I am still unable to play Pokemon-Go but I want to have a solid strategy when I can finally play.

Are there any special ways of catching up quickly in XP for someone who will start for the first time?


5 Answers 5


If you want to level up fast:

Save evolutions for lucky egg effects.

Lucky eggs double all of the experience you gain for the 30 minutes after you use them. You get a lucky egg once you reach level 9 and every multiple of 5 thereafter (10, 15, 20, etc.). You can also buy them from the store for Pokécoins (which can be purchased with real money). Being under their effect at all times that you're playing the game will make you level up extremely fast right off the bat, but if you don't want to spend the money and want to level up efficiently the old fashioned way:

  • catch every Pokémon you can find, send extra ones to the professor*
  • visit Pokéstops
  • ignore gyms (for now)
  • don't spend candy
  • don't spend stardust
  • don't evolve (for now)

* Keep enough Pokémon to evolve them:

If you have collected ~50 Pidgey candy you can evolve 4 Pidgeys (12 candy each), so you have to keep 4 Pidgeys in your inventory. (For other Pokémon check how many candy they need to evolve and keep enough of them)

If you have accumulated enough Pokémon to evolve and their candy you can use a lucky egg and evolve them all at once. It's recommended to use cheap Pokémon for this, like Pidgey, Caterpie, etc., which cost 12 candy to evolve[1]. Also it is useful to use lure modules and incense with your lucky egg and double the catch XP as well while evolving your zoo.

When you reached a decent level and you start caring about gyms you can then start spending stardust. Don't waste it as it gets more and more expensive to power up Pokémon later. It's not necessarily needed to level up, but keeps the fun factor higher. If you want to power up a few Pokémon make sure to power up Pokémon with higher CP as they need much less stardust to get combat ready.

Edit for clarification
[1] Of course you can keep more expensive ones as well (like Rattata) and evolve them with the egg effect enabled. If you're really running out of space by that time make sure to keep the ones, where you don't have the evolved form in your Pokédex, yet, in order to also get the "first catch" bonus x2.

  • 5
    Mostly good advice, except instead of only evolving the easy ones like pidgey, it's really good to evolve pokemon into things you haven't caught yet for the bonus 500x2
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 10:37
  • 6
    Not necessarily. It makes sense for first evolution stages (Caterpie - Metapod, my beloved example), but it's a bad idea for the 2nd evolution (Metapod - Butterfree). You would actually lose XP for not evolving more Caterpie due to the much higher evolution costs: 4 x 500 (=48 candy) > 1x 1000 (= 50 candy).. with double XP that would be a net loss of 2000 XP.
    – dly
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:07
  • 4
    I'm talking about completely different pokemon, such as meowth and what not, since you're probably going to run out of pokemon space you'll need to choose wether to keep pidgeys or meowths. If you haven't gotten a persian before the meowth is going to be a lot better because of the new pokemon bonus. It's just something else that needs to be considered.
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:09
  • Of course it works there, especially if you're collecting tons of Rattata, like I did. Like I posted in my answer you collect every Pokémon and evolve them all with the lucky egg.
    – dly
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:11
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    Good advice but I want to add the importance of not spending your candy early. Don't power up anything unless it's on its final evolution and it's something rare. The general rule is the more you level up the higher the max cp of the pokemon you are catching will be. Don't evolve anything other than the low cost 'mon because by the time you get it evolved all the way you're likely to catch a 'mon on its lowest evolution with higher CP than your fully evolved one! I'd say until level 10 just catch as many of everything as possible, saving one of each and turning in the rest. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 12:26

Levels 1-4

When you start out, you only have three EXP sources - catching Pokemon, hatching Pokemon and spinning Pokestops.

Catching Pokemon

At the start, catching Pokemon is very profitable - you get 100 EXP for catching, and 500 EXP if the Pokemon isn't already in your Pokedex. You can earn 10 bonus EXP if you spin the ball before throwing it, and more bonus EXP if you can hit inside the shrinking colored circle.

But all these bonuses are unreliable - most of your captures will be regular captures that give 100 EXP.

You can also evolve Pokemon if you have enough candy but don't do that until you have Lucky Eggs (see below).

Spinning Pokestops

Spinning Pokestops is a much better source of EXP. They give 50 EXP every time and refresh every five minutes. So plot a route that takes you past a good amount of Pokestops, and is about 5 minutes long. If you live somewhere like Manhattan, almost every street corner has a Pokestop and streets are 80m apart, so a regular walking pace (1.4 meters/sec) will have you hitting about one Pokestop per minute. Hop on a bike, and you can double or triple that number easy, but even without that, you're earning 3000 EXP per hour.

Of course, this cuts into your Candy supply, so stop and catch Pokemon you want, and Pidgey, Caterpie, and Weedle for evolving later.

