A Pokemon Go guide to help you become the very best

pokemon go guide
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This Pokemon Go guide will keep you on top off the changes that have happened in the the five years since it first released. What started out as a mobile game that allowed players to catch Pokemon with a single flick while exploring the area where they live, has evolved into much more.

From battling to trading to hatching Eggs there is a lot for trainers to do in Pokemon Go. And with over 600 Pokemon to collect - and still growing - players will want to know all there is to know about one of the most popular mobile games of all time. 

This guide is a compilation of all of our general guides, from battling Team Go Rocket to catching Ditto, if there’s something you want to know it’s here. There's so much to do in Pokemon Go, if you're not sure where to start or you need some help with any aspect of the game then you've come to the right place. Our Pokemon Go guide covers everything from the complete Pokedex and all of the shiny Pokemon in the game to Team Rocket, raids, trading and more. Read on for the ultimate Pokemon Go guide.

Pokemon Go Tips and Tricks

 If you just want the basics of everything Pokemon Go, our Pokemon Go tips will get you through your first few hours of opening the game and beyond. This is the best place to start if you want to get catching straight away and see what's going. The guides below will help with specifics but this will cover a good general range of things.  

How to catch a Ditto in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Ditto

One of the most recognizable, and frustrating, Pokemon in the game, Ditto is a Pokemon that trainers will love or hate to try and catch.

This shape-shifting Pokemon may take some time to find, but once you do it’ll be a weight off your shoulders. First and foremost, Ditto can only be found in the wild, but you won’t know you’ve found one until you’ve caught a Pokemon that it has transformed into. It may sound confusing, but our guide on how to catch a Ditto in Pokemon Go will help you along the way. 

How to change team in Pokemon Go

When you first started out in Pokemon Go, you had to make the difficult choice between Team Mystic, Valor, or Instinct. Previously, you were locked into this decision for the long haul, but thanks to the introduction of the Team Medallion you can now switch sides if you like - though you'll have to play a price. For all the details on how to get a Team Medallion and what you need to do with it, here's how to change team in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab).

Pokemon Go Trading

Pokemon Go trading

The ability to trade Pokemon has been requested since the game first launched, which isn't surprising as it's been a feature of the series since the Gameboy originals. The good news is that Pokemon Go trading (opens in new tab) is possible, but you'll need to meet certain criteria before you can start swapping Pokemon with your pals, so check out our guide for all the details.

Pokemon Go Shiny List

Pokemon Go Shiny Pokemon Go - Gyrados

Catching a shiny Pokemon is a highlight for any trainer as they're so rare, with only a 1 in 450 chance that a Pokemon you catch will be a shiny - if it even has a shiny version, as not all of them do. The good/bad news (depending on how you look at it) is that there are over 150 of them to find, so check out our complete Pokemon Go shiny list (opens in new tab) for everything you need to know, including when is the best time to find these elusive variants.  

How to Mega Evolve in Pokemon Go 

Pokemon Go Mega Evolution

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Mega Evolution has been a big part of the Pokemon games since they were introduced in Pokemon X and Y. This powerful battle-only mechanic made its way to Pokemon Go, but acts in a very different way. Pokemon Go Mega Evolutions guide will inform trainers on everything they need to know about this mechanic. 

And don’t forget to learn everything you need to know about Pokemon Go Mega Energy, the in-game resource needed to perform Mega Evolution.  

How to catch an Aerodactyl in Pokemon Go

How to catch an Aerodactyl

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If you're working your way through the Let's Go Meltan task then you'll be wondering how to catch an aerodactyl (opens in new tab) in Pokemon Go. It's one of the stages of the research task while it's not technically hard, it can be a pain so read up up everything we have here to make life easier on yourself. 

How to catch a Spinda in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Spinda

Spinda is an elusive Pokemon which has over 20 variations thanks to its different patterns, which may sound excessive but compared to the frankly crazy four billion variants in the main games it's a drop in the ocean. To get started you need to find a specific Field Research task, and we've got all the details for how to catch a Spinda in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab).

Pokemon Go Regional Pokemon

Pokemon Go Regionals are certain species of Pokemon that are exclusive to different regions of the world. Unless you're an international jet-setter then you may not encounter many of these Pokemon Go regional Pokemon, but they can be traded and there are certain events that bring some of these regional Pokemon to your backyard. 

Pokemon Go Raids

Raids are battles with oversized 'boss' Pokemon that take place at gyms. These Raids house Legendaries and Mega Pokemon that pose as the only methods of obtaining them in Pokemon Go. These are difficult battles and usually require more than one trainer to defeat, but our Pokemon Go raids guide will help trainers in this special mechanic.  

