Level up Pokemon GO without paying

Published: 21:14, 27 September 2016
Updated: 12:07, 03 October 2016
Pokemon GO player enjoying dramatic scenery - and the game at the same time

Determined not to pay to progress in Pokemon GO? Here's how you can do it for free

Whether you are new to Pokemon GO or an existing player, here's some simple to use tips to help you get an edge on others and level quicker.

You gotta catch ‘em all

We mean it: catch them all, do not pass GO, do not miss an opportunity. Catching everything that moves will accelerate your growth. Pidgeys in particular - an easy 100+XP there and then. Pokemon GO lets you enjoy dramatic scenery at the same time as playing the game Pokemon GO lets you enjoy dramatic scenery at the same time as playing the game

Plan evolutions

 gives you a good guide if you want to be more thorough and if you don’t want to trust gut feel. 

An easier way to work out whether Pokemon are worth evolving is by looking at CP, HP, and how much Stardust it takes to power up. It’s unlikely you will be looking to evolve anything below 2500 Stardust.


This is a fantastic source of XP and Stardust. You will likely get new Pokemon, generally good quality ones that are worth evolving. Burn through 2k eggs first, as they will give you lower tier Pokemon.


Having a Pokemon placed in the gym will give you an option to claim a defender bonus from the shop window. This gives you 10 coins as well as 500 star dust. Counter resets every 21 hours mean you can claim more if you .

With all of the above, you should look to save up enough coins to get additional incubators and at least one Lucky Egg. Both will earn as you level up, and you should save them for a Big Bang approach.

Ideally, you will be able to put every single egg (5k ones typically), into an incubator. Walk them until they are around 4.5k, pop a Lucky Egg and then make sure you walk last 500m.

In the half hour that the Lucky Egg is active, everything you catch will earn double XP, and you should also start evolving all the Pokemon you have. Ideally, you will save up loads of Pidgeys as they are cheap to evolve at only 12 candy.

Every evolve will grant XP, now doubled because of the Lucky Egg. Also, incubators will produce a new egg each. When we tested, this yielded four new Pokemon (at level 22, with 80+ discovered), suggesting that bulk incubation has more chance of delivering new Pokemon than when we did them one by one with a permanent incubator.

Use of non-permanent incubators should be delayed until higher levels (20+ at least), as the XP required after lvl20 increases hugely with each new level.

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