Pokemon GO Fest 2023 Preparation Guide

With Global GO Fest looming this weekend, now is the time to prep! Preparation is key to making sure you can optimise your time, items, and enjoyment at events like these, and there can be a lot more to think about that you might initially realise!

Which in-game items to bring to GO Fest

The most important items to bring are PokéBalls (Great and Ultra as well). That is the major thing you don’t want to run out of on the day. Potions and Revives soon fill up when raiding, so keep them to a minimum, keep your berries in check, and focus on those balls.

A person holding a Pokéball

If your Bag Space is always about full, check why, have you been raiding a lot lately? You’d be surprised how quickly Rare Candy can fill up your bag, so get it invested in Legendaries and other rare Pokémon.

Other surprising items taking up your bag space might be an excess of Berries, (so get feeding them into gyms for stardust rather than just throwing them away), or evolution items. You don’t need a whole bunch of each evolution item, either use them or throw them, keep just a couple of each safe for evolutions.

Opening your maximum amount of gifts every day pre event will help you with your ball hoarding, so make sure you are sending out as many gifts as you can, and be sure to open your full amount each day. Make sure you hit your limit each day.

If you need more friends, check in your local groups, discords etc, post on social media, fill up that friends list and get yourself more gifts. Just popping your friend code on Twitter can grab you a bunch more friends quickly.

It’s key to also make sure you have any incense, star pieces or lucky eggs you might want to use, and remember you can stack them up now, so get them on at the start of the event and then you won’t have to worry about them running out during. Incense is something you’ll probably want to run the entire event, so make sure you have enough and put them all on as soon as the event starts.

Raids will be a big part of Global GO Fest (especially day 2), so it is worth making sure you have some raid passes ready to go in your bag, rather than needing to buy them on the day. Utilise those free passes where you can, but don’t miss out on raids because you needed to buy coins.

Some Pokémon may also be egg exclusive, so it may be worth trying to empty out your eggs the night before, so you have an empty egg storage ready for the event to begin. Make sure you remember to incubate once you have some eggs, and maybe buy some incubators in advance if you are hoping to hatch a shiny. Shiny rates may well be higher than usual, so it is worth hatching what you can on the day! You are likely to be doing a lot of walking either way, so make sure that infinite incubator is put to good use.

Coins! It is worth making sure you already have some coins in your bag, rather than needing to buy them on the day, just in case you decide to buy any premium items or boxes.

Pokémon GO Plus

If you will be using a GO Plus or similar, make sure you have plenty of Pokéballs over Great Balls. It will use them up quickly, so use Great/Ultra balls to manually catch, and leave your Pokéballs for the GO Plus. Make sure you also have your GO Plus set to spin for you! If you have the new GO Plus+ it can use all three types of ball, but only Pokéballs for the auto catch option.

Another key thing with catching devices is to make sure they are connected to your account before you arrive at the event location. It may be tricky to get it to pair for the first time when potentially hundreds of other devices in the area!

The original GO Plus relies on batteries, so consider changed it pre-event, while the GO Plus+ is rechargeable, so make sure it is fully charged!

Pokémon GO Plus +

Remember the habitat rotation schedule!

Global GO Fest has four habitats during event hours on Saturday, each one repeats once. Here’s the schedule:

  • 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Quartz Terrarium
  • 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Pyrite Sands
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Malachite Wilderness
  • 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM – Aquamarine Shores
  • 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM – Quartz Terrarium
  • 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM – Pyrite Sands
  • 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM – Malachite Wilderness
  • 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM – Aquamarine Shores

Note that each habitat has its exclusive Pikachu, and it can be shiny! On Saturday, as well, you can look for new field research tasks each hour from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Now that you know the schedule, you should…

Make a Shiny Checklist

Before the day itself, I’d recommend making yourself a shiny checklist of what you need from the known event spawns. Go through your Pokédex and make a note of what you are missing, you might be surprised to realise how many you need, or realise you have shinies you had forgotten about. We know that there are specific spawns featured for each habitat at the in-person events, hourly habitat rotations at the global event, and brand new shinies at each GO Fest.

Having a list will help you prioritise what you are going to click on in a cluster of spawns. I’m going old school and am going to make a paper list I can keep in my pocket, rather than a note on my phone, as I don’t intend to be off the Pokémon GO app at any point.

