Everything You Need to Know about Pokemon GO

Here is a HUGE list of tips and tricks to help you get started with Pokemon GO. If you have anymore questions after reading this somehow, let us know in the comments below!

Gym Battles

  • You cant do gym battles until you reach level 5. Once you are level 5, you just need to get in range of the gym like a pokestop.
  • The best way to fight is to simply tap the screen as fast as possible. Maybe this changes as people put harder pokemons defending, but i had the most success with ignoring the type of pokemon and just tap that screen as fast as possible.

I made the mistake in my first gym battle thinking it was turn based, its not, just attack!

  • Sometimes you will take the enemy pokemon down to a slither of health and it does seem to want to get rid of the rest. Again, the best success i’ve had with this is to just keep tapping the screen (ignore the fact your pokemon are dying, just tap that screen)

Update 9:30pm * The pokemon that is displayed as the owner of the gym is not the most powerful pokemon in the gym. Its literally the first pokemon that was put into the gym when it was taken over. So just be aware.

  • When you click on a Gym, at the top of the screen you will see: [Gym Name] [Gym Level] [Gym Occupants] – There will always be a crown (who is the leader) and other pokemon at the same location will show as dots. Swipe left/right when you are on the gym screen to see who occupies the gym.

The first person shown in the gym is actually the lowest level person – I originally thought the person who first showed up when you clicked the gym would be the leader, but they arent – hence my original comment.

  • Every 20 hours, you can goto the shop and click the shield up the top right that will give you coins and dust based on how many pokemn you have in gyms. So its good to go get all your local gyms and then do the shop.
  • Sometimes you have to do multiple battles to take over a gym, after each victory, just click and fight the gym again until it goes neutral.

Update 9:30pm * Multiple people can attack the gym at the same time!!! They will also show up on your screen battling – the defending pokemon will only attack 1 of the players at a time so anyone else can get free hits in. However, the last time we did this, we got stuck on the bug where the enemy had a slither of health and tapping the screen did nothing.

Catching Pokemon

  • In the bottom right is a “nearby” list of pokemon, if you click that button, the less the number of foot prints, the closer the pokemon is. If any of them have no footprints, click on them from that list and they will appear.
  • Going near “rustling” grass is no guarantee to spawn a wild pokemon – but often i would run into multiple if i walked around that area for a little bit.
  • I found if i just left the pokemon app open while next to my bed, or just turn it on every now and then, there would be a wild pokemon spawned.
  • You need to score a direct hit on the pokemon with your pokeball to catch them – i’ve found that after a while, you pretty much 1 shot 80% of the pokemons once you get your eye in. Sometimes the pokemon will “escape” the capture and either run away (bad luck) or continue to fight and you can try catch again.
  • It costs you 1 pokeball per throw, i havent been close to running out but i can imagine if you dont constantly get pokemon in 1 or 2 throws, perhaps it could happen.

Healing your pokemon

Pokemon do not heal naturally over time , which is a shame, but they also only take damage when you do a Gym battle. But below are the ways i have found to heal them.

There are 3 ways to heal your pokemon:

  • Using a heal (purple) potion from your items
  • Powering up your pokemon (Will restore 1 hp each time – yay!)
  • Evolving your pokemon restores it to the full health of the next level pokemon

Reviving your pokemon

There are 2 ways i’ve found to revive your pokemon

  • Using the revive (yellow) potion from your items – restores pokemon to half health
  • Evolving your pokemon – revives and gives them full health

Getting Healing and Reviving potions

  • You get them from the pokestops, but i found i only started to get them once i had dead and injured pokemon in my inventory. Before that, i rarely got them. So i would recommend not just sending them away once dead as it may impact the drop rate of these items.
  • I believe this is based on level – once i hit level 5, i attacked right away, so i think drops are level based
  • You also get some when you level up at certain levels, but that takes time obviously.

What to do with dead pokemon?

  • Your options once a pokemon has been killed is to either turn them into 1 candy of their type, or heal / revive / evolve them if you want to continue to use them.
  • To turn them into 1 candy, click on the pokeball -> pokemon -> select the pokemon you want to convert -> scroll down and hit the “transfer” button. That will convert them into 1 candy.

