I’ve been having fun with Pokémon Go since it released, but there’s no way to keep up with some of the dedicated players. (A teacher in the UK recently gave up her job to play the game full-time, because you can make decent money selling high-level accounts on eBay.)
For the rest of us, there’s no point in fighting against that level of dedication, but we can still give you tips and tricks if you’re determined to hold your local gym.
I managed to catch up with a friend who’s been playing nonstop, and he helped me come up with the following guide for high-level players. (He briefly held the Pokémon Gym located at the iconic London Eye, so he definitely knows what he’s doing!)
Let’s get started with the basics;
Well, as long as you have the app, there isn’t much else you need. Progression is simple enough during early levels, and you’ll be able to fill your Pokedex (and level up your Pokémon) with no problems for the first couple of days.
It’s then that the freemium aspects start to take hold, thanks to the sheer amount of time you’ll spend trying to increase your Pokémon’s CP level.
You should be able to get to level 10-15 in a few days, and it’s in your best interests to level up as much as possible. It’s not well known, but you can only find Pokémon with CP levels that are within your range as a Pokémon trainer.
It’s the reason why you start off with such weak monsters, and it’s supposed to help you have a sense of progression as you play.
If you’re still getting to grips with the early stages of the game, check our guide for everything you need to know to stay ahead.
If you’re having issues with battery life. Here’s a guide with tips to save power while catching Pokémon.
Maximum Levels and Full Pokadex’s
A search through the game files has led to a few interesting finds. Data miners have been working hard, and they’ve found that Pokémon all have maximum levels and limits, along with a host of information that will interest high level trainers.
Here’s a rundown of the most important information they’ve found out about the game so far:
Note: Despite the game being decoded, there’s still a chance that there could be changes in future. Nonetheless, the data has a lot of interesting info:
- The Trainer Level Cap is 40.
- Pokémon Eggs cap at Level 20, so if you get an Egg at Level 37 it’ll still hatch at the same quality as if you were level 20.
- Wild Pokémon cap at Level 30, meaning after Level 30 everyone will find the same max CP Pokémon and it’ll be a matter of spending the candy and stardust to upgrade them to your level cap based on their CP arc.
- There is an achievement/badge rank above gold.
- Curveballs and Accurate Throws (Nice, Great, Etc) help with the capture chance of a Pokeball throw.
- There may be future Incubators that reduce the amount of kilometres needed before they hatch.
- Moves have an Accuracy and a Critical Hit Rate. Each unique Pokémon has its own Capture and Flee rate. Move Damage may go up with Trainer Level.
- Pokémon become harder to catch as you level up.
- Mewtwo, Moltres, Zapdos, Articuno are Legendary. Mew is Mythic.
- The Charge Meter is filled 0.5 for each 1 HP of damage dealt. To level from 39 to 40 takes five million experience, and going from 1 to 40 takes twenty million.
- Pokémon have a base Attack, Defence and Stamina (HP) – thus they do not have a Attack and Special Attack stat like in the 3DS games.
- Dragonite has the strongest base attack for non-legends, at 250.
- Mewtwo has a base attack of 284.
- Moltres has the highest base attack of the three legendary birds.
- Articuno has the highest base defence of the three.
- Zapdos is almost as high as Moltres in base attack but is likely lower due to Type Advantage.
- Pokémon have an evolution modifier and an HP modifier.
- When the Pokémon evolves, both CP and HP go up a set multiplier.
- Defending Pokémon at a Gym attack the player’s Pokémon every 1.5 seconds.
- The Master Ball is in the game.
- The Legendary Pokémon do have a spawn rate, but no capture rate.
- STAB is present in the game, giving a 25% Bonus to an attack move.
However, it’s common knowledge that it’ll be extremely unlikely for a player to complete their Pokedex anytime soon. (More on that below.)
The legendary Pokémon are still yet to be found, and the rumour is that it might tie into the team you choose at level 5. For example, the blue team (mystic) might only be able to get Articuno, while red and yellow would correspond to Moltres and Zapdos respectively.
To be honest, we only have rumours and the information above to go on so far, but it does seem like there’s a lot to do, and plans to ensure that the game doesn’t get stale quickly.
