CP, evolving and powering up explained
CP stands for combat points. It’s more or less an indicator of how strong the pokemon is, similar to the level system on previous pokemon games you may know from the gameboy, 3DS, etc.
In this game your pokemon don’t level up by earning experience, but they gain CP by powering them up using 1 candy (later on it will costs you 2/3 candy) of the species and an amount of stardust. The cost of stardust to power up a pokemon increases depending on how far on the CP curve the pokemon is. For example at the beginning of the curve it may cost you 200 stardust to power up, but at the end of the curve it may cost you 3000 stardust to power up.
Also keep in mind that powering up is tied to your trainer level. By which I mean that on lower levels you cannot reach the end of the curve simply because the game won’t allow you to power up that pokemon anymore if that pokemon has reached a certain point on the curve.
The CP curve (indicated in the image below) is a relative indicator that indicates how far the pokemon is in acquiring his max CP potential.
Because weight, height, HP, the stage of evolution and the level of the trainer determine what the maximum CP of a pokemon is.
Since a pokemon gains CP when evolved, it is hard to compare two pokemon of the same species that are in different evolutionary stages (e.g. a Pidgey vs. a Pidgeotto).
Therefore it is advised not to compare the CP number, but to compare where two pokemon are on their CP curve.
Important to know is that a pokemon maintains it’s CP curve after evolving. So in the example on the left, if this Pidgey would evolve in a Pidgeotto. The Pidgeotto’s CP curve will remain on the same spot. It will however gain raw CP points.
It is advised to evolve a pokemon to it’s final evolutionary stage, before spending stardust to power it up. The reason this is advised is because of the fact that the maximum CP a pokemon can get is slightly higher when you evolve it to it’s final evolutionary stage before you start powering it up.
Another reason why this is advised, is because a pokemon get’s a higher raw CP number every time it evolves so this is a good way to increase a pokemon’s CP early on without having to spend stardust. A commodity that is hard to come by (only catching a pokemon, hatching an egg or collecting your defense bonus yields stardust).
The last two reasons are that you get 500XP for evolving a pokemon, something that could be very welcome when you’re trying to level up and by leveling up first you can see the attacks a pokemon at it’s final evolution has. This way you don’t waste stardust on a pokemon with attacks you don’t like.
In which pokemon should you invest?
It goes without saying that it’s better to invest in a pokemon with a higher CP curve, than it’s counterpart, even if it’s in a higher evolutionary stage, with a low(er) CP curve. The reason being is that you will save stardust.
Take for example these two above from Pidgey species. The Pidgeot on the left is at it’s final evolutionary stage, the Pidgey on the right haven’t evolved yet.
If I would evolve the Pidgey to it’s final evolutionary stage it will cost me 12 + 50 = 62 candy. By that time the Pidgeot that will come out of that will be around CP600 or higher.
To achieve the same with the Pidgeot on the left it would cost me 1000 stardust + 1 candy each time. Not even considering the increase in stardust and candy cost after a couple of times powering up the Pidgeot (1300 stardust + 2 candy). Probably costing me between 4000-5000 stardust and around 5 candy.
Candy for this species isn’t hard to come by, I get 3 candy for every Pidgey I catch + 1 candy for every Pidgey I transfer. So in this case it would be wise to ignore the Pidgeot (perhaps keep it as backup when I’ve got nothing better to power up) and invest in the Pidgey.
Some people brought up that this wouldn’t be a good choice for rare pokemon, because it’s hard to get candy for those species. Let’s say for example you’ve caught a Dragonite and a Dratini. Let’s also say, for argument sake and because it makes for a clearer picture, the Dragonite is at the beginning of it’s curve and the Dratini is near the end of it’s curve.
Now in this example you could use all your Dratini candy (+ stardust) to power up the Dragonite, but in my opinion it would be better to save the candy until you have enough to evolve the Dratini into a Dragonair, because chances are that your newly evolved Dragonair will be stronger (i.e. have a higher CP) than your vanilla Dragonite. All without spending any stardust.
In general you should invest in the pokemon with the highest CP curve across all evolutionary stages within that species. So if you’re Bellsprout has a higher CP curve than your Weepinbell, invest in your Bellsprout and if the difference in the curve is huge, transfer the Weepinbell for a candy.
Keep in mind though that these decisions are always done within a snapshot. By which I mean that you could find a pokemon with a lower curve but higher CP when you’re a couple of levels higher. So try to remember which pokemon is caught at which level, but in general I wouldn’t worry too much if you keep your pokemon list clean (i.e. transfer the ones you don’t use), since you’ll probably know with one you caught last.
There seems to be one exception to this methodology and those are two of the same pokemon, at the exact same curve. One with slightly lower CP but slight higher HP and one with slightly higher CP and slightly lower HP. This seems to be a trade off the game presents from time to time. I would recommend you choose the one you prefer most, perhaps by even looking at the attacks (even though those can change when evolving).