What does CP of a pokemon mean

  • CP is the combat power of the pokemon, the higher the CP , the stronger the pokemon.
  • You can increase CP by Powering Up your pokemon (it can only go as far as the semicircle line above your pokemon – once its full white, thats it).
  • You can also increase your CP by evolving the pokemon – which converts it into the next evolution of the pokemon which comes with increased CP


  • Once you have picked up an egg, make sure you have it in the incubator!! Do this by clicking the pokeball -> click “pokemon” -> up the top right, select the “Egg” list -> click on an egg, and assign to the incubator.
  • I’m unsure if an egg that takes longer to crack is better or worse. I have 3 distances so far, 10km, 5km and 2km.
  • I also found an additional incubator in a pokestop so i can incubate 2 eggs at a time (for 3 attempts before the picked up incubator breaks)


  • Driving under 20 kmph seemed to count as walking – cracked an egg doing some loops in the car – unsure what the max speed is that it counts, but my train ride didnt count at all 🙂 So there is a max speed.

Thats some core things i’ve found the last day.

Update 1:16PM AEST

Catching Pokemon

  • If you tap and hold when on the catching pokemon screen, it makes the circle go smaller – i believe this increases your chance to catch the pokemon and may be required for the harder pokemons. So you tap and hold, wait until the circle is small, then launch the pokeball and get a direct hit. I havent tested this yet but i believe this will be the case.
  • I dont believe that is the case actually – I’ve had easy pokemon escape both when the circle was full and the circle was small. I’ve also hit a pokemon within the circle and didnt get a nice throw bonus. So i’m a bit lost as to what it does now.
  • If you have berries in your inventory and you are facing a harder pokemon, use the berries that makes your next 1 throw more likely to catch the pokemon – just dont miss that throw.


  • Combat is real time, its not turn based.

You can do 4 things in combat:

  • Tab the screen = Attack
  • Swipe left/right = Dodge
  • Tap and Hold = Special Move (You require 1 bar of blue built up which is done by attacking)
  • Swap the current pokemon (so far, this just makes you take way too much damage as combat is real time – just tap the screen for now – may change once pokemon are stronger)

My Bags Are Full, What should i do?

  • You have to either buy more bag space or delete some items. For the team, i pressed the “bin” icon on my pokeballs and hoped that it didn’t delete them all – it didn’t, it asked me how many i wanted to delete so i could throw away 30.
  • If your bags are full and you visit a pokestop, you wont get ANY items but you will still get the XP

The Incense Item edit: accidentally said Lure when i meant incense

  • Using Incense will make it active for 30 mins from that time – even if you are offline. I used an Incense, got booted from the server, and when i finally got back in, it was down to 15 mins.
  • I saw a slight increase in number of wild pokemons that popped up, but i was expecting more – hard to tell how much it does.

How to get Candy?

There are 3 ways to get candy:

  • When you catch a pokemon, you get 3 candy of the pokemons type
  • You can send your pokemon to the professor to get 1 candy (but you lose the pokemon permanantly obviously)
  • You get a lot of candy when your egg hatches based on the type of pokemon that hatched – for instance, i got 27 candy from 1 egg hatch.

Should i evolve X Pokemon?

  • Evolving takes a different amount of candy depending on the type of pokemon. I’m a hoarder in games so i have a hard time spending my currency, but i would only recommend evolving a fairly strong pokemon. I think its better to hold onto the candy until you have a decent pokemon before evolving.
  • I would also not spend candy on powerup’s until the pokemon is max “evolution” as it just delays how quick you can build up your pokemon. I didn’t see an increase in the “Power Up” cost after evolving so i dont think you need to consider powering up before evolving.
  • The evolved pokemon uses the same candy as the un-evolved pokemon
  • The only difference between evolving a high CP pokemon and a low CP pokemon, is that you need to spend more dust/candy to “Power Up” the low CP pokemon after its been eveolved. So it will just save you dust and candy if the pokemon you evolve has the highest CP you can find.

I’m stuck on the pokeball screen after just getting a pokemon – help

  • Unfortunately, i have not recovered from this screen. I’ve left it for 5 mins but it never moved on – i have always had to restart the game in which case i lost the pokemon i just caught. Though it seems sometimes you get to keep the pokemon – either way, restart and hope for the best.

