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A Very Unofficial Pokemon Go Strategy Guide
Hey beginning trainers! I come bearing knowledge! Now, to start I would like to state that I am by no means an expert in Pokemon Go. I played the beta pretty extensively, I've been diving into the full release as well, and there's some things I've learned which may help you. My intention is not to be the very best, like no-one ever was. Well, maybe some day. Today my intention is to share a little bit of knowledge that could save you hours, days, perhaps weeks of gameplay. If I can do that, then this guide will officially be a success! And I am hopeful that trainers with more knowledge and wisdom than myself will come forth and offer advice as well! First off, here are some core principles to the game, just to clear things up a bit. I am sure much of this is obvious to you all by now, but it is nice to start with a solid foundation.
  • Resources - When you catch a Pokemon, you gain an amount of three different resources: Exp, Stardust, and Candies. Exp goes towards you as a trainer, not directly to your Pokemon, and the higher level you are influences the rarity of Pokemon you encounter, which evolutionary stage they are at, and what their CP (combat points) are at. Stardust is used in conjunction with Candies to Power Up your Pokemon, which will increase both HP and CP independantly. Candies are also used to Evolve Pokemon, which of course completes your PokeDex in addition to boosting their CP and HP. Evolving Pokemon also grants the trainer Exp.
  • Catching - Absolutely everything you encounter is catch-worthy, but whenever you encounter a new Pokemon you will want to take advantage of the Lucky Eggs to maximize your Exp gains. I recommend using a Lucky Egg right after getting the starter, and again every time before catching a new Pokemon you haven’t previously caught, because the first catch will always grant an additional Exp boost. There are multiple different ways to throw the Pokeball. They are the Curveball, Nice Throw, Great Throw, and Excellent Throw. They improve odds of capture and grant additional Exp to the trainer upon a successful catch.
  • Items - The most important item for Exp gains will be the Lucky Egg. It can be utilized while catching Pokemon, and it also doubles the Exp gained from Pokemon Evolution. The next best item to use on your journey is the incense. It creates a pull around you that attracts wild Pokemon. Lastly, the Lure Modules attract Pokemon to PokeStops, and when used in conjunction with your incense, results in maximum Pokemon saturation. Razzberries will increase your chance to catch an individual Pokemon, so save those for harder to catch finds.  
  • Locations - There are two types of locations you will encounter, Pokestops and Gyms. Pokestops distribute items to the Trainer when they are near, and the reset is once every 5 minutes. Gyms are used to generate PokeCoins. PokeCoins can be used to buy all ingame items, and are only earned by Trainers whose Pokemon are defending Gyms, not those attacking them.
    • PokeStop strategy: Since Pokestops reset their items every 5 minutes, it is best to either plot a course with several PokeStops along the way, or sit in an area where multiple PokeStops are within range. A popular tactic is to find a park with 2 or 3 PokeStops within range, find some shade, and simply wait. Other trainers travel up and down a course in order to increase the Pokemon variety. A great tip is to plant a Lure Module at one or more PokeStops to increase the influx of Pokemon per stop, and keep the incense going as well! 
  • Gyms
    • Attacking: Taking on opposing Gyms is useful to take control and earn PokeCoins. The Trainer can swap out Pokemon in the middle of battle, or run from the Gym, but cannot use healing items in the middle of battle. Each Pokemon posted at the Gym will be faced in succession so it is wise to bring several battle ready Pokemon to attack. Once the Gym in defeated, the Prestige level is reduced. It can be brought down enough to drop the Gym level, reducing the number of defending Pokemon, until it is finally brough to 0 Prestige. At such a time the attacking Trainer can post their own Pokemon and control the Gym.​​​​​​​
    • Defending: Each Gym has slots for Pokemon defenders based on Prestige level. The more you battle your own team’s Gym, the more Prestige you build in order to plant defending Pokemon. Up to 10 Pokemon can be posted at a Gym so it’s important to get your Pokemon in quick before the slots fill up. You want to make sure the Pokemon you deposit does not share Type disadvantages to the other Pokemon in that Gym, and you want to make sure that it has a high enough CP to thwart any attacking Trainers. That said, you should not deposit all your strongest Pokemon, so that you have something with which you may challenge opposing Gyms.
 Exp Exploits - Utilizing the Lucky Egg at an early point is absolutely crucial to gaining the most amount of Trainer Levels in the fastest possible way. There are several applications for the Lucky Egg, including Catching Pokemon, Evolving Pokemon and Hatching Pokemon. Every possible source of Trainer Exp will be doubled with the use of the Lucky Egg, and higher Trainer Levels grant access to stronger Pokemon, so this is a nifty trick to get the hang of.
  • Catching Pokemon
    • New Pokemon (500) + Catch (100) + Throw (10/ 20/ 50/ 100) = 600-700 x Lucky Egg = 1200 - 1400 Exp Points!
  • Evolving Pokemon
    • ​​​​​​​Evolved Pokemon (500) x Lucky Egg = 1000 Exp Points
    • It should be noted that each Pokemon needs a specific number of Candies to advance in its evolutionary line. Pidgey, Caterpie, and Weedle all require possibly the least Candies (12), so by hunting these Pokemon and evolving them with the Lucky Egg, you can rise in levels much faster than by evolving other Pokemon!​​​​​​​
There is much more to the game, including team dynamics, interaction within your local Pokemon Go community, and traveling to find new Pokemon everywhere you are. But this is your start. This is your head start. Enjoy Pokemon Go! Get out there and catch 'em all!
Can you h*ck me a Ditto?
Wow, this write up is great! Thanks for sharing!
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Thank you for posting this! Smile

