Pokemon Go Tips for Playing More Efficiently

Pokemon Go Tips for Playing More Efficiently by anubisrich


I saw a number of posts during the starter event talking about how often they jump out. Yes, their capture rate is low, but you can do so much to help that. Curveballs are absolutely essential, in laymans terms it turns your regular balls into straight great balls, and your great balls into straight Ultra balls with a Nice Throw Bonus on top.

Once you’ve got curveballs down it won’t be long til you pick up the rhythm required to hit curved great throws. This turns your regular ball into a straight ultra ball + nice throw bonus and your great ball into a straight ultra + razzberry + nice throw. It’s better to curve a regular ball and miss the bonus than it is to throw a straight ball and get the great bonus.

Don’t worry about super distant types for now (Lapras/Dragonite/Ninetales/Rapidash etc.), the best to practice on are things like Eevee, Pidgey, Spearow etc. I would say that there are 6 types of throw:

1) The Barn Door: Eevee, Nidoran F, starters etc. These should be bread and butter, 90% great + curve hit rate. From centre of screen go to the edge about where the outermost catch circle reaches. With different screen sizes you have to test this for yourself though.

1a) The General Store: By popular demand I’ve expanded the types of throws. Here we have pidgey, voltorb and seel types – they are so close you can reach out and touch them. This is your bread and butter for an easy 160xp. Just be careful not to overthrow.

1b) The Jersey Shore: Even closer is the Weedle. So close you wonder why you have to throw a ball when instead, like you would with the entire cast of Jersey Shore, a quick tap on the noggin would suffice. Ironically this is quite difficult to nail as the game can often interpret a short throw as “dropping it out of your pocket”. The gentlest of touches is required here.

2) The Far Door: Jiggly, Poliwag etc. They are just a little bit further away than The Barn Door types so you need to push through a bit more than you do with them to get the distance.

3) The Barn Floor: Exeggute, Nidoran M etc. Still pretty easy but their hitbox is sunk into the floor so you simply need to take a bit of the edge off the throw.

4) The Flying Four: Magneton, Horsea, Gastly, Geodude. I usually need to curve it less but throw higher. So essentially a 30 degree angle instead of 45 degree.

5) The Distant Bore: Zubat, Golbat etc. This is not where to start when practicing curveballs but are incredibly useful to test your skills as they progress. These need to fly so on my phone I have to go off centre (bottom left or right depending on how you curve) and, at 45 degrees, throw a hail mary towards the top corner.

6) The Pottermore: Dragonite, Rapidash etc. Why Pottermore? Well you’ll need a healthy amount of magic to get one to spawn and a touch more to land it. Practice on Zubats so you don’t waste your ultraballs when it comes to the Big One.

Going back to my starter example. With gold grass and poison medals, if you throw an ultra ball, razzberry, curved and great throw then against a Level 30 Bulbasaur you can expect an almost 70% chance of catching it on the first attempt, i.e. you’d be unlucky to spend more than 2 balls trying to catch it.

It’s a similar calculation simply throwing a regular ball (great + curve) against a high level pidgey.


Prestiging gyms can be time consuming. I’m sure everyone on here knows that as long as your top attacker in your team of 6 is less than half the CP of the defender you will get 1000XP. At low gym levels this likely means you only need to fight two defenders to open up another slot. However last night I saw someone prestiging a gym near my house from 22k to 30k – 286xp at a time – against a bottom three of Pinsir, Flareon and Arcanine. It was painful to watch and (s)/he quit at 25k.

That’s not to say you should always go half of the bottom defender. Sometimes it’s more appropriate to take down multiple defenders higher up so the first defender in that instance is just a bonus and should be taken out quickly. I HATE picking my team so I have a 1500CP team and just plough through the whole gym.

Keep good attacking moveset low CPs. I don’t covet your 2800 Vaporeon, I want the 1500 WG/HP version. 1500 Frost Breath/Blizzard Lapras? Get in my bag. Pound/Hyper Beam Wigglytuff? Only the last Wiggly moveset I got and now one of my absolute favourites.

Taking advantage of high DPS STAB movesets with super effective bonus is only half of the battle, the second half you need the D.


The optimum dodging strategy is avoiding charge moves. You can avoid quick moves (especially things like Bubble) but it’s time consuming unless you are very professional about it. Once you battle enough you know when the charge move is coming, for example Vaporeon vs Rhydon? I know I can get a Hydro Pump in plus a couple more water guns before the charge move comes.

Hyper Beam (Snorlax/Dragonite) is so slow it’s sent by carrier pidgeon. But care is needed for Vaporeon who builds energy quickly, particularly if you are using a time consuming charge move. When prestiging you cannot swallow a charge move.

Last Thoughts

Don’t be too disheartened at the moment if your early attempts fail. There seems to be a curveball glitch at the moment where it’s not being recognised as curving and in gyms with a spotty connection you can get stuck in a repeating loop if you dodge a charge move but the game doesn’t recognise it immediately. Switch mons and keep fighting.

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