Pokémon Go is helping build community, but the game is not without its friction and battles. After all, the whole point of Pokémon is to indulge in fantasy dog fighting!
It’s been just over a week since the Nintendo and Niantic game’s release, and there’s no shortage of primers and guides for how to catch and build up your Pokémon collection, but there’s also a little-known hack that’ll help you win battles and take over Gyms.
You just need to work on your timing.
Typically, lower-level Pokémon Trainers balk at competing at Gyms defended by Pokémon at higher levels. That’s just common sense: You don’t want to punch up, you want to box in your weight class. But if you’re within a reasonable range of CP (“Combat Power”) — let’s say, within 100 points — it’s totally possible to steal an upset victory.
Swipe! Swipe! Swipe!
Credit goes to Reddit user zmedi, who posted this on r/PokemonGo which I tried out to great success.
At the instant a Gym battle begins, swipe in one direction twice immediately. Every Pokémon battle is played against the A.I., and the A.I. always attacks twice right at the start. This is devastating if you’re fighting a high-level and/or a type to which your Pokémon is vulnerable (e.g., a fire-type fighting a water-type), but if you perform this maneuver you’ll have the upper hand instead of the A.I.
To keep the upper hand, always time your dodges based on the animation and/or the screen flashing yellow. Watch the screen for a distinct yellow flash (demonstrated in the video below). I took a few hits from enemy Pokémon to study their pattern, which isn’t recommended if you’re low on supplies. I was lucky, as I had ample potions, revives, and time to experiment.
Of course, this works best when the app isn’t having any hiccups. I tried this strategy out at a nearby Gym, with my CP 438 Scyther against a 678 Rhydon. Generally I wouldn’t have fought for the Gym to begin with, but with this trick, I won every time — even when Rhydon’s attacks were “Super effective.”
So I claimed the Gym, left my Flareon of CP 872, and collected my daily bounty. By the time I got back to the office, I was already beaten and dethroned, but that’s no matter. I had already won.
So keep this trick in mind, and be on the lookout. I’m coming for all of you.