10 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner About Pokemon Go

6. No point to attack Gyms early

Professor Oak might have led you to believe you were ready to start attacking Gyms at level 5, but that dude lied to you. In the current meta, your Pokemon will not be very competitive till they are 600 CP plus for teams of six. For the 1×1 “training” attacks you’ll need something in the 1000 to 1500 CP plus range. You just flat can’t catch or evolve Pokemon this strong until you are in the high teen Trainer levels. By the time you hit Trainer level 20, these types of powerful Pokemon will be much easier to find, catch, and evolve – so there is no really reason to bang your head against the Gym wall early on. The combat will also seem impossible, when really the fact is that your Pokemon are just plain too weak to compete. Wait till you level up, and you’ll feel much less frustrated.

Pro Tip Since you won’t be fighting much, feel free to throw away a lot of Potions and Revives. If you don’t, your bag will eventually fill up with them and you won’t have enough stock of precious Pokeballs to catch more Pokemon.

Pro Tip Even though you aren’t attacking, keep an eye out for friendly Gyms with space open. You can often ninja a low CP Pokemon into these gyms even if only for a few minutes. That will be long enough for you to hop over to the Shop and collect your 10 coins for the day, which is the most you can usually hope for at low levels.

7. Implications of Team choice

In something of a cruel joke, Pokemon Go slaps you with a semi-important decision early on in the game with basically no context. At Trainer Level 5 you’ll be prompted to choose a “Team” the first time you interact with a Gym. Each team captain give a brief intro on the creed for their Team…. which is all a bunch of meaningless nonsense that has no effect on the game or you as the player. However, your choice will be permanent, and there are two fairly significant implications. First – populations of the teams are not even. Blue (Mystic) tends to be the most popular with Red (Valor) typically not too far behind. Yellow (Instinct) is in a fairly distant third place. Having more Trainers on your team means more Gyms your team will own. Competition for Gym spots will be higher, but the likelihood your team can hold a Gym for longer than a day also goes up. Fewer Trainers on your team means a lot fewer Gyms you’ll see that your team owns, and turnover of these Gyms will also be higher. As a silver lining, when you do find a Gym your team owns the odds it has open spots will be a lot higher, allowing you to at least nab some easy coins. A second obvious implication of team choice is the ability to play with friends. If you have friends that already play the game (and believe me, chances are you do) – its a really good idea to try and be on the same team. If not, you’ll never be able to team up to defend a Gym, and in the long run this can be a downer when you are hanging out in a place near a Gym and are forced to compete rather than teaming up.

Pro Tip It is still possible to team up to attack Gym with Trainers from another team if neither of you are on the Team that holds the Gym. Even in Pokemon Go, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

8. Horde dust

Stardust is an extremely scarce resource, and should be used very sparingly. Early on, you may feel that it is burning a hole in your pocket as you constantly find your Pokemon outmatched at Gyms, and you feel like you don’t have anything else to spend it on. Be patient. As mentioned earlier, as your Trainer levels up you’ll find more powerful Pokemon without needing to spend any Stardust. Stardust should be reserved for only fairly rare and powerful Pokemon that you want to invest in, or Pokemon that you already find at a high level which you want to give a small bump. The math is usually pretty easy to do with an online calculator, so make sure that the Pokemon you are wanting to invest in will be worth it days and weeks down the road… especially if you are going to spend days or weeks worth of Stardust to upgrade them.

9. Pokestop hotspots

In Pokemon Go, not all locations are created equal. In fact, if you don’t live in a historic section of a densely populated urban area, you might not realize the insane density of Pokestops that exist in some areas. Spots with four, five, or even more Pokestops overlapping exist. Since Pokestops “respawn” fairly fast, it can be well worth the effort to travel to one of these locations and set up camp until your bags are brimming with Pokeballs and other consumables. It is also quite often the case that other Trainers in your area will load these locations up with Pokestop Lures, making them an excellent place to fill all those empty balls with Pokemon. Downtown or historic districts of urban areas are a good place to start, but other odd places like churches and strip malls can also sometimes have a clustering. Compare notes with friends and other Trainers you meet, and also take a look online as there are fan made Pokestop maps for many locations.

10. Pikachu and Eevee tricks

Last, and certainly not least, are a few Easter Eggs that Niantec included for more devotes Pokemon fans. I was lucky enough to be informed by some other trainers, but the first trick is over after five minutes of playing – so you have to know before you’ve basically even started. At the beginning of the game, the professor will prompt you to try and catch your starter Pokemon, and the standard three (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle) will pop up. If you walk away from these three, clones will pop up a few feet away. After 4-5 refusals, the pot will be sweetened with a fourth option – the iconic Pikachu. As we’ve explained early, pretty much any of these choices will be fairly worthless in the long run – but nabbing Pikachu early can be very useful for folks who live in an area where they are rare. The other starters tend to be fairly easy to find, so an early Pikachu will net you the 500 experience bonus earlier and put you one step closer to catching them all.

The second Easter Egg Niantec snuck in relates to your super evolvable Pokemon pal Eevee. Normally, evolving Eevee can result in one of three random evolutions: Vaporeon (Water), Flareon (Fire), or Jolteon (Electric). However, by choosing a specific name for your Eevee, you can control which form it will evolve into. You can only use the trick once though, and then subsequent evolutions will go back to being random. Still, it can give you a little more control over your first evolution and an early leg up since the Eevee evolutions fair pretty well in Gym battles (as long as they have sufficient CP).

Pro Tip Eevee evolutions are not created equal. If you are looking for the general best choice for using this trick, choose Vaporeon. Vaporeon has a higher CP multiplier when evolving than the other forms, so it is the best bet to have the most powerful Pokemon. If you don’t care about a little extra power, Jolteon is the next best choice due to the Electric type – which has slightly fewer common counters than the other two choices.

Well that’s it for now. If you learn these tips and tricks you’ll have a good leg up as you get started in Pokemon Go. Do you see any that we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know! Keeping trying to catch ’em all Trainers!

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