Pokémon Go has already become one of the biggest gaming phenomenons of the decade. A week after its launch, millions of players are flooding their cities and towns hoping to catch them all and be the very best. But for all its positive qualities, the game sure doesn’t make everything clear to newcomers.
Indeed, there are dozens of tips that will help you succeed at Pokémon Go but that are not immediately clear. Plus, there exist some cheats and tricks that savvy gamers have already uncovered, such as the fact that you can actually get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon.
Here are 10 Pokémon Go tips, tricks and cheats you need to know.
1. You Can Use a GPS Spoofer, But…
If you’re trying to get some more Poké Balls or just generally play the game without walking around, there are ways to bypass the system. But doing so is extremely tricky, and it puts you at serious risk being banned by Niantic, so it really is not recommended.
If you’re on an Android device, you’ll first want to root your phone, and then use an app like Hide My Root to prevent the game from being able to tell you’ve done so. You can then download a GPS spoofer app like this one, and theoretically you should be able to use that app or others like it to make your phone think you’re somewhere else on the map.
With an iPhone, it’s a similar process, except you’ll want to jailbreak it instead of rooting, and download Location Faker. But Niantic is constantly staying on top of all the cheats people are using, and they have been quite vigilant about handing out bans, so there’s a solid chance that by the time you implement one of these strategies they will have figured out a way to prevent it from working. Playing the game fair and square really is your best option.
2. You Can Get Pikachu as Your Starter
When you first start up the game, you’re given the starter options of Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. But if you aren’t happy with those choices, there’s actually a way of getting Pikachu as a starter instead.
When those three starter Pokémon spawn in the beginning of the game, don’t select any of them. Instead, physically walk away from the area (in real life). As you keep walking, the same three starters will continuously spawn next to you. But if you keep on walking in the same direction and force them to spawn four times, Pikachu will finally appear as an option.
That totally sounds like a bogus Internet rumor, but in this case it happens to be true. It takes a little effort to actually get right, and it requires you to walk around aimlessly like an idiot, but Pikachu is worth it. Learn more about getting Pikachu as a starter in Pokémon Go here:
3. Get Coins by Placing Pokémon at Gyms
New players will find themselves running out of coins, which are used to buy items, fairly quickly, and that’s why being in control of gyms is so important.
Once you reach level five, you’ll want to either take over a gym or join an existing one that has been claimed for your Pokemon Go team. Then, choose one of your Pokémon to place in the gym and defend it.
That’s all you need to do, but not everyone realizes at first that you get coin bonuses from this. Check back in to the shop about once every 21 hours, click on the shield icon, and as long as you still have a Pokémon defending the gym, you will get 10 new PokeCoins. You can station Pokémon at up to 10 gyms, meaning you can really take advantage of this bonus to secure yourself 100 coins every day.
Or, if you don’t mind dropping some actual cash, you can purchase additional coins at the shop (using real-life money).
Learn more about how to find Pokémon Go gyms here:
4. Your Throw Affects the Likelihood of Catching a Pokémon
The way that you throw your Poke Balls carries much more significance than players might at first think. In terms of ensuring the best likelihood of a proper capture and the most XP possible, timing is everything.
When you’re ready to catch a Pokémon, hold down on the PokeBall, and a circle will begin to envelop the Pokémon in front of you. The color of the circle indicates how difficult of a capture it is, with green meaning easy, orange meaning medium, and red meaning hard.
You’ll notice that the circle will be continuously shrinking. If you can manage to hit the center of the circle when it’s as tiny as possible, this decreases the likelihood of the Pokémon being able to escape, and it will also give you extra points. But of course, the tinier the hole is, the more difficult it will be to make the throw.
Also, don’t be afraid to vary up the way you throw the ball; if you are able to execute a curveball by spinning the Poke Ball (as demonstrated above), you’ll get more XP.
5. Catch Everything, Even if You Already Have It
When you see a species of Pokémon in the wild that you have already captured, don’t just ignore it. That might be your inclination when you first start playing, but when you capture duplicate Pokémon, you can bring these to Professor Willow and trade them for candy.
Make sure you are only transferring your low CP Pokémon, though, not the ones you actually need to hang on to. Once you’ve given Willow your Pokémon, you can’t get them back.
This candy, of course, can be used to evolve Pokémon, so it’s quite a valuable resource to have. You also get some candy when you initially capture the Pokémon, so spending some time capturing Pokémon and trading them in to Willow is a pretty nice way to rack up a lot of candy.