Even if I don’t use my list on the day itself, writing a list out can be a good way to remind you of what shinies you don’t have, so they are in your head as a reminder. You might be surprised to realise while you thought you had the full family for Oddish, that you actually only have two of them, so writing that list out will help remind you of what you need.

Pokémon Storage Space

With a whopping 8 hours of play time for each in-person event, that is a serious amount of Pokémon to catch! Give your Pokémon storage a huge clear out and be brutal.

If you keep a living dex, make sure you only have multiples of the meta relevant Pokémon. Transfer community day shinies to Pokémon HOME or to the Professor. You are never going to need 20+ shinies of one particular Pokémon (unless it is your fave, I get it, I hoard shiny Turtwig!), it’s time to say goodbye to them.

If you can, meet up a friend and reroll trade some of your more rare Pokémon that you have saved, but you are going to have to be brutal. If you don’t have your bag space maxed out, the morning of GO Fest is the time to go for it. I wait until the morning of GO Fest to max out my bag space, because otherwise I know it’s just going to fill up without me realised. I know I can’t be trusted not to fill that space!

Do you need one of every Spinda pattern? Do you need to keep that 98% Phanpy when you have the hundo? Now is the time to get tough on your collection and get transferring. Have you hoarded a whole bunch of legendary Pokémon for trades? Sorry but it is time to let them go! You don’t need 20 of each legendary, keep your best teams of 6 if you must, but make sure you go through them, you’ll be surprised how many you have. Ultimately, they’ll all be back in raids eventually.

One to keep an eye on is also Costume Pokémon if, like me, you are a fan. I was horrified to discover I had 4 or 5 of some costume Pokémon, for no real reason! Many don’t evolve, so unless they have a gender difference (i.e. Pikachu), I cut it down to one of each.

I also recommend going through your Shadow Pokémon and purifying and transferring them. I say purify first because to hit level 50 you need a lot of platinum badges, and that is a badge you can work on passively. Mind your stardust though, I don’t recommend purifying those 5000 dust Pokémon! You don’t need to keep them all (unless you love them for AR), so get rid of what you don’t need.

Take inspiration from Marie Kondo, does this Pokémon spark joy? No? Off to Professor Willow you go!

Batteries, Chargers and Phones

Make sure you have portable battery packs charged and charger cables at the ready. It is a long event, you are gonna need those chargers! With such long days, you are going to need to charge your phone on the GO, and we would recommend having multiple portable battery packs to charge your phone with. I’ve been caught short with battery packs failing on me previously, hence the recommendation to take more than one with you.

With potential for extreme heat or cold in some parts of the world, battery percentages can drop suddenly, so don’t let it get too low! Keep an eye on that percentage, and keep in mind that most portable chargers will charge more slowly than being plugged into a wall socket.

Make sure you charge overnight so your phone is ready to go, and that you have plenty of data on your phone plan. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of data a few hours into the event!

You’ll want your phone charger (plug and cables), portable battery packs, and phone, so triple check you have them!

Suitable Clothing for GO Fest

With the global event taking place in summer for the Northern Hemisphere, and winter for the Southern hemisphere, there is potential for some extreme weather, so making sure you are dressed suitably is so important. For the in-person events, they are all in the Northern Hemisphere and therefore in countries where it is considered to be summer at present. Don’t let that fool you though, it doesn’t guarantee good weather.

If it is summer where you are right now, sun screen is key! Don’t burn or give yourself heatstroke, or you’re gonna have a bad time. Make sure you have access to cool drinks, shady spots, and wear light airy clothing that is going to keep you cool, whilst protecting your skin. Cloudy or overcast days can often be the worst for getting sunburnt because you don’t realise the power of the sun.

If you wear your hair in a part, make sure that part is covered in sun screen too, it’s easy to forget. Set timers to reapply and make sure you apply a good half an hour before you go out into the sun to let it sink in and work. Sunglasses and sunhats will help protect you too.

Good comfy shoes are a must no matter what the weather is. Now isn’t the time to wear brand new shoes you haven’t worn before, stick with the old faithfuls that you know aren’t going to give you blisters. Blister plasters may also be a good shout for your backpack.

