Plus a couple more tips to guide even better SEO! But seriously, one of these will help those willing to unlock way more stuff way faster…
Pokemon Go unleashed itself on unwitting public last week, and damned if it isn’t so charming and addictive even I, a Pokemon scrub, have been caught up in the fracas. More than that, I’ve been left wondering how a ton of this stuff works, and since the game gives you almost no information, I’ve been left to the mercy of Google.
In all honestly, I’ve encountered a lot of bullshit tips, mostly guides and videos whipped up in the early minutes of Pokemon Go’s launch, seemingly in an SEO frenzy. And I know they’re bullshit because I fell ass backwards into (IMO) a fun way to get light years ahead of almost everybody, therefore flush with a lot of resources to test stuff. So without further adieu, I’ll start with the biggest tip.
RIDE A BIKE
Don’t scoff! This is neither bullshit, nor some granola-ass Left Coast technique to get you outside. Pokemon Go’s already doing that. Even with the game’s highly unstable servers, I’ve tested the game in cars, mass transit, biking and walking. For most travel, cars and mass transit move too fast for you to take advantage of Pokestops, since (duh) the game was meant for walking, plus you usually confuse the shit out of the servers if you’re moving over 20mph (note that constantly spinning white Pokeballs.) Maybe you live in a huge town town or have a friend patient enough to stop a car for you every couple of feet, but unless you want your gas bill to rise as steadily as your data, I wouldn’t advise it. I’m recommending a bike.
Before we get started: DO NOT PLAY POKEMON GO WHILE RIDING A BIKE. I mean, I did. But I’m a professional, as evidenced by my superior Pokemon Go skills and you reading several paragraphs guiding you through my wake. Doesn’t mean I want you or your parents suing my ass when you pull a Ray Brauer. Just by reading this article, you acknowledge I’m better than you, so don’t try and be me. Once again: This data was obtained by a professional, do not attempt to repeat it. I seriously almost died several times and a lot of people pointed and laughed at me. Science marches on!
I mostly stuck to back roads and bike trails to avoid injury/further embarrassment
Besides, you have plenty of time to ride to Pokestops and stop for random Pokemon encounters and still catch a ton of stuff (even though I caught more without stopping, but we just covered this above.) The average person walks 3 miles per hour, the average cyclist, moving leisurely, is about 10 mph, as fast as 30mph, and I’m assuming even numerically faster if you already know the math to convert to kilometers (sorry I didn’t include that for you.) Blah, blah, blah: No matter what kind of city you’re in, you’ll experience the game about THREE TIMES AS FAST on a bike. I know this by how much I lapped friends of mine with a two day head start.
Obviously, a bike makes it a helluva lot easier to get to activated Lure Modules (Pokestops that visually shower hearts and also attract Pokemon) and use them even longer, but there other benefits to enjoy. A bike not only allowed me to encounter more Pokemon and Pokestops in less than a third of the time, it was far less confusing to Pokey Go’s already overtaxed/currently inept servers than a car or train.
Tasteless, but it happened.
Speaking of deceiving the servers, PGO seems to refresh everything every mile of so. If you just want farm Pokeballs, Potions etc., you can simply ride around the block for 15 minutes in a slightly populated area and be set for days. Look: I know this sounds deceptively simple, but I haven’t seen it written anywhere. I like going on long bike rides, personally, but I have no hippy-dippy predilection towards pushing that to others. You probably hate going outside, that’s why you want to speed things up. But hey: Pokemon Go’s forcing you to do that anyway! And since anyone not playing the game is already laughing at you, so why not hop on a bike, minimize your time in the sun and kick the shit out of the ones that are playing?!
Now, the following things might be somewhat contingent on being on a bike, however, they’re also information I don’t find in other guides and it comes from someone on a highly accelerated PGO course. Again, you’re welcome.
DON’T SPEND ANY MONEY
As of right now, there’s simply no reason to. You will not need to upgrade Pokemon space whether or not you are using the bike method (always be Transferring) and if you’re willing to adopt the bike method, you’ll unlock way more every day than you would spending Dollar One.
Not so fast, Nintendo
Again DO NOT PLAY POKEMON GO WHILE RIDING A BIKE but if you do, you’ll blow through damn near every Pokestop like a contemptible paperboy and a Pokemon doesn’t need to even be directly in your purple radius for you to capture it. If it shows up, you can catch it. One-throw captures are super easy early on in the game, meaning you don’t need to worry about your Pokeball supply. You’ll also receive more than enough from Pokestops, plus a bunch of balls and other supplies each time you level up. Which (duh) you’ll do much faster if you follow this advice.