Restarting is your friend

  • To go along with the above, anytime you are getting stuck, i’ve found it better to just restart the app as i have not recovered from any “stuck” screen.

Battery Saver Mode

  • Recommend you turn this on , click the pokeball -> click top right settings -> then activate the battery saver mode. It means while the phone is upside down, the screen will turn off but everything else still runs. Just hold onto the phone with earphones in and it will vibrate when a wild pokemon is near or make a noise when you get in range of a pokestop.
  • Upside down = the TOP of the phone is pointing to the ground and the BOTTOM of the phone is pointing to the sky. This will make the screen black apart from a faint Pokemon Go logo (provided your phone has a gyro).
  • Flipped = The SCREEN is facing the ground and the BACK OF THE PHONE is pointing to the sky – this does nothing and wont activate battery saver mode.
  • Note: when i went to demo this, the app had turned off my setting and i had to turn it back on. So just double check your setting is enabled if its not working for you.

Update 9:00pm AEST

How Nearby Pokemon Work

  • Nearby pokemon is actually quite powerful once you know how it works. It basically seems to be a linear scale in regards to the distance to the pokemon and the number of footsteps. The only one that i think may not be this way is the 3 footsteps. I think the 3 footsteps means 3+.
  • I added an image that shows the distances based on a test i’ve done. 100% of the time that the pokemon has had 0 footsteps, when i have clicked it, it has spawned within 5 to 10 seconds. I have also 100% reproduced that once a pokemon goes outside your circle range, it changes from 0 footsteps to 1 footstep


  • You should be able to use these tips to track down specific pokemon that show in your nearby (aslong as they are atleast a 2 footstep as 3 may be a bit hard).

To Activate a Pokestop

  • If you get to a pokestop, click the icon on the map once it “activates”, then swipe over the circle image to make it spin – this will make it spawn 3 -> 6 items and make it turn purple
  • The pokestop will turn blue after 5 minutes in which case you can spin it again – no limit on the times you can do it.
  • You DONT have to click on each item once its spawned by the pokestop, just click the “X” and it will close the screen and pickup all items – save those extra few seconds 🙂

Getting Stardust

  • There are a few ways to get startdust – the most common will be to catch pokemon.
  • Each pokemon caught will grant 100 stardust and 3 candy of the caught pokemons type
  • You can get stardust from leveling up your character
  • You get stardust once per day from the “shop” – for each pokemon you have in a gym, pressing the shield icon in the top right will give you 500 or 600 dust – up to a max of 5000 or 6000.

AR Mode

  • You can turn off AR mode when you are catching pokemon and i RECOMMEND you do it. When you are in an area with people or late at night, having someone point their phone at people and “swipe” on it looks sooo dodgy. When you are in the pokemon catch screen, at the top right is an AR switch, just toggle it and you can safely point your phone at the ground and catch those pokemon. AR mode is cool, but it makes you look creepy in certain circumstances.

Those 1 Handed Pokemon Go Players Who Use Their Thumb

  • Due to the way our hand is built, when you try and catch pokemon one handed with your thumb, it naturally will curve the pokeball throw. Just offset this curve by rotating your phone in your hand a bit so that when you swipe with your thumb, it goes dead centre.
  • Alternatively, use 2 hands and just swipe straight with the other hand 🙂

Gym Battles

How do i take part in Gym Battles?

  • To get involved in gym battles, you first need to get to level 5. If you click on a gym before level 5, you’ll get some dialog that basically says, “Come back when you are level 5”.
  • Once you are level 5, when you first click on a gym (even if its out of range), you will be asked to join a team (after a bunch of story text). I dont believe their are any differences in the team at present, so just pick your favorite color which is team red.
  • To actually take part in a gym battle, you need to get within range (just like a pokestop) and click on the gym.

What can you do at an enemy Gym?

  • When you goto an enemy gym, your goal is to take it over and make it your color. To do that, you need to lower the prestige of the gym so that the gym boots out the current occupants. Once they have been kicked out, the Gym will turn White which means its free for anyone to take over. The first person to put a pokemon into the Gym will capture it for their team.

How many opponents are at the Gym?

