Tips from a Level 25 Trainer

Hey guys,

So we have our first user submitted guide from a German player known as Jens. He has reached Level 25 and has asked if the Pokémon Go Database could share his Tips, Tricks and overall experience. Thank you, Jens!

If you would also like to submit a guide, please e-mail us a

Go Tips:

Do not evolve Pokémon when not by a power source or when the lucky egg is not activated

It takes 10 seconds to evolve a Pokémon, and if you are walking on the road, the evolution will deter you from walking at the same speed and catching Pokémon/spinning poke stops along your route. Also, the evolution animation and time delay eats up battery life as well as the time you have left on lucky eggs and incense. 

On the same vein, only transfer Pokémon when you are sitting still and charging. You don’t gain xp when transferring Pokémon and transferring takes up time and battery life on the road. Therefore, even if you have enough candies to evolve, only do those two “administrative” actions when at home or sitting at a lure spot. You can instead use that time to catch more Pokémon because you can hold 250 Pokémon. Deleting duplicates based on attacks and HP will lower your Pokémon count to around ~150 still.

Evolve Pokémon systematically at home/at a lure spot with the power plugged in and a lucky egg activated. If you can spend 30 minutes evolving all the Pokémon you have, you will gain a lot of xp with a lucky egg well spent. Since you get lures every 5 levels after level 10, you can also evolve Pokémon using your lure and lucky egg for the max xp as well as catch Pokémon in the process.

Start making spreadsheets to keep track of how much candy you have and which Pokémon needs evolving. (Attached)

During high activity hours, it is strategic to avoid battling at gyms or going near gyms all-together because your game will freeze with other people trying to connect to the same gym and spamming attacks. Even if you are walking by to spin a poke stop or catch nearby Pokémon, the traffic of data at a gym battle is so high that it will deter you from catching Pokémon or gaining items in the gym areas.

It is almost impossible to level up a gym during high traffic hours because your app could freeze in mid-battle and also you are only allowed to use one pokemon and multiple tries to level up an gym while an opponent could use 6. The gym only exists because it poses as a challenge for friends and foes alike. Therefore, it is hard to beat all the pokemon at the gym with just 1 pokemon so by the time you level up a gym by a certain XP, that XP will come crashing down once an opponent walks by with one swoop to defeat the entire gym.

Do not use incense until you are in an area with a lot of poke stops. Poke stops by default attract Pokémon. The more the area is densely populated with poke stops, the better you will be at catching Pokémon. Obviously, catch everything you could even if it's just birds and rats. Use a lucky egg along with your incense for double amount the xp.

When in a densely populated poke stop area, use a strategic zigzag method to walk through all the poke stops. Turn back to go another way once poke stops are depleted. You don't have to cover the entire surface area of the plaza but at least cover all the poke stops.

Dense populated poke stop areas usually are at university campuses. You don't have to worry about incoming traffic like in a city. Do not play Pokémon go while crossing the street or driving a car.

Parks are known to spawn certain Pokémon. I have encountered parks that spawn charmanders, squirtles, nidorans, and bellsprouts. It seems that parks like to spawn "starter" Pokémon that becomes very strong by their 3rd evolution. Spawns are timed and do not have certain Pokémon all the time but the chances of seeing certain Pokémon at certain spots are higher. Make mental notes of who spawns where

There are also spawns in parks or parking lot locations that have a different rare spawn every time. One spawn in a park is similar to a "mystery spawn" where voltorbs, diglets, kabutos, and porygons all spawn at the same location. Every time I go back to the area, something different but uncommon to rare has spawned.

Water Pokémon comes out right after it rains (so you don’t have to travel to a body of water) and psychic/ghost Pokémon comes out when it gets dark. For me, I’m not quite sure where to find electric, rock, and ground Pokémon from where I live (Chicago).

If you are choosing between multiple Pokémon to catch first, always choose the rare Pokémon first because the rare Pokémon could despawn by the time you get back to it.

