It’s fine, being a newbie. Everyone was a newbie once. Most people grow out of it as they learn and get better. Some people *cough* like me *cough* could use a little extra help. So here’s a bunch of random tips that I’ve picked up since I started playing back in August.
Use The Whole Screen
Don’t be an idiot like me. You can use the whole screen to throw a Pokeball. This is most useful on those bastard Legendaries (and Pokemon like Gengar and Clefable) who like to stand really far away and taunt you as balls bounce at their feet. There’s this way of throwing where you quickly drag the ball from the bottom left/right corner towards the opposite bottom corner and then flick the ball up along the side of the screen, letting go when you’re at about head height with the Pokemon in question. It kinda works for me, but I notice I still flub curved throws a lot.
Find A Local Pokemon Go Group
Whether it’s on Facebook or Discord or whatever, there’s always a local raid group somewhere. If I have three Pokemon Go chats I can use while living on the arse end of a shitty island, surely there’s something out there for you. If anything, a Pokemon Go group can at least give you a hand doing level 3 and 4 raid bosses, even if there’s not enough people for a level 5 boss.
Hoard Items Before Events
Unless the event is “PIDGEYS EVERYWHERE!”, get yourself a fuckton of berries and Pokeballs because the Pokemon that tend to appear in events are generally a pain in the ass to catch. A prime example are the starter Pokemon from the December Community Weekend. Fuck you, Squirtle. Try not to have a research breakthrough ready to open as well, so you can make use of the “Catch 3 X for Pokeballs” research that pops up.
Getting Specific Throws in a Row
There’s always a research challenge like this. Get 3 Nice Throws in a row. Get 3 Curved Throws in a row. Make an Excellent Throw. These are common research challenges that normally give good Pokemon Encounters as rewards. Getting them in a row is particularly hard because Pokemon have the annoying habit of jumping at random. My solution? A Nanab Berry or three, basic Pokeballs and a really fucking massive Pokemon. Because these challenges don’t care whether the great/nice/curved/whatever throws are on the same Pokemon or not and don’t care if you don’t even catch the Pokemon.
So basically, find yourself a high CP Ponyta, Nosepass or other similar Pokemon and just throw away. You can also use something like Entei, Raikou or Suicine in the December 2018 Research Breakthroughs as well, since they don’t run away.
If you don’t plan on going out every day, why not save some research towards your next Research Breakthrough? Most rewards that aren’t encounters aren’t very good. I mean, an excellent throw for 1 Pinap? I’ll pass. But if it’s an easy enough research task that you can put towards your Research Breakthrough, then why not? Just remember that you can only claim one token towards your breakthrough per day, and it’s the first one you claim the reward for, even if you don’t catch the Pokemon from your research encounter.
Also remember that 1. you can’t claim any more research if you haven’t claimed your breakthrough yet and 2. wait until other people confirm that the Pokemon reward in a breakthrough has changed before you open your box.
Throw All Your Nanab Berries at Gyms
Nanab berries aren’t very useful (unless you’re trying to do the throws-in-a-row tip mentioned above) but you shouldn’t delete them. Nope, feed them to Pokemon in gyms! Not only do you get 20 stardust for each berry fed, but you can keep Pokemon in gyms for a little longer and there’s a chance you could get a candy from the Pokemon you feed! Granted, the chance is small, and I’ve only ever gotten one candy from a Metagross, but still, it’s better than getting nothing from throwing berries away.
Walk Your Magikarp
I’m lucky. I live near the coast. I can get Magikarps pretty easily. Well, unless there’s events going on, which completely destroy Magikarp spawns. My solution? WALK Your Magikarp! Make a Magikarp your walking buddy and rejoice as you get one candy per kilometer walked. Is it a lot of candy? No. But it is better than getting no candy. Also, don’t evolve ANY Magikarp until you’re on that specific stage of the Mew quest. Because previously evolved ones don’t count.
Get A Tyranitar
Those things are OP as heck. Even the shitty one I have is useful in almost every situation. Unless you’re fighting a legendary Ice/Water type or something, Tyranitar will get the job done.
Even if you don’t want that Sandshrew, check it anyway. It might be shiny. Sure, a lot of the common stuff doesn’t have a shiny version yet (THEY BLOODY SHOULD HAVE SHINIES, WHERE IS MY SHINY SLUGMA ALREADY?) but check each Pokemon anyway. Even if it’s not a shiny, if it’s a Pokemon with a weirdly high CP (e.g. a Pidgey with a CP of 600), it might be a Ditto. It probably won’t be though.
So there we are. A few simple, somewhat obvious tips that will help anyone.
Good luck catching things!