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How to level up fast in Pokémon GO?

Updated on August 3, 2016

Pokémon GO - great for those of us who live in cities but for those of us living in more rural areas, trips to urban areas can be important. Not only do those trips offer a chance to play a game of "Who's playing Pokémon GO?" but they also allow us to stock up on those Pokéballs and take advantage of the lures.

In this short guide however, I've compiled a list of tips to grinding that XP. For those of you who may not know, increasing your level gives you access to some better items (Great Balls, Lucky Eggs, etc.) and also allows you to find higher CP Pokémon in the wild. There's no way to stress how important levelling up is in the game and with the help of the guide, you'll be able to fly through the ranks in no time.

Making Pidgeys Useful

Upon researching the best ways to level up, I stumbled upon this table from Prima Games (you can view their original article here, the article was fantastic).

XP Gained
Catching a Pokemon with a Curveball
Catching a Pokemon with a Nice Throw
Catching a Pokemon with a Great Throw
Spinning a PokeStop
Catching a Pokemon with an Exellent Throw
Catching Any Pokemon
Winning a Gym Battle Against One Pokemon
Winning a Gym Battle Against Two Pokemon
Winning a Gym Battle Against Three Pokemon
Winning a Gym Battle Against Four Pokemon
Hatching a New Pokemon
Evolving a Pokemon
Catching a New Pokemon
Evolving a New Pokemon

Here's what I personally believe is the ultimate low-level (let's say Level 10 and below) strategy to levelling up fast. If you disagree or have other ways you've found, comment below - I'd love to hear some feedback! The only real requirement is that you're in a somewhat urban area with say, ten Pok‎éstops at least. This guide doesn't require the use of Lucky Eggs but using them will help a huge, huge ton.

Your first step in the guide is to hit up all those Pokestops around. The reason you're doing it first is to give you those extra Pok‎éballs, and to give you a chance for getting eggs. If there are at least 10 Pok‎éstops where you're at, that's a nice 500 XP at least in the bag already as well as any other stops you find.

For beginners, this right here is a Pokéstop. Give it a click and then spin the little photo that comes up.
For beginners, this right here is a Pokéstop. Give it a click and then spin the little photo that comes up. | Source

Now here is step two. In my experience, there's always one Pokéstop at any given time with an active Lure - in fact, there's a cluster of three stops right next to each other that anytime in the day will have Lures on. If you can find with a Lure, great, head over to it; if not, an Insence works just fine. This is where we do something a lot of people haven't - grab as many Pidgeys and Rattatas you can find. Whilst these have no purpose whatsoever in battle, they're extremely common and are great for evolving. In my experience, the half hour provided by Insence gives you enough time to catch say 8 of each but that can vary. When catching them, make sure to use Curveballs and throw the Pokéball when the little shrinking circle is smallest. Remember, Curveballs give you an extra 10 XP and if by some miracle you can get an Excellent throw, there's another 100 XP.

The next step from here is evolving. For a Pidgey to evolve into a Pidgeotto, it only takes twelve candies. A Rattata evolution costs slightly more, needing twenty five candies per evolution. Whilst Rattata takes double the candies, it can be quite easy to fill your inventory with those little purple rats - they're super common, as are the Pidgeys. Now, catching and transferring any Pokémon gives you four candies; in the case of our Pidgey here, that means we need three Pidgeys to catch and transfer, and one to perform the evolution on. For Rattata, you need to find six plus the one extra for the evolution. Referring to the table, each evolution gives 500 XP and if you've never evolved a certain Pokémon before you get double that.

Now for the maths. Let's say there was 10 Pokéstops where you went, and whilst there you caught 8 Pidgeys using a Curveball and a Great Throw. That adds up to 500 XP for the Pokéstops, 160 XP per Pidgey catch and 1000 XP for your Pidgey evolutions. That's 1660 XP for what, 45 minutes? I said at the start that a Lucky Egg isn't required but it's definitely worth it - 3320 XP in three quarters of an hour.

This little guy seriously helps with levelling up. Catch as many as you can!
This little guy seriously helps with levelling up. Catch as many as you can!

Gym Battles

I've only had one gym battle so far, and it's fair to say that I wasn't prepared (374 CP doesn't do anything against an 800 CP) but from what the XP table says, it could be a great source of XP as well later on. It doesn't seem anywhere as efficient as the method I've said above but with a lucky egg and a high CP team, three and four Pokémon gyms could be a good source of XP.

Final Words

Following this guide, you'll be able to reach the higher ranks in no time. Of course, each rank increases the XP required by 1000 (I believe that's consistent even with the higher levels) but this method is relatively short and can be done time and time again for fast XP. You can see the Evolution method in practice in this video by popular YouTuber CaptainSparklez below.

That's all there is folks! Go to every Pokestop you can, catch all the Pidgeys you can, and evolve everything you can. Big shout out to Prima Games for their article, it informed me on things I didn't know.

Good luck everyone with catching 'em all!


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