Almost two weeks ago, Pokémon GO finally hit the shores of Singapore, and has had the country in an absolute frenzy to catch ‘em all ever since. One aspect of the game that is immediately noticeable to players from the start, though, is developer Niantic’s minimalistic approach to teaching players how to play the game. Aside from teaching us the basics of how to catch Pokémon and find Pokéstops, Niantic chose to let us uncover all the hidden mechanics of the game on our own, through experimentation, community discussion, and word of mouth.
So to help you on your journey to being the very best, here’s 5 Pokémon GO Tips You’ve (probably) Never Heard Of.
Have you ever noticed that once in a while, you’d come across a Pokéstop that gives you a TON of items? Like, 6 or 7 instead of the usual 3 or 4? Those are called Mega Pokéstops.
How do you find them? Well, you actually can’t, per se. Mega Pokéstops are not fixed. Instead, they trigger on every tenth unique Pokéstop that you visit. This means that any Pokéstop has the potential to be a Mega, as long as it’s the tenth unique Pokéstop in a row. Niantic presumably introduced this to give adventurous players a small incentive for going out and exploring new Pokéstops instead of just staying in the same area and spinning the same stops over and over.
2. Curve Your Pokéballs
The Pokéball-throwing minigame is simple to learn, but difficult to master. However, if you learn how to throw balls like a pro, you’ll find yourself with a much higher catch rate, and a bunch of bonus XP.
One trick we’ll start with is Curveballs. Before throwing the ball, impart a circular movement with your finger, giving it a spin. Throw the ball with a semi-circular motion away from the centre of the screen, drawing a loop back to the centre at the end of your throw. The further away the Pokémon is, the larger the semicircle. Mastering this trick will grant you 10 bonus XP on every throw, and also make Pokémon slightly more cooperative.
Now, go teach those stupid Pidgeys a lesson.
3. Re-centre Pokémon on Your Screen
When a Pokémon breaks free from a ball, it often ends up further away from you than before. Sometimes, it goes so far that you can’t even see its name and CP value.
Fortunately, there is a way to fix this. Simply turn on AR mode, and turn it back off again. The Pokémon should now be back in the centre of your screen.
4. Do Not Power Up Your Pokémon (yet)
Back in the old Pokémon games that we played as children, choosing a starter Pokémon was a big deal. This was because you’d train your Pokémon from the start, and keep them with you as they get stronger and stronger. Sadly, GO does not follow this design.
In Pokémon GO, you don’t train your Pokémon; you train your trainer. The higher your level, the stronger the Pokémon you’ll find in the wild. This makes it absolutely pointless to power up your Pokémon in the early stages of the game.
Imagine you have a 10CP Squirtle. You spend stardust and candy powering your Squirtle up to 100CP. A day later, when your trainer is two levels higher than before, you find a 200CP Squirtle in the wild. You’ve just wasted all your dust and candy on a Squirtle that is now only half as powerful as one you just found.
So when can you start powering up your Pokémon? Read on to find out.
5. Hidden Level Caps
The “hard” level cap for Pokémon GO is currently 40, meaning you simply cannot go beyond level 40. However, there are two hidden level caps in the game that most people don’t know of.
Level 20 – On average, after Level 20, Pokémon obtained from eggs do not get any better. This means that a Level 20 player should be hatching the same quality of eggs on average as a Level 30 or 40 player. In practice, you can use this information if you are currently under Level 20 by saving up your 10km eggs until after you reach Level 20.
Level 30 – After Level 30, the average CP value of Pokémon you find in the wild will stagnate. So if you’re wondering about the answer to when you should start powering up your Pokémon, this is it. Realistically, however, powering up your strongest, most evolved Pokémon in your high 20s wouldn’t be that bad of an idea, as you probably won’t be finding better ones as you approach Level 30.
Bonus Tip: Pokémon Spawning
Ever wondered how the system decides when and where to spawn Pokémon? Currently, the evidence suggests that Pokémon spawn based on the concentration of active users in an area. Basically, the more crowded a place is, the more Pokémon will appear. This means that Parks, crowded walkways, and malls – anywhere with a high concentration of active trainers – are ideal places for Pokéhunting!
Furthermore, malls like IMM are rolling out promotions to Poképlayers. If you’re feeling lucky, some players have even reported catching ultra-rare Pokémon Snorlax in IMM. Even I don’t have a Snorlax! Jealous much.
You can catch ‘em all at IMM and redeem a Café Red Ginger coffee or tea voucher on 20 and 21 August 2016 between 12pm and 4pm! Simply spend $10* in a single receipt at IMM, take a screenshot of the Pokémon caught at IMM in AR mode, and you can head on down to the Redemption Counter on Level 3 near Long Beach Seafood Restaurant to redeem your voucher! Lure modules will be activated at all 3 PokéStops at IMM during those periods. Shop, catch ‘em all and relax with a cup of coffee or tea at Café Red Ginger after.
*Limited to the first 100 redemptions per day. Transaction must be done between 12pm – 4pm on the day of redemption.
Refer to the link for more details.
If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, and maybe we’ll do a Part Two.
Until then, stay safe, and have fun!
Catch ‘em All at IMM (20 and 21 August 2016, 12pm – 4pm)
Address: IMM, 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601