We spoke with Jimmie Pitts, a truly hardcore Pokemon GO player from Buffalo, New York. Jimmie is a Level 39 Pokemon Trainer, and quite possibly the highest level Pokemon GO player in the world. His lifestyle and day to day schedule is heavily influenced by Pokemon, he doesn’t mind the grind and he’s overall an amazing guy to have in your local community.

Here’s some quick facts from the interview:

  • Jimmie is a Team Instinct trainer, level 39
  • Stats
    • 15,014,358 XP earned
    • 136 Pokedex score
    • 25,908 Pokemon caught
    • 26,993 PokeStops visited
    • 700 Eggs hatched

The interview

Hi Jimmie, as we heard, you reached level 39? 🙂

Yes, sir! 🙂

By the looks of it, you could very well be the highest level player in the world. How does it feel 🙂

Dude if it’s really true, then it’s a great feeling. I’m always skeptical someone out there may be higher, but for right now I’m the highest one I know.

Jimmie and his Snorlax buddy
Jimmie and his Snorlax buddy

Are you planning on going for Level 40? How long will it take for you?

Yea, I plan on pursing 40. I really just try to put in as many hours as I can in a day, like 10 hours on weekdays.I don’t really track my experience ever, so I’m not sure how long it will take me. Maybe 2-3 weeks.

Hm, how did you do reach Level 39 so fast?

Well, I have been a hardcore video game player my whole life, grew up playing every video game under the sun. I noticed years back, when I used to play MapleStory, a MMO RPG, that I was particularly good at leveling up quickly and not getting bored with the grind. So, when Pokemon GO came out and I realized that all you really need to do is level up, it was easy for me to do.

Do you have a special tactic for exp gain? How long do you play per day?

No, nothing special, but I was the first person in my area to focus on maximizing experience from capturing. I popularized the tactic in Buffalo that focuses on getting Great shot with a Curve ball. It’s the most consistent shot bonus you can get, getting excellent rating was too hard and inconsistent to be viable.

I minimized my sleep schedule to 4 hours a night max. I work from 08:00 – 11:00 AM everyday, grind from 12:00 – 19:00 PM, then go back to work 19:30 – 22:00, and then back to grinding again from 22:30 – 04:00. I shoot for 10 hours per work day, and 15 hours per day on weekends.

Honestly, I just put in a lot of hours and focus. I could probably level faster by walking and hatching eggs, but I have very weak feet and can’t walk for long periods at all.

Is there something is special about the Buffalo area? Crazy spawns, rares, etc?

Nah man, if anything it’s kinda dry. If you travel up to Niagara Falls, which is close to Buffalo, then you may come across better spawns. To be honest, I never cared about any of that, because I knew I would grind so much I’ll eventually hatch everything in Pokedex. I’m hoping that I’ll get everything I need eventually, mostly through spawn changes.

Speaking of that, what’s your Pokedex score?

It’s 136, but I never pursued filling my Pokedex. I rather focus on grinding and not waste travel time. I need Pokemon like Charizard, Kabutops, Omastar…

Whos your Poke Buddy?

Right now, Snorlax, but honestly I want to buddy a Pincer! I like focusing on Pokemon I liked as a kid. I don’t care about strong pokemon all that much. I’m strong just from the time I put in the game (and my level), so I just let it happen naturally

Whats left for you to do? Are you still having fun playing the game?

Dude, yeah, I still love the game, but more than anything I love the crew I grind with everyday and night. It’s just amazing, we laugh together all day long. We became so close just by spending countless hours together grinding until 04 – 05 AM. There’s like 20 of us who come out everyday and just have a great time and that number is always growing.

For some reason I enjoy grinding for experience, but it’s the people that I truly play for. When I get to 40, if Niantic doesn’t mind I’d like to start a Mystic and Valor account, just so I can help every team and go on gym raids with whoever I want, whenever I want.

Are you scared someone will beat you to 40?

Um no, because I never wanted to be the best. I just wanted to be strong and be the strongest out of my friends. It just so happened my friends went super hard early on and that pushed me to play more.

Eh… I have to ask you this. How much did you spend / are spending in game?

I spend like 80 dollars per week. I think I’ve spent around 700 dollars on the game so far. Everyone seems to mind that question, but I spent over 3-4 grand through all the years I’ve played MapleStory – spending money on games isn’t new to me.

Yeah, I wasnt sure if you’re comfortable with the question. Now that I know you are… what do you buy mostly? 🙂

No, it’s all good. Money is money, I enjoy spending it on the game. I buy Lures, Lucky Eggs and Incubators.

Incense is for noobs?

No, I’m just not that rich LMAO and lures are more needed to keep the community alive. I used to buy incense when I was under 30, but there were more casual players at that time who used to throw down lures. As the game becomes more hardcore, we have to acknowledge the fact that we need to work as a team to keep the Lures alive and the experience flowing for everyone.

Agreed! You care a lot for community?

Hahaha, of course dude, I’ve played so many games where the community is bad and toxic. This game just brought amazing people into my life. I try to teach lower level players how to maximize exp and how to do skill shots like curveball great throws ALLLL the time. Grinding every night until 05:00 AM alone wouldn’t be fun or possible-

You need a healthy community to keep you going every step of the way.

Your group is 20 people which is amazing – are there a lot of players in Buffalo?

Yea, those are just the hardcore players. They may be even more players, as we add new Level 30+ players to our group everyday. Don’t get me wrong, the casual players also mean a lot to me. They are awesome people who come out and support us all the time, they just can’t play as much as we can and that’s totally understandable.

Jimmie's hardcore crew
Jimmie’s hardcore crew

Why do you play as a girl and how come is your Jogger stat so low?

The place I play isn’t a loop and it has very little to no shade, so walking is not a popular option. And I have very weak feet. It’s a straight line, so you sit in the middle and walk 3 feet left or right depending on which Poke Stop your trying to hit. Some people in my area have hatched over 1400 eggs, so there truly is different styles of play.

I just focus on catching and hitting those few Poke Stops, like 9.5/10 of my shots are a great curveball.

And I like to play as a girl because honestly they just look cooler that’s all

Quick one for the end: trainer battles or trading?

Umm trainer battles, would be more exciting for the community as a whole.

Jimmie’s screenshots

 

Jimmie Pitts, Level 39, Buffalo, New York