Thursday, May 25, 2017

Power-level like a Pro, Maximizing time for experience gains!

Introduction


    I have some very high stats relative to the mass majority of players. I don't game full time, in fact I work, am a single full time dad and spend time making guides and videos for fun and to help and entertain other players. How do I get my stats? Well besides missing-sacrificing sleeping hours, I maximize all my time that I have when I do play! Don't get me wrong here, I also play a lot more than most players haha!


  The focus of this guide will be towards gaining experience, for most of my time playing I have focused gaining experience. A few months ago a switched my focus to gym battles and then have recently moved to a strategy to maximize all gains(which over the board for all stats is the best strategy, but this can be covered in a future strategy guide! Right now lets learn how to gain experience!).



Basics and Essentials for Power-Leveling


    These are some very basic things, but if you don't follow these basic things, your overall experience per hour played will plummet. The reason why is we are not looking at a specific hour, however the overall average of experience gained from the moment you begin your pokemon playing time!


   Item Bag Management: First and foremost maxing your item inventory is a #1 priority if you haven't already, Item storage is something you never use up and will always be useful for you! So max it now if you haven't!
    So you have decided you want to level up, but are you really ready to gain serious experience ? My first advice is to delete everything you have in your bag that isn't able to catch you pokemon or directly increase your experience(do this well you're stocking, there is no need to delete items when you have the space and aren't currently filling that space, I always delete least valuable items first). The only items that gain you real experience are, Pokeballs, Greatballs, Ultraballs, and pinap berries. EVERYTHING ELSE is literally lowering your ability to level(this is simple, catching pokemon is the fastest and most efficient way to gain experience per minute by a HUGE margin, this is before you even calculate in the experience you're storing with the candies you collect from catching). All this Said a decent portion of the time I was purely power-leveling, I would regularly hold a small portion of Max revives(if you still want to hold some form of gym item, this is essentially a revive+ max Potion), but when I am seriously trying to gain experience, I fully fill my inventory with balls and pinaps.


    Strategy explanation: Unless you're one of the insanely lucky players that just happen to live in a location with such abundant stops that you never run out of Pokeballs-Greatballs-Ultraballs-Pinap, you're traveling to go to a location to "stock-up". Obviously when you're traveling to a location to stock, this is time you're essentially gaining little to no experience(maybe a random pokemon pop up and you get it with the plus). But you want to minimize these trips and maximize your peak experience as much as possibly! If you go stock and only have 500 of these items out of a 1000 slot inventory, you are going to be stocking twice as often, which means you're doubling the time that is the absolute worst experience gain for your time, essentially your overall gains plummet. Only you can decide what space you want to dedicate to gaining experience.


    Pokemon Storage Management: Pokemon storage is something many may not think about as much as the items to actually catch pokemon. However the more limited the space you have to work with, the lower your experience gains will be! A decent minimum point is 200 spaces, this essentially makes it so you can catch for about 2 hours(this will vary depending on your skill level, luck and the pokemon spawn rate of where you're playing!). More space is obviously better, because with enough space you don't have to worry about having to stop to choose what to delete. Obviously the lower you go, the more frequently you have to stop to make room to catch something!

    For those having trouble making space: You need to make space! plain and simple, every time you stop farming to make space is lost experience and stardust. Here is some help, look through your inventory and ask yourself if the pokemon are things you will ever use? Then ask yourself if anyone will ever trade you anything that will be useful for you? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then you should delete it!  To make this even easier consider these things, is your pokemon a legacy ? Is it viable as a defender, trainer or attacker ? The mass majority of pokemon are simply useless, I don't even appraise them as it would simply be a waste of time, let them go!

    Freeing Up Space Quickly: Simple fact, most pokemon are completely useless besides a pokedex place holder, know what is worth appraising, mass delete EVERTHING else! Pokemon that are in the category of possibly good, dont waste time appraising them on the spot, simply mass delete everything in the trash group and leave your possible good catches to check later at home! For this method to work, once again you must have a good amount of space! If you only have say 100 spaces, you catch 100 pokemon, say 10% are something possibly good, say some Eevee, Rhyhorn, abra, dratini, larvitar.. anything possibly useful! Well now you only have 90 spaces! As you play this shrinks more and more and you begin having to delete much more frequently.


