As you may be aware, every time you power a Pokémon up, its level increases by 0.5 levels, so it takes two power ups to raise it by one level. You may also notice that, as you power a Pokémon up, there is a point at which the amount of CP gained for each power up becomes far less than for previous ones: that point is Level 30. The Stardust and Candy costs continue to increase after this mile stone, but for a much lower pay back than in lower levels.

It is for this reason that many Trainers will only power their Pokémon to level 30, except possibly for a few special cases, i.e. Pokémon with 100% IVs and/or high versatility and relevance in the meta-game. In this guide we try to quantify the gains in damage output when a Pokémon is powered up beyond level 30. To do that we will look at a few examples and take some averages.

Written by TomSharpe.


Battle Simulations

Damage output depends on several different factors like Base stats, Pokémon level, the Pokémon’s attack IV, and move power. Other modifying factors include STAB and weather boosted attacks but for simplicity we will base this on neutral damage.

The attackers used in these examples will be top tier Pokémon that you may well consider powering up to level 40 (as mentioned their moves have been selected to deal neutral damage to the defender). There will be three examples for each attacker to show its damage output at levels 20, 30, and 40. In these examples they will all have a 15 attack IV.

The defender used in these examples will be the Queen of the Gyms, Blissey, as she will take neutral damage from all three of the attacker’s moves. Blissey will be Level 30.

Attacker Defender
RayquazaAncient Power Rock Blissey
TyranitarFire Blast Fire
MachampHeavy Slam Steel

Rayquaza Vs. Blissey

  • A Level 20 Rayquaza’s Charged move, Ancient Power, does 36 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 30 Rayquaza’s Charged move, Ancient Power, does 43 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 40 Rayquaza’s Charged move, Ancient Power, does 47 damage to Blissey

Results

  • The increase in damage output between levels 20 and 30 is 19.4%
  • The increase in damage output between levels 30 and 40 is 9.3%

Tyranitar Vs. Blissey

  • A Level 20 Tyranitar’s Charged move, Fire Blast, does 63 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 30 