All in all, it may seem like a lot of things to keep in mind when you invest in a pokemon, but since none of us is reading this to become the best in the world, plus the fact that not everything is known yet, I would recommend just sticking to the ‘highest curve = invest’ doctrine to keep things simple. This will almost always give you the most bang for your buck and assures that you can have strong pokemon on the short term. Especially considering that there’s a good chance you’ll find a better replacement when you’re a couple of levels higher.
Pokemon Go Gyms
Now that you know how to get strong(er) pokemon, you want to claim gyms with them.
Let’s look at this gym that is claimed by a competing team.
You can see that this is a lvl3 gym, this means that it has room for three pokemon. You also see that the strongest pokemon, that of the gym leader (marked with a crown), is at CP830 and that this gym’s prestige is at 6000/8000.
6000/8000 means that if they train this gym enough to get the prestige to 8000, the gym will level up to level 4 and then it has space for 4 pokemon (with a maximum of lvl 10 ).
In order for you to remove them from the gym you need to remove 6000 prestige. IIRC you remove 1000 prestige per pokemon you beat and you remove another 500 bonus prestige for beating every pokemon without losing in one match.
So if you don’t have a pokemon strong enough to beat this Snorlax, you can still seriously diminish this gyms defence. By defeating the two pokemon prior to Snorlax, you remove 2000 prestige.
Also, don’t forget that you have 6 pokemon to beat the gym with vs. whatever level the gym is, so in this case 3 pokemon (it could be 10 pokemon if the gym is lvl 10). So in short: 6 mediocre pokemon can beat 1 strong pokemon.
If we continue the example from above then you have 6 pokemon to defeat three pokemon. You will have to do this twice, since 4000-2000 (not considering the win bonus) = 2000.
After which you can claim the gym.
When you claim a gym it starts out with 2000 prestige effectively making the gym lvl 2 and at lvl 2 it has space for two pokemon.
If you’re playing with someone else on your team or you know that people from your team are active in the area, then don’t immediately place your strongest pokemon on that gym. Place a beatable pokemon on the gym, something around CP500.
This way you (or others from your team) can train and increase the gym level. When training you’ll have to choose 1 pokemon. So choose wisely. You don’t have 5 backup pokemon to help you out.
Another difference between training and battling an opponent’s gym is that your pokemon can’t faint when training, whereas when battling an opponents gym, your pokemon can faint. This saves you a revive.
Every time you beat the pokemon that’s already on the friendly gym, the gym get’s prestige. How much depends on a number of factors, but it seems you gain more prestige for the gym if you beat it with a pokemon that has a lower CP than the pokemon that’s placed on the gym. The more pokemon you beat, the more prestige you gain for your gym. So even if you can only beat one pokemon and loose to the next pokemon on the gym, you still gain prestige for the gym.
The prestige requirement for the gym seems to increase with 4000 every time after level 3.4. So:
- Lvl 2 = 2000 prestige (starting point)
- Lvl 3 = 4000 prestige
- Lvl 4 = 8000 prestige
- Lvl 5 = 12000 prestige
- Lvl 6 = 16000 prestige
When the gym has the lvl or prestige of your liking, you (or a team mate) can now place the strongest available pokemon.
After you’ve placed all the pokemon you wanted to place on all the gyms in the area (you can only place one pokemon per gym), you can collect your defenders bonus in the shop.
The button will say how many pokemon you’ve placed and will give you stardust and golden coins depending on how many pokemon you’ve placed. But be sure to press this button only after you’ve placed all the pokemon you’ve wanted to place, since you can only press it once every 21hrs.
You can place as many pokemon as you want (with a maximum of one per gym), but you’ll only get a reward up to 10 pokemon placed.If you take a look at your pokemon list, you’ll also see a gym icon at every pokemon you’ve placed.
When that pokemon is knocked off the gym it will return with 1HP. So you don’t lose your pokemon, you lend them to the gym.
In short, the only way your pokemon can faint, is when you’re trying to defeat an opponent’s gym. Fun fact: if your pokemon is the one that made the attacker lose it will say ‘Battles won: X’ beneath him in the gym overview screen.
Leveling, eggs and other tips
So now you know the basics to this game. Let’s have a look at some little tips and things that are handy to know.
First let’s talk leveling. Leveling in this game can get quite tedious since you have to accumulate more and more XP to level up (like in most games).
Luckily you get XP for a lot of things in this game. Visiting a pokestop, evolving pokemon, catching pokemon, hatching eggs, winning a battle against an enemy gym, etc. The only things that didn’t give me XP were powering up pokemon.
