Are there any strategies to increase pokemon CP efficiently faster for those pokemon who can't evolve? In my village there aren't many pokemon to catch, but once I captured some relatively rare pokemon, they had low to so-so CP.

Consider these CP on some of my pokemon:

  • Magmar had only about 350 CP (now it's 393)
  • Electabuzz has only 245 CP
  • Scyther had only 490 (now it's 528)

But my question is not about the rarity of a pokemon itself, but for all pokemon that can't evolve. Are there any strategies for this case?

  • 1
    There is no strategy. You can "Power up" your pokemon but you sound like you are aware of that - there is no strategy related to doing the power ups sooner or later or somewhere in between. The more you power up a pokemon the higher its CP is the bottom line.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:18
  • Are there some kind of "special items" we can find/buy/exhange rather than doing multiple manual powering up? Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:19
  • Nope. Not that I'm aware of. Its just hitting the power up button and paying the candy/dust cost which goes up at a fixed rate per pokemon level.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:25
  • Ok thank you. Yes. It's kinda making me sad see people on youtube got pretty average high points at the same pokemons I caught :P . Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:31
  • As your trainer level increases you will catch higher level pokemon (who will thus have higher CP) so I guess one strategy if you are playing the long game is to not waste dust/candy on training pokemon until you are a higher level and catch a higher level version of your pokemon.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


My strategy is to wait.

Consider the scenario in which I catch a low CP Pinsir (or any decently rare Pokemon that can't be evolved), something like 200-300 CP. If I am, say, level 20, the maximum CP for Pinsir is 1324, as stated here (you can find max CP per level for all Pokemon at this source). If I want to power-up my Pinsir all the way to max, each power-up would raise its CP by the same amount as my current level. I would likely level up in the process of powering-up Pinsir, so let's say that each power-up would raise Pinsir's CP by 21 points. This means that to raise my Pinsir from 250 CP to 1350 (accounting for a bit more in the max CP due to my leveling up to level 21), it would take:

#powerups = (1350 - 250) / 21
          = 52

It would take me 52 times to power-up my Pinsir.

Stardust aside, you can see from here that it would take 2 candies to power-up my Pinsir if I'm level 21. This means it would take 104 candies to complete all my power-ups. If I can get 4 candies per Pinsir I catch (3 for catch + 1 for transfer, already assumed to have 1 starting Pinsir), I would have to catch 26 more Pinsirs.

If I have to catch more than a few more Pinsirs (and this goes for most rarer Pokemon that don't spawn as commonly), it is far more likely that in the many more Pinsirs I catch that one of them will have a much higher CP. Thus, it is better to wait.

In addition, the stardust demands for doing this are quite extreme, and also lean in the favor of waiting for another Pinsir. While it might seem frustrating to catch a very rare Pokemon to only have it be very low CP, you will have to catch more of that rare Pokemon to power it up, so it is just better to wait in most cases.

A brief side-note, I usually choose a Pokemon to commit to and power-up when it's "power bar" is pretty close to max, I am at least Level 20, and it is a Pokemon that is proven to be top tier.

EDIT: As noted by @EBongo, a Pokemon's max CP increases as your trainer level increases, so if you catch a Pokemon and it's terrible, it will only get worse (another reason to wait for a better Pokemon).

  • 1
    +1 I recently came to the exact same conclusion. Unfortunately, it is almost always better to wait for another unless a Pokemon is near max CP when caught. Something you didn't highlight - Max CP keeps going up as your trainer level goes up, even for Pokemon you've already caught. This means if it is low now, it will just get further and further from max the more you level up. Far exceeding reasonable amounts of candy/dust.
    – EBongo
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 0:58
  • @EBongo duly noted, check most recent edit
    – wcarhart
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 1:25
  • 1
    awesome, yeah you're right, I started capturing 1400+ pokemon, I'm at lvl 11 now :D Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 17:08
  • *I mean 400+ cp not 1400+ Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 4:45

In regards to your comments on the decision to power up your rare pokemon or catch better ones, I believe you are missing a critical factor in that decision: that of IV's.

Pokemon have three IV's (individual values) that are added to their base stats. Each IV can be from 0 to 15; they are Attack, Defense, and Stamina. They determine the max CP of a pokemon in relation to other pokemon of the same type. Additionally they cannot be changed or improved (by evolution or otherwise).

Pokemon with perfect IV's (all 15's) are very rare in and of themselves, to say nothing a of rare pokemon with perfect IVs. If one of your rarer pokemon had very good / perfect IVs it would be much more worth keeping than one with average or bad IVs.

You can check your pokemon's IVs through various online calculators (although it will probably only give you a range without further powerups).

In any case, to address your initial question - as the commenters have said, there is only one way to power up pokemon: the power up button. Each powerup increases the pokemon's level by .5; there is no more or less efficient way to do this.

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