Best Pokémon Go tips and tricks for August 2020

Looping: PokéStops and Bonus Streaks

Pokémon Go Pokestop Streaks

Pokemon Go Pokestop Streaks (Image credit: iMore)

Pokémon Go encourages you to play regularly by giving you daily and weekly bonuses not just for catching Pokémon but for spinning PokéStops. They're called "streaks." Your first spin of the day will get you extra items and XP. Spin every day, and you get an even bigger weekly bonus on the seventh day — including an evolution item.

Also, if you spin ten PokéStops in a row, with no more than ten minutes between each one, you can also get extra items. So...

Spin as often as you can. Once you get comfortable with the PokéStops near where you live, work, learn, and play, and along your regular travel routes, spin them whenever possible. It costs you nothing but can significantly boost your stock of Pokémon Eggs (so you can hatch more Pokémon), Poké Balls, Great Balls, Ultra Balls, Razz Berries, Potions, Super Potions, Hyper Potions, Max Potions, Revives, and Max Revives.

To really stock up on items, get a Pokémon Go Plus, put it in PokéStop only mode, and then go somewhere with high-density stops, like downtown. You'll be overflowing in no time.

With the big Gym update, Pokémon Go has added Photo Discs to Gyms. So, now, you can spin those as well. If your team controls the Gym, you get a bonus time. You can also earn Gym badges, from basic to bronze, silver, and gold. The higher you go, the more bonus items you get.

If your team controls a Gym, you have a gold badge, and you spin it for a streak, the number of items you get can really add up. Like 30+ for a 7-day streak.

With the new items, your backpack can run out of space. Rather than trashing items to make space for additional Pokémon and spins, you can use it. More than that, you can let your items lead you and help you to decide what to do while you're out playing.

Have an excess of Balls? Go hunting for Pokémon to catch. (And walk off those extra Pokémon Eggs at the same time!). Too many Potions and Revives weighing you down? Go battle at some Gyms.

Not only is it a great strategy for getting as much free stuff as possible, but it also helps keep storage open, so you never lose out on a Pokémon Egg or anything else you desperately need just because your bag is full of stuff you don't.

Play smarter not harder

Pokémon Go Watch

Pokemon Go Watch (Image credit: iMore/ Rene Ritchie)

Pokémon Go has helped me get out and go. Going for hikes of five KM or more is a lot more fun when I'm catching and hatching Pokémon along the way. That said, sometimes my schedule or the weather makes it hard to get all those KM in. So, I play smart.

You can leave Pokémon Go on while you're doing housework, shopping, walking the dog, even riding in slow-moving transports like ski lifts, trams, ferries, buses in traffic, and more. Around ten KM/hr is the sweet spot for hatching eggs and walking Buddies, but stop and go can still add up.

Are you stuck at home or in the office? GPS drift — where your trainer runs around because Pokémon Go can't get an exact fix — can add up to extra KM for hatching eggs or walking your Buddy as well. Even if there's no PokéStop where you are, there might be a spawn point that'll still bring you ample Pokémon to Catch. And you can always drop an Incense, which will bring you a bunch of common Pokémon every few minutes and maybe even one or two more exciting Pokémons.

Gyms are easier to take down now than they used to be. As a result, Gyms are getting taken down more often. So, if you're out and about, it's always worth checking a Gym to see if it has a free slot, or has lost motivation and make for an easy takedown.

Traveling fits right into this, as well. I've built up series KM walking through airports, being stuck in cabs and Ubers on the way to hotels, and having my trainer run around while I'm in the hotel. Many big-city hotels have multiple PokéStops within range as well, perfect for Lures if you have them. (Likewise coffee shops — warm, safe, and PokéStopped!)

Pokémon Go Plus, Go-Tcha and Poké Ball Plus

Pokémon Go Plus

Pokemon Go Plus (Image credit: iMore)

While leaving Pokémon Go running means you'll always be getting that little bit of extra distance and know right away when a new Pokémon spawns, not everyone can do that. If nothing else, most phones just don't have the battery life to support it. Fortunately, there are a few accessories that can keep your game going without it running constantly.

While the Apple Watch is not longer supported, there are a few alternatives that work just as well and for far less. The Pokémon Go Plus was the first of these accessories. It's cheap and easy to come by, while also being relatively small and discrete. It can spin Pokéstops and Gyms, and will attempt to catch Pokémon that spawn in range. The Go-Tcha works in similar ways produced by a third party. The Poké Ball Plus is the more expensive of the three but also works with other Pokémon games, like Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Pokémon Sword and Shield. It even comes with the Mythical Pokémon Mew for those games.

5 reasons you should buy a Pokémon Go Plus — and a couple of reasons not to!

Adventure Sync

Even if you don't have an accessory and can't leave your game running, Pokémon Go has a feature called Adventure Sync that will count the distance you're walking even when the app isn't running. Adventure Synce is a great way to hatch eggs and earn rewards. You can even get special eggs as weekly rewards if you reach certain goals. This relies on your phone's GPS but you probably have that running in the background anyway so be sure to turn this feature on so you get the most distance.

Pokémon Go Eggs: How to hatch them and what's inside!

Gen IV: Exclusive evolutions

Pokémon Go Sinnoh Stone evolutions

Pokemon Go Sinnoh Stone evolutions (Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

While the core Pokémon games featured many different ways of evolving Pokémon, to simplify some of that, Pokémon Go introduced the Sinnoh Stone, an evolution item that is used exclusively to evole Pokémon from previous generations that had new forms in Gen IV. By using a Sinnoh Stone and 100 candies, you can evolve:

  • Aipom into Ambipom
  • Lickitung into Lickilicky
  • Tangela into Tangrowth
  • Yanma into Yanmega
  • Pilowsine into Mamoswine
  • Male Kirlia into Gallade
  • Female Snorunt into Froslass
  • Rhydon into Rhyperior
  • Electabuzz into Electivire
  • Magmar into Magmortar
  • Misdreavus into Mismagius
  • Murkrow into Honchkrow
  • Gligar into Gliscor
  • Sneasel into Weavile
  • Porygon2 into Porygon-Z
  • Roselia into Roserade
  • Dusclops into Dusknoir

And now, there are a few other Gen 4 Pokémon that evolve via different means:

  • Eevee can now evolve into Leafeon or Glaceon by using a Mossy or Glacial Lure Mod when you have 25 Eevee candies and an Eevee in your Pokémon Box
  • Magneton and Nosepass can evolve into Magnezone and Probopass respectively when you use a Magnetic LureMod and have the appropriate amount of Candies for either Pokemon

So, get those high-stat 'mon and all the candy you can!

Pokémon Go Gen IV: How you need to prepare right now

Gen V: An ounce of preparation

Pokémon Go Unova Stone Evolutions

Pokemon Go Unova Stone Evolutions (Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Much like the Sinnoh Stone in Gen IV, now that Gen V has been added to the game, players can also obtain the Unova Stone. This evolution item only works for a handful of Pokémon so far, but more are likely to be added down the line. Using the Unova Stone and 100 candies, you can evolve:

  • Pansage into Simisage
  • Pansear into Simisear
  • Panpour into Simipour
  • Lampent into Chandelure
  • Munna into Musharna
  • Mincinno into Cinccino
  • Eelektrik into Eelektross
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.