Pokemon Go - How to Earn XP (Experience Points)

Updated on March 6, 2018

Earning XP in Pokemon Go is not hard, after all, about everything you do earns some type of XP. However, earning XP in the early levels of the game is not as important as the higher levels of the game. This is because, after level 20, it takes 100,000 XP or more to level up. So, the 100 XP you get for catching a Pokemon would mean you need to catch 1,000 Pokemon to level up, now that's a lot of catching.

As you can imagine, it will take more time to level up. You can shorten that time if you know the different ways to gain XP and where to focus your energies.

Characters in Pokemon Go
Characters in Pokemon Go | Source

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Experience Points for 7 Day Streaks

  • 7 Day Pokestop Streak - I'm not sure if everyone in the game has this opportunity, or if you start earning these at a certain level. You can earn 2,000 XP by visiting a Pokestop seven days in a row. You receive the 2,000 XP on the seventh day, along with extra points for the items you receive.
  • 7 Day Catch Streak - Like the Pokestop streak, the catch streak can earn you 2,000 XP when you catch at least one Pokemon a day for seven days in a row. This is in addition to the points you receive for catching a Pokemon.

Experience Points When you Catch a Pokemon

These are cumulative, so you can earn all of these on a single catch.

  • Catch a New Pokemon (500 XP) - Every time you catch a Pokemon you've never caught before, you receive 500 XP. When you first start playing, it seems you receive this bonus with every Pokemon you catch. Later in the game, these bonuses are few and far between.
  • First Catch of the Day (500 XP) - With the first Pokemon you catch each day, you will receive 500 XP. This is important as you work toward your seven day streak.
  • Catch a Pokemon (100 XP) - Every time you catch a Pokemon you receive 100 XP.
  • Great Throw (50-100 XP) - Every once in a while, I receive 50-100 XP for a great throw while catching a Pokemon. I believe a great throw has to do with the size of the circle when the Pokemon is captured, but I haven't really noticed the pattern to say what it is definitively.
  • First Throw (50 XP) - If you catch a Pokemon on the first throw you make, you receive 50 XP.
  • Curve Ball (10 XP) - When you capture a Pokemon with a curve ball, you receive 10 XP. To throw a curve ball, before throwing a Pokeball, spin it by making a circular motion over the Pokeball.

Other Ways to Earn Experience Points

  • Raid Gym Battles (3,000 XP) - Earn 3,000 XP when a Gym Boss is defeated during a Raid Battle. These are special events that take place at most gyms each day. Raid Battles allow multiple trainers to battle the same Gym Boss at the same time.
  • Hatch an Egg (200-1000 XP) - Hatching an egg will give you a certain amount of XP depending on the type of egg. You will earn 200 XP with a 2K egg, 500 XP with 5K egg, and 1,000 XP with a 10K egg.
  • Evolve a Pokemon (500 XP) - Certain Pokemon can evolve. And when you evolve a Pokemon you receive 500 XP.
  • First Pokestop of the Day (500 XP) - The first Pokestop you visit each day, you will receive 500 XP.
  • Regular Gym Battles (50-250 XP) - One of the final ways to earn experience points is to battle in the gyms. Unfortunately, you don't receive a lot for winning or losing. But you do receive a handful of experience points after every battle.

Double Experience Points for 30 minutes with a Lucky Egg

At various levels, you receive a Lucky Egg. When activated, you receive Double XP for 30 minutes. To make this work in your favor, you need to ready multiple high level XP. I try to do a few things, make sure my Pokestop streak and my Catch streak are synchronized so the seventh day are the same. The second thing is to be ready to evolve as many Pokemon as you can at the same time. Once you have all of these, you can use your double XP super ball effectively, and here's the plan.

On the seventh day, prior to doing anything, make sure you are at a Pokestop and there is a Pokemon near that you catch. Once you activate your Lucky Egg you have 30 minutes to do the following:

  1. Spin the coin at the Pokestop - 4,000 XP for the 7 day streak plus the item XP
  2. Catch a Pokemon - 4,000 XP for the 7 day steak plus 1,000 for first catch of the day, plus 200 for catching a Pokemon, plus bonuses for First Throw, Great Throw, and a Curve ball.
  3. Evolve all the Pokemon you can to receive 1,000 XP

Double Experience Points Days

Every once in a while their are double XP days where XP is double all day. Use a Super Ball during one of these events, and during the 30 minutes, XP is 4X.

Current / Previous Double Experience Points Days

  • March 6 thru 16, 2018
  • November 20 thru 26, 2017 (Thanksgiving Weekend in the US) - I used a lucky egg this weekend and ended up with 70,000 XP after the 30 minutes.
  • First Week of May 2017

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