If you are choosing between Pokémons that you already have, always choose the Pokémon that takes the least candy to evolve first to gain more XP and then catch the others.

No matter how tired you are from seeing pidgeys, spearows, and ratatas, catch them because they are easy to catch and they have an evolution xp of 500 (1000 w/ egg)

The exception is to avoid throwing away massive amounts of pokeballs at pidgeots and golbats because their flapping wings takes a lot of tries of coordinating the up-flap with the small circle to make sure that your pokeball could even reach them. Avoid catching these if you don’t get them on your first few tries (w razz berry)

Do not throw curveballs because you waste a lot of pokeballs on throws for just 10 more xp. Just throw a straight ball with the circle small and land it on the nose for a great/excellent throw of 100 xp. Outside of entertainment purposes, the point is to use the minimal time and effort to gain the most xp within the 30 minutes of your lure and/or egg.

Try to become ambidextrous with your hands so that both hands can hold your phone and all fingers and knuckles could throw a pokeball straight to the pokemon

If your bag gets full, buy bag upgrades until it is out of 700 and then start throwing away all of your regular potions and revives. Once you unlock hyper potions that heal 200 HP and max potions that heal everything, there is no point to keep potions that only heal 20HP. Revives are so common that even if you throw away all your revives, you can get them back easily. Throw them both away especially if you are not battling as much but are instead just a collector. I started throwing super potions away once I unlocked max potions. The key is to never throw away pokeballs of any variety because you use them to gain Pokémon and xp and there is no telling how many (double-digit) pokeballs you need to catch one high CP Pokémon that reflects your trainer level.

Save all the razz berrys you got because one rare pokemon could eat as many as 5 to 10 and go through 20 to 50 (including missed throws with the stars) per session. If a pokemon has a red circle, immediately feed it a razz berry before your first throw because every subsequent throw gets harder for you to catch the rare pokemon. Start off strong with your best items to limit the total amount of items you spend.

One thing I did learn with pokemon who flinches a lot is to pump-fake with your pokeball to trigger the reaction and then throw it once the circle is small. Sometimes, the “batting the pokeball away” reactions are so many that you have to anticipate the window of opportunity by throwing it first during a certain reaction and having the poke ball land right when the circle appears for the pokemon to be caught.

There is no point outside of battling and collecting to level a Pokémon to the 3rd level because as long as you are leveling, you will always encounter Pokémon with higher CP that will make your already evolved Pokémon look relatively weak. Once you get your trainer to level 25, the XP ladder gets steeper to climb where you can pause and collect 100 candies to evolve Pokémon to the 3rd level. If you can get 500/1000 xp for evolving from 1 to 2 with 12 to 25 candies, there is no point to collect 100 candies to get to 3 because you will be getting the same XP per evolution.

You have the chance to also encounter a 3rd level Pokémon in the wild so there is really no point to use 100 candy. (Rumor) Word on the street is that 3rd level Pokémons will appear only once you captured enough of the evolution tree. Also, you are more able to see 3rd level evolutions if you already evolved that same Pokémon of yours to the 3rd level. The game is fair where it does reward you a wild 3rd level Pokémon so you don’t have to relevel up a Pokémon to the 3rd level with 125 candies.

Some rare pokemon appear not at lures but at a pokestop over. So don’t simply sit at a pokestop if the pokemon was lured over here but instead was attracted by a pokestop over. The best place to place 1 lure is inside a 3 x 3 grid so that you can travel to close locations and spin the pokestops as well as see if the adjacent pokestops managed to “catch” any “stopped” pokemon on the way to the inside lure, like this:


Put the Lure on the L and walk around adjacent pokestops to find pokemon that are stopped or spawned at the other locations.