London is having some quite unseasonable weather at present, with rain and cooler than expected temperatures. A rain coat/waterproof jacket would be a good idea, especially if it can fold up inside your back pack.

If it is winter/autumn, wrap up warm! Multiple thin layers are better than one or two thick layers, and a good waterproof coat.

Sun screen is still needed in winter, that sun can be incredibly harsh.

Gloves you can use your phone with, and good sturdy walking boots to keep you from slipping are great too.

A good backpack is the best choice for carrying anything you need with you. A backpack shares the weight of whatever you are carrying across two shoulders, rather than one, making it better on your back, and easier on a long day. A bag that zips up securely for your valuables is a good idea for crowded areas, and leaving non-essential items at home, or locked in a hotel safe is advisable.

Food and Drink

Plan ahead for snacks, lunch and drinks, as well as bathroom breaks. The in-person events have an hour long break for lunch, consider a decent lunch, or even heading back to your hotel room to charge your phone, and refuel. Not eating and drinking over a long day, especially in hot weather, is an easy way to end up with sun stroke or pass out, so be careful.

Keep hydrated and fed and you’ll have a much more fun day. In extreme weather conditions this is even more important. Refillable water bottles are your pals!

Last Minute Prep

If you are in the Western Hemisphere, you do have an advantage over other parts of the world. With the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Japan starting so long before us for the global event, there will be a lot of available data on social media about the quest lines and what you need to do. Even for GO Fest London, Osaka is an identical event so we’ll know what is going on or any potential surprises long before London starts.

It’s worth checking our social media and website to see what the day entails so you can plan ahead, and keep your expectations in check. Follow us on Twitter!

Make sure you know you are following a reputable, trusted source, there are bound to be dodgy photoshops making the rounds, or people sharing photoshops of fake shinies, so check your sources.

General Tips and Tricks

Check out our full GO Fest guide and raid guides, to find out all the details of the event, to help you plan:

If you are planning to really grind, learning the ‘Quick Catch‘ trick can be a real help (though I have to admit, as a leftie, I find it tricky, but I’ve just mastered it recently). There are a bunch of videos on how to do this on Youtube, so check them out here.

Another nifty tip is that when you have clicked on a Pokémon to shiny check it, it will turn to face you. So when you are checking a cluster, the ones you haven’t checked, won’t be facing you, so this should save you time on checking the same Pokémon twice (other than Nosepass, who always turns to face North).

Be sure to prioritise checking an incense spawn over wild spawns, as incense spawns will only last for a very short period of time, and you don’t want to miss out on that shiny check!

Prioritise your catches. Some Pokémon featured are going to be much rarer than others. Regional Pokémon and Unown, particularly ! Unown are all rare spawns. If you have to limit your catches due to item issues, prioritise those you might not normally get to see in the wild.

Don’t forget to take your snapshots!

Keep on top of your Special Research! It is usually easier to complete on the day, rather than after the event.

For the global event, if you want to meet up with your friends and local community, make sure you all know where you plan to play, and where to meet. Community makes Pokémon GO the game it is, and meeting up with your friends for the event will make it so much more fun than playing on your own. Consider your friends and their accessibility needs. Is the location wheelchair accessible? Are there benches/seating for rests? Shady spots to hide from the sun? Is there safe parking for anyone rural who has to drive in? Does it avoid crossing major roads? Are their public bathrooms? Chat with your fellow players who may be disabled or chronically ill, and see what you can do to support them in being able to take part in the day with your community.

Mega Evolve a Pokémon

Mega evolve a Pokémon! When you have a Pokémon as a Mega, you are rewarded with a bonus catch candy for catching any Pokémon that share the Mega typing. For example, if you have a Mega Venusaur evolved, you’ll get an extra catch candy for catching any Grass or Poison type. We would recommend picking a dual type in order to gain additional candy for two different types of Pokémon, rather than just a single typing. We’ll have a full breakdown on which Mega Pokémon will be optimal shortly.

