On the last day of November, I opened up Pokemon GO and was SLAMMED with notifications. Tons of medals popped up out of nowhere! Most of them were either gold or platinum, for catching Pokemon and for doing various raids. I waited for a good couple of minutes for the medals to go away, then immediately spotted something else. The experience bar had popped up underneath my level 40 avatar.
Levels 41-50 had arrived.
And with them came a huge amount of grind. For level 41 alone, you need 6,000,000 experience. Pretty insane considering how you need 5,000,000 experience for level 40. The amounts for each level just increase further and further. And, unfortunately, experience earned after level 40 only goes so far. I, for example, have 9 million experience, enough to reach level 41 and part of my way into level 42. Aabicus on the other hand is only a third of the way into level 41. I have a few people on my friends list with over 40 MILLION experience, and even that won’t be close to level 50.
You need more than experience.
Not that it matters. You need to complete 4 difficult tasks as well to level up, even if you have the experience. Level 41 requires 30 raids for starters. It also requires you to catch 200 Pokemon in one day! I’m a pretty active player and it turns out that I only catch about 50-60 Pokemon in a day. So I’ll have to quadruple my output to finish this task. And make sure I have enough Pokeballs, since I’m STILL drained from all these events.
Luckily, powering up Legendaries 40 times isn’t too hard. Meltan counts towards this, but I’ve also got a few 100% Legendaries I wanted to spend candy on. But it seems like every single step will have these same difficult tasks tied to them. On TOP of the huge amounts of experience needed.
Leveling Pokemon past level 40 is an expensive option.
It’s not just level 40 players who have work to do. You can now level Pokemon higher as well. Like before, you can level a Pokemon to your level plus 2, so I could level my Pokemon to level 42. Just like the trip to level 40 Pokemon, it’s gonna cost a huge amount of candy and stardust.
To do so though, I can’t use normal candy. I need XL Candy. I discovered this as I caught a Magikarp, which gave me my first XL Magikarp Candy. You can get XL Candy at random by catching, hatching and transferring Pokemon, but it’s that: random. Alternatively, I can convert existing candy into mega candy. To do so, I can just use the handy Candy -> XL Candy in the normal side menu, just underneath the Items button.
The downside? It costs 100 Candy to make one XL Candy. And this is standard across all Pokemon. So my level 40 Mewtwo requires 1,000 normal Mewtwo candy to get to level 40.5, since powering up increases a Pokemon’s level by 0.5. That means I need 2,000 candy to power up my Mewtwo twice to actually make it level 41.
In fact, out of all the Pokemon I own, there’s only two Pokemon I could actually make 2 levels worth of XL Candy for. They are Eevee and Charmander. The distant runners up are Growlithe, Houndour and Magikarp, all with about 1500 candy each.
Simply put, the journey from 40 to 50 is NOT for casual players.
Seriously, the grind is just too much. Even 41 is tedious as heck. 30 raids assumes I’ll do one free raid every day for a month. Maybe a bit less if I include the free weekly remote raid passes. And the challenges will only get harder as I go on. Then again, I’m not even half my way towards level 42 and its 8,000,000 experience requirement.
I get it, this journey isn’t something meant to be done in a short space of time. The whole idea is a new grind for those hardcore players. But it honestly feels a little too hardcore.
So, for now, I’m just gonna ignore it. After all, it took me a year and a half to get to level 40. And the only reason I cared about that was so I could submit Pokestops. Level 50 is, for now, a vast, cosmetic goal for the future.