/pgg/ FAQ

Aug 20th, 2019
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  1. Pokémon GO frequently asked questions.
  3. First some quick tips for those starting out:
  4. - Speedstrats: You want to always quickthrow curveball for regular wild mons, you want to be curveballing with set circle raid bosses, and for opening / sending gifts you want to be skipping animations. Ctrl+F "quickthrow" for a tutorial.
  5. - The choice of team matters somewhat. When you start doing raids, picking the most popular team in your area (usually Mystic) will get you the Gym Ownership bonus of +2 throws. There is a shop item that lets you change your team, if you have a change of heart.
  6. - For fast XP, Friendship bonuses >> Raids >> spinning stops for the first time >> catching mons and hatching eggs. If you are using a local map / coords feed you will want to get to level 30 as quickly as possible, as those only report the IVs of spawns accurate for players level 30+. After level 30, the only reason to level up is to power up mons.
  7. - Getting stardust just involves grinding pokemon catching for long periods of time. See "How do I get more stardust?"
  8. - You will probably want to focus on increasing your pokemon bag space with your first pokecoins. Related: "Farming pokecoins?"
  9. - A recent update to the search bar lets you search by IVs, "0*,1*,2*,3*" will search for all mons with 0-3 stars, and "4*" returns all perfect-IV mons. Complete list of search strings is here: , and see "Search tips?"
  10. - Niantic has settled into a pattern of event releases. Learning how community days work can be pretty useful, see "Event patterns?"
  12. Q: How do I spoof?
  13. Spoofing is not 100% safe but still possible. Google it.
  15. Q: Are there maps of raids / rare spawns / nests?
  16. Maps and local coords feeds exist for most areas that aren't complete shitholes. Most of them run on the down-low. Google it but also check twitter and you will probably need to join a discord server or two to find the one for your area. There are a number of websites that show user-reported nests, these are almost always inaccurate. See "Nests?"
  18. Q: Powering up mons?
  19. You can power up a mon to level (Player level) + 2.5, each power up increases the level of the mon by 0.5. In general, there is usually no reason to power up a mon that spawns in the wild for raid or gym usage. First, you can catch high level versions (up to 30, or 35 if it's weatherboosted) of whatever you're considering powering up in the wild, and IVs usually don't matter. Second, there are some very good other ways to spend stardust including trading (see "Trading costs?",) adding second charged attacks, and powering up mons for PvP in great league (1500cp maximum) and ultra league (2500cp maximum.) Finally, the level-to-power curve has significant diminishing returns, especially past 30. See link below for a picture.
  21. IVs pretty much only matter for raids when trying to go with the minimum number of people (attack IV matters the most.) IVs never really matter for gym defending, maybe you waste the attacker's time by a second or two but it will never be significant. IVs always matter for PvP (google PvP mechanics - tl;dr you want a low Atk IV and maximum Def and HP IVs in general), but great league is the most popular league because it's the league that requires the least powering up, on average.
  23. tl;dr it's perfectly acceptable to only use high-level (lvl30-35) mons you catch without powering them up as raid counters and gym defenders. Spend your dust on bringing legendaries up from level 20 and on whatever else brings you joy.
  25. This guide shows the level-to-power curve:
  28. Q: Weatherboost?
  29. Mons in the right weather are 5 levels higher on average (minimum level is 5) and roll from a different IV floor of 4/4/4.
  31. Q: Curveballs, quickthrow curveballs, circle setting, and quickly selecting pokemon teams?
  32. One way to do a curveball:
  33. 1) Start with your finger in the bottom left.
  34. 2) Drag in a circle to the center of the screen then back
  35. 3) Drag quickly up to the opposite corner of the screen, depending on how far you want to throw.
  36. That's it. Spinning repeatedly is a waste of time, unless you need to stall for the mon to finish attacking. Pick the corner of your choice of course. You will want to pick an approach that feels natural when quickthrowing.
  38. To quickthrow:
  39. 1) Press and drag slightly (but don't release) either the pokeball or the berry button.
  40. 2) With the button still held down, throw a curveball.
  41. The next steps should happen naturally - as soon as the ball leaves your hand, release the button to slide out a menu, tap the center of the screen to cancel the menu, this reveals the "run" button at the top left, press it to run.