If you’re looking for general tips, this is the place to look. If you want Pokémon that are as strong as the ones above, it’s going to take a while.
It’s the main reason why accounts can go for so much money on the second-hand market, as people are desperate to skip past the grind while getting to enjoy the fruits of a powerful team of Pokémon.
One of the best tips I’ve heard is to prepare Pokémon to be evolved, before dropping a lucky egg to double your experience gain. It’s a great way to power level during the late game, and it’s worth trying out to see for yourself.
Some trainers prepare heaps (50+) of Pokémon to be evolved, and it’s one of the ways my friend got to level 21 in a few weeks.
If you want to see it in action, this user has kindly released a video showing that it is possible, with up to 150.000 XP per hour. With 75 evolutions per lucky egg, it’s a great way to speed things up without resorting to spending real money.
However, you could also just stop playing altogether, as last game levelling is ridiculously hard if you’re unwilling to spend.
This user on Reddit was one of the first to reach level 30, and he lamented the way the late game was designed.
I don’t know how their formula works, obviously, but I can promise you that once you hit mid 20s, you will start to notice even the most common of Pokémon have an abnormally high chance to evade capture. In no scenario should a 10cp Pidgey/Rattata/Weedle be able to avoid capture from a lvl 29 Pokémon trainer, much less avoid it 5-8 times in the same battle (no exaggeration).
From level 29-30 I went through over 1000 Pokeballs. Literally. I cannot stress how ridiculous this would be for someone playing w/o spending coins on Pokeballs (ie playing the game f2p – which is the majority). If they are expecting players to sit around and camp Pokestops for HOURS just to have enough ammo to grind their half a million xp (the requirement from 30-31, 500k), they need to rethink their approach.
It’s worrying for the majority of players who are still at lower levels, and it’s something to think about before you decide to dedicate a decent chunk of the future to the app.
My friend agreed that late level catching is difficult, but he’s going to carry on playing for now. He said that he still aims for bonus XP if the Pokémon is easy enough to capture, and little tricks like that will add up when it comes to the sheer amount of XP you’ll need to progress.
Basically, throwing the Pokeball with style will increase the chances of capture, and it will also earn bonus XP at the same time.
Here’s a video showing how to throw a curveball if you’re not sure:
Cheats and Hacks
There are a number of tricks you can use to get ahead, and some occur because of glitches and errors with the game.
For example, my fiancée’s phone has issues with location services, so opening the app sometimes causes the map not to load up properly. Her work is next to a couple of Pokestops, so it’s an easy way to pick up extra balls and potions without leaving the house.
The stairs in my house also cause the app to have issues, as it can’t decide exactly where I am. When it repositions it causes my character to walk on the map, so it’s a great way to look for Pokémon while I’m at home.
On the subject of location services, be careful if you plan on cheating by changing your location with an external app. The developers have been wielding the banhammer, and users have reported;
Here’s what happens when you get banned – 1. You can’t get items from Pokestops. 2. You can’t catch Pokémon. Any Pokémon, irrespective of its CP, will run away after you throw a Pokeball. 3. You can’t battle or claim a gym.
It’s only a soft ban, so you should be able to play normally after waiting for a couple of hours. If you don’t live near a water source it’s going to be difficult to get every Pokémon, but you won’t be able to cheat with location services. Trading could be an option, but we’ll have to wait for the features to be rolled out.
it’s a good idea not to keep your best (highest CP) Pokémon at a gym if possible. You won’t be able to train it, and it’ll eventually lose. Sticking your second or third strongest monster in the gym is probably a good bet, especially if you’re planning on maximising the power of your best Pokémon.
Pokémon Go continues to gain steam, although some players haven’t been impressed with the late-game mechanics. It’s clearly a time sink, but the AR features and Pokémon overlay have been enough to keep most people interested for now.
New features need to come soon if they want to keep people hooked, but for now, the best you can do is carry on with the grind. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Just bear in mind that many high-level players are paying through the nose to get ahead.
Pokémon Go is one of the biggest apps ever, but what are your late game experiences of the app? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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