If you’re here, it’s because you want to become the best Pokémon trainer that you can be. If you’re just getting started with Pokémon Go, then you should check out our guide to getting started before diving in here. This guide is for those of you who are grinding levels, capturing Pokémon and taking over Gyms.

As you know by now, there is a lot going on with Pokémon Go, and we’re going to detail most of it out for you here.

Are your kids playing this game? Check out our Parent’s Guide for some helpful tips!

Dealing with bugs

This game has grown at a pace never before seen in the history of mobile games. It has been truly incredible to watch as Pokémon Go became larger than Twitter almost overnight, with the average person using the app longer then most people use Facebook each day. The upside is there’s a ton of people playing and loving this game with you. The downside is it’s basically impossible to anticipate so many people using a game all at once, which means the game isn’t always the smoothest ride ever. Unfortunately, these issues can only be fixed by waiting. Niantic is working hard to keep the servers up, but it’s a lot of work to support so many people all at once.

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On top of occasional game freezes and offline messages, many people encounter a repeating error regarding the GPS on their phone or problems with the app failing to wake up when you put it in Battery Saver mode. Here’s a quick list of the most common issues and how to triage them!

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Level Up

To become the best Pokémon trainer out there you’ll need to level up not only your Pokémon, but your avatar as well. You’ll level up by earning experience for actions you take in the game. This means everything from checking in at Pokéstops or Gyms, to catching and evolving Pokémon. This means that most actions will give you at least a little bit of XP, but after the first few levels you’ll see that it starts to take much longer to get to the next level.

That’s when using a few tricks to get as much XP as possible come in to play. To do this you’ll need to use a few different items to maximize the XP that you can earn. The first item that is essential for grinding through a level is a lucky egg. When you activate a lucky egg, your XP earned is doubled for thirty minutes.

Read More: Tips and tricks for Pokemon Go

Read More: How to level up your trainer{.cta .large}

Read More: The definitive list of unlockable items (sorted by level) in Pokémon Go

Now while you earn XP for checking at Pokéstops, it isn’t particularly substantial. Especially when compared to the XP earned for catching and evolving Pokémon. There are two easy ways to make that lucky egg even more useful. Waiting to evolve your Pokémon until you have several that are ready to go will get you enough XP that you can make serious headway into the next level. Likewise, if you set off a lucky egg at a Pokéstop with an active lure you’ll reap the benefits.

By wandering through areas that are swarming with Pokémon activity and Pokéstops, you can also make the most of your time. That’s because more Pokemon will appear in areas with a lot of activity, and areas with lots of places to check in attracting droves of players. It shouldn’t be hard to find an area that has several Pokéstops and a Gym all within close vicinity of each other.

Working with your team

After you hit level 5, you’ll be able to join a team. While there isn’t any serious difference between the three teams, you’ll be working with your team members to win and hold Gyms. That means that communicating with your team members can make taking over a gym much, much easier.

As of right now there isn’t a way to speak with other players inside of Pokémon Go, which is a serious shame. What you can do is reach out on other social media, or take a walk with your real friends who are members of your faction. While communicating with other players isn’t mandatory it’s a fun way to enjoy the game and make new friends at the same time.

More: Which team should you choose?

By communicating and working with your team, you can easily take over multiple gyms and make them much more difficult for opposing teams to take back over. You can also find out where specific Pokémon are spawning, or where Pokéstops that you didn’t know about are located.

Check out RazerGo, a chat app for Pokémon Go

Become a Gym master

So you’ve collected some Pokémon and now you’ve got your eye on the Gym around the corner, eh? Well there are definitely a few things that you ought to know before you decide to head over and challenge that level 5 Gym. The first thing that you need to consider is the strength of the Gym that you plan on taking over.

A Gym’s level indicates how many Pokémon are currently holding it. You can see this by tapping on the nearby Gym. When the Gym opens up on your screen you will be able to see the Pokémon and trainer currently holding the Gym. If multiple Pokémon have been stationed here, you can see each of them by swiping from side to side. You’ll also be able to see the CP (Combat Points) of each individual Pokémon who is inside of the Gym, and that’s the important part.

