Pokemon Go in Hong Kong: 5 Useful Tips For Beating Your Friends

Nothing says friendship like being able to make your friends cry. With these Pokemon Go tips, you can! We’ll help you become the ultimate trainer in Hong Kong so you can rub your army of high CP Pokemon in your friends’ faces and teach ’em who’s boss.

5. Straight Lines Are Your Friends

Egg hatching in Pokemon Go

So you lucked out and found a 10km egg. You run around your block for what feels like an eternity, excited to finally hatch a Lapras. But when you check your phone – instead of seeing the egg crack – you find the egg counter has only logged one measly kilometer… Fed up, you try taping your phone to a turntable, ceiling fan, or maybe even your dog. But a few hours later, you’re still at 1km. What gives?!

There’s a widespread belief that Pokemon Go registers every step you take, but alas, that is simply not true. In reality, the game marks your physical location every 60 seconds, then calculates it’s direct distance from your last known location. That means if you walk in a circle and return to your starting point within those 60 seconds, Pokemon Go will assume you have not moved at all. Also, as distance is calculated in straight lines, any turns you make on your walks will not be given full credit, which is why running around your block might not such a smart strategy after all.

Now that you know how distance works, you can take advantage of the system by sticking to a straight line. Luckily, because we live in Hong Kong, there is a mode of transportation that can do the work for us – the tram.

A blue tram running across Hong Kong Island

Not only does the tram travel in a relatively straight line, it’s also slow enough to fool the game into thinking you’re on foot. The longest tram line runs for 30km from Kennedy Town down to Shau Kei Wan, with a journey time of about 90 minutes – plenty of time to hatch those eggs.

Better yet, pop an Incense to maximize your $2.30 ticket. You see, if used while standing still, Incense spawns one Pokemon every 5 minutes. However, if used while moving, Incense spawns one Pokemon for every 200 meters travelled, up to one per minute – perfect for the tram!

4. Egg It

Having a high trainer level will not only spawn Pokemon with better CP, you’ll also be able to upgrade your existing monsters further – hence why focusing on levels is far more beneficial than finding rare Pokemon. The Dragonite you catch at level 20 will be vastly stronger than the one you found at level 5.

Image of a Lucky Egg in Pokemon Go

Upon hitting level 9, you’ll receive your first Lucky Egg – an item which grants double exp for half an hour. Used efficiently, one Egg can boost you through as many as 4 or 5 trainer levels. The universal strategy is to use an Egg right before evolving all your Pokemon to earn an extra 500exp per evolution. Many players will do this on a triple lure to reap bonus exp from PokeStops and Pokemon spawns as well – I’m here to tell you why that’s a bad idea.

You see, depending on the speed of your phone, one evolution animation takes at least 20 seconds (yes, I counted) – with new Pokedex entries requiring an additional 5 seconds. Factor in the time wasted scrolling through your Pokemon Storage and clicking through the various buttons, you’ll realize the Lucky Egg’s 30 minute duration goes by rather quickly. On average, there’s only enough time for 50 to 60 evolutions. Every precious second you waste spinning PokeStops and catching Pokemon – tempting as that may be – will only reduce your earning potential from evolutions.

So once you’ve banked enough evolutions for an Egg, just do it at home!

Pro Tip: To avoid losing valuable Lucky Egg time due to framerate drops, remember to clear your ram and close your background apps, or restart your phone beforehand

3. Rule The Mean Streets

A Gym marker in Pokemon Go

Now that you’re much stronger, it’s time to start battling!

The default bag size of 350 slots may seem sufficient initially, but once Pokemon Go starts rewarding you with items like Great Balls and Super Potions, that number will feel very limiting. You could plop down some hard earn cash to upgrade your bag, but who the heck wants to do that when there’s a way to earn PokeCoins just by playing?

For every Gym you capture (up to a maximum of 10), you can receive 10 PokeCoins and 500 Stardust by claiming the Defender Bonus. However, the Defender Bonus can only be used once every 21 hours, so it’s a good idea to own at least 5 Gyms before claiming your rewards. In a city like Hong Kong where everything is within walking distance, taking 5 Gyms isn’t actually that tough (unless you’re Team Instinct like me, then yeah, it’s kinda tough).

Here’s a few tricks to help you win those Gym battles every time:

  • Dodge. Tapping the screen like a madman will get you through Gyms with two or three Pokemon, but against anything higher, you’ll need to learn to time the dodge. Enemies hit twice in the beginning of each battle, then every 1.5 seconds thereafter. Wait until the screen flashes yellow, then swipe to avoid the attack. This works much better with XS Pokemon as they move much quicker.
  • Know your types. Pokemon belong to one (sometimes two) of 18 total types. Knowing their weaknesses will give you a huge advantage in the way of higher damage output. Here’s a handy chart from reddit user wdsoul86 to get you started:

    A visual type chart for Pokemon Go
    Good luck remembering all this!
  • Bring friends. You can actually battle rival Gyms simultaneously with multiple players. So if a particular Gym is giving you trouble, have a friend to tag along and topple it together!

2. Get Technical

Depending on your moral definition of cheating, there’s a couple online tools you can use to further improve your trainer.

First up is the only surviving Pokemon Go real-time spawn map, courtesy of Skiplagged.

Pokemon Go live map by Skiplagged
I never said the map was easy to read.

Primarily a flight booking service, Skiplagged recently hopped onto the Pokemon Go hype train to draw more attention to its service – kinda like yours truly, I guess! Anyway, while their map doesn’t show 100% of all available Pokemon nor does it work outside of city centers (sorry New Territories folks), it loads incredibly fast and comes equipped with a highly-appreciated filter function to block out all those dreaded Zubats and Ratatas. You can finally scan through large distances with ease to locate all those Pokemon nests. But knowing Niantic, it might only be a matter of time before Skiplagged is shut down as well, so be sure to use this while you can! There’s even a mobile version for Android.

The next tool is technically against Niantic’s terms of service, but then again, so is PokeVision or Skiplagged. I’d say it’s benefits outweigh it’s potential risk, but if you’re paranoid of bans, then skip ahead.

Still here? Sweet.

PokeAdvisor is an online progress tracker that shows your, well, progress – but more importantly, your Pokemon’s IV.

The manager page on the website PokeAdvisor
Be jealous of my collection!

For those scratching your heads, IV stands for Individual Value – a hidden number the game assigns every Pokemon at ‘birth’. IV is tallied from three stats: Attack, Defense, and Stamina, each between the range of 0 to 15. A Pokemon with stats of 0,0,0 is going to be outmatched by the same species with 15, 15, 15. Basically, the closer an IV is to 100%, the closer the Pokemon is to being ‘perfect’. Normally, you wouldn’t have a clue about a monster’s IV, but PokeAdvisor is capable of giving you a very accurate assessment, giving you greater insight when deciding which duplicate Pokemon to transfer and which to evolve.

If you’re a Google user, you won’t even have to give PokeAdvisor your username and password. All you have to do is allow their access on your account and voila! Again, PokeAdvisor is borderline cheating, so there’s always a teeny, tiny risk of a ban – use at your own discretion. Spoilers, I use it.

1. Survive.

Gif of RDJ in Tropic Thunder
Wise words from RDJ as Kirk Lazarus as Sgt. Lincoln Osiris

This is simple and probably common sense, but I’ll throw some safety facts in anyway so you guys don’t try to sue me.

The fact is that Pokemon don’t catch themselves, so make sure to stay alive and healthy. With the crazy temperatures in Hong Kong, make sure you bring enough water to keep hydrated. If it’s raining, watch out for all those umbrellas so you don’t lose an eye. Always check the correct side of the road before crossing, because we all know how crazy drivers can get. And remember to be mindful of your surroundings at all times, so you don’t end up like these guys or these guys.

Last but arguably most crucial tidbit – don’t forget to pack a power bank!

Hope you’ve learned something handy from this article! Be sure to check out our Top 5 Places To Catch Pokemon in Hong Kong if you haven’t done so already. If you have any comments, suggestions, or cool Pokemon you want to share, drop it in the comments below. After all, I’m a lonely dude.

Featured image:
Danny Sung, instagram/@dansung17

Felix W

I run a cool little website about Hong Kong called The Quasi-Local. I only have, like, two readers, but you know, I'll get there one day! Believe it.

Say anything!