  43. Tip: If it's just trash, run ASAP so you can throw at something else. If it's something valuable that you want to catch, wait for the ball to shake a third time or for the critical catch animation to play, as either indicate you have caught the mon before running. If the mon breaks out, just restart the quickthrow from step 1.
  45. Side-effects of quick throwing:
  46. - If the mon breaks out, you'll have a weird white line with two triangles at the right side of the screen for the duration of the encounter. This is just a graphical glitch.
  47. - After running, the mon will remain on the overworld map. If you click on it, you'll get one of a few possible error messages, usually "This module could not be used at this time" and the mon will be removed from the map.
  48. - NOTE: The above does not hold for a mon generated by an incense or meltan box! If a incense or meltan is caught or flees after a quickthrow, it will stay on the overworld, and furthermore if you interact with that mon it will throw you into a "fake" encounter where the mon will eat up your pokeballs but not ever go in (because it's already been caught or has run.) The best way to avoid this is to always use a berry (any kind will do) on any incensed mon or meltan. If you re-encounter the mon and the berry icon is still there, the encounter is fake and you should run.
  50. Circle setting raid bosses:
  51. 1) Press (but don't drag) the ball to get the throw circle to show up.
  52. 2) Wait for the circle to be less than 50% of the diameter, or smaller if you're confident in your throwing.
  53. Now, you act as if you've changed your mind. Release the press, if you were careful the ball shouldn't throw or drop but instead simply return to the bouncing animation.
  54. 3) Wait for the boss to attack.
  55. 4) Quickly begin a curveball and release it during the tail of the attack animation so that the ball hits immediately after the throw circle reappears.
  56. If you did this all correctly, you should be guaranteed a "Great!" throw as the throw circle was "set" to a particular size in step (2). You can guarantee "Excellent!" throws the same way, if you're an accurate shot.
  58. See "Catch probabilities?"
  60. Troubleshooting: If you are too slow and release after the attack animation ends, the circle size will be different than the size you "set" to in step (2).
  62. Quickly selecting raid teams:
  63. Swiping is slow. There is a magic pixel at the left and right side of the screen that will select the next or previous teams, it's around the upper right / left corner of the pokemon select rectangle. see this image:
  66. Q: How can I guarantee excellent/great throws?
  67. For certain research tasks that require a certain number of excellent / great throws in a row, the following cheat works.
  69. 1) Encounter the pokemon (ideally one with a large hitbox, etc.)
  70. 2) Turn airplane mode on / disconnect data
  71. 3) Make the throw, then if you hit re-enable data / turn airplane mode off and the throw should register
  72. 4) If you fail, close the app and restart it.
  74. An obvious technique in retrospect, thanks to this TSR post...
  77. Q: Skipping animations when opening / sending gifts?
  78. After pressing open/send, spam the "x" button below it (should still be visible) a few times quickly.
  80. Q: Farming pokecoins?
  81. You can farm pokecoins by keeping mons in gyms. You can only farm 50 pokecoins per day, with 1 coin for every 10 minutes each defender is in a gym. The 50 coin limit resets at midnight your time. Coins are rewarded as soon as the mon is kicked out. The lowest-effort strategy here is to pick a gym that has roughly daily turnover, and place a mon in that gym at least 8h 20min before when you expect the gym to turnover to a different team. Worst case, you can use golden razzes to try to keep a mon in a gym at health before its kicked out.
  83. If you're out playing around midnight, It's often seen as good etiquette to kick out mons _after_ midnight, as this allows players to wake up knowing how far they are towards their 50 pokecoin limit for the day. Presumably they'll wake up, figure out how many coins they still need, put pokemon in gyms and if at 11:00PM they haven't reached 50 they'll go around with a shaving account (an alt account of a different team) kicking out their own mons to ensure they hit 50 before midnight.
  85. If you kick out someone's mons before midnight they might have already been at their 50 pokecoin limit for today and hence will lose any coins for those mons.
  87. Of course, it's a game, do what you want.
  89. Q: Trading?
  90. All you need to know is trading costs stardust (google the formula, depends on shiny / legendary and if you are at low friendship) and the results have re-rolled IVs with a floor that depends on friendship / lucky-trade-status.