With experience, the lures and incense seems to make “invisible” pokemon appear. Plenty of times have I seen a 1 track pokemon (before the glitch) around the area but applying incense made me realize that I was right on top of the pokemon. Therefore, it is extremely important on a leveling standpoint to activate your own incense when traveling because hidden pokemon will only come out with a lure and not because you simply walked passed it.

Rare pokemon also seems to spawn when you are alone (and sometimes only to you). It might be CP related but people around me cannot see the pokemons that I am seeing and vice versa. Therefore, it is good to travel to lure spots where all the people are but also important to travel away from the back to do some journeying on your own, specifically to pokestops where the least people are.

Give your duplicates to the professor but keep track of who has the highest attack. If the attacks are the same, give away the one with the lower CP. If the attacks are stronger with the lower CP, keep the lower CP to remind you of the existence of higher attacks until you have a higher CP with the same attack to replace the lower CP.

It is not necessarily true that higher CP Pokémon has the strongest attacks and it is strategic to evolve the Pokémon with the highest attack for a better retention of the higher attack. Even if an evolved form of the Pokémon forgets and learns new attacks, the stronger attacks seem to not be replaced by weaker ones. If the best Pokémon has the higher attack with lowered cp, just evolve him all the way out (once you are trainer level 25) and add candies to improve his HP and CP. You cannot add candy to increase attack damage so be wary of choosing the right Pokémon to evolve and keep.

Use the Pokémon type chart to figure out weaknesses and strengths. If your Pokémon “entity” is weak with a lot of other Pokémon types, do not choose it to defend a gym. The other criteria are that your defending Pokémon has to have a strong basic attack type that is detrimental to other Pokémon. RNG sometimes does not work on your side and the Pokémon defending a gym conveniently forgets to use the charged attack.

Make sure that the basic attack is quick and strong so that the opponent does not have time to use his charged attack. Even if your charged attack is strong, the opponent can dodge it if the charged attack is obvious and takes time to charge. Therefore, do not simply depend on the charged attack when defending gyms.

It is strategic to have both the quick and charged attack types be detrimental to many Pokémon while your Pokémon is resistant to super-effective moves. Also, the quick attack needs to happen at a faster rate so that your opponent is blocked from using his charged attack. Your charged attack needs to be fast so that the opponent cannot dodge. Your Pokémon defending a gym cannot dodge so you have to tank everything.

Do not use spare incubators on 2km eggs. Even though it is reported that 2km eggs hatch squirtles, charmanders, pikachus, and bulbasaurs, their percentage is low. You will rather most likely get zubats and ratattas and other things that you will not care for. Since 2km is a very short distance, only use spare incubators on 5km and 10km eggs to not deplete your funds. Use the infinite incubator on all your 2km eggs.

You do encounter higher km eggs the higher trainer level you are so it is crucial to level up yourself because everything that you do and encounter is dependent on the crux of your trainer level.

Eggs do give you more candy and I have managed to evolve Pokémon by hatching only without catching a single one. Hatched eggs reflect your trainer level so start buying incubators and hatching 10 km eggs once you reach a respectable trainer level. 

If the Pokémon that you are trying to catch runs away, close app and go back and walk around the location. There is a chance that the Pokémon will still be there and you will have a second chance. If you don’t close app, the game will detect that the Pokémon has escaped and is “invisible to you” and not everyone else. By simply closing your phone, you reset the connection and you become everybody else who just encountered the Pokémon as if it was the first time.

Social Tips:

By word of mouth, you can get wind of who spawns where. In order to get information, the first question you ask is along the lines of "did you catch anything interesting?" or "catch anything good?" The shorter (syllable) and precise question, the more likely a complete stranger will respond to you. Rattle off this question first to get their attention before asking any others.

Asking "filler questions" like "what team are you on?" has a 2/3 chance of being detrimental to your next question because people are less likely to help someone on an opposing team. Asking "are you playing Pokémon go?" is also filler and leads nowhere because a person could say a simple "Yes" and continue walking.