Any additional tips from other trainers out there?
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Can you h*ck me a Ditto?
Wow, love the update. Looks clean!
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There are some other things you should include in the guide too.

On the lower right corner of the screen there is a pokeradar of sorts that will show you pokemon nearby. There are 4 markings under a pokemon to tell how close it is to you.
  • 3 footprints - within a kilometer of your current position
  • 2 footprints - within 100 meters of your current position
  • 1 footprint - within 10 meters of your current position
  • No footprints - STOP MOVING you are right on top of the pokemon and it will spawn on the screen if you wait a minute or two
Within the menu of pokemon you own you can swipe the screen to the left to reveal a list of eggs you own. Eggs are picked up randomly at pokestops. To hatch an egg not only must you walk a certain distance listed under the egg itself, but you must put it in an incubator. You get 1 free unlimited use incubator from the start and can get 3-use incubators from the shop or as a level up reward. An incubator can only hold one egg at a time.

The eggs themselves come in 3 varieties: eggs that take 2km to hatch, eggs that take 5km to hatch, and eggs that take 10km to hatch. To hatch an egg you must walk the given distance, if you use a car or train or other form of transportation the game will notice the speed you're moving at and not count the distance towards the eggs you are incubating.

While the pokemon you get from any given egg is random, it is not completely so. There are sites that list what pokemon might hatch from an egg that requires a given distance to hatch. Also depending on the distance needed to hatch an egg, the egg will give different amounts of experience. The more distance needed, the more experience.

This one I've seen a bit of debate over and I personally cannot say anything for sure. While pokemon of a species will all have a similar weight and height, their exact weight and height are likely to be different. Sometimes a pokemon's weight or height will have a green bubble over it that will read either XL or XS, meaning the pokemon extra large or extra small relative to the average weight or height of its species. Its possible for the weight and height to not share this trait- in fact from experience most of my own pokemon usually only have a bubble denoting it's unusual size in only the weight or height. It's not known if these measurements actually effect the pokemon's HP&CP or if they are purely cosmetic.

Some people claim that specific pokemon can be found in specific places or in certain weather conditions. Some say koffing appear at gas stops, ghastly and zubat come out at night, water pokemon show up when it rains, and so on. From personal experience I find this to be entirely false and most likely coincidental. However the game is young and there is still research going into what pokemon might be found where.