ONLY CATCH POKEMON
Pokestops will always be there, but Pokemon come and go. Of course you “gotta catch ‘em all” but in Pokemon Go, you gotta catch ‘em all over and over again. Each Pokemon yield its own specific type of candy, which can be used to upgrade and evolve Pokemon. This will be of crucial importance to winning gym battles, so always prioritize capturing Pokemon over Pokestops. Even if you already have a a type of Pokemon, keep on capping it. Just always “Transfer” you duplicates to Doctor Silver Fox, or whatever the fuck his name is. But this wouldn’t be a “free”-to-play mobile game without half a dozen in-game currencies would it…
Less than 24 hour total. NOT PICTURED: Everything I Transferred/Evolved
Even more important than Candy is Stardust, since it’s the currency you need to upgrade Pokemon. The more you upgrade a Pokemon, the more Stardust required, and this is the currency I don’t see enough people talking about. Neither Stardust nor Candy can be purchased for real money, nor can either be found at Pokestops. And unlike Candy, you can only obtain Stardust by capturing Pokemon. Furthermore, early in the game capture is outrageously easy, and won’t require a ton of balls (har har) usually a single toss is all that’s required if you’re as good as me (again, if this advice is proving useful, that’s probably impossible). After I hit level 10, every limpdick Doduo and Pidgey escaped at least once, so only after that do Pokestops become even slightly important. Either way, I haven’t seen any of the other guides play up the importance of Stardust, so feel free to nominate me for whatever award the give to uncorroborated Games Journalism.
EGGS ARE A WASTE OF TIME
We’ve already told you not to buy anything, but I’m telling you again because I don’t trust you to have read all of this. Just by needing a guide, you admit to being an impatient person incapable of absorbing nuance. So at the very least, I feel the need to emphasize not buying eggs and incubators (at least in the beginning.) I also found eggs to yield very little, and worst of all for our express purposes, unlocking them doesn’t work on a bike.
I know Nintendo never promised that walked miles would translate to riding a bike, but I’m a typical gamer so therefore I remain enraged for not being allowed to basically cheat. But yeah, the iPhone’s (possibly other smart phones, I don’t waste time with inferior devices) accelerometer knows the difference between walking and cycling. So as with every other thing I don’t understand about technology, I’ll attribute it to the work of “an algorithm.” It seems both Nintendo and my phone outsmarted me with said algorithm, so not even 20 miles of biking translated to unlocking a measly 2km egg, and the one I did open seemed pretty unworthy of the trouble (A fucking Bellsprout, of which I found many.) But this brings us to another weird issue/tip.
ALWAYS HAVE THE GAME OPEN
I know a little about how my phone calculates miles because I bike a lot. The only thing I love more than tracking how many miles I biked is dangerously capturing video and playing mobile games while biking. I’m not proud of this, but I openly admit it so you’ll believe me after how unnecessarily rude I’ve been throughout this guide. I also know that when my iPhone is not in my pocket, it doesn’t register all of my steps taken and absolutely doesn’t acknowledge when I’m pedaling. Perhaps its an iPhone-wide flaw? I’m guessing it’s based on the movement of my leg, but either way, if paid fitness apps can’t figure it out, I sure as hell don’t assume Nintendo can solve it with their second app.
In fact, if my phone is in my pocket, I don’t seem to register any encounters, when the game’s on or off. PGO may not register every step accurately, bit it clearly knows (or thinks it knows) when you’re not taking steps. I rarely got any Pokemon notifications (which I previously told you the importance of) when the phone was in my pocket, if ever. I almost always only encountered Pokemon when the app is open and I’m looking at it, and while I can’t necessarily prove this for you, my encounters went up significantly when I was anywhere but the main map. Most mobile games love to overwhelm you with “options,” usually to encourage impulse micro transactions, so I’m used to it, but I also noticed I had far more encounters while trying to Heal, Evolve, Revive and Transfer Pokemon than just leaving the app open on the map looking for Pokestations. Perhaps that’s just due to being less taxing on the servers, or another, smarter reason, but it’s a thing I noticed and I’m now telling you. Try it, tell me if I’m crazy!
Also, tell me how to end a Gym Battle without a server error. I’ve tried dozens of times, and even though I consider a hard reset to be a victory over Nintendo, it’s not getting me anywhere in Pokemon Go.