The following Mega Pokémon are currently available in game, and will reward the following extra candy:

Venusaur (Mega) Grass and Poison
Charizard (Mega Y) Fire and Flying
Charizard (Mega X) Fire and Dragon
Blastoise (Mega) Water
Alakazam (Mega) Psychic
Beedrill (Mega) Bug and Poison
Pidgeot (Mega) Normal and Flying
Slowbro (Mega) Water and Psychic
Gengar (Mega) Ghost and Poison
Gyarados (Mega) Water and Dark
Aerodactyl (Mega) Rock and Flying
Ampharos (Mega) Electric and Dragon
Steelix (Mega) Steel and Ground
Houndoom (Mega) Dark and Fire
Manectric (Mega) Electric
Altaria (Mega) Dragon and Fairy
Absol (Mega) Dark
Lopunny (Mega) Normal and Fighting
Abomasnow (Mega) Grass and Ice
Kangaskhan (Mega) Normal
Latios (Mega) Dragon and Psychic
Latias (Mega) Dragon and Psychic
Groudon (Primal) Ground Grass and Fire
Kyogre (Primal) Water Electric and Bug
Pinsir (Mega) Bug and Flying
Scizor (Mega) Bug and Steel
Tyranitar (Mega) Rock and Dark
Sceptile (Mega) Grass and Dragon
Blaziken (Mega) Fire and Fighting
Swampert (Mega) Water and Ground
Gardevoir (Mega) Fairy and Psychic
Aggron (Mega) Steel
Medicham (Mega) Psychic and Fighting
Banette (Mega) Ghost
Sableye (Mega) Dark and Ghost
Glalie (Mega) Ice
Salamence (Mega) Dragon and Flying
Tyranitar (Mega) Rock and Dark
Rayquaza (Mega) Dragon Flying and Psychic


Reminders for Ticket Holders

Some early reminders for ticket holders to not do these things before GO Fest starts in your area.

  • Don’t send any gifts: There might be an ultra unlock challenge of sending gifts.
  • Don’t open any gifts: There might be a bonus for opening gifts after completing an ultra unlock challenge. Also helps replenish Pokéballs during play.
  • No taking pictures of buddy: Early Smeargle photobombs may reduce your special event photobomb amount, or override it entirely, be warned!

Best Pokémon to Catch

With so many different Pokémon to catch, you have to have your priorities in order. We will be publishing an in-depth guide to which Pokémon you should be making sure you catch, but I’ll go over some here briefly.


Regionals! Pachirisu, Heracross, and both forms of Shellos will be spawning at the event, and as regional exclusive Pokémon, now is the time to stock up. They will be great to keep for future trades, and getting candy for them after these events will be tricky. Get stocked up on the Pokémon and the candies! Heracross has a future Mega Evolution, and the shiny is available!

Rare Spawns

Global GO Fest Spawns

In terms of rare spawns, it doesn’t get any rarer than Goomy for the global GO Fest. Barely even seen in the wild, and shiny released for the event, it will be the Pokémon to keep an eye out for during the Aquamarine Shores hour. The Pikachus wearing their various crowns will be in-demand shinies and trades after the event.

Snorlax, Audino and Timburr all jump out the list for rare spawns, and depending on where you live many other Pokémon may be ones you don’t see normally because of your biome.

Bonus Stardust

Some Pokémon bring with them additional stardust for catching them. Don’t just shiny check, catch them for even more stardust!

List of bonus stardust Pokémon
Pokémon Base Stardust Weather Boosted Star Piece Weather + Star Piece
Audino 2,100 2,625
Partly Cloudy
3,150 3,938
Morelull 500 625
Sunny Cloudy
750 938
Foongus 500 625
750 938

Special Moves

Evolve the following Pokémon during the event to learn exclusive featured attacks! We recommend checking through your storage this week and naming the Pokemon you want to evolve during the event to make them easy to find. Pick a specific name to assign them, ie. evolvegofest.

Pokémon Featured attack
Butterfree Bug Bite Bug
Sandslash Night Slash Dark
Clefable Pound Normal
Flygon Earth Power Ground
Salamence Outrage Dragon
Metagross Meteor Mash Steel
Roserade Bullet Seed Grass Weather Ball Fire
Lickilicky Body Slam Normal

Author & tags

Turtwig obsessive, real life Psyduck, Pokémon GO AR Photographer, found footage horror fan and Pokémon GO Hub AR Queen

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