So You Think You’re a Pokémon Pro? 4 Hidden Tips for Pokémon Go

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You've been playing Pokémon Go religiously since its launch. You've got a pretty good handle on tracking and capturing wild Pokémon, maybe you've even taken on a Gym battle or three. Your Pokédex is starting to fill up nicely, and you've nurtured and evolved several species already.

Think you know everything about Pokémon Go? Read on and find out!

1. Throwing Curveballs

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Did you know you could throw curveballs to capture wild Pokémon? When encountering a Pokémon in the wild, all you have to do is jiggle the Pokéball – tap the ball, hold it, and spin it around in a circular motion. Keep spinning the Pokéball until it sparkles, then toss it. If you're successful at the capture, not only will you 'nab the Pokémon, but you'll also get a sweet XP boost for throwing the curveball bonus.

There's a rumor going around that throwing curveballs in a certain way helps increase your chances of capturing Pokémon, but so far, there's been no confirmation.

Check out this short video tutorial on throwing curveballs:

2. Extend Your Battery Life

You might've noticed that Pokémon Go drains battery life like some kind of smartphone vampire. For a free app game, Pokémon Go is pretty beefy on system and battery demands; in order to make the right kinds of Pokémon and Pokéstops appear in your region, the game has to constantly track your current GPS coordinates. While it's doing so, the app has to exchange massive amounts of data with game servers – that means it's continually uploading and downloading information, which requires battery power.

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If you play with AR mode on, that's even more battery drain, as the game syncs up with your real-time camera feed. Worst of all, to get the most out of the game, you have to leave the app open to get notifications of nearby Pokémon.

A quick and easy tip to squeeze more battery life out of your phone during long Pokémon scouting journeys is to close all other apps that might be running (and make sure they're closed, not just minimized and still running in the background), and turn on your phone's "Battery Saver" option.

You could also bust open the piggy bank and shell out some money for a portable power pack to ensure your phone stays charged while you're on the go. Pokémon Go experts suggest power packs that are capable of at least 10,000 mAh (milliamp hours) of charge like the RAVPower Power Bank, so you'll be able to keep Pokémon Going and Going and Going for several hours straight.

3. What Is CP, Anyway?

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In short, well, um, nobody seems to know for sure. Yet. CP stands for Combat Power, and it's a number that shows up above each wild Pokémon. Players believe that CP measures how good a Pokémon is at fighting, but the under-the-hood systems are likely going to be more complicated than that.

It seems like some Pokémon types are just going to be better than others at fighting, and certain Pokémon evolutions have higher CP than their unevolved counterparts. There are also other factors that will affect your max CP, like species, weight, and size. As you gain more experience points and level up as a Trainer, the Pokémon you'll encounter in the wild will possess higher and higher CP.

Since Pokémon battles are limited to gym defense and takeovers for the moment, it's likely that we'll see an expansion and more clarification of how CP works in new content updates to Pokémon Go, especially in later updates that promise multiplayer Pokémon battling.

4. Check Out Those Moves

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You might've noticed that not all Zubats are created equal. Even though two different wild Pokémon might have the same CP, you might realize that they have different moves and different power levels for each move. It's important to know that a Pokémon's overall CP seems to factor in an average of the power levels of all their abilities, but doesn't appear to factor in the actual usefulness of their available moves.

A Charmander with 98CP might look less appealing than a Charmander with 105CP, but take a look at their movesets. The 98CP Charmander might know Ember and Dragon Rage, both amazing abilities that pack a massive wallop, whereas the 105CP Charmander might only know how to Growl and Scratch, both of which are incredibly lackluster Normal-type attacks.

In these cases, Pokémon Go experts agree: it's always best to pick the Pokémon with the better moveset. When it comes down to battling, it's the moves, not the CP, that wins battles.

It pays to get to know your Pokémon!

(Last Updated On: February 23, 2017)

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