Getting XP fast in Pokémon Go is useful for speeding through Pokémon Go level requirements, especially with the time-limited Legacy 40 Challenge and medal up for grabs.
Even if you are just starting the game, higher Trainer Levels will increase your chances of meeting higher CP Pokémon out in the wild, and allow you to improve their effectiveness in battle.
Later trainer level rewards get better over time, becoming more lucrative the higher your level, with more powerful Pokéballs, curatives and other items becoming available.
Finally, the higher level you are, the sooner you'll likely access new features. We've seen this twice in the past, with Raids and Friends rolling out first to a select higher level few, and though these were soon opened up to the broader player base, it's an extra incentive to get as much XP as you can.
This page provides a list of XP sources in Pokémon Go - including the changes introduced with the Season of Celebration update in December 2020 - as well as various fast XP methods.
On this page:
Pokémon Go XP chart and sources list
Almost every action in the game will give you XP of some kind, and it pays to know the most efficient methods.
Here's a run down to help you plan your activities, with the following XP list up to date as of the Season of Celebration update in December 2020. (Thanks to jradta on the Silph Road for confirming these).
If you are a long time player, the major change is the huge increase in Excellent Throw XP - jumping from 100XP to 1,000 XP. Note for all players, any Catch XP has been doubled until the end of December 31st, 2020, to help players reach the time-limited Legacy 40 Challenge.
Remember many of the following will stack - for example, evolving a new Pokémon will give you 500XP for the new Pokédex entry, as well as the 500 XP for the evolution itself.
If you have a Lucky Egg at hand, you will double all XP gains for the next 30 minutes. To get a 4x increase, you must use a Lucky Egg during a Double XP event.
Double XP events have become increasingly rare in recent years (though evolution and catch specific double XP occurs regularly as part of Spotlight Hour) but if you can time some of the below activities - such as going Best Friends with another Trainer - alongside them, then you can really maximise your gains.
|XP source||Normal XP||2x XP||4x XP|
|Capture any Pokémon||100 XP||200 XP||400 XP|
|New Pokédex entry||500 XP||1000 XP||2000 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon with a Curveball||10 XP||20 XP||40 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon with a Nice throw||20 XP||40 XP||80 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon with a Great throw||100 XP||200 XP||200 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon with an Excellent Throw||1000 XP||2000 XP||4000 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon on the first attempt||50 XP||100 XP||200 XP|
|Catch a Pokémon in AR mode||300 XP||600 XP||1200 XP|
|Pokémon runs away||25 XP||40 XP||100 XP|
|Evolving a Pokémon||500 XP||1000 XP||2000 XP|
|Hatching a 2km Egg||700 XP||1400 XP||2800 XP|
|Hatching a 5km Egg||1000 XP||2000 XP||4000 XP|
|Hatching a 7km Egg||1500 XP||3000 XP||6000 XP|
|Hatching a 10km Egg||1000 XP||2000 XP||4000 XP|
|Hatching a 12km Egg||4000 XP||8000 XP||16000 XP|
|Feeding berry to Pokémon in a Gym||50 XP||100 XP||200 XP|
|Win Gym battle||400 XP||800 XP||1600 XP|
|Interact with PokéStop||100 XP||200 XP||400 XP|
|Interact with a new PokéStop||250 XP||500 XP||1000 XP|
|Daily Bonus for PokeStop||500 XP||1000 XP||2000 XP|
|Daily Bonus for PokeStop on day seven||2000 XP||4000 XP||8000 XP|
|Daily Bonus for catching Pokémon||500 XP||1000 XP||2000 XP|
|Daily Bonus for catching Pokémon on day seven||2000 XP||4000 XP||8000 XP|
|Completing a Tier 1 Raid||3000 XP||6000 XP||9000 XP|
|Completing a Tier 2 Raid||3500 XP||7000 XP||14000 XP|
|Completing a Tier 3 Raid||4000 XP||8000 XP||12,000 XP|
|Completing a Tier 4 Raid||5000 XP||10,000 XP||20,000 XP|
|Completing a Tier 5 Raid||10,000 XP||20,000 XP||40,000 XP|
|Spinning a Gym Badge||25 XP minimum, then 2x per tier, and 25% if Gym is same team||50 XP minimum, then 2x per tier, and 25% if Gym is same team||75 XP minimum, then 2x per tier, and 25% if Gym is same team|
|Completing a Research Breakthrough||3,000 XP||6,000 XP||12,000 XP|
|Sending a Gift||200 XP||N/A||N/A|
|Unlocking Great Friend status||3,000 XP||6,000 XP||12,000 XP|
|Unlocking Ultra Friend status||50,000 XP||100,000 XP||200,000 XP|
|Unlocking Best Friend status||100,000 XP||200,000 XP||400,000 XP|
The Season of Heritage continues in 2022, along with the XP Challenge and a refreshed Go Battle League. Ongoing are Arlo, Cliff, Sierra counters and Giovanni counters. The major updates in the previous year include a level cap increase, the introduction of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals.