Another harmless tactic is to tell them that you are a lower trainer level than you actually are. Being a lower trainer level will make opposing players see you not as a threat to their gym and coin-making scheme. If you are on the same team, being a lower level will make more players compelled to tell you rumors and helpful hints. Unfortunately, everything is dependent on you to succeed and having people help you will make your goals become a reality.

In order to make on-the-spot street conversations less awkward and more fluid, just cut to the chase and ask if they caught anything good. People like to talk about themselves and their accomplishments so it is easy for someone to rattle off what they caught in what area.

Asking large groups are good because a group is formed by communicating -- your voice might also sound like someone from the group so someone will answer on command. Asking a single person is also good because people want a buddy and want to share their insight. Asking 2 or 3 people somehow has the least response rate because they are in for themselves without acknowledging outsiders. Also, check what time it is when asking these questions. The later the night, the fewer the responses.

Simply offering where Pokémon are to strangers will not be good for your cause because people will simple run off to where you are pointing in fear that the Pokémon despawned. They also won’t help you in return. The best way to get information is to be direct and ask where they found their good Pokémons because "the Benjamin Franklin effect" will make them trust you more instead of you looking like a person trying to leech off other people's successes. 

Always wear shoes meant for running and athletic clothing. Because you always have your phone out, someone one the street always have the desire to steal your phone during the right circumstances. The best way to be prepared to chase down someone and always be aware of your surroundings. 

Do not wander into bad neighborhoods. You can tell bad neighborhoods because the reception is low and there are few poke stops in-between. Even if you were to walk in the good neighborhood 100 times and caught 1000 pidgeys, do not wander in bad neighborhoods. 

Not all shopping centers have good pokemon. Some stores are unsponsored and will look like a vacant lot on the servers while others like ikea will have a lot of pokemon.

Also, do not give your phone to show your Pokémon collection to someone else. It is easy for someone to take your phone and start running (especially if they are in a car) and they could also transfer your strongest Pokémon.

Some cities are not pedestrian friendly like Detroit where houses are abandoned and people drive around to play Pokémon go. This is a dangerous circumstance especially if the driver is also playing. Go to pedestrian-safe zones when playing. 

Phone Tips:

Take your phone charger with you.

Surprisingly, pokemon go uses very little cellular data when traveling. I think it only tracks nearby pokemon and where you are, making data use a miniscule fraction in comparison to that of youtube videos.

If you are out of batteries on your phone, shutdown your phone for a faster recharge. At least put it on airplane mode. Using your phone while charging is detrimental to the battery and will reduce battery life on future recharges. For battery life to not erode, use up your battery completely before recharging and take the phone off the charger once 90%, because it takes longer to charge from 90% to 100% than 10% to 20%. I would stop charging at 94% because the last few percentage points take the most time to completely charge. you can start your adventure by using an lucky egg and start evolving pokemon while charging

Check the hourly weather to check if rain and lightning will cut your adventure short. It is very upsetting to use a lucky egg and a lure just to have the rain or lightning stop you. Have the hourly weather on your phone as a 4x1 widget.

Delete widgets and uninstall big files that eat up RAM and battery life

It is strategic to restart your phone before every long adventure.

Use an app like "go speed" to clean up cache files after every restart. Some apps are meant to be run as a start-up program. Use apps to turn off the start-up programs from using phone data and battery. 

On android, use the settings > location > mode > battery saving. Not only do you save battery, the gps tracker sometimes is not able to find your exact location all the time. Since there is variability with your location, the game thinks you walked farther than you actually did by circumnavigating the route you actually took. You could also try setting it to GPS only, but the app could freeze or delay your game play because GPS is easily blocked by trees, buildings, and interference. If the game cannot find where you are, you cannot click on poke stops or catch Pokémon.

Turn off Wifi when walking around buildings because wifi eats up battery life. Unless you are stagnant and put a lure down, your phone will roam and try to connect to every unprotected wifi connection, which might be detrimental to your information on your phone. Also, if you walk away from a building, your app will detect no wi-fi signal for a while, which means if you are doing something like catching a Pokémon, that action will cease.

