Pokémon Go is a bit different from earlier games in the series, because the Pokémon trainer—the little character you make at the beginning of the game—gains experience points to increase his or her level. In the original games, each Pokémon has its own experience points and level, but not so in Go.

 

There are two main reasons you want to get to a higher level:

Here are all the ways you can gain experience points (we’ll explain how to do these things):

Task Experience Points (XP)
Capture a Pokémon 100
“Nice” capture 10
“Great” capture 50
“Excellent” capture 100
Curveball capture 10
2km egg hatch 200
5km egg hatch 500
10km egg hatch 1,000
Evolve a Pokémon 500
Discover a new Pokémon 500
Visit a Pokéspot 50 or 100
Train at a gym Depends on how you do
Battle at a gym Depends on how you do

Lucky Eggs

A very useful item for leveling up is the Lucky Egg. Using an egg sets off a 30-minute timer, during which you will gain double experience points. Be sure to use this wisely by consulting the table above to see which high-XP tasks you can finish in that 30-minute window. You might time a Lucky Egg with several Pokémon evolutions, or alongside a lure that sends lots of Pokémon your way, to get the most bang for your buck.

One Lucky Egg is awarded at level 9, and others at subsequent levels. Lucky Eggs can also be purchased at the store with PokéCoins.