Still there are some ways to increase the amount of XP you get. The simplest one is throwing a curveball when catching a pokemon. If you spin the ball in a circular motion and throw it diagonally at one of the edges of the screen it will curve towards a pokemon and you get 10XP ‘curve bonus’ if you manage to catch it that way. This also seems to work without spinning the ball and just throwing it diagonally towards one of the edges on the screen, at which the ball will curve towards the pokemon you’re trying to catch.
Another way of increasing the amount of XP you get while catching pokemon, is to throw the poke ball in the coloured circle. The smaller the circle is, the higher the bonus. These bonuses are respectively Nice (10XP), Great (50XP) and Excellent (100XP). You only get them if you actually catch the pokemon with that throw and sometimes the game is a bit quirky in registering these bonuses.
The last bonus that involves catching is a 500XP bonus for catching a pokemon that isn’t in your pokedex.
For visiting a pokestop you get 50XP, for winning a battle you get something along the lines of 20-30 XP (it seems to vary, but the trend is that you won’t get much) and the same is true for training at a gym your team controls.
Now the pro-tip. Use a lucky egg when you have one, but use it wisely. For every pokemon that you evolve you get 500XP and for every egg that hatches you get 1000XP (+500XP if the pokemon that came out of it isn’t in your pokedex yet).
So the tip is, activate your lucky egg (which is active for 30 min.) when you have three or more eggs on the brink of hatching. When they hatch you’ll get 2000XP per egg + 1000XP for every pokemon that isn’t in your pokedex (chances are that one of them isn’t in your pokedex since eggs are a great way to get pokemon
that normall don’t spawn in your area).
When the eggs are hatched, evolve every pokemon you saved up for this moment and you will get 1000XP for every evolve.
With a bit of planning this will gain you at least 10000XP which is about the same amount that you need for leveling up around lvl12.
A rule of thumb concerning eggs is that eggs with a longer distance typically give you rare pokemon. Although the list isn’t 100% correct (I got a Magicarp out of a 2km and a 5km egg), see this list at Serebii to check which eggs have been documented to spawn which pokemon.
Also eggs don’t track distance when you’re moving to fast (above ± 20 km/h), so driving around in a car isn’t a clever method to hatch out eggs.I would recommend using the long distance eggs,10km preferably or else 5km if you don’t have 10km, in the incubator that has limited use. This way you get the most out of the ‘breakable incubator’.This is the currently known rewards list for leveling up.
Some last minute tips
Currently the game is a little buggy and the servers are spotty at best.
One of the most annoying bugs is the so called ‘1HP glitch’; this is when the defending pokemon on an enemy gym doesn’t die and his hp doesn’t get lower than 1HP. If that’s the case wait out the timer (sometimes the server catches up and still gives you the victory) and restart the game to try again.
The glitch described above seems to have been fixed.
Another annoying bug is the so called ‘Go bug’, where you try to enter a battle at an enemy gym, but after the word ‘Go’ you get kicked out of the match only to return to the gym’s stat screen. This usually happens after you’ve restarted the game because of the ‘1HP glitch’, the server thinks you’re still in the battle and thus doesn’t let you start a new one. Just wait for a minute or two and try again. Usually the server kicks your ‘ghost’ out after the battle timer (which is also desynchronized) on the server has ended.
There’s also the ‘catch bug’ where the app freezes on the poke ball just while you’re trying to catch a pokemon. Give it 10 seconds for the server to catch up; if it doesn’t, then restart the game. The end result is usually one of two. Either you managed to catch the pokemon and he is in your pokemon list, or the pokemon escaped the poke ball and spawns at the same location after you’ve restarted the game for you to have another try. There’s also a third option and that is that the pokemon, you can check your journal at the character profile if that’s the case, usually it mentions the pokemon.
This game can use up a lot of battery. Try to set your screens brightness to a low setting and use the power savings setting in the game. What this does is it turns your screen to black when the phone is held upside down (i.e. when the phone is in your pocket). The game stays active and the phone vibrates when a pokemon spawns nearby. Watch out however, some people have reported that the game is unresponsive when it ‘wakes up’ and the only remedy is to restart the game and turn this setting off.
And as a last tip: try to play while the US is sleeping. Usually when the east coast of the US is around 9 a.m. local time, the servers are getting very spotty. Try to plan your pokemon travels so that you can avoid heavily loaded servers.
- Rewrote the CP/evolve/power up section since people had difficulties understanding it
- Corrected some numbers with regards to prestige and XP gain
- Credited people who gave me info I didn’t know, who made something I used or who pointed out a mistake I overlooked
- Removed some info that I couldn’t find a source for (anymore)
- Added sources where there was doubt about stated facts by the community
- Added some stardust
- Transferred some Rattatas
- Rebooted pokedex
- Ate some candy
Please keep in mind that this document consists of facts and personal tips mixed together. Don’t take this as gospel and don’t feel offended if it doesn’t coincide with your tactics. Take from it wat you like and disgard the rest
This guide was written by Lastminuteguy from Reddit.