Leveling trainers in Pokemon GO can be a daunting task, but luckily, there are plenty of incentives to keep going and important milestones that help players catch even the most elusive Pokémon.
When people who are sick of hearing about Pokemon GO and its popularity finally give in and download the game, the whimsical new world they've stumbled into can be a bit confusing -- especially for those new to Pokemon or similar games. Level 1 can feel restrictive when new players see others bragging about taking over a gym on Reddit or a post on Facebook about a friend catching a Snorlax with only a few Poke Balls. "Where is my Snorlax?!" They might shriek toward the heavens with the furious, burning rage of a Magmar. They should know that these things will come, but to get there takes time, patience, and many, many levels.
Each level gained in Pokemon GO is meant to feel rewarding. Every time a player ascends they are given a collection of Poke goodies to help them soldier on, but every few levels will introduce players to new items, which will allow them to experience new gameplay elements that help broaden the scope of the game. However, the further a player goes the more difficult it becomes to level, with some high level players feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the experience jumps.
But there are myriad items to collect before reaching that point, each bringing something new and exciting to the table that help players do what they downloaded the game to do: catch Pokemon.
Levels 1 - 5
At this point in Pokemon GO all a Pokemon trainer has to their name are Poke Balls, which is good because they are the backbone of the game. Every level gained will reward players with 10-15 Poke Balls until level 5, which presents them with their first big milestone. Gyms are now accessible, so taking over and becoming a Gym Leader is now an option, but expect some healthy competition in heavily populated areas.
Additionally, Potions and Revives are introduced. Potions are used to heal Pokemon by 20 points, while a Revive will wake up a fainted Pokemon with half health. Players are given a decent amount of each for reaching this point and even get an Incense as a bonus, which will lure nearby Pokemon to their location.
Levels 6 - 8
Now trainers are a little more comfortable holding a Poke Ball and their pockets are brimming with them thanks to all the free ones given out each level. Potions and Revives are part of the regular level packages and, at level 6, players are given a free incubator for all the eggs they might find on their journey, which can be used to hatch Pokemon.
At level 8, players are able to use Razz Berries and are given ten for their trouble. Using a Razz Berry on a Pokemon before a throw makes it easier to catch, making the item a standard for catching new friends in the future. Players are also given their first, free Lure Module, which can be attached at any Poke Stop to lure Pokemon to the area. The best part is that the benefit extends to anyone in the vicinity so this is an essential element in any Pokemon gathering.
Levels 9 - 12
Players who have reached this level have put in a decent amount of time and effort into the game and likely have more Pidgeys and Rattatas than they care to. Level 9 includes a Lucky Egg along with the other items, which doubles experience gained for thirty minutes after using it. This is a boon for higher levels, which, as mentioned, can get a bit grueling.
Level 10 provides a nice collection of free items, including Incense, a Lucky Egg, an Incubator, and a Lure Module. Players are also introduced to Super Potions, which heal a damaged Pokemon for 50 points.
Upon reaching level 12, the real game begins. Great Balls are now a trainer's go to Pokemon nabber. It has a better catch rate than regular Poke Balls and is the new standard included at every level thereafter. Those struggling to catch high level or rare Pokemon will now find it a bit easier. Just don't forget to pair a Great Ball with a Razz Berry for the best results.
Levels 13 - 15
Level 13 and 14 don't have much to offer besides some more free stuff, but level 15 brings better healing to Pokemon who like to battle. Hyper Potions, which heal 200 points of damage, will help players tackle tougher gyms, but strong Pokemon are still required to win. In order to catch those Pokemon powerhouses, trainers will need a stronger Poke Ball.
Level 16 - 20
This is the point where players may feel the fatigue as nothing noteworthy is introduced for five full levels, but given the prize, it might be worth the wait. Ultra Balls are introduced at level 20 and will become every budding trainers' best friend in catching the most rare Pokemon the game has to offer. As a special bonus, players receive a bounty of free goodies. In addition to twenty Ultra Balls, Hyper Potions, Revives, and Razz Berries, they receive two of each of the following: Incense, Luck Egg, Incubator, and Lure Module.
It's a good amount of items, and players will need every single one if they care to progress since experience makes its first significant jump at level 21, costing players 50,000 points of experience.
Level 21 - 25
There's not much to be said about the journey to level 25, but it is quite a grind. Those who make it here should be proud, as they likely have an admirable Pokemon collection by now and have tackled with a gym leader or two -- possibly even become one themselves. At level 25 players start receiving Max Potions, which will completely heal a Pokemon to full health.
Level 26 - 30 and Beyond
This could be considered by some to be the end game; for now at least. Until Niantic and Nintendo introduce new gameplay elements, Pokemon GO presumably continues on from here until infinite. The only significant event happens at level 30, when players are introduced to Max Revive, which does as expected by reviving a fainted Pokemon and to full health.
That's the gist of the leveling system so far in Pokemon GO. There is a lot of potential for this game and, given its staggering popularity, it will probably continue on to bring players all sorts of new items and experiences. Until then, however, making it to level 30 is more or less the peak at this time.
While all of this may feel intimidating to green trainers, take heart, for the game is meant to be savored, not rushed. Find a gym leader to take down, meet up with friends at a local Poke Stop, or simply take a walk and see what crosses your path. The levels will come eventually, but enjoying what the game has to offer is a full-time event -- unless the server is down again.
Check out our other helpful guides!:
- How to Win Battles
- How to Become a Gym Leader
- How to Get Pokecoins
- How to Catch Pikachu as a Starter
- How to Use Tracker Tool
- How to Control Evee's Evolutions
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.