  • When you click on the Gym, up the top it will say the level of the gym. The level determines how many pokemon can be stationed at the gym. So if the Gym is level 3, there can be 3 pokemon in the Gym. Just under the level, there will be a crown icon and maybe a few “dots” beside it. The Crown is the leader of the gym and the dots are the other pokemon at the gym.
  • If you have clicked on the gym, swiping left/right will show you which pokemon are actually in the gym and what their combat power is.
  • The pokemon with the highest Combat Power (CP) is the leader – so if you add a pokemon to one of your teams gym and your pokemon has higher CP, you become the leader of the gym.

How do you lower the prestige of the gym?

  • To lower the prestige of a gym, you need to fight and win against the defenders. So when you get in range of the gym and click it, you will see a “boxing glove” icon down the bottom right. Pressing that will pop up a small screen that will show your best 6 pokemon based on health/CP (so as pokemon lose health, they will slip out of your top 6). If your happy with the team selected, just hit “Go”.
  • Sometimes the game gets stuck between hitting the “Go” and before the fight starts – if it happens, restart the app and then just do the above again.
  • I still stand by my recommended strategy of simply tapping as fast as you can in the combat. It does make it easier if your team does “super effective” damage against the enemy. so if you can work that into your team compisition, it will make it easier. But i have not had much success with dodge or power attacks when tapping fast just seems to do the job.
  • As you beat the enemy pokemon at the gym, the prestige of the gym will decrease. You need 2000 prestige per pokemon stationed at the gym. So as the prestige lowers, there will be less pokemon defending.

How does fighting work in the Gym Battles?

  • The big thing to realise is that the combat in the gym battles is not turn based, its real time. This has some pros and cons. The core thing you need to know is that the faster you tap the screen, the more attacks you are doing. So against the AI, you are simply attacking more times then them by tapping fast. I found i performed way worse if i tried to dodge / special attack.
  • So everytime you tap the screen to attack, you will build up the blue bars. When you have enough blue bars to cast your special (if you click on your pokemon outside of combat, the number of blue bars next to their skill is the number of blue bars you need to cast the special), simply tap and hold the screen for about a half a second and it will register the special attack. Then i recommend going back to tapping 🙂
  • You may be required to dodge as pokemon get stronger but for now, i still stand by my method of just tapping that screen as fast as possible.
  • If you are an experienced pokemon player, if you can setup your team to have pokemon that do “super effective” damage to the enemy Gym team, then the furious tapping of the screen will go much faster. But i’ve done alright by simply fielding my best 6 pokemon and just tapping the screen.

An example Gym Takeover – From my run around tonight

  • So you rock up to an enemy Gym and find out its in range and its a level 3 Gym with 3 pokemon stationed with a reputation of 6000. You swipe left to see the relevant pokemon stationed and you believe you can take it out.
  • You decide to fight and for this first fight, you will need to beat all 3 pokemon to win. Because you are awesome, you do win the fight and the gym loses 3000 prestige. So the Gym’s prestige goes down to 3000. Now 3000 prestige is only a level 2 gym, so the lowest level pokemon gets kicked out as the Gym can know only support 2 pokemon
  • Because you are feeling good, you decide to fight the gym again. You still get to select 6 pokemon but it will automatically select your best 6. This time, the you only have to beat 2 pokemon (the enemy pokemon are restored to full health between fights) before you are declared the winner. You breeze through this challenge and win the fight, the gym losses 2500 prestige. This leaves it with only 500 prestige which takes the gym down to level 1. This means the gym can only support 1 pokemon so the worst pokemon is booted out.
  • Now this gym only has 1 pokemon defending it and its the leader. So you once again challenge the gym and this time you easily crush it with your 6 pokemon team. This loss takes the prestige of the gym to 0 and so the enemy team is booted out of the gym and it becomes white (neutral)
  • When you click on the gym this time, down the bottom left you will see an icon which will allow you to put one of your pokemon in the gym to claim it. Doing that and the Gym is now your teams color.

What happens to the pokemon that i station at the Gym?

