How to level up fast in Pokémon Go

Be the very best.

Image via Niantic

If you’re looking to show off how much you know about Pokémon, you’ll need some extra material to back up your knowledge of the Pokédex. Taking out your phone to log into your max level Pokémon Go account can undoubtedly help you assert your dominance in the field since grinding toward the higher levels isn’t an easy task.

As you continue to level up in Pokémon Go, the total experience (XP) you’ll need to collect for the next level will increase. The lower XP sums you saw during your first days as a trainer will be a thing in the past, and it may even take you months to get to that next level.

Trainers who are just starting to play Pokémon Go often find themselves wondering about the ways to level up in the game so they can catch up to the competition, but it’s knowledge the most experienced players also need to have in their toolbox so they can bust it out when Niantic increases the level cap.

Here’s everything you need to know about leveling up fast in Pokémon Go.

How can you level up fast in Pokémon Go?

Anyone who’s ever played an MMORPG may be familiar with bugs or exploits that allow players to gain XP quickly in short periods. There aren’t any of them in Pokémon Go, and you’ll need to understand the XP sources in the game. This will allow you to tailor your gameplay around doing tasks that will get you the highest total XP after a Pokémon Go session.

Your primary source of XP in the game is catching Pokémon, so you’ll need to make sure to do it in the best way possible. Train yourself to land Excellent Throws, since they award the most amount of XP. If you start consistently landing Excellent Throws, even when you’re just casually playing Pokémon Go, the XP you’ll gain will add up. You can use the AR Plus feature to get closer to Pokémon, making it easier to land Excellent Throws. Abusing this feature and getting close enough will grant you the Expert Handler bonus, a catching bonus that has a base reward of 300 XP. If you’re just starting to play Pokémon Go or you’d like to rest while playing the game, you can use lure around Pokéstops and have yourself a picnic while catching Pokémon with Excellent Throws.

You may have neglected your Pokémon Go friends until today, but that should end soon if you’re looking to maximize your XP gain. Reaching Best Friend status with a player will net you 100,000 XP, and you’ll also earn more than 50,000 XP from a single friend until getting there. Add everyone you know to your friends list and start gifting them items. It takes around approximately 70-90 days to reach Best Friend status with a single person.

Stacking cheap evolves is another method that’s quite popular among veteran players. Evolving itself nets a decent amount XP at 1,000, and you can take advantage of this mechanic with cheap-to-evolve Pokémon. The common practice is collecting enough Pokémon to evolve in 30 minutes and popping a Lucky Egg before evolving them. Lucky Eggs will double your XP gain for the duration that they’re active.

Using your Lucky Eggs as wisely as possible is another aspect you should watch out for while grinding XP. If you can time when you are achieving Best Friend status with a player and use a Lucky Egg before you do, you’ll net yourself 200,000 XP. You can use the rest of the Lucky Egg to evolve Pokémon, letting you enter into an XP-farming frenzy. If you don’t have any friendship XP bonuses approaching or Pokémon to evolve, you can also use Lucky Eggs while catching Pokémon with Excellent Throws. If you can’t regularly land Excellent Throws, it may be a decent idea to save them for friendship level-ups or evolve sessions. 

Aside from these three, focusing on raiding can also reward with decent chunks of XP. The only reason why raiding is less popular than the methods above is it requires you to stay more focused on the game.

Seasonal events may introduce new ways of grinding XP quickly. Keep an eye on Pokémon Go’s social media channels and try to do as many event quests as possible if the rewards are any good. If there’s a Double XP event approaching, it may also be a decent idea to save up all the evolutions you can get your hands on alongside leveling up your friend status with other players. You can just go through them during a session after combining the event with a Lucky Egg. This’ll increase your XP-gain ratio to unimaginable levels and can help you break into that next level.

XP sources in Pokémon Go

General XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP Reward
1,000Evolve Pokémon.
1,000Register a new Pokémon in the Pokédex by catching, evolving, hatching, or other ways of acquiring new Pokémon.

Pokémon capturing XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP RewardBonus Name
100CaptureCapture a Pokémon.
25FleeYou’ll be awarded this amount when a Pokémon flees while you’re trying to catch it.
20Nice ThrowLand a Nice Throw while catching Pokémon.
100Great ThrowLand a Great Throw while catching Pokémon.
1,000Excellent ThrowLand an Excellent Throw while catching Pokémon.
20Curve BallCatch a Pokémon with a Curve Ball.
50First ThrowCatch a Pokémon with your first throw.
100100th PokémonYou’ll be awarded with 100 XP when you capture the 100th Pokémon from the same species. This bonus will repeat itself as you capture more Pokémon.
300Expert HandlerUse the AR Plus feature to get closer to Pokémon and earn the Expert Handler bonus.
1,500First Catch of the DayBonus XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.
6,000Seven Days in a Row CatchBonus XP for capturing a Pokémon for seven days in a row.

Hatching XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP RewardDescription
500Hatch a Pokémon from a 2km Egg.
1,000Hatch a Pokémon from a 5km Egg.
1,500Hatch a Pokémon from a 7km Egg.
2,000Hatch a Pokémon from a 10km Egg.
4,000Hatch a Pokémon from a 12km Egg.

Spinning Photo Discs/Pokestops XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP Reward
100Spin a Photo Disc at a PokéStop.
25Spin a Photo Disc at an enemy or neutral Gym without the respective Gym Badge 
31Spin a Photo Disc at a friendly Gym without a respective Gym Badge.
50Spin a Photo Disc at an enemy or neutral Gym with a respective Bronze Gym Badge.
63Spin a Photo Disc at a friendly Gym with a respective Bronze Gym Badge.
75Spin a Photo Disc at an enemy or neutral Gym with a respective Silver Gym Badge.
94Spin a Photo Disc at a friendly Gym with a respective Silver Gym Badge.
100Spin a Photo Disc at an enemy or neutral Gym with a respective Gold Gym Badge.
125Spin a Photo Disc at a friendly Gym with a respective Gold Gym Badge.
100Awarded for spinning a Photo Discs at 10 unique PokéStops under 30 minutes.
300Awarded for spinning a Photo Disc at PokéStops with white rings around them. 
500Awarded for spinning a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym for the first time of the day.
2,000Awarded for spinning at least one Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym for seven days in a row.

Gym XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP Reward
1,000Defeat an enemy Gym.
300Defeat a Pokémon in an enemy Gym.
150Awarded for beating every Pokémon in an enemy Gym in a single attempt.Original value: 50

Raid Battle XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP Reward
3,500Defeat the first tier Raid Boss.
5,000Defeat the third tier Raid Boss.
10,000Defeat the Legendary or Mega Raid Boss.

Friend interaction XP rewards in Pokémon Go

XP Reward
200Send a gift to another trainer.
3,000Achieve Good Friend status with another Trainer.
10,000Achieve Great Friend status with another trainer.
50,000Achieve Ultra Friend status with another trainer.
100,000Achieve Best Friend status with another trainer.