  92. Adding a new form to either partner's dex counts as your one special trade for the day, as will any trade of a shiny or legendary mon. Be aware that special trades always count for both players, even if it would only be "special" for one of them.
  94. Q: Event patterns?
  95. This is an incomplete list of recurring events.
  97. - Community days
  98. Once a month, one of the following two happens, world-wide:
  99. 1) a 3-stage mon that does not have its shiny released but does spawn in the wild has a boosted spawnrate and shiny rate for a 3 hour period, as well as an event exclusive move (can be either a fast or charged move) obtainable only on evolution.
  100. - It is not possible to TM to obtain the exclusive move, so many will hoard 3-stage mons until their community day comes.
  101. 2) a 2-stage mon that does not have its shiny released will appear as the reward of every research task for a 3 hour period. The mon will have a fairly high shiny rate. After the event, the mon will appear rarely in research tasks and rarely in the wild, in both cases with a fairly high shiny rate.
  103. There is a precedent for Niantic to run a December bash where it brings back all the community day mons, gives them high spawn rate and somewhat high shiny rate, and allows mons to obtain the CD exclusive move upon evolution. Still, the exclusive move cannot be obtained from TM. Niantic has only done this December 2018, it's still unclear whether this will happen again in December 2019.
  105. - Safari days, go fests
  106. These are site-specific events where you reserve a ticket and go to the event. Often new shinies are released here at a boosted rate.
  108. There is a precedent for Niantic to turn on 1/2 cost trades between attendees of the same event (must have a ticket for the same day of the event) and to allow such attendees to have 5 special trades. These trades can only be made with other attendees (must have a ticket for the same day of the event.)
  110. When at a go fest, it's possible to line up 5 special trades between players you are not friends with for high cost trades such as shinies or legendaries you are missing, this will cost 500K * 5 = 2.5M stardust in total to complete. Therefore, if you are under 2.5m stardust you are potentially unable to take advantage of 5 highly rewarding trades. I propose that a dustlet is anyone having less than 2.5m stardust, for this reason.
  112. Q: Catch probabilities?
  113. All catch-rate buffs multiply. That is,
  114. P(break out) = (1 - p)^(product of catch rate buffs)
  115. where p is the catch rate of the mon assuming no buffs.
  117. Bonus Type Multiplier
  118. Curveball 1.7 *** Important! Curve ball is a surprisingly big multiplier.
  119. Golden Razz Berry 2.5
  120. Silver Pinap berry 1.8
  121. Razz Berry 1.5
  122. Throw (nice, great, excellent): 2-r where r is how small the white circle is (r is 0 at the minimum and 1 at the biggest)
  123. Poke Ball 1.0
  124. Great Ball 1.5
  125. Ultra Ball 2.0
  126. Bronze medal 1.1
  127. Silver medal 1.2
  128. Gold medal 1.3
  130. Note that to get the "throw" bonus you have to hit inside the white circle. The medals are awarded from catching up to 200 of the same type as the target pokemon, for dual typed pokemon your medal bonus is averaged across the two types (so, if you have caught fewer than 10 fairy types but over 200 normal types, a Jigglypuff has (1.3+1.0)/2 = 1.15x medal buff).
  132. This guide covers the above in more detail and computes p as well:
  135. tl;dr For raid bosses, if you are missing a buff of 2.5, say, then it's as if you have 1/2.5x=40% as many balls as someone who does have that buff.
  137. Supplement on catch raids applied to an example raid:
  140. This database also gives base catch rates for legendary raids:
  143. Q: Meltan boxes and incenses?
  144. - Meltan boxes come from the switch game LGPE connectivity and incenses are purchased with pokecoins.
  145. - Incenses and meltan boxes appear to use partially client-side-driven rules to spawn pokemon. Incenses will spawn after moving some distance, and meltans spawn every 90 seconds.
  146. - Anecdotally, having the app minimized or having the friend menu opened prevents this client-side routine from running. So, to get the most out of an incense or meltan box try to arrange a 30 minute period where you can have the game open without interruptions.
  147. - The distance check for incenses has no speed check, so you can run one while moving in a car, for example.