  • The only negative to putting a pokemon into the Gym is that you can not use it to attack other gyms and you can not power it up or evolve it or even get it back until someone defeats it.
  • When your pokemon is eventually defeated, it will return to your pokemon list full health and with no changes. They dont level up by fighting or anything like that.
  • For each pokemon you have stationed in a gym (it doesnt matter if you are the leader of the gym or not), you are able to claim rewards from the shop. You get 10 gold coins and 500 stardust for each pokemon stationed at gyms. It only counts up to 10 pokemon, so there is no real benefit to having more then 10 pokemon stationed at gyms at one time except for world domination.

What can you do at a friendly Gym?

  • The goal when you goto a friendly gym is to reinforce the gym so that its harder for enemies to take it over. To do this, you need to add a pokemon to the gym. However, the gym will only allow 1 pokemon per gym level to be stationed at the gym.
  • It requires 2000 prestige per gym level, so if the gym is already “full” for its current level, you wont have the option to add a pokemon to the gym.

How can i raise the prestige of a friendly gym

  • To raise the prestige of a friendly gym, you need to “train”. You do this the same way you take over a gym with the following MAJOR exception, you can only choose ONE pokemon to fight. So if you want to add a pokemon to a gym that already has 2 pokemon from your team in it, you need to train a pokemon that can beat both of those 2 pokemon.
  • If you just beat one pokemon, the gym’s prestige will still rise but not as much.
  • You need to repeat the training until you have added enough prestige to the gym to make it level up (It takes 2000 prestige for each level of the gym).
  • Once the gym has received enough prestige, you will see the icon to add a pokemon to the gym (bottom left) becomes available.

Do my pokemon take damage from training?

  • Yes – the exception is that your pokemon wont faint/die even if you lose during training but they will need to be healed still with the purple potions. But you wont ever have to revive them as they stop training right before they reach that point (i guess 🙂 )
  • If you lose a fight againt an enemy gym, your pokemon will faint/die and will need to be revived before healing.

What does training do for the pokemons?

  • The short answer is nothing – pokemon dont level up or get stronger by fighting or training. However, their are some badges that are rewarded for you training X times. Beating 1 pokemon is counted as training. So if you train at a gym with 2 pokemon, and beat them both, that counts as training 2 times.

Can i put multiple pokemon in a gym?

  • I’m not 100% sure about this but i have heard you can only put 1 pokemon per gym. However, to test, you would need to raise the prestige of the gym by 2000 points after you put in your first pokemon – this would take a while i believe. I might test this when i have time to get a definite answer. But you cant easily add a second pokemon so its quicker to goto the next gym and take it over / reinforce it.

Any sneaky tricks to training

  • If you takeover a gym, put a 10cp pokemon inside. Then do training on that gym with a strong pokemon and watch how fast you get those training numbers up. You only get a tiny bit of xp doing this so its only worthwhile if you are wanting to increase you “number of times trained” stat.

Capturing Wild Pokemons

How do i find wild pokemons to capture?

  • Wild pokemons are all over the place. I believe there is some sort of time based setting where if you leave your phone for long enough, a wild pokemon is going to spawn near you regardless of where you are and regardless of what the “nearby” button says.
  • On the map, if you see areas where you get wild grass animating, pokemon are more likely to be around those areas. You will normally find multiple pokemon in those areas and your more likely to get multiple to spawn at the same time. Though i believe everywhere can spawn a pokemon potentially based on a timer since your last encounter with a wild pokemon.

I see a wild pokemon on the map, now what?

  • If you see a wild pokemon on the map, you want to try and double tap on it – this can be painful if they are right next to a pokestop/gym – as the pokestop/gym take preference and the app seems to “help” you select these rather then the pokemon.
  • Double clicking on the pokemon will take you to the capture screen where you attemp the capture.

How do i capture the pokemon?

  • Once you are in the capture screen, the goal is to throw the pokeball so that it hits the pokemon on the full. If it bounces, goes over them or misses, well you have to try again. Each throw will take 1 pokeball so you dont want to miss. In saying that, you will eventually get your eye in where you can hit them with 1 shot 80% of the time.
  • To throw the pokeball, tap and hold the pokeball, then flick your finger with the right speed/power based on the distance the pokemon is from you.

Augmented Reality is cool, but can i turn it off?

  • I recommend turning of AR as it makes capturing pokemon easier and you will look less wierd when doing this in public. To do this, when you are in the capture screen, at the top right is an AR switch, just toggle that and AR will turn on/off.