Basic Activities and strategies to maximize your gains


    There are basic activities that you can do well playing pokemon go. We have gym battling(which provides far too inadequate of experience to be covered and holds essentially no value when power-leveling)
, Training (this is even worse than battling, the experience gains are far worse and item consumption is even higher than battling),
 Catching pokemon(this will be our main focus, this provides the most experience and as an added bonus it provides stardust so you can actually use the new levels you will be achieving), Hatching(this goes hand in hand with the entire strategy, however focusing this alone will give you very poor gains), Evolution's(which are a bi-product of catching), and stocking(this is a very important aspect as it is required in order to catch pokemon, normally this would cause your experience to plummet, done correctly it can cause the gains you were already getting to skyrocket!


        Catching: By far this is the most important action any trainer can make, not just for experience gains but for the overall strength of a trainer! You gain the most experience any action can reward per minute and can do it consistently(other than evolution's, which are directly related and an added bonus from catching) but also it is the highest stardust reward activity in the game(lets be real, if you're reading a guide on power leveling you want those levels so you can have stronger pokemon to play with, without stardust those levels are essentially useless!).

    My technique: I have given this advice more times than I can remember, I wrote one of my first guides based around this information and it still is the single best way to gain experience. You need to manually catch pokemon! Its pretty simple, you gain 150 experience from a plus catch, with a low rate of success, which a run is only 25 experience, a manual catch can reward 260 experience and chance of a pokemon running are way less when manually catching, so manual catching becomes even more important when you have less pokemon readily available to catch! 

        1: Curve-Ball:  You need to throw a curve-ball EVERY TIME! There are two major reasons for throwing a curve-ball, first it rewards 10 bonus experience(which the base amount for a catch is 100 so its a 10% increase on every catch from the base reward.. that is an extra 200,000 experience you would have just at level 30 if you did this every time! or about 5,000,000 for myself!), second a curve-ball works as a multiplier for your chance to catch(if you're throwing a regular ball versus say a Dragonite you have a 3% chance to successfully catch it, with a curve-ball it is 6%! Spinning a ball before you throw it for a higher success rate and extra experience is something you CANNOT be passing up!). More than this you have to consider a pokemon breaking out of a ball rewards no more experience.. in fact there is a 50% bonus to base experience(50 experience) when you catch on first ball, so that curve-ball might reward you an extra 60% base experience!That means at level 30 you would have an extra 1,200,000 experience! Running a mathematical hypothetical percentage based scenario(with current in game percentages, which working with percentages in the long run, that will be the outcome)  You're looking to gain approximately 42% more experience using this method(or at level 30 840,000 extra experience). Furthermore there is an even higher increase that you might not think about, when you increase your chance to catch you decrease the opportunity of a pokemon running( which rewards only 25 experience), which means you gain no candies(which lead to evolution's, the highest experience gain per minute). You are gaining 0 experience when pokemon are constantly jumping out, learn how to curveball, increase your chance to catch and increase your experience!


       2: Bonus throw!:  You can gain a bonus on each catch simply by throwing the ball at the correct time! This is accomplished by throwing it through the circle that is focused on a point on the pokemon you're targeting! The rewards for this are 10 experience for Nice Shot(or when the circle is largest), 50 experience for Great Shot(or when the circle is around a mid point, this varies from pokemon to pokemon, you will learn as you play), or 100 experience for a Excellent Shot!( this is at a very small point, much harder to hit but its increasing base experience by 100%!). So obviously the end game goal is to be able to consistently hit Excellent Shots! However this is something you will have to practice(since every pokemon has its own unique range, center of circle, jump and movement patterns, mastering this will take time!). So my advice is to go for Great shots, the recommendation is math based for this reason, you have over 50% of the circle to gain five times more experience than a nice shot. This means you only need to hit 20% of your shots as great to be equivalent to hitting 100% Nice Shots, with them dodging and moving getting 100% of any type of shot is impossible over a long run. The reason I don't recommend excellent shots is most players( even highly skilled players or players with well over level 40 experience) are not able to hit 50% or more excellent shots, which that is the number you need to be hitting in order for it to be worthwhile for you to go for an excellent shot over a Great. Furthermore i wouldn't even recommend focusing excellent until you can consistently do 60-70% if not more excellent shots(the reason why is in order to hit a excellent shot it normally requires more waiting as the circle on the pokemon does not start close to or at the excellent range(and its a smaller time window of opportunity), so to gain more practical experience your percentage needs to be even higher as you're gaining more experience but it requires a very small amount of extra time for it to be accomplished!).


