Whether you're just about to fire up the app for the first time and plan to net yourself a Pikachu, or you've been playing since the game released in your territory and just want a few pointers to help refine your strategy, it's not hard to find advice when it comes to Pokemon GO. Some advice, of course, is a bit less obvious. This list will serve to cover ten of the somewhat lesser-known and less common-sense tips that new players and old hands alike may find valuable, like how to control which Eeveelution you get.
Right now, tracking Pokemon using the three pawprints you see next to each one in your Nearby tracker is actually broken. The feature is being worked on, but for the time being, you will always see three footprints, rather than seeing them decrease as you near a target Pokemon. There is, however, another way. Using your phone's compass, you can essentially triangulate the location of a Pokemon. First, select a Pokemon in Nearby. Then, hold you phone in front of you and turn slowly in a circle. At some point in your spin, you'll see the Nearby tracker in the bottom left corner flash. That means you're facing directly toward that Pokemon. Start walking. If you don't encounter it within about 1 or 2 kilometers, reselect it in the tracker and try the trick again - you may have veered off course, or the Pokemon may be on the move. While this method can take persistence, it should work with just about any Pokemon. Just take care not to wander into places you shouldn't be.
A few quick tips on hatching your eggs - for starters, you can't hatch them by driving. Next, cheaters never prosper. Many people have tried many ways to cheat hatching their eggs, and thus far, nobody has managed to get anything quite as time-efficient as simply launching the app and taking a walk. Mainly, this is simply due to the way the GPS works. It checks in every now and then, rather than being on full blast every second, meaning that small, repetitive distances, which are involved in most cheat methods, won't do you much good. Generally, eggs with a higher KM requirement to hatch will have better Pokemon, and eggs always supply stardust and XP, so get out there and walk those eggs.
On a related note to the egg hatching, of the purchaseable items, unless you're looking to maximize your catching for a particular outing, you should focus your wallet on Incubators and hatch as many eggs as possible. When an egg hatches, even if you get a common Pokemon, you'll get a massive amount of stardust and XP. Other purchases include Pokeballs, which you can get for free at PokeStops, Lucky Eggs, which are generally gifted at level ups and are only useful at the right times, incense to attract Pokemon, lures, and upgrades for your bag and Pokemon storage. Of all of these, Incubators stand head and shoulders above, simply because they allow you to work on multiple eggs at once.
Throwing A Pokeball
Throwing a Pokeball is not a simple, quick thing in this game - there are complexities to pay attention to. For starters, you have your regular Pokeballs, Great Balls, and Ultra Balls. So far, nobody has found a Master Ball - they may be event exclusive, or may be available at levels higher than anybody has reached yet. As for the actual throwing, it all comes down to four things; your finger, the Pokemon's CP, your level, and the two circles around a Pokemon. The higher your level and the higher the Pokemon's CP, the harder it will be to catch no matter what you do. You can help your chances by throwing like a champ, and here's how to do that. You'll see an outer circle - that's the effective range of your ball. The inner circle, which moves, tells you about when and where to throw. You want to hit inside the circle, and the smaller it is, the better your chances. Depending on how you hit, you can get a Great or Nice throw, which adds XP to the catch and presents a better chance of the Pokemon staying in the ball. Throwing a curveball is done by giving the Pokeball a few spins, then throwing it from that spin. It takes practice, but also adds XP and can help with difficult Pokemon. Once your level is high enough for you to find them, don't be afraid to use Razz Berries to calm ornery wild Pokemon - you're going to be seeing a lot of them.
Item And Pokemon Management
For starters, throw out most of the Potions, Super Potions and Revives you get. You'll find you won't need them often, unless you head to Gyms often and you're having a hard time. Even then, just keeping 20 potions or so, along with a small stock of revives, should be enough. As for Pokemon management, keep your low-level and common Pokemon around unless you absolutely need extra space. You can stockpile low Pokemon and their candies to use with a Lucky Egg for massive XP gain later on. That really is about it for this section, it's pretty simple.
On Lucky Eggs
Lucky Eggs can be one of the most valuable items you have, aside from Incubators, but only if used correctly. The trick is to use them only under certain conditions. First, find a place with lots of PokeStops that are usually decked out with Lures. Next, stockpile weak Pokemon and candy, as outlined above. Set up some eggs that should hatch between you and your destination, if you have any. Their massive XP gain for hatching will be doubled. Finally, save back maybe two or three Lucky Eggs. You can buy them, or get them every few level ups. Now, head to that spot, Lure up any PokeStops within distance that don't have lures, and activate a Lucky Egg. Proceed to mass-evolve your weak Pokemon, taking advantage of their low evolution cost. Each one grants 500 XP usually, which will double to 1,000 with that Lucky Egg active. While doing this, make sure vibration is on, and take a break each time a Pokemon appears. Your catch can earn you close to 500 XP, under the right conditions, or even more, if you happen across a Pokemon you don't already have. Rely on others to re-Lure the PokeStops, and keep on evolving until you run out of weak Pokemon, using another Lucky Egg every 30 minutes until you're all out of evolvable weaklings. This should net you at least a few level-ups, unless you're up into the late 20s.
Gyms can seem intimidating when you first hit level 5, but even at that point, you can get in on the action, especially if you have a decent phone and are good at action games. While some attacks are unavoidable, almost all attacks can be dodged by swiping left or right. You'll get a yellow flash that gives you a half-second pre-attack warning. Dodge, attack, dodge again - don't get greedy. That said, even if you get pretty good at fighting, using the right type of Pokemon and having a lineup that matches the lineup you'll be fighting helps. Keep at it, especially with a friend, and you'll see the enemy gym's prestige hit zero in no time. Once it belongs to your team, you can fight the other Pokemon there for prestige and XP, and you can assign your own Pokemon, just one per Gym, to stay and defend. This entitles you to a Defender Bonus, which can be claimed in the shop via an icon in the top-right.
Don't Waste Resources Early On
To be frank, the less powerful a Pokemon is when you first meet it, the harder a time you'll have training it. Compared to catching a stronger version and raising that, you could be wasting massive amounts of candy and stardust. Instead, hold out on serious training and evolution until about level 20, with the possible exception of your starting Pokemon. As your level increases, you meet stronger wild Pokemon, and the stronger a Pokemon is at first meeting, the more CP it gains per power up. The more CP a Pokemon has when it evolves, the bigger a CP boost it will get at evolution time.
Using Rare Pokemon Spawn Points
Rare Pokemon are seen in less places and less often, but just like any other Pokemon, they have set places where you'll always see them, and set times they spawn. Finding these places and noting them is very important. For example, Coachman Park in Downtown Clearwater, Florida, Dratini and Magikarp spawn like clockwork. Since you need 400 Magikarp candy for a Gyarados and a good number of Dratini candy for a Dragonite, especially with Dratini being rare, it can be very beneficial to figure out where and when they spawn.
Don't Look Too Hard For These Nine (And One Unofficial) Pokemon
For the time being, nine Pokemon are pretty much off limits for players. Mew and Mewtwo, along with Ditto and the three Legendary Birds, have yet to be seen and are presumed to be event exclusive. Meanwhile, there are a few Pokemon that are region exclusive. North American players can get Tauros, while those in Asia will find Farfetch'd. Mr. Mime, meanwhile, is EU exclusive, and Kangaskahn is only in Australia. These may pop up randomly at some point, but you shouldn't make a big effort to find them for the time being. The same obviously goes for Missingno, who is, sadly for classic Pokemon fans, unlikely to make an appearance.