  149. Q: Meltan box issues
  150. - Remove at least one joycon when attempting to pair with the switch, this works either because the joycons cause bluetooth interference when connected or apparently because the switch increases power to the bluetooth chip when the joycons are disonnected.
  152. Q: Lures?
  153. - Lures are purchased with pokecoins. Regular lures spawn once every 3 minutes, glacial/mossy/magnetic lures once every 90 seconds.
  155. Q: Nests?
  156. Pokemon GO gets data on regions of the globe from open street map ( Regions labeled with any of the "park" designations will become a nest. Nests spawn high numbers of a particular nesting species of pokemon (only certain species can "nest") for 2 weeks, until the nests re-randomize. There are a number of pretty desirable mons that do nest so it's a good habit to check your local nests every re-randomization.
  158. Time until the next nest re-randomization:
  161. Which species nest? It's complicated, and some mons have been taken on and off the nesting list over time, but there are some rules:
  162. - Mons that don't spawn in the wild don't nest
  163. - Weather-exclusive, event/seasonal-exclusive, and region-exclusive spawns don't nest
  164. - Mons that have even been in a 10k egg don't nest (if you happen to know which those are.)
  166. This website has a (possibly innacurate) list of nesting species:
  169. Q: How long are spawns around for?
  170. Almost always, 30 minutes. There is a small chance of a pokemon spawning for a full 1 hour, but this is rare (possibly this is due to a bug on Niantic's side.)
  172. Pokemon spawned by a lure / incense / meltan box are up until they are replaced by the next spawn.
  174. Q: When do research tasks reset?
  175. Each stop gets a new research task at midnight local time, usually (some stops reset later, thought to be a bug on Niantic's side.)
  177. Q: Search tips?
  178. tl;dr just use this image as it's more complete:
  181. Some notes adding on to that image:
  182. - "0*,1*,2*,3*" will search for all mons with 0-3 stars, and "4*" returns all perfect-IV mons.
  183. - The search doesn't do any partial matching, it will always match starting at the front of the name.
  184. - +pik will return "Pikachu" as well as anything in its evolutionary family, assuming you have at least one Pikachu in your box. The "+" search is bugged, in the sense that if you do not have a single Pikachu in your box but you do have a Raichu, +pik will return nothing but +rai will show pichus + raichus (and raikous, actually.)
  185. - fire returns fire type mons (including dual-types)
  186. - @1fire returns mons with a fire type fast move
  187. - @2fire returns mons with a fire type charge move
  188. - @fire returns mons with either fire type fast move or fire type charge move
  189. - @stone edge returns mons with the move "stone edge".
  190. -- NOTE: The @ search is bugged, in the case that the first word of the move name is a reserved word (such as a type, shadow, lucky, etc.) the @ will be _silently ignored_ and the search will happen for that reserved word. Example:
  191. @shadow claw
  192. returns all shadow mons, not mons knowing the move shadow claw.
  193. @grass knot
  194. returns all grass mons, not mons knowing the move grass knot.
  195. Surprisingly, using the fast/charge-type specific @ doesn't fix this - @2grass knot is still handled the same way.
  197. There isn't currently a way to search for forms other than alolan, i.e. shellos forms.
  199. - All search terms can be combined "AND" style with the ampersand &. The pipe | is an alternative.
  200. - All search terms can be negated with the bang (!) before the term. (so !pik will not return Pikachu)
  201. - If you don't use any ANDs, the above can all be combined "OR" style with the comma (,). The semicolon ; and colon : are alternatives.
  203. What gets confusing is the use of AND and ORs together in a query, as the search bar does not support nested queries and has a slightly unintuitive order of operations. Basically, you should construct a query as follows:
  204. (Part of the query containing commas but not &s) & (part of the query containing only &s but not commas)
  206. What happens if you try to break this construction is the following. Say we want to bring up our collection of shiny babies and shiny alolans at once. So we try this:
  207. alola&shiny,shiny&eggsonly
  208. but this returns no results. Following the above construction, we refactor this to the following:
  209. alola,eggsonly&shiny
  210. which returns the desired result (shiny alolans + babies).
  212. So what gives? Well, the processor goes over the search from left to right. Whenever it hits an "&" it reads the next search token (shiny) and applies that filter to all prior results (i.e. the result of the query thus far.) It then _ignores any character until the next &_, which takes us to &eggsonly. It does this again, but there is no alolan that is also a baby so the resulting query is empty. Run through this procedure on the second query to see that it works as expected.