        3: Pinap For Experience!: Pinaps can provide an excellent bonus to your experience by providing more candies during your catching. What you pick to pinap will determine how much experience you're actually receiving. The Pokemon I would focus for pinaps are the best tier of evolution pokemon, the 12 candy cost and the 25 candy cost. The reason why is because when you evolve a 12 candy cost pokemon it returns one candy(another for the delete), assuming you delete the pokemon, the effective candy cost is 10 candies, so a pinap on a pidgey provides 300 extra experience(assuming you use lucky eggs for evolution's, which is the one time EVERYONE should be using lucky eggs!). A 25 cost is an effective 23 candy cost so it provides about 130 extra experience. The worst class is the most common of 50 candy, or an effective 48 candy cost, which is a bonus 62.5 experience(so not really worthy of using a pinap on unless you're getting the candies for some other reason!). So using a pinap on a pidgey means you can gain a maximum of net of 1250 experience!(this is assuming eggs on both catch and evolution hitting with excellent curveball). Makes you look at that pidgey in a whole new light ? 



        Bonus throw, how to train to gain more experience well gaining more experience now!: So you're going for great shots, but eventually you want to progress to excellent shots, because that is what will give you the most experience, right ? The advice is simple, throw when the circle is in the great range and mathematically ensure your highest chances for the most experience! However learn where the center of the circle is focused and try to hit the center with every shot ! If youre even remotely close to the excellent shot you will hit the great, so well you practice to gain even more experience you will already be gaining 50% more base experience! Once you feel you have reached a point where youre consistently hitting the center of every pokemon youre trying for, give excellent shots a try :) .. just pay attention to your actual success rates! you wouldn't want to be working harder for less experience!



    
   Hatching: Hatching goes hand in hand with catching, the reason why is because well youre catching pokemon you can also be hatching pokemon simultaneously, which means just more experience(added bonus high IV pokemon and Stardust!).


    How to do this:  I have done speed tests using average speed and constant speed over test periods at different speeds using different methods and the best method for logging KM, or for hatching eggs is traveling around 3MPH or just under 5KMH. If you travel consistently at this speed you should get updates between .4 to .5 KM. This is the best ratio you're able to get currently in the game. If you travel at higher speeds it reduces the gains that you get. I understand you get some KM traveling at higher speeds, however it does not give you anywhere near the actual distance you're traveling. This is something that irritates me a lot as I enjoy skating and since this was changed many months ago it makes it so even moderate skating speeds reduce KMPH(I actually had a close friend quit the game when this was changed, very counter intuitive for a game that is supposed to encourage players to excercise to reduce their in game gains if they do anything outside of moving at a very moderate walking pace, this makes jogging, running, skating, biking a poor method of activity if you're looking to maximize your gains unfortunately). Side note though, my preferred method for farming both experience and nests in parks is to use Rollerblade's, you can go at a "rolling speed" which makes seamless catching possible well maintain a relatively constant speed. To practice an appropriate speed you can use something such as a fitness application to learn a good pace!


    Evolution's: Evolution's are the highest experience both because of the 1000 experience per evolution based on the time it takes to select and evolve a pokemon versus the next highest experience gain which is catching a pokemon. The other thing that makes this the best gain for time is that it is something that can be controlled! You can choose an area with a good connection, evolution's cant dodge or run from you either!


    The Biggest Strategic issue and tips for Evolution's: Evolution's are great and provide substantial boosts to experience. However when and how you do them will determine how effective this action is for you. Things to consider are listed bellow.