More: How to capture a Gym

Before you decide to challenge a Gym you need to make sure that both you, and your Pokémon are ready for the challenge ahead of you. Your roster of Pokémon needs to be strong enough to take on the Gym’s defenders. This means taking a look at both the type of Pokémon that you’re planning to use and whether they will be effective, along with whether their CP is up to snuff. Additionally, making sure that you have potions to bolster their HP, and revives for after the battle are also key.

When it’s time to fight for the Gym, a separate mini-game will open up. It’s here that you’ll need to attack with your Pokémon of choice, hopefully defeating the defender and taking the Gym for your team. It’s here that your choice in Pokemon really matters. That’s because certain types of Pokemon are vulnerable to other types, or specific types of attacks.

By being able to see exactly which Pokémon you’re up against, you can tailor your roster to be most effective.

If you can launch attacks that are super effective against the Pokémon you are battling, then even a Pokémon with a lower CP can end up coming out on top. Unlike in the original Pokémon games where many of your battles would be random, Pokémon Go trainers have a leg up. By being able to see exactly which Pokémon you’re up against, you can tailor your roster to be most effective.

Don’t forget that you get a pretty awesome perk for holding a Gym for 24 hours. Each 24 hour cycle that you manage to hold on to a Gym, you’ll receive Pokécoins. Since these coins are how you purchase extra items and upgrades from within the shop, getting them without shelling out your hard earned cash is fantastic. Just remember that after the battle, whether you win or lose you’ll need to use a Revive on any of your Pokémon who fainted.

Tracking Pokémon

It won’t take long before you end up seeing a photo of a Pokémon that you desperately want in your roster. Whether you’re after a Vulpix because of how cute it is, or a Snorlax for that fantastic CP, tracking Pokémon will pop into your head soon enough. Now, at the bottom right of your screen is a box that shows nearby Pokémon and you can use this to figure out where Pokémon in the area are. To a point, anyway.

If you head to a nearby pond, lake or beach, then you are going to find more water type Pokémon.

Early versions of the game showed Pokémon inside of the box a set of tracks underneath it, but as of version 0.33.0 that is no longer the case. Instead, you’ll see up to nine Pokémon that change position from bottom right to top left depending on how close they are.

As well as using the nearby Pokémon, you can find specific types of Pokémon in areas that are similar to their Pokémon type. For instance if you head to a nearby pond, lake, or beach then you are going to find more water type Pokémon such as Horsea or Magikarp. There is also a lot of conversation going on in groups online about where to find specific Pokémon spawning.

More: How to unlock Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals for everything in Pokémon Go

Get the most out of your items

There are plenty of items that are in the game to help you out in various ways. Getting the most out of the items that you collect will make sure that you aren’t wasting your precious resources. Now some items, like Pokéballs or revives, are going to be used and refilled on a regular basis just by playing the game. However, making sure to time when you use items like Razz berries, lures and incense will make sure you get the most out of them.

More: How to use a Razz Berry{.cta .large}

More: How to buy and use Pokecoins

Using an incense while you are sitting in the living room watching Netflix might make your movie night more amusing, but if all you draw are low level Pidgeys and Rattatas then you aren’t really getting the most bang for your buck. Instead wait until you’re in an area where there are Pokémon that you need to collect for candies, or unknown Pokémon nearby. Likewise, when using a Lure when you’re in an isolated Pokéstop might not be as effective as using it at a Pokéstop with a lot of traffic already.

While you can get coins from holding a Gym for 24 hours to use in the shop, the easier way to get them is by checking in at Pokéstops. Each time that you check in, you’ll get a variety of items. In the beginning it’s usually just Pokéballs, and Eggs, but as you level up the type of items that you get will level up as well.

In closing

This isn’t by far everything that you need to know about Pokemon Go, instead it’s what you need to know to really get the most out of the game. As we continue to see updates there is only going to be more to do, see, and discover. This guide is meant to help you get the most out of your experience with Pokemon Go, so that you can be the best possible trainer you can be! Do you think we’re missing something in this guide? Do you have some tips that we should know about? Be sure to let us know about it in the comments!

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