Pokemon Go: How levelling up and evolution works
In traditional Pokemon games on the Game Boy and DS, fans are used to gaining specifically numbered amounts of experience (XP) and levelling up an equally obvious numbered level. In Pokemon Go things aren’t quite so simple: The primary measurement of a Pokemon’s strength is its Combat Power (CP).
There’s two key ways to make a Pokemon more powerful. One is to evolve it into a more advanced form of its type, which isn’t available for every single Pokemon as all evolutionary lines have an end. The other is to power up the Pokemon, which based on stats behind-the-scenes will boost a Pokemon. Evolution and power-ups will raise a Pokemon’s CP, health, and other hidden stats used in battle.
Evolving Pokemon costs candy, and powering up a Pokemon costs a combination of candy and stardust.
CP is determined by a number of factors behind-the-scenes including a Pokemon’s hidden level, how much it has been powered up and other hidden factors as detailed on other pages in our guide.
If you have the access to the Pokeballs to do so it’s thus well worth continuing to catch the likes of Pidgey and Ratatta as they appear, as each you catch will earn a stardust reward and duplicates can either be used to gain some extra candy or evolved to maximise your experience gains.