Pokemon Go Sinnoh Stones

Sinnoh Stones are a type of special item which are pretty hard to come by, as they can normally only be obtained by completing Research Tasks or in PvP battles, though some Community Day events have also yielded them. They are required to evolve certain 4th gen Pokemon, so check out our Pokemon Go Sinnoh Stones (opens in new tab) guide to see how to get them and what evolutions they are for.

Pokemon Go Unova Stones

While Sinnoh Stones are for Gen 4, Pokemon Go Unova Stones (opens in new tab) are used for Gen 5 Pokemon and we've got the details on how they work and which Pokemon you can evolve with them.

Pokemon Go Legendaries

Legendaries are some of the hardest Pokemon to catch, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to experienced trainers. To make completing your collection even tricker, not all of the Pokemon Go Legendaries (opens in new tab) are available at the same time, but if you follow our guide we'll show you which ones are currently around and offer advice on how to bag them.

Pokemon Go evolution items

Evolution items, or special items as they're also known, come in six different varieties - Metal Coat, Sun Stone, Dragon Scale, King's Rock, Up-Grade, and Sinnoh Stone. They are used to evolve specific Pokemon into new forms, along with plenty of candies, and our Pokemon Go evolution items (opens in new tab) guide will explain how each of these items is used.

How to catch Mew and Mewtwo in Pokemon Go

Mew in Pokemon Go

If you were a collector of the original 151 Pokemon, you'll know just how important it is to add Mew and Mewtwo to your Pokedex. This is a tricky process however, involving an eight-stage quest just to grab Mew, but our guide will show you exactly how to catch Mew and Mewtwo in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab).

How to catch Celebi in Pokemon Go

How to catch Celebi in Pokemon Go

Adding the elusive Celebi to your Pokedex is another multi-step process, where you'll need to complete eight stages of Special Research tasks in order to track it down. There's a lot to do and you'll need plenty of time and distance, so pull on your walking shoes and we'll show you how to catch Celebi in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab).

Pokemon Go A Thousand Year Slumber

Pokemon Go Jirachi: A Thousand-Year Slumber

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The Pokemon Go A Thousand Year Slumber (opens in new tab) special research is the one you need to complete in order to get Jirachi, and our guide tells you exactly how to do that.

How to catch Smeargle in Pokemon Go

It took a while to arrive, but the wait is over and the final Gen 2 Pokemon Smeargle has arrived in Pokemon Go. This cheeky canine loves to photobomb your pictures, so you'll need to use Snapshot Mode to draw it into the wild, and we've got all the details in our how to catch Smeargle in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) guide.

How to catch Meltan in Pokemon Go

If you want to grab a Gen 8 Meltan then there are a couple of methods you can use. If you have Pokemon Let's Go (opens in new tab) then you can get Meltan by transferring any Pokemon over from Pokemon Go, or if you don't have access to the Switch game you can complete a nine stage special task instead. Either way, our how to catch Meltan in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) guide will give you all the information you need.

 How to get all Eevee-lutions in Pokemon Go 

Pokemon Go

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Eevee and its evolutions are some of the most popular Pokemon in the franchise. Pokemon Go has included all eight of its evolutions and if you’re an intrepid trainer and collector, you’ll want to know how to get them all easy. Follow our  Pokemon Go Eevee evolutions  guide on how to guarantee the evolution of your choice.

Pokemon Go Pokedex

Over three years of Pokemon Go, the Pokedex has continued to expand, now covering four generations and close to 500 Pokemon in total! Keeping track of all those individual Pokemon and their evolutions is a big ask, which is why we have our Pokemon Go Pokedex (opens in new tab) guide to lay out every one of them for you.

Pokemon Go Team Rocket

Pokemon Go Team Rocket

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Towards the tail end of 2019, Team Rocket invaded the game and took over a bunch of Poke Stops. We've got all the details you need on how to fight back against Pokemon Go Team Rocket (opens in new tab).

Pokemon Go Team Rocket Leaders 

Pokemon Go Rocket Retreat Event

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Pokemon fans know who Giovanni is, but before they can get to him they’ll have to get past the three Team Go Rockets Leaders, Arlo, Cliff and Each leader has their own team and strategies and we have all the information trainers need to know to defeat them.  

Pokemon Go Mysterious Components

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Alongside Team Rocket, you can also get Pokemon Go Mysterious Components (opens in new tab) now, which you can build into a Rocket Radar. Not sure what we mean? Check out our guide.

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

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Eventually, you'll come up against Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket. Check out our guide on how to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) for some tips on taking him down.

Pokemon Go Looming in the Shadows

Pokemon Go Looming in the Shadows

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The Pokemon Go Looming in the Shadows (opens in new tab) special research also involves Team Rocket, and our guide will help you complete it.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has almost 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.

With contributions from