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Pokemon Go: Tips and Tricks Part 2 - Fast Leveling, Gym Battling


Pokemon Go: Tips and Tricks Part 2 – Fast Leveling, Gym Battling

We’re back with more Pokemon Go tips to ensure your Pokemon procuring skills are the talk of the town. Make sure you check out the first part of Pokemon Go: Tips and Tricks before you read on.



1. Trainer levels are not the same as a Pokémon’s level.

2. Pokémon levels are not visible. (level =/= CP value)

3. Max level of a Pokémon is (Trainer Level + 1) x 2.

4. Some use a half level method, so don’t multiply by 2. (I don’t personally want to say my Pokémon is level 21.5 – I would say it is 43)

5. There are several variations on what to call a ‘level’ around. The level facts listed are still true.

6. Pokémon are ODD levels when caught AND never powered up. (This does not apply to half levels)

7. It always takes two or four power ups to reach the next dust price point on new captures.

8. For a full list of the XP required for each level up to 25, and the rewards for each level, click the link.

What’s the fastest way to level?

1. At lower levels, catching and evolving Pokemon (mostly first-tier common Pokemon) is by far the best way to level quickly. Every evolution gives the same amount of experience – a flat 500 XP. That means to maximize efficiency, you want to evolve the ones that cost the least to evolve. Pidgeys, Weedles and Caterpies all cost 12 candies to evolve into their next form, and they are also the most common encounters.


2. Lucky eggs grant double XP – catch every Pidgey / Weedle / Caterpie you can find, and once you have a ton of candies, pop a Lucky Egg and evolve them all. 1000 XP per evolution will power level you very quickly.

How do gyms work?

1. NOTE: We recommend not spending too much time on gym battles until you are at least in the late teens / early 20s. They are still good XP, but it’s not worth going out of your way and focusing on them in lieu of catching Pokemon.

2. Gym battles are not turn based like classic Pokemon. You tap to attack, a super meter fills up. Tap and hold to use super. You can swipe left or right to dodge, but dodging basic attacks is pretty difficult. Supers can be dodged much more easily than regular attacks.


3. For a list of the best Pokemon for battling and capturing gyms, check out our list of Top Ten Must Have Pokemon.

4. Each person can leave one Pokemon at a gym of the allied color. A gym can hold as many Pokemon as it’s level (lvl 3 = 3 Pokemon). You fight a gym’s Pokemon in order of CP (so the strongest one is the ‘gym leader’) To take a gym over, you have to knock out everyone in it. Every time you win a battle you lower the gym’s prestige. If it falls below a threshold, the weakest Pokemon gets knocked out.

Level 1: 0-2,000 Prestige
Level 2: 2,000-4,000
Level 3: 4,000-8,000
Level 4: 8,000-12,000
Level 5: 12,000-16,000
Level 6: 16,000-20,000
Level 7: 20,000-30,000
Level 8: 30,000-40,000
Level 9: 40,000-50,000
Level 10: 50,000-100,000


5. So if a gym has 3 Pokemon and is sitting at 5,000 prestige, but you win a battle and kill all 3, the prestige will drop below 4,000, which removes the weakest Pokemon from the lineup. Rinse and repeat until the gym is level 0, at which point it will be unclaimed and you can place your own guy on there! The Pokemon you want to place MUST be at full HP, so if you are competing with others to place your guy down as soon as the gym falls, make sure you don’t use him in the fight, or you’ll have to spend time after the fight’s over to heal him up.

You use a party of 6 Pokemon to fight an enemy gym. If a Pokemon faints, you have to use a Revive to heal it back up.

6. You use 1 Pokemon to fight an allied gym. When it loses, it does not faint, it just sits at 1 HP, so you don’t need to Revive; just Potion.

7. Defeating an allied gym’s Pokemon increases its prestige, which allows you to help level it up so you can put your own Pokemon there (or if you already have one, someone else can, thereby making it more difficult for others to take.)

What do I get for battling at gyms?

1. In your shop, there is an icon on the top right that looks like a shield, and has a number in it. This number represents the number of gyms that you currently have a Pokemon residing in. For every gym you control when you activate this cooldown, you get 500 stardust and 10 Pokecoins (max 10 gyms, which is 5000 dust and 100 coins). This ability has a 21 hour timer on it, so typically I try to use it in the evening/night when people are playing a little less. Having it be slightly less than 24 hours also gives you some breathing room to try earlier the next day.


2. Unfortunately gyms are easier to take over then they are to defend, so don’t expect to hold gyms for too long. Take as many gyms over in one run and claim the rewards. Repeat daily if you can fit a route into your day.

3. The gym system is interesting because unless you are actively trying to get as many gyms as you can in order to use your ability to get stardust / coins, there is NO benefit to actually holding on to a gym. You don’t get any XP or anything for claiming it, but you still do get significant XP for the actual battling process and knocking the gym out. Once you hit higher levels (early-mid 20s), gym battles is the most efficient way to level. (You’ll also probably be sick to death of catching Pidgeys and Weedles so it’s a nice break from that).

How do I efficiently level via gym battles?

1. Leveling by training at gyms will be your main method of leveling at higher levels. We try to find level 6+ gyms, and train at those with lucky eggs. We typically gain 1500 XP (750 without Lucky egg) every 2-3 minutes. As the gym level decreases you gain less experience.

2. Find an active park or area where 2+ gyms are raided often and in close proximity of each other. Train at the gym and take over, leaving a low CP Pokemon. There are 2 reasons for this:

A. You can transfer the 1 HP Pokemon that was returned to your inventory instead of wasting potions and revives on higher CP Pokemon (Gyms at active parks will be raided almost instantly so there is no point in leaving a strong Pokemon).

B. You bait lower leveled trainers to take the gym which makes it easier for you to train and take it back.

3. We like to find 2 gyms with Pokestops in between. We’ll train at the first gym, leave a low CP Pokemon that we don’t care about and then walk to the 2nd gym (collecting Pokestops on the way). We repeat the process at gym 2. By the time we walk back to the first gym, another team has taken over. Repeat these steps and you will be leveling fast. Again, this is for higher leveled players and at levels 1-19 you may be better off farming at Pokestops with lure modules. Also you may not have a strong enough Pokemon to train consistently at a gym.

How do I catch the legendaries?


Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo and Mew can theoretically be found in the wild; according to data mining of game files they have a value for a spawn rate. However, they have no catch rate, meaning they may require Master Balls to catch. (In the original games, you were given ONE master ball, which gives you a 100% guaranteed catch.)

It’s presumed at this point that they will be spawned at special events, but nothing as far as we know is confirmed yet.

Special thanks to Reddit users RichiePantsBeGone and phozee.

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