What does the coloured circle mean?

  • The color of the circle represents the difficulty of the capture. Green being the easiest, red the hardest. A harder pokemon is more likely to resist capture and escape even after you successfully hit it with a pokeball.
  • From the official site, you have a greater chance to capture the pokemon when the circle is the smallest in diameter. /u/PatThePirate
  • If you hit the circle, you will get a “great” shot or “nice” shot which give you bonus XP. I have never had a pokemon hit with a “Great” escape so there may be something with that.

The wild pokemon escaped my pokeball????

  • There is a random chance that the pokemon resists capture. Most of the time, they will stay around and you simply need to throw another pokeball at them to capture them. However, sometimes they will run away and they disappear from the map and you have missed you chance to capture them.
  • I have taken up to 5 captures to actually capture a pokemon before – mostly, if they escape capture once, the next time you get them with a pokeball, it will work. Its rare that it goes more then 2 times.

What are these curveballs i’ve been hearing about?

  • To do a curveball, you want to tap and hold the pokeball, rub in a circle so that the pokeball rotates, then flick it like you normally would (except its going to curve obviously). If you manage to hit a pokemon with a curveball, you gain an extra 10xp (you normally get 100xp from a capture – 600xp if its a pokemon you dont have yet).
  • I have had a pokemon escape capture after being hit by a curveball – i’m unsure if it effects capture chance or not, but its definitely not 100% chance to capture if you hit with a curveball.
  • But curveballs are quite fun.

I’ve found a difficult wild pokemon, can i make the capture easier somehow?

  • Once you get up a few levels, you will get some berries, you can use these berries to make your next throw have a higher chance to capture the pokemon. But it only effects the next 1 throw (regardless of if you hit or not). I have never failed a capture when using a berry and hitting with my next pokeball. But i have failed a capture when i missed the first pokeball after berries but hit with my second.

How do Eggs work?

Starting the incubation process

  • As soon as you find your first egg, you need to add it to the incubator ASAP. If you dont add the egg to the incubator, its not doing anything and not progressing to hatching.

How do i get an egg into an incubator?

  • Click on the pokeball
  • Goto “Pokemon”
  • Up the top right, there is a tab called “EGGS” – click that
  • Tap the Egg you want to hatch (the longer the distance required, the better chance of getting better pokemons)
  • Press the “Start Incubation” button
  • Select a free incubator – everyone starts with 1 incubator that never expires. You can buy / find incubators that expire after 3 uses (so you catch be incubating multiple eggs at a time).

How is distance registered in the app?

  • For distance to register, you need to have the app open and running. If you minimise it or lock your phone or anything, the distance you walk will not count. There is a “Battery Saver” mode that will black out the screen but keep the app active which does record distance correctly and saves battery.
  • Their is a max speed where if you travel faster then that, any distance travelled will not count. For instance, being on a train with the app open will only record the slow parts of the trip (arriving and leaving a train station). The fast parts dont count.
  • Some goes with driving obviously, I’ve been told the speed limit is 60kmph, but i’ve only tested myself at 20kmph which works fine. So doing a lap of your local gyms, late at night, doing 20kmph, will count as walking. I’ll try confirm the max speed at some point.
  • Just so its clear, yes the app needs to be running an open for any walking distance to count. Riding too fast on a bike can also cause distance not to count. Best to check your phone after travelling for a bit to see if the distance is being recorded and adjust accordingly.

What happens once you have walked the distance required by and egg?

  • You will get a full screen message with a picture of the egg. Tapping the egg starts the hatching process after a bit of an animation

What rewards do you get from the egg?

  • Well you get a random pokemon obviously, but you also get quite a bit of stardust and candy. For instance, i hatched my 10km egg tonight and i got an Omanyte, 2701 Stardust and 27 Omanyte Candy. Rewards for getting fit, hard to complain.

Whats the difference between an egg with a bigger distance to unlock?

  • Supposedly, the longer the distance required to unlock the egg, the better the rewards. With my test case of one 5KM egg and two 10KM egg, the two 10KM eggs had better pokemon and dust/candy rewards then my 5km one. But this is a sample size of 3 eggs only so i wouldn’t call it scientific 🙂