How to get XP fast in Pokémon Go
Though technically not the 'fastest' method, the 'best' method is by levelling a Friend to Best Friend status, netting you a whopping 100,000 XP.
This takes some time - 90 days in total - but since all it takes is exchanging Gifts back and forth daily, it's by far and away the most lucrative XP source in the game.
Remember you can use a Lucky Egg to double this to 200,000 XP, and if you time it right, you can easily queue up multiple Best Friends to open their gifts in a single Lucky Egg use.
Beyond that, the fastest method is completing a Tier 5 raid, which will earn you 10,000 XP. With Raid Hours, you can chain multiple Tier 5 Raids in a single session, earning many times that, especially with a Lucky Egg.
The problem with this method is you need other players to help you out. If you can, it's worth joining a local Pokémon Go - one which regularly schedules Raid attendance around Raid Hours and other events - so you have other Trainers to help you complete Raids easily.
Otherwise, a very effective means of gaining XP is evolving Pokémon one after another while a Lucky Egg multiplier is active, something which can performed solo and at your own convenience.
Evolving a creature gives you 500 XP, and if you have have enough creatures and Candy available to evolve them for a full 30 minutes, can net you around 60,000 XP with the use of a Lucky Egg.
If you can time it with a Spotlight Hour which offers double evolution XP, then this can be boosted even further - not to mention while also using a Pokémon Go Plus accessory, allowing you to spin a PokéStop or catch wild creatures nearby without having to take a break from evolving.
This method requires some preparation, and the easiest way to do this is with certain common creatures - such as Pidgeys, Weedles, Caterpies, Wurmples and Whismurs - which are all easy to find and require a very small amount of Candy to evolve - 12 compared to the usual 25, 50 or 100.
To get the most out of this method, capture as many first evolution creatures as possible, with each capture giving you Candy and a potential creature to evolve. Remember you can get bonus Candy by transferring them back to the Professor, but make sure you have enough to actually evolve. Thankfully, there's a handy online calculator named PidgeyCalc that will work out exactly how many you need to transfer to maximise your time, and how long it will take.
Another tip to make things easier and save time, is to search for 'evolve' in your Pokémon list, the game will narrow down every creature you can evolve based on the current Candy you have. Very handy to save you searching through your list while the Lucky Egg timer ticks down.
It's also well worth holding off evolving anything that will be new to your Pokédex until you have a Lucky Egg active. Each new Pokédex entry is worth 500 XP, effectively doubling the amount of XP you get.
Once you get into the habit of going after common creatures and saving them up for such evolution sprees, you'll be flying through trainer levels sooner than you think.
Finally, timing hatching eggs and getting a Pokémon Go Daily Bonus with a Lucky Egg will give you an extra dose of XP - and while along aren't enough to spend a Lucky Egg on, are worth timing with the above methods if you can manage it.