  1.  Are the pokemon i'm holding for evolution's reducing my catching experience?  If you're holding too many pokemon for evolution's this could over encumber your pokemon space, if this is happening it will reduce the experience you're gaining well farming. If you're already working with only a minimal amount of spaces for catching(200), you should reduce the time you're holding these pokemon to an absolute minimum. This means 1 evolution set at around 83 pokemon for evolution's, which should be done immediately after the session of catching that gives you enough pokemon for your evolution set(unless you're trying to pair your evolution for maximum gain per egg, see point 2). Also the more limited your "catching inventory" the less sets of evolution's you should hold. If you have 600 open spaces, holding 300 pokemon for evolution's isn't debilitating, if however you have 200, holding 2 evolution sets would be debilitating as it would leave you only 34 spaces for catching!
  2. How can I get the absolute maximum from my experience egg with evolution's?  To get an absolute maximum you should know when your streak for 7 days will be available! travel to a stop with a pokemon, have an evolution set ready, drop your egg, spin the stop, catch the pokemon, then evolve your set. To further increase this experience, you should use the plus set to both stops and pokemon and blindly plus well you do evolution's! If you're doing more than one evolution set per week pair your other evolution's in the same way with the other highest streak days, for instance if you do two, do day six and seven.
  3. Get the most from every evolution!:  We all get those pokemon we want to evolve right away, i know this because I do it too! But if you're really trying to maximize your experience, you can wait till your evolution set to evolve it and collect the extra experience points !
  4. BIGGEST STRATEGICAL DECISION FOR EVOLUTIONS!: Niantic does not give time for you to plan far ahead for upcoming events, or possible bonuses achievable through events(double experience would be the major factor here). So my advice to anyone reading this if you're trying to gain serious experience, only do evolution's if it will help you reach your goal or during a double experience event! For instance, if you need 2,000,000 experience to reach your goal and only have enough candies to gain 166,000 experience, what is the point in doing those evolution's ? Well holding pokemon for evolution's you're decreasing the efficiency of your farming by reducing your open pokemon inventory, and if the evolution's dont level you up or make you finish your set goal, doing that set of evolution's has then been counter productive towards your goals! There are other things that you have to consider though before you go and save candies for evolution's indefinitely solely for a experience event. The first thing you have to consider is the amount of time that you will be able to play when an experience event does come! The other factor is how much of a particular pokemon you encounter in your area regularly, if you for instance have enough for 1000 evolution's of a type of pokemon, with 2% of your pokemon caught being of this type you would need to plan to catch 50,000 pokemon in that time to use those evolution's(this isn't practical or even possible as the current limitation is 1500 pokemon catches per day). The other factor in this which is a complete unknown is if during the double experience event the spawn types will be drastically changed. This could make it impossible to use certain candies, or make using certain types far easier. You could choose to only save a certain amount and use the rest, or choose to save everything to gain absolute maximum possible during another double experience event. The only downside to saving indefinitely is overstocking to the point where using up stockpiled candies becomes impossible. I personally did this and actually lost experience using up pidgey candies because I double evolved pidgeys(so effective 49 cost vs 10, 49 because you get one back from evolving, but not 48 because the delete candy would have already been achieved from the delete of the pidgeotto).
    I still ended with over 10,000 candies and every evolution i did in this way lost me 2900 experience( this would have been a loss of 3900 if I had been doing this in non double experience, or if I could have possibly done all of them during the double experience event a loss of 7800 per evolution). I give this example because there definitely is a point of excess if you're looking to maximize experience. My only other personal caution about hoarding is it is possible that with more releases of generations things that might be super common for us now(that we might amass huge stockpiles of candies for), might become very rare to find and make it very hard to cash in on that built up experience! I will create a complete guide for event strategies in the future, before when I expect the next double experience event to occur!

Stocking


    Stocking is a very essential part of maximizing your experience gains. I wont go into depth on this as i have already given stocking strategies in a previous guide which you can read here. The solo stock method or the ultimate stocking method will be your most efficient and rewarding methods.



Conclusion


    All of the tools you need to start efficiently grinding experience are in this guide, if you follow this guide you will maximize your time and start to become even more efficient as you practice these methods. If you want proof of how effective my methods are you can check out what I did on my most recent 24 hour time challenge on my youtube channel here (sorry I haven't had time to make a full length video yet, i still have all the footage, but i wanted to get this guide and another im working on out first and my time is limited! video editing is very time consuming along with making these guides!). I hope this helps you get experience gains like I do and helps you to reach your goals!

 If you have any questions or comments please don't be afraid to ask, if you have a question i'm sure you're not the only one! So I will be happy to add an explanation to the guide :)

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