Turn down your brightness and turn on battery saving mode. Turn off sound and effects. Keep vibrations. Sometimes if you lay your phone on your side, your phone will automatically “sleep” and the phone will no longer keep track of nearby Pokémon. In order to counter this, hold your phone flat by your side or right in front of you.


When you catch a Pokémon and the Pokémon escapes from the poke ball, there is an animation delay where the poke ball reopens again. At the same time, muscle memory tells you to open your backpack (for a rare/red circle Pokémon) to use a razz berry on it. There is a scenario where if you open the backpack and the Pokémon were to run away at the same time, the game freezes on the backpack tab without you being able to return to the map.

If there is a delay when clicking on Pokémon on your phone map that despawned on the game server, there is a red error. Sometimes, the red error does not appear and instead you are seeing the game map without your overhead (without the poke balls and face). At this time, you cannot access poke stops or anything else; you do see your person walking. You can maneuver around this bug by simply walking further and clicking on another Pokémon. Going into another screen for catching Pokémon reintroduces the overhead where you can access your stats and Pokémon as well as click on poke stops.

If you notice that every Pokémon you catch with your regular poke ball freezes without knowing the outcome, start using better poke balls. What happens is that the overloaded game server is trying to contact your phone that the Pokémon escaped. If you use a stronger ball along with a razz berry, you are more likely to catch the Pokémon so there would not be another struggle that would freeze your phone.

There is an instance where if you are in the middle of a gym battle or connecting to a gym battle and your phone app freezes, closing and restarting the app will yield a “stuck” loading page. Simply clearing cache will not work. In order to alleviate the situation, restart the phone and then clear cache and close all start-up apps. The app will be able to load. This whole process takes 10 minutes to find out, solve, and reload so I suggest that you start walking to a place with a lot of poke stops and then start from there. Nevertheless, this eats a lot of battery life.

Wish list

Team-only chat for local cities/areas. When to ask for backup at a gym and when to ask for where is the nearest rare Pokémon

A working chat app for all local pokemon trainers.

A map that is for locals to fill out where they caught their rare Pokémon as well as mark rare Pokémon spawns. I need this for Chicago so badly.

Best time to take over gyms and earn multiple tokens: 

weekday mornings, when the try hards are still sleeping and the casuals are not roaming around at lunch. afternoons are alright unless you don't want to get sun burnt

Best time to catch Pokémon a lot of Pokémon:

weekday afternoons, before the phone freezes on every Pokémon you catch (for incense to be undeterred by game freezes)

Best time to find rare Pokémon:

On the weekend and every night. Pokémon rarity is sometimes based on how many trainers on in the area. In order to attract trainers to the area, lures have to be activated at poke stops. Without spending your own lures, you can mooch off other people's lures

innocuous ways to take over a gym: sit somewhere in the shade
do not stand around blocking regular pedestrians

take a mental note on when and where you phone network goes out of service due to buildings, trees, and gyms, avoid those areas when catching Pokémon because your phone is going to freeze anyways, which wastes valuable time. Students know that some buildings create their own interference for less people to have access to their phone signal, such as libraries, institutions, and even cinemas.


Anonymous said...

"Do not throw curveballs because you waste a lot of pokeballs on throws for just 10 more xp. Just throw a straight ball with the circle small and land it on the nose for a great/excellent throw of 100 xp. Outside of entertainment purposes, the point is to use the minimal time and effort to gain the most xp within the 30 minutes of your lure and/or egg."

After reaching CP100 Pidgeys/Rattata i starting having a lot of runaways, after switching to curveballs i feel like i have a much higher catch success rate and after learning the curveball i would almost say it's easier.

PokeHero87 said...

"Water Pokémon comes out right after it rains (so you don’t have to travel to a body of water) and psychic/ghost Pokémon comes out when it gets dark."