As a sort of achievement tracker, you can receive medals for fulfilling various requirements. They are ranked bronze, silver and gold. The more of a specific task you do the higher your rank will rise. For the most part medals revolve around catching pokemon, either to complete the pokedex or certain types or species en mass. There are a few other medals though that you are rewarded for things such as winning fights in gyms or hatching eggs or visiting pokespots. Medals you've unlocked and collected are found at the bottom of your trainer status screen.

The journal keeps track of pokemon captured along with the CP they had at capture, the date captured and the time of capture. It will also keep track of when you visit pokespots and what items you received from them along with the date and time visited. The journal is found on the trainer status screen.

There are three teams (yellow, blue and red) and other than battling for control of gyms they seem to have no effect on gameplay. You can join at level 5 and check what team you are on from the trainer status screen.
@VoidThoughts Great contribution! Thank you so much for weighing in, I think those are all great points to make to any beginning and intermediate trainers! I've heard one hypothesis to the Pokemon's height and weight in which these values contribute towards CP and HP, in which they are almost like IVs in the main series games. As I understand it, each Pokemon species has a determined height and weight range, and this value is acting as the 1-31 IV range from main series games. The CP can be compared to EVs in this analogy.

As far as Pokemon availability goes, this can be largely broken down into geographical regions, easily classified as climates. So far I have heard of Desert, Plains, Forest, Mountain, and Coastal climates. I live in Southern California while many of my friends are from the Midwest, and even though the suburban parts are similar, Pidgey, Spearow, Caterpie, and Weedle all spawn at different rates between our two Climates. In addition to that distinction, I can make a 15 minute drive down to the beach and see a flood of Water Type Pokemon, which I would not find from my house. Climates may be big or small depending on information likely grabbed from Google Maps, which would further escalate the augmented reality feature of this game. I'm excited to see just how varied this goes because plenty of folks are thinking about using Pokemon GO to route roadtrips, which just sounds like an excellent adventure.

This game has incredible nuance, I'm sure new pieces of information will be noticed as time goes on and as they make patches for the game.
Can you h*ck me a Ditto?
(Jul 15, 2016, 07:12 PM)Chawizawd Wrote: I've heard one hypothesis to the Pokemon's height and weight in which these values contribute towards CP and HP, in which they are almost like IVs in the main series games. As I understand it, each Pokemon species has a determined height and weight range, and this value is acting as the 1-31 IV range from main series games. The CP can be compared to EVs in this analogy. 

This hypothesis is just about de-bunked. You can find the IVs of your Pokemon by using a calculator found in this link:

The most basic way I can elaborate, for those who haven't followed the link, is that the IVs are based on CP and HP. Stardust investment takes the place of EV training. Without shamelessly stealing the info at PokeAssistant, I can't say much more than, simply, a few equations involving CP, HP, and Stardust investment will reveal hidden values which represent the Pokemon's stats: Stamina, Attack, and Defence. No longer do Pokemon have the traditional HP, Atk, Def, SpAtk, SpDef, and Speed.

Of course I have heard plenty of anecdotes from players who report Vaporeons being faster than Jolteons, this Speed stat seems to no longer be a factor within the game. It appears Niantic is changing the game little by little, but it's hard to tell due to their low volume of communication. Only player investigation will uncover these hidden facets for now. Please, anyone with insight is welcome to discussion, my Beginner's Guide is a slow moving work in progress and I assume new game mechanics will be a steadily evolving (heh) part of Pokemon Go.
Can you h*ck me a Ditto?
When using pokeassistant's IV calculator you sometimes get a range of values.  If you leave those values up and change one thing (i.e. power up once), adjust the form, and hit refine instead of find IV's you will get a much better idea.  Sometimes the ranges are insanely wide otherwise. 

Unfortunately this method takes some stardust, hut it's worth it.  I nickname my Pokémon with their IVs so I don't forget them if I have refined them down.

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