Hatching eggs

You get one incubator to start, and can find eggs by spinning Pokestops. Every time you hatch something you get 200 EXP, plus the 500 bonus if it's new to you. Focus on the 2km eggs because they will be easy to hatch, and eggs you get now will have low CP Pokemon. Average walking speed is 5km/hr, so you can do two and a half eggs per hour of walking for 200 XP apiece. That's 500XP per hour on top of your 3000 from Pokestops.

Accounting for the 500 EXP bonuses, you should reach level 5 (10,000 EXP total) in about two hours.

Levels 5-8

You earn an Incense for reaching level 5, and another at level 7. You also get an egg incubator at level 6 and a lure module at level 8. You also earn the right to battle gyms.


Incense burns for 30 minutes, and spawns a Pokemon every 5 minutes (if staying still) or every 200 meters (if moving). Remember that average walking speed from before? In that half-hour, it will take you 2500 meters, resulting in an expected 12 bonus Pokemon encountered, or 1200 EXP per incense.


Don't use your new Incubator on 2km eggs, because it only has 3 uses. Your XP gain will be slower, but you should make up for that when you hatch the rarer Pokemon inside 5km and 10km eggs.


Don't bother with them. You get decent EXP for defeating Pokemon, but it takes too long and you're too weak right now.

Lure Module

Plant your lure modules on the Pokestop you plan to pass every 5 minutes on your grinding circuit.

Levels 9+

Level 9 is when you get your first free Lucky Egg, and can start doing mass evolutions of Pokemon with low candy costs. Pidgey, Caterpie, and Weedle cost 12 candy to evolve each, making them excellent candidates. You will also have Pokemon with higher costs that you can evolve during these windows to complete your Pokedex and get powerful Gym battlers.

Because each evolution has a fairly long animation, you can only do so many while your Lucky Egg is active. You have time for around 60-70 evolutions in the half-hour that the Lucky Egg is active, so make sure you have that many Pokemon ready to evolve. To make it easier, add all Pokemon you will evolve to Favorites (tap the star in the top right of their profile), and then remove them from Favorites once you've evolved them.

After finishing your Lucky Egg, send your newly evolved Pidgeotto, Kakuna, and Metapod to the Professor for more candy. Don't do it during the Lucky Egg window, it's a waste of time.

  • It's worth noting that if you have enough candies for Pokémon whose evolutions you haven't caught yet, those should be prioritized when doing lucky egg mass evolutions because adding the new Pokémon to your Pokédex gives you an extra 500*2 XP. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 23:26
  • Can you clarify "wait until you can evolve a combined 70 Pidgey/Caterpie/Weedle"? Do you mean a combined total of 70 or more candies between the three types?
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:42
  • @Beofett Clarified. I meant that you need to have 70 ready to evolve - 840 candy between the three types.
    – SPavel
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    You don't even need to power-evolve yet, you can get the 10k EXP for level 10 just by walking around and hitting Pokestops for a couple hours. Don't rush your Lucky Egg, it's a precious commodity.
    – SPavel
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 14:24
  • 1
    Unfortunately, Pokestops are rare and widely spaced where I live, at least in the areas I've found so far. Plus I play with a 5 year old, so we're limited in how far we can go.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 15:01

A great tip I got from my cousin is to do all your evolving while the lucky egg is on. All the +500 XP bonuses become +1000 XP.


My recommendation is, exploring a lot. By doing so, you can have plenty of pokéballs, and catch all the pokémons you see. catching gives you 500 xp for a new pokémon and candies to evolve.
Evolving gives you 500 xp (if you don't have that pokémon already) and extra 500 xp for evolving. catching lots of Pidgey or Zubats is my main xp source.

When you are level 5, train your same team gyms, so you will have a better gym and also xp reward. remember to continue exploring in order to get enough potions.

By special, there are no other ways than playing, but to catch up, you can use Lure modules on pokéstop + incense + xp eggs, that will increase the xp gain.


There's a great guide for new players that focuses on Lucky Egg + capturing first time Pokemon... but it only works on the beginning. Ignore gyms, ignore everything that doesn't yield XP! :)

On our first day using this strategy, we caught 50 different Pokémon’s which netted us a whooping total of 50.000 EXP and boosted us all the way to Level 11. Of course, this may be an extreme example as every Pokemon we caught was a new Pokémon, but still – 50 Pokemon while a Lucky Egg is activated nets you a Level 11 account with all of the rewards mentioned in the table above.

See http://pokemongohub.net/power-leveling-for-new-trainers/

And another one more advanced, focusing on evolving Pidgeys http://pokemongohub.net/pidgey-power-leveling-guide/

  • 2
    You don't get a Lucky Egg until level 8 or 9, unless you buy one. That seems extremely unlikely, and it only lasts half an hour, anyways.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 13:27

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