The part about ghost coming only at night is a myth. I've been to a ghost park for a week and I find that it spawns during the day at about the same rate.

Anonymous said...

Curveballs are actually useful if the pokemon is one of the farther away ones (flying types) like Zubat. The ball does curve but it travels fast and stays high. It also increases the odds of a successful capture.

Using Incense and lures with a lucky egg is a poor strategy unless you spend real money on the game. As lucky eggs are a highly limited item, only use it when you can do evolutions for the full 30 minutes. Some say you can do 50 evolves an egg, some say you can force close the app instead of waiting for the animation and do as many as 80.

Anonymous said...

Evolution takes 20 seconds not 10. curveballs should be thrown at rare pokemon since they raise your chance to get em. rare pokemons does not spawn only for yourself unless they are attracted by incense. No need to upgrade your bag im still at 350 and it works fine (lvl 28).

greetings from germany

Anonymous said...

I have done 64 evolutions in 30 minutes. I sometimes will evolve a weak pokemon if I would get a new pokemon out of it - this then gives me 2,000 XP for that one evolution. My best XP gain evolving so far is 78,000. I always do the evolutions that give me a new pokemon first as it takes less time than 2 evolves for the same XP gain.

Anonymous said...

Most there was bs... And this is not a collect game it is after all a fighting game. So basicly all you need is 6 maxedmgood fighting team and then let the kids run around and brag about found some shitty rare that will suck..

Anonymous said...

Some sound advice, but the OP did not mention anything about IV's (individual values), and only advised to pick pokemon based on which one has the highest CP and which moves do the most damage.

IV's are very important, for example, I chose to transfer my 760 something growlithe and instead evolve my 730 something growlithe because the 760 had 70-40% maximum IV's whereas the 730 had 98% maximum IV's. That arcanine is going to end up a higher CP once max'ed out because of it's higher IV's and therefore higher potential.

As well, moves shouldn't be picked on which do the most damage, per say. I always prefer Pinsir's weaker bug-type fast move over the other option, a fighting-type fast move. The bug type, albeit a significantly weaker move, executes significantly faster (allows for easier dodging and to get a couple of hits in between gym defenders' attacks). As well, the bug-type attack gets an additional bonus, a STAB (Same-Type-Attack-Base) bonus, because it is a bug type move AND pinsir is a bug type pokemon.

Unknown said...

You can't tell which move is stronger just by its power listed in the game. You have to check a database that gives you the move dps (damage per second) to compare them.

Moves have a different charge time from 0.5 (base move) seconds to over 5 seconds (special moves). They also have an attack power and a type and every pokemon can have one of two regular attack and one of three special attack.

To determine what move is stronger you need to account for the charge time, the damage and the stab (same type attack bonus). A website like pokemongodb can help you figure out which set of moves is optimal for each pokemon.

Anonymous said...

Great guide! thanks for the tips

HCGBeliever said...

"Save all the razz berrys you got because one rare pokemon could eat as many as 5 to 10 and go through 20 to 50 (including missed throws with the stars) per session."

I'm currently a level 25 and have NEVER used 5 to 10 "Razz Berry" or anywhere close to "20 to 50" poke balls to catch any mon and I use the curve ball on every throw. 10 is not unheard of for a higher level character and the occasional psycho Pidgey that I refuse to give up on simply on principal alone but even those are very rare. I can usually catch any mon from a CP10 pidgey to a CP1200 Hypno with at most 5 balls. I can't fathom any Pokemon staying around through 50 throws unless the majority were winding up in the woods.

Unknown said...

I am level 28. I strongly agree with the strategy of using lucky eggs. That really is the secret to leveling up quickly. My only new advice is to not waste time trying to catch 300+ commons like rats. You are just going to transfer them anyway, so don't waste poke balls trying to catch a high CP one. There are plenty of little ones around.

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