15 Pokeballs, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 1 Lure Module, 10 Razz Berries
  • Level 9: 15 Pokeballs, 10 Potions, 5 Revives, 1 Lucky Egg, 3 Razz Berries
  • Level 10: 20 Pokeballs, 20 Super Potions, 10 Revives, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator, 1 Incense, 1 Lure Module
  • Level 11: 15 Pokeballs, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries
  • Level 12: 20 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries
  • Level 13: 10 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries
  • Level 14: 10 Great Balls, 10 Super Potions, 3 Revives, 3 Razz Berries
  • Level 15: 15 Great Balls, 20 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries, 1 Lucky Egg, 1 Egg Incubator, 1 Lure Module, 1 Incense
  • Level 16: 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries
  • Level 17: 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries
  • Level 18: 10 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries
  • Level 19: 15 Great Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 5 Revives, 5 Razz Berries
  • Level 20: 20 Ultra Balls, 20 Hyper Potions, 20 Revives, 20 Razz Berries, 2 Lucky Eggs, 2 Egg Incubators, 2 Lure Modules, 2 Incenses
  • Level 21: 10 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries
  • Level 25: 15 Ultra Balls, 10 Hyper Potions, 10 Revives, 10 Razz Berries

You gain levels by a whole lot of actions in game, including catching Pokemon, evolving Pokemon, and participating in gym battles:

  • Catching a Pokemon: 100 XP
    • Excellent Throw 100 XP
    • Great Throw 50 XP
    • Nice Throw 10 XP
    • Curve Ball 10 XP
  • Evolving a Pokemon: 500 XP
  • Hatching a Pokemon: 200 XP
  • Visiting a PokeStop: 50 XP
  • Training at a Friendly Gym: Varies
  • Battling at a Rival Gym: Varies

CATCHING POKEMON

The game’s interface shows you on a Google Maps-esque world map. On this map-

  • You may seem rustling grass. That indicates wild Pokemon nearby
  • You may seen Pokemon pop up. Touching them will initiate an encounter with them
  • Catching Pokemon does not require you to battle them. Instead, you just throw your Pokeballs at them and hope for the best. Make sure you throw your Pokeballs right! Later on, you get Razz Berries to distract Pokemon, and make catching them easier, and you get better Pokeballs to use
  • There is a small popup at the bottom right of your screen. This is your radar, and it shows you all the Pokemon in your vicinity.
  • The Pokemon show up either as silhouettes (if you have never caught them yet) or as icons (if you have)
  • They also show up with footprints under them: 3 footprints means they are up to 100 meters away, 2 footprints means they are within 50 meters, and 1 footprints means they are within 10 meters. No footprint means the Pokemon is right there. If you walk and the number of footprints increases, that means you are walking away from the Pokemon
  • Pokemon encounters take place in the real world by using the game’s cool AR technology. While this can be fun to watch, AR encounters also require that you always face a certain direction, and that you stay within a certain distance of the encountered Pokemon. Consider turning AR off, by flicking the switch that shows up on the top right of your screen during an encounter
  • Your rate of success in catching Pokemon is determined by the Pokemon’s CP (higher CP means it is harder to capture) and by your own Trainer Level (higher Level means Pokemon are easier to capture)

RARE POKEMON

Generally speaking, the distribution of Pokemon in Pokemon GO appears to be random, so there can’t be any guide in the traditional sense about finding rare Pokemon in certain spots on the world map- especially since the world map, in this case, is very literally the world map.

That said, there are still Legendary Pokemon, such as Mewtwo or Articuno, or Pokemon like Ditto, that so far have not been encountered in the game- that is because these Pokemon are special Pokemon, that will be reserved for later live events in game, such as raids and distributions. So if you really badly want a Legendary? You have no choice but to wait.

POWERING UP POKEMON AND EVOLVING THEM

Pokemon GO doesn’t have traditional levels for your Pokemon, like in the main games. Instead, your Pokemon’s overall strength is denoted by something called Combat Power, which often shows up as CP in the game. The higher the CP, the stronger the Pokemon. CP can be increased by feeding a Pokemon Candy corresponding to its species, as well as Stardust (which is universal), and you will also find Pokemon with higher CP in the wild, as your own Trainer level increases.

  • Catch multiple kinds of the Pokemon species you are interested in evolving/powering up. Catching a specimen always nets you 3 Candies corresponding to that Species, and some Stardust
  • ‘Transfer’ all repeats of that species except for the one with the highest CP. Transferring a Pokemon is the same as releasing it, but doing so nets you an additional Candy corresponding to that Pokemon’s species.
  • You can, after that, either use the Candy and Stardust to level up Pokemon, or use Candy to evolve it. Evolving a Pokemon always takes more Candy than powering it up would, but evolution uses no Stardust.

Powering up your Pokemon is capped by a crescent moon meter that shows up under the Pokemon’s CP on its status screen- this meter, in turn, is governed by your trainer level.

HATCHING EGGS

You may often get Eggs from Pokemon Stops. These need to be put into Incubators, and then you need to walk around with them. The more distance an egg needs to be walked with before it hatches, the higher the chances of it being a rare Pokemon. You can buy more Incubators, which break after a limited number of uses, with Pokecoins. You are also given one Incubator with infinite uses, and one with limited uses, to start out with.

The best bet to hatch eggs is to a) travel a lot with the game active (traveling in a bicycle, or in some form of public transport, can be of great help here), and b) have multiple eggs incubating at once- this will probably necessitate you having to buy more Incubators with Pokecoins.

GYMS

Once you hit Level 5, you’ll be allowed to battle gyms. At that point, you must pick one of the three teams – Valor, Mystic, Instinct, corresponding to Red, Blue, and Yellow, as well as to Moltress, Articuno, and Zapdos respectively – since battles at gyms are done on a team basis, as opposed to an individual basis.

If you see a gym that is unclaimed, you just go to it, and you’re allowed to put up your own Pokemon there and claim it for your team. If you see a gym claimed by your own team, you can either train there, or you can leave your own Pokemon there to help defend it. This is very important- leaving Pokemon to defend a gym makes you a ‘defender,’ and you get 10 Pokecoins, for up to 10 defended gyms and a total of 100 Pokecoins, for being a defender every day.

If you see a gym taken over by another team, you can battle the Pokemon defending it. Battles in Pokemon GO are highly simplified, and only take place at gyms- tap on the other Pokemon to use your physical attack, press and hold to perform your Special attack (you may need to charge your meter before you can use it), and swipe to the side to dodge attacks.

When you challenge a gym, you start with the Pokemon with the lowest CP first (and their corresponding trainer), moving up through the entire lineup of Pokemon left at the gym. The gym’s Prestige level determines how many trainers there are there- as you defeat the trainers, you lower the gym’s Prestige, kicking out the trainers and their Pokemon. Draining the gym’s Prestige to 0 kicks out the team that has taken over it, and allows you to claim it for your own team.

Some tips for battles:

  • Type combinations factor into how a Pokemon performs in battle, so make sure your team order is optimized for the Pokemon you will be facing. Shuffle around the order of Pokemon on your battle team (you can do this by clicking on their portrait in the pre-battle screen)
  • Your special attacks can be devastating. Use them sparingly! They need time to charge up
  • You can challenge gyms and trainers with other players! It is best to engage in battles with your friends (or other friendly trainers) in tow- this helps you to gang up on the defending Pokemon, which is a major help in battles.

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