  214. Q: How do I get more stardust?
  215. Catching pokemon for long periods of time is pretty much your main option. If you are the type who spends money, incubating 9 eggs at a time will provide a consistent flow of stardust. While a back of the envelope calculation shows that eggs only gets you ~10% more stardust over constantly catching mons, the power of eggs is that they work even if you're in an area without spawns.
  217. Q: How do I get more Sinnoh stones?
  218. Win in PvP against the CPU team leader (1x reward chances per day) and win or lose -- it makes no difference -- against a trainer (3x reward chances per day). Also a rare drop from research breakthroughs.
  219. - In order to train against a team leader, open the **Nearby** view from the small rectangle in the very bottom right of the screen. There should be 3 tabs (Battle, Pokemon, Raid) and you can select team leaders from the Battle tab.
  220. - According to an analysis by TSR (see link below) you should go Master league vs the team leader for maximum drops, though it doesn't matter what league the trainer battles are.
  222. - The fastest way to get the trainer battles over with is to have one trainer use 10cp pokemon.
  224. Q: How do I get more TMs?
  225. Legendary (5*) raid battles award both kinds of TMs pretty consistently. They are also fairly rare drops from PVP battles and team-leader training (see "How do I get more Sinnoh stones?")
  227. Q: How do I catch a ditto?
  228. Easy answer: Find a nest of a species that ditto can mimic (list below) near you, and catch until you get an "Oh?" after the catch animation (the caught mon will de-transform into ditto.)
  229. Not so easy answer: The above approach is based on anecdotal evidence that is vulnerable to confirmation bias or outright lying. Specifically, the claims made by posters on this reddit thread:
  231. If you don't have a ditto-species nest near you, or don't want to believe anecdotal reports, then your only option is to keep catching every ditto-species you see until you get one. If you belong to a discord, it's pretty common to tag a group when a ditto is found in the wild.
  233. List of ditto species (Note that this has changed over time!):
  236. Q: What determines the location, or "geotag," for a mon?
  237. Geotags are generated from the center of a large level 10 S2 cell, or alternatively, a smaller level S2 cell. Each geotag is displayed as the city name at that location. Android and IOS use different mechanisms to resolve the city name to display for a geotag. That is, if you log into your account on an android or and IOS the geotags will display differently.
  239. See for tools for viewing level 10 and smaller (11+ level) S2 cells.
  241. Whether the geotag is at the center of a level 10 or level 11 cell depends on how the pokemon was obtained:
  242. - Hatches: Level 17, assigned when egg received.
  243. - Research task: Some unknown level, very small S2 cell assigned when caught (!)
  244. - Wild catches: Level 10, surprisingly
  245. - Raid catches: Level 10
  246. - Traded mon: Level 10 (even if the traded mon had a geotag at the center of a smaller S2 cell before!)
  248. What this means is that if you are trying to get a pokemon with a particular city name as its geotag, you should check what level 10 cells have their center within the city boundaries. If there are none, your only options are research tasks and eggs to get that geotag. Such geotags cannot be safely traded, as they will be converted to level 10 cell geotags on trade.
  250. Q: What are the shiny rates?
  251. Shiny rates vary between species and depend on what events are running. Niantic does not reveal their shiny rates. It appears that whenever a mon shows up in raids or quests, it will have the same shiny rate as if it spawns in the wild. An experiment using scanner data (i.e. of wild spawns) can give precise shiny rates for some cases:
  252. - 1/512 is the base shiny rate (i.e. of most mons)
  253. - 1/128 is the temporary shiny rate for some mons during certain events, for example yanma globally during Montreal safari zone and oddish during the Taipei safari zone.
  254. - 1/64 is the shiny rate for certain rarer spawns, including Feebas, pineco, scyther, onix, sneasel, clamperl, and bronzor.
  255. The same experiment proves that shiny rate doesn't depend on level, how "new" the account is, purchasing of coins, etc.
  257. For shiny rates of quest, egg, or raid-exclusive mons, the silph road runs some crowdsourced experiments that give approximate rates.
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