Pokémon Go is a fantastic game that, as of this writing, has been downloaded over 300 million times worldwide. The catch? You need to grind your way through the game’s levels to make progress.
There are several ways you can level up and get stronger in the game, but it’s important to remember that grinding won’t be very fun or rewarding if you don’t have the right gear or abilities. Here’s how to level up fast in Pokémon GO.
1. Get enough CP
CP stands for “Combat Power,” and it shows the amount of health, power and attacks a Pokémon will do when fighting other players. In order to level up, you must defeat a certain number of trainers and complete daily challenges.
The easiest way to increase your CP is by playing with other people. If you battle them, they give XP. However, there are also special events that award extra XP.
You can also gain CP by completing quests on your phone. These range from fetching items from gyms to catching specific Pokemon. The more you play, the more CP you’ll earn.
As you reach higher levels in the game, you’ll be able to use powerful new moves like Mega Blastoise and Mega Mawile. When you’re ready, head to the shop to buy these moves at an additional cost.
2. Buy the best gear
When you start out, you’ll likely only have access to a few starter Pokémon. As you level up, you’ll unlock more rare ones and eventually legendary Pokémon.
It’s important to invest in the right equipment before trying to tackle difficult battles. You’ll find three different types of gear in the Battle Shop: Poké Balls, Potions and Items.
Poké Balls are what you use to catch Pokémon. They come in two sizes: Small and Large. It’s recommended to keep one size smaller than the one you want to catch to maximize its efficiency.
Potions are useful because they restore HP and heal injuries. They come in eight varieties (red, blue, green, yellow, purple, orange, pink and white) with varying effects.
Items work similarly to potions, but some can actually boost your stats instead (like the Hyper Potion). Some are even helpful for battling specific enemies.
In addition to buying gear in the shop, you can also craft it using the materials you pick up during gameplay.
3. Train right
If you’ve spent all your money on gear but still aren’t finding any success in battle, try training your Pokémon a bit differently. For starters, make sure you’ve chosen a suitable team.
Each member of your team should have the same type of move. That means if you’ve picked a Fire-type for one member, the rest should too. This also applies to your Pokémon’s gender—female Pokémon will naturally learn female moves while male Pokémon will learn male moves.
After you’ve settled on a team, you’ll want to train each Pokémon individually. You can do so by holding down the Pokémon icon on screen and tapping Train.
Once you’ve done this for each member of your team, you can see which moves those Pokémon have learned. Select the one you want to use with your next attack. If you want to change the move later, simply repeat the process.
4. Level up
After you’ve trained your Pokémon to their max potential, it’s time to level up.
To do this, go to the Gym Leader’s gym and challenge him/her to a battle. Once you win, he/she will open the gym gate for you to enter. Inside, you’ll find a bunch of wild Pokémon waiting to fight you. Defeat as many as you can in order to level up.
You can check the current level of every trainer you meet by looking at their nameplate below their portrait.
You’ll also receive a small reward after clearing a gym. This includes extra experience points and possibly a few Rare Candy (which can be used to buy better gear).
5. Unlock Pokémon
While most of the game revolves around catching and battling, you’ll also want to collect some of the creatures that live in the wild. To do this, you’ll need to visit Pokéstops.
These are stationary objects scattered across the map that contain items you can use in the shop. For example, a common item at Pokéstops is Lure Modules, which attract nearby Pokémon to your location.
To discover new locations, you can either walk around the map until you spot a red dot or tap the button in the bottom-right corner of the app. Doing so will show you your next destination and reveal nearby Pokéstops.
You can also find new Pokéstops by visiting Gyms. This is where you’ll find legendary Pokémon awaiting capture. To take them down, first talk to the leader and then select Challenge!
Gyms are usually located near big cities, so you might find yourself walking around aimlessly for a while before encountering one. But keep in mind that you can’t just visit a gym whenever you want. Instead, you’ll have to wait for a Gym Champion—the Pokémon equivalent of a gym leader—to appear. Only the champion can accept a challenge.
6. Catch ‘em all
Finally, we arrive at the grand finale. The ultimate goal of Pokémon Go is to catch all 151 Pokémon in the game. This is known as the National Dex, and it requires both luck and skill to achieve.
To begin, you’ll want to visit a couple of Pokéstops. This will allow you to fill up your Pokedex. After you’ve filled it, you’ll be able to start searching for wild Pokémon.
When you encounter a wild Pokémon, tap on it and select Catching from the menu. From here, you’ll be given two options: Throw or Catch. If you choose Catch, you’ll need to hold down the Pokéball icon on screen to throw it to your friend’s device.
If you choose Throw, it will automatically be sent to your friend’s device without needing to press anything. Note: throwing a Poké Ball can damage the object it lands on.
After you’ve caught it, your friend will be alerted and you can trade the Pokémon with her/him. There’s no limit to how many Pokémon you can catch per day, so you may want to stock up on Pokeballs and other items before embarking on this quest.
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For more tips on Pokémon Go, check out our guide about everything you need to know, including tips for beginners and how to catch Pikachu.