Earlier today, Niantic announced Pokémon Go’s first ever Valentine’s Day event, which has already begun. During this event, which ends at 11:00 AM PST on Wednesday (February 15th), players can expect:
- Increased encounter rate with a variety of ‘pink’ Pokémon, including: Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Chansey, Lickitung, Porygon, Slowpoke, Exeggcute & maybe more.
- Increased hatch rate of Igglybuff, Smoochum & Cleffa.
- Double candy rewards from catching, transferring, hatching & buddy Pokémon.
Every Pokémon Go player has different priorities, so there’s no one-size-fits-all way to make the most of this event. This guide will cover as much as possible, including how to use this event to maximise experience / leveling up, how best to prioritize Pokémon encounters, what to catch (for Gen 2 evolutions and in general), and more.
Table of Contents
- What to Catch
- Egg Hatching Strategy
- Buddy Strategy
While these Pokémon appear to be more common everywhere, there is speculation that the rarity of certain event Pokémon is influenced significantly by the player’s location and biome. For example, in the biome where Clefairy are most common, Porygon is still very rare.
- Chansey appears to still be somewhat uncommon during this event. When Generation 2 is released, Chansey will evolve into Blissey, which is predicted to be a very good gym defender (as well as very rare at any other time of the year). For this reason, Chansey is arguably “the” Pokémon to look out for during this event.
- Porygon is much more common during this event, and will evolve into Porygon2 when Generation 2 released, so stocking up candies and catching as many as possible is a good idea. In Generation 4, Porygon2 evolves again into Porygon-Z, so gathering a lot of Porygon candy could be smart if you are thinking really long term.
- Lickitung was also generally rare prior to this event, but it will not gain any new evolution in Generation 2, so catching it may not help much beyond filling its slot in your Pokédex. It does evolve into Lickilicky in Generation 4, but this could be a very long way away.
- Jigglypuff and Clefairy are worth catching, particularly if you want to get the Fairy Tale Girl medal, which will help you catch Fairy-type Pokémon more easily in future. Evolving these two Pokémon for experience is not recommended – Igglybuff and Cleffa both only require 25 candies to evolve, so save your candies for evolving those (unless you are planning to use your Wigglytuff and Clefable in battles).
- Slowpoke will be very common near water, and can evolve into Slowking when Generation 2 is released. Slowking is more or less equal in power to Slowbro, which currently is significantly less effective in battle than it was originally.
- Exeggcute will not get any new evolutions in future generations, but Exeggutor is currently the best Grass-type Pokémon in the game, so it’s worth stocking up on these if you want to have an easier time fighting Pokémon like Vaporeon.
If you care at all about increasing your trainer level, catch as many Pidgey, Weedle & Caterpie as you possibly can during this event. Initial indications suggest these Pokémon are still very common during this event, unlike at Halloween, so there has never been a better time to stock up on Lucky Egg fodder. Ordinarily, you need to catch three Pidgey for enough candy to evolve one, and evolving your Pidgey en masse with a Lucky Egg active is the fastest way to level up. During this event, you will be able to evolve two Pidgey after just three catches. By saving these Pidgey evolutions for your next Lucky Egg, each Pidgey you catch during this event will be worth at least 750 experience points.
- If you are confident that Niantic will do another double-experience event in future (there isn’t any evidence for this yet!), you could save the Pidgey candy you get during this event for that eventuality. If that gamble works out for you, every Pidgey, Weedle & Caterpie you catch during this event could effectively be worth a minimum of 1400 exp one day!
- Rattata should be considered medium-priority for the purposes of this event. At 8 candies per catch, only three are needed to evolve a Raticate, meaning Rattata are as good for leveling up as Pidgey normally are. Plus, they come with the added bonus of helping you progress toward your Youngster medal. However, you will most likely be strapped for Pokéballs during this event, so you may wish to save your Pokéballs for event Pokémon and the three other common Pokémon mentioned above.
- Catching the likes of Spearow, Venonat and Drowzee during this event is not recommended. On average, if you catch Pokémon at a lured Pokéstop, you will lose Pokéballs more quickly than you earn them. With so many Pokéstops being lured for so long during this event and the added pressure of valuable ordinary wild Pokémon appearing all over the place too, chances are you will not have enough Pokéballs spare to catch Pokémon like these. These Pokémon offer players very little in the way of rarity, power, or leveling-up potential. Be very careful with these.
Many players during this event will be making the following choice: do I want to prioritize leveling up, getting new powerful Pokémon, or a good mix of both? To a large extent, the way to make that choice is to decide between spending time near water and spending time away from water.
- Lured Pokéstops away from water will offer more of the event Pokémon (except Slowpoke and co.), as well as a higher number of Weedle, Caterpie & Pidgey. This means spending time at Pokéstops away from water is the best way to get what you need to level up rapidly during this event.
- Lured Pokéstops next to water provide you with your best opportunity to stock up on Magikarp and Dratini candy, as these Pokémon tend to appear by water. If your goal is just to come away from the event with a few powerful new Pokémon, looking for water spawns may be your best option.
Some players have claimed that Dratini spawns have decreased in order to keep the candy bonus in check, while the sheer number of Slowpoke spawns may reduce the number of Magikarp compared to normal, so bear this in mind if you go somewhere with water spawns.
Use all your incubators during this event! Unless you are determined to wait for another extra-stardust event, there is no better time to hatch eggs than right now. Hatch as many eggs as you can. A hatched Snorlax or Dratini during this event can give you enough bonus candies to develop an extremely powerful Pokémon. If you have a short supply of incubators and no way to get more, consider saving them until towards the end of the event, just in case you end up needing them for the more valuable 10km eggs.
- There are reports flooding in that egg distances for many Pokémon have changed. The pool of Pokémon hatching from 2km eggs has expanded significantly. However, it is still best to save your (non-infinite) egg incubators for 5 and 10 kilometer eggs, as these ensure you are getting as much mileage as possible from your incubators.
There is no right or wrong buddy choice during this event, and chances are you know best which candies you want to prioritize for your Pokémon Go experience. However, there are a few things you may want to consider when choosing your buddy for this event.
- Arguably, the most valuable buddy candies to maximize during this event are candies that are hardest to get ‘in the wild.’ The candies of extremely rare Pokémon like Snorlax and Lapras are significantly easier to get during this event, and the 5km distance normally required has been cut down to a much more manageable 2.5km. Dratini candy is more common than Snorlax and Lapras candy, so if you are thinking of using a Dratini or Dragonite as your buddy, make sure you want Dratini candy more than you want anything else – Dratini is still an excellent buddy choice for this event even if its candy isn’t the very rarest.
- Using a Pidgey, Weedle or Caterpie isn’t recommended unless your only in-game priority is leveling up. Even though the 0.5km-per-candy rate is very impressive, you would still have to walk 4 km to get the equivalent of what you would get for catching one wild Pidgey during this event.
- Magikarp isn’t recommended. To get enough candy for a Gyarados by the end of this event, you would need to walk 200 km. If you want to get a high CP gym defender out of this event, it may be worth gathering Dratini candies. If you aren’t planning on walking far, bear in mind that you can get 50 Rhyhorn candy (enough for a Rhydon) in just 75km, so you could get two Rhydon and power them up in the time it would take to get one unpowered Gyarados.
- If your Pokédex is not yet complete due to incomplete evolutions, this is a good time to get the last few candies you need from your buddy. However, if you think you are going to be able to get those candies without too much trouble anyway, it may be better to prioritize a rarer Pokémon’s candies.
And finally – don’t worry if this event doesn’t quite go to plan. There will be others, so focus on having fun.