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Pokemon Go tips and tricks: A complete guide to the 'Gen 2' update

The latest Pokémon Go update has arrived, bringing with it more than 80 new Gen 2 Pokémon, gameplay tweaks, new berries, new avatar clothing and other cool features. These are the tips and tricks you need to know as part of our Professor Oak-endorsed* user guide.

Let's be honest, Pokémon Go was dead to us for a month or two. The lack of the 'Nearby' Pokémon locator was making it hard to "catch 'em all" and the spawn rate of Pidgey and Rattata was getting beyond a joke. Even if the Pidgey experience trick helped you level-up faster.

Then developer Niantic went and solved the 'Nearby' issue and now iOS and Android gamers can enjoy a substantial update that is bringing hordes of players back. Though the mechanics are largely similar, there are now more than 80 new Pokémon to catch and other new things.

If you have been on a Pokémon Go hiatus or feel a bit overwhelmed by all the new stuff, we have you covered. Or maybe you want to know all the inside tips and tricks to help you catch all the new Pokémon and get ahead of the crowd? Whatever the reason, read on.

Pokémon Go Gen 2: What has been added?

Before we get to the really useful stuff, here is an overall view of what has been added as part of the 1.27.2 update on iOS and 0.57.2 on Android. Go here for a more in-depth look at previous updates.

  1. More than 80 new 'Gen 2' Pokémon from the Johto region have been added
  2. Gender-specific variations of Pokémon can now be caught
  3. Added new encounter mechanics
  4. Added Poké Ball and Berry selection carousels to the encounter screen
  5. Added two new berries
  6. Added new avatar customisation options
  7. Added new night-mode map and encounter music
  8. Added bonus Candies for catching evolved Pokémon
  9. Implemented Apple Watch stability improvement
  10. Various bug fixes
  11. Minor text fixes

What are the new Gen 2 Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

Want to see every new Pokémon in Pokémon Go? Check out our newly update Pokedex (yes, we do spoil you). Highlights of the update are the new Eevee evolutions Umbreon and Espeon, which we will get to in a second.

Tyranitar, meanwhile, is a beast when it comes to combat and Unown has been causing a stir because it is not only exceptionally rare, each one is a letter and so, in theory, true collecters will need to get all 26. Is there a reward for doing so? No one knows yet.

It seems the spawn rates still land you a lot of rubbish Pokémon away from Pokéstops, in the UK at least, but the variety has improved and it is nice to see the odd new creature you may have forgotten or never knew existed.

The new Pokémon Go Pokémon are from the Johto region of the Gold and Silver games from the Gameboy days. Some are missing, chiefly the Legendary stuff, but Niantic has said the first catching events will be happening in 2017 so stay tuned.

Which Gen 2 Pokémon hatch from eggs?

The Pokémon you can get from 2km, 5km and 10km eggs have adjusted. Based on current data, it seems you can catch the following from each level of egg. Bear in mind all types of egg can hatch gen 1 Pokémon, too.

  • 2km Eggs: Aipom, Chikorita, Cleffa, Cyndaquil, Igglybuff, Ledyba, Misdreavus, Pichu, Remoraid, Slugma, Togepi, Totodile
  • 5km Eggs: Dunsparce, Elekid, Girafarif, Magby, Natu, Phanpy, Shuckle, Smoochum, Sneasel, Stantler, Qwilfish, Tyrogue, Wobbuffet, Wooper, Yanma
  • 10km Eggs: Gligar, Larvitar, Mareep, Mantine, Militank, Pineco, Skarmory, Sudowoodo

What are the new Pokémon Go Berries?

There are four new berries and each one can only be used separately, so you cannot benefit from two or more effects at once. Here are the Pokémon Go berries and what they do.

Razz Berry: Increases capture chance by 1.5 times
Bluk Berry: Pokémon does not jump or move
Nanab Berry: Pokémon is unable to attack
Pinap Berry: Double the number of Candies dropped
Wepar Berry: Target capture circle is made bigger

Based on our first few days of playtime, there is little need to use any of the new Pokémon Go berries with exception to the original Razz Berry, which does seem to save you using a lot of Poké Balls on the tougher catches.

You now get a lot more Stardust for catching Pokémon

The speed at which you can accumute Stardust and Candies has increased. Now, evolved Pokémon give more of a bonus – 5 Candies for second evolution and 10 Candies for a final evolution. So a Pidgeot gives you 10 Candies, while Pidgeotto gives you 5, allowing you to reach evolutions and improve your Pokémon faster.

A bog-standard 1st-evolution Pokémon gives you the same 100 as before, but a second-generation evolution such as Charmeleon gives you 300 and a Charizard a tasty 500.

Stardust is most plentiful from eggs, with 2km providing between 500 and 1,500, between 1,000 and 2,100 for 5km eggs and 1,600 and 3,200 for a 10km egg.

Candies are also given generously from hatched eggs. 2km can net you between 5 and 15, 5km between 10 and 21 and 10km between 16 and 32 Candies.

A Pinap Berry can be used to double the number of Candies you get from a Pokémon, but it must be caught on the same turn as when you used the berry. You will see a picture of the berry next to the Pokémon when a berry is in use.

How do I evolve Eevee into Umbreon and Espeon?

More easily than you probably should be able to given the power of the two new Gen 2 Eevee evolutions, particularly Espeon. You need 25 Eevee Candies then, like before, rename them. For Umbreon, the name you need is Tamao. For Espeon, rename your Eevee Sakura.

Bear in mind the trick only works once so those who want to use Espeon or Umbreon in battle should wait until they get a decent Eevee that is described as 'breathtaking' in an appraisal. After that, you may end up with any of the evolutions.

There is now a Pokémon Go News feature

Though in its early days, it seems Niantic wants to keep gamers abreast of what is going on. Initially it only tells you that there is a new update out and you can catch more than 80 new Pokémon but in time this will undoubtedly be used to announce events and other useful stuff.

It can be found by clicking the Pokéball in the middle of the screen and then press News in the top right, right below 'Settings' and 'Tips'.

How do I customise my Pokémon Go avatar?

The same way as before except now you can buy items using Gold, which can be bought using money or earned through holding Gyms. It is possible to spend quite a few British pounds on a mask or blazer, which would be better spent on Incubators for eggs (if at all).

Click on your character, then hit 'Style'. Here you can adjust clothing, change each item's colour where possible and buy virtual items. Items you can adjust are: Hats, Glasses, Tops, Bags, Gloves, Bottoms, Socks and Footwear.

A few Pokémon were nerfed (including Lapras)

To rebalance the game, Niantic set about adjusting the attack powers of some. One character that really got hit hard was Lapras, which was once an icy powerhouse but is now considerably more feeble.

A lot of players are annoyed at the nerf because Lapras is a rare catch and so most Stardust will have been earned by having it as a buddy. Accumulating enough Stardust to maximise its CP would typically cost a huge amount of time and effort ─ all of which is a waste now. Where is the incentive to walk tens, maybe hundreds of kilometres (except for your health!) now?

Going forward, it would make sense to spread out your love of Pokémon and raise their strength more evenly or risk being hit hard by any future nerfs. If a Pokémon seems to powerful to be true, Niantic will have noticed.

New moves have been added for the first time

A total of 38 moves have been added to Pokémon Go, which is actually a first if you ignore Ditto's Transform. Here are the new moves.

New Quick Moves
Counter, Powder Snow, Charge Beam, Volt Switch, Dragon Tail, Infestation, Struggle Bug, Astonish, Iron Tail, Fire Spin, Bullet Seed, Extrasensory, Air Slash, Hex, Snarl.

New Charge moves
Close Combat, Dynamic Punch, Focus Blast, Aurora Beam, Wild Charge, Zap Cannon, Avalanche, Brave Bird, Sky Attack, Sand Tomb, Rock Blast, Silver Wind, Night Shade, Gyro Ball, Heavy Slam, Overheat, Grass Knot, Energy Ball, Future Sight, Mirror Coat, Outrage, Crunch, Foul Play.

What is the strongest Gym attacker and defender Pokémon in Gen 2?

As we have just read, Lapras is no longer as effective because of a significant CP nerf. Neither is Dragonite with Hyper Beam as that move now does 150 damage, while Water Gun is now a slower move. That is a hit for the likes of Vaporeon, although it it still very high on the list.

Based on stats worked out by cleverer people than us, Blissey (the evolution of Chansey) has the highest overall stats, followed by Snorlax and then Tyranitar. Below that is Steelix. Dragonite still ranks highly in most areas, as does Rhydon and Gyrados.

It seems as if the battle changes will make it easier for newer players to compete, which is perhaps a good thing if you are one of them but a bit of a pain if you have invested serious time and money into making your Pokémon squad as hard as nails.

For more info on the battle system used in Gym fights, be sure to read the following: Pokemon Types, strengths and weaknesses – Win your battles in Pokemon Go.

Pokémon are a bit more difficult to catch

Whereas before Pokémon could move around on one spot, the latest Pokémon Go update allows them to move around to the left and right, bounce around more and otherwise make you waste Pokémon balls.

Luckily it seems as if the movement is somewhat limited and most Pokémon choose to stay in one place, doing the odd move as before. So not a game-changing addition, but a touch of variety is nice.

Where are shiny Pokémon 'shinies'?

The rumour about shiny versions of Pokémon has been going awhile because players have found references it within the game's code. In the latest update, it seems a number of new shiny references have appeared that suggest you may soon be able to catch shinies.

From what the code suggests (and this could change), a Pokémon caught by the player could become shiny (the code in question is 'IsShiny'). That means there will be no difference in stats or anything else except the look, with the code simply determining a Pokémon is shiny.

What about new spawn nests?

It takes time to see exactly what spawn nests have changed or been removed, but so far it seems as if a few Pokémon nests from Gen 1 have now been swapped to Gen 2, which makes sense.

Any new Pokémon Go events?

Besides some sort of Pokémon catch event, nothing has been confirmed. But the code sifters at The Silph Road have found something called "Anniversary" in the code, which would suggest a celebration of the birthday of Pokémon Go, which would be on the 14th of July, 2017.

New music to disable nod your head to

Not that many of you will even bother with the music anymore, or even the sound effects, but there is new music for night to mix things up a bit and also encounters have new beats for players to enjoy.

What are Key items for evolution and how do I find them?

In the Gameboy games a certain item was required to evolve certain Pokémon. This is now a part of Pokémon Go and there are five items you can get from Pokéstops: Sun's Stone, King's Rock, Dragon Scale and Up-Grade.

Porygon can use the Up-Grade item to become Porygon2, while Gloom can take evolve into Bellossom with the Sun Stone. The Sun Stone is also used for turning Sunkern into Sunflora. Scyther and Onix use the Metal Coat to become Scizor and Steelix, respectively.

Seadra becomes Kingdra with the Dragonscale. Poliwhirl and Slowpoke can use a King's Rock to become Politoed and Slowking.

How rare are the Key Items in Pokémon Go?

The drop rate of Key items for evolution is said to be lower than that of Pokémon eggs, but given that it is easy to fill up on eggs that means little. With that said, we are yet to get one of them so it seems a lot of persistence will be needed to complete the new Pokédex.

*Not endorsed by Professor Oak.

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