The Pokemon Go wing of has been tirelessly trying various ways to level up our trainers. Here are the tactics that we are finding effective, which have (so far) jacked us up to level 20. (For tips on hunting Pokemon, see our guide for stalking pocket monsters.)

Lower levels: Gather supplies first, evolve later

Evolving Pokemon is a quick and efficient way to gain XP. But as tempting as it is to start evolving your Pokemon as soon as you nab them, hold off till your trainer's level is in the mid-teens. That's when you start finding more higher-tiered Poke Balls and your chance of capturing higher-level Pokemon rises.

Instead, on your way through the lower levels, focus on capturing Pokemon and then transferring some to Professor Willow for Stardust and Candy. Each type of Pokemon requires Stardust and its own kind of Candy (Eevees require Eevee Candy, for example) to evolve. Once you hit the teens, if you've done a good job gathering supplies, then you can start power-leveling, using your stored Stardust, Candy, and Pokemon.

Transfer Pokemon by opening your list of Pokemon, tapping one, then tapping the Transfer button at the bottom of the screen.

Pokemon Go transfer

Also, hold on to any Lucky Eggs you find. When you crack one, you earn double experience for 30 minutes, so save them for when you can make the best use of that time.

You also don't want to use up resources on powering up Pokemon. Save your Stardust and Candy for evolving.

Of course, most of us aren't playing just to grind levels but to find Pokemon and battle other trainers at Gyms. So once you reach level 5, evolve some Pokemon that you can use to battle and visit a Gym. Just keep in mind that the Pokemon you evolve at higher levels will be much more valuable.

Middle levels: The XP grind and making the most of Lucky Eggs

Once you hit the mid-teens in level, it's time to evolve Pokemon. Evolving a Pokemon gives you 500 XP, but different Pokemon require different amounts of Candy to evolve. Many, like the Doduo or Goldeen, need 50 of their own kind of Candy to evolve.


A few, such as the Haunter and Magikarp, require more.


Focus instead on the handful of low-cost Pokemon -- including Pidgey, Caterpie, and Weedle -- which need just 12 Candy to evolve.

An evolution takes about 30 seconds, and a Lucky Egg lasts for 30 minutes, so after you've stocked half an hour's worth of Pokemon and their appropriate Candy, crack open a rare Lucky Egg and get to work. In our group, hoping to evolve 60 Pokemon in 30 minutes turned out to be a bit ambitious. We've managed to evolve 55 or so Pokemon, depending on our concentration and server responsiveness.

With double experience, each evolution gets you 1,000 XP. Hatching an egg will get double experience as well, with 2,000 per hatch, so you might want to walk around while evolving. And if you run out of supplies and still have time left on your Lucky Egg, visits PokeStops and attack a gym. They each benefit from double XP. staff Michael Gonterman, Benjamin Kramer, and Tuong Nguyen contributed to this article.

Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.