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How To Become A Pokemon Go Master

With an estimated 21 million daily active users in the US alone, Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. If you love the game and want to be the very best (like no one ever was), check out this list of advanced tips and tricks to help you on your way to becoming a Pokémon Go master. Be sure to read these other articles first if you still need to learn the basics: Tips and tricks every Pokémon Go player should know and Things you should avoid doing in Pokémon Go.

Bend it like Ketchum

Nothing is more frustrating than wasting a ton of throws which inexplicably curve when you least expect it. The Pokéball capture interface responds to the slightest swipe or change in angle, which can result in unintended curveballs. To prevent this from wasting your gear, you should practice curving the ball on every throw. Spin your finger on the Pokéball until it starts to sparkle before launching it at a Pokémon. Make sure to compensate for the spin: if you spin it clockwise, you'll want to aim left of your target; if you spin it counter-clockwise, you should aim to the right. Not only will you never have to worry about surprise curveballs again, but you will also get bonus experience: an additional 10 XP for every Pokémon you catch with a curveball.

Fire up the Weedle factory

If you want to gain massive amounts of XP, save up all your common Pokémon to trade into Professor Willow for whatever creepy experiments he uses them for. Make sure you keep a handful of specimens for evolution purposes, and use a Lucky Egg before evolving them all for doubled experience gains. Focus on evolving Pokémon that only require 12 candies, like Pidgey, Weedle, and Caterpie. Only evolve them once (i.e. from Pidgey > Pidgeotto)—don't waste candies on their third form unless you need that species for your Pokédex or battling. Check out this online Calculator, which will help you determine if you have enough common Pokémon to make using your Lucky Egg worthwhile.

To evolve or not to evolve?

All Pokémon evolutions give you 500XP, regardless of the species. Unless you need a high-cost evolution for battling, you should be spending your candies on low-cost evolutions instead. Only evolve a Pokémon you plan to keep if its CP arc is at least three-quarters full; its evolved form will start with the CP bar in the exact same place (see our example in the photo above). If you'd like to see a chart with the max CP possible for each species, check out this website, which has the Max CP values pulled directly from the game's data. Also, don't worry about the moves on your Eevee or Exeggcute when choosing one to evolve—despite some claims to the contrary, a Pokémon's existing moves have no influence on which new moves it will learn upon evolution; they are randomly re-rolled.

Know which moves are strong

Each Pokémon has two moves: a "fast" move and one that must be charged up. Ideally, you want moves which will do the most damage per second. Some people argue that you want moves from two different families, like a Normal-type and a Flying-type attack on a Flying Pokémon, but this isn't always backed up by the data. Pokémon Go does account for STAB—same-type attack bonus. This means that a Water-type Pokémon attacking with a Water-type move will receive a 1.25x effectiveness damage bonus. Redditor /u/Qmike has been carefully categorizing and ranking all Pokémon by the strength of their possible movesets in a public spreadsheet, which you can find here. Also keep in mind the strength of your Pokémon against others based on their type. The Pokémon Assistant project can help you determine which attackers to use against specific Pokémon, and even suggest an entire team for you.

Battle tactics

As you probably know by now, the Gym battle interface is a little more complicated than it appears at first glance. Here are some tips to help your Gym battles be more efficient. Save your strongest Pokémon for attacking Gyms and place more mediocre ones in as defenders. This will make it easier for you to take out enemy Gyms, and easier on your teammates who train against the Gyms you are defending. Defending Pokémon will attack approximately every 1.5 seconds, and the screen will flash yellow right before their attack. If you pay attention and swipe left or right at the appropriate time, you can dodge almost every attack except for AOE moves. Follow a pattern of dodging and attacking consistently, and your Pokémon can usually make it through a fight without losing a ton of their HP, unless they are facing a much stronger creature.

Be awesome; earn coins

If you want to earn Pokécoins for buying Lucky Eggs, Incense, or other goodies, you don't have to spend your hard-earned money to get the in-game currency. Instead, find Gyms held by your team and add one of your Pokémon as a defender. If there isn't an option to add your Pokémon, that's because the Gym needs more prestige in order to open a new defender slot. Train against the Gym and increase its prestige by beating your team's Pokémon with your own. A progress bar will show you how close the Gym is to the next level. Currently, a Level 10 Gym with 50,000 Prestige is the maximum Gym size. If you have active Pokémon defending at Gyms, then once a day you can tap the shield icon on the Shop menu to collect your reward. You'll earn 10 Pokécoins and some Stardust for each Gym you are defending, up to a maximum of 100 Pokécoins a day.

Prioritize 5km and 10km eggs

The length required to hatch an egg directly correlates to the rarity of the Pokémon that will hatch from it. While you can get a few of the rarer Pokémon from 2km eggs (like Pikachu and Jigglypuff), most of the uncommon Pokémon will be found in 5km or 10km eggs instead. You can find a full list of which species comes from what type of egg at this website. Place your 5km and 10km eggs in the incubators that only have 3 uses, and use your incubator with infinite uses for your 2km eggs. When hatching your Pokémon, try to move in as straight a path as possible. The app uses your GPS to determine only the straight-line distance between two points each time it updates your position, and not the total distance you've walked. If you walk in a winding or circular path, you may not get credit for the actual distance you've traveled.

Helpful apps, websites, and add-ons

Poké Assistant – Pokémon ranked by rarity, best attackers, best defenders, team suggestions and more.

Pokémon Go Status – Check to see if the servers are down before you make plans to play.

Poké Radar – App with user-submitted locations of Pokémon species found.

Pokévision – Live searchable map showing current locations of spawned using the game's API. Confirmed ourselves that this DOES work.

Evolution Calculator – use this to check the approximate CP your evolved Pokémon will have.

The Silph Road – Pokémon Go species stats and other helpful information.