Pokémon Go was met with a very positive reception in July, but as updates disappointed and cheaters ran rampant, numbers have dropped drastically. Many are continuing their Pokémon journey, though, but what are they doing while they await the next updates?

Maxing Out Player Levels

If you’ve spent a decent amount of time with Pokémon Go, you’re probably aware of the curve that exists in-game that limits the amount of different Pokémon you can catch. At first, the app is exciting to consistently engage with due to the collection of Pokémon you begin to build, but as time goes on, that bank of Pidgeys and Rattatas doesn’t start to feel all that special.

Many hardcore players are still grinding them out in order to progress through the 40 levels currently available in game. Currently, the easiest way to bank up XP is still to collect and evolve massive amounts of Pokémon with lower- evolution candy requirements while using Lucky Eggs for the XP boost. The idea is to use all these rewards when Niantic (hopefully) adds the second generation of Pokémon at some point this fall.

Maxing Out Pokémon Levels

Just like stocking up on candies and easy to evolve Pokémon, many trainers around the world are also stocking up on stardust in order to use once they’ve captured sufficiently powerful Pokémon for their team. Stardust is currently the only consumable that can boost a Pokémon’s Combat Power, which effects how well it does in gym battles.

Like many other stats, CP is tied to your Pokémon’s current level. This level is determined by your player level, however, meaning the higher your player level is, the higher level Pokémon you’ll be finding in the wild. According to leaked game data, the highest level a Pokémon can hatch from an egg is 20 and the highest level for a Pokémon to reach in the wild is 30. But, since the maximum level for each Pokémon in-game is 40, heaps of stardust are required to boost them to their maximum potential; encouraging trainers to get as much of the stuff as possible.

Interacting with the Local Community

Gyms remain a core element of the game keeping players occupied as well, although skill gaps are starting to form due to large CP differences within the community. Since each gym nets players with a hefty boost of stardust and PokéCoins for them to use on items in the cash shop, many have continued to travel around their local area fighting for control of any gym they see to stock up on resources

One of the biggest things still keeping Pokémon GO alive is the Pokémon community behind the game itself, who continues to host events and encourage others to stay active despite flaws and delayed updates. These community events are continuously popping up all over the world, inviting players from all three teams to group up with fellow trainers to go on a Pokémon crawl around their local city in order to capture gyms and hit PokéStops.

Photos via Nicholas Bashore, Getty Images / Billy H.C. Kwok

Nicholas is a writer and content creator in Knoxville. He frequently covers video games and other consumer electronics. When he's not writing for Inverse, you can usually find him tweeting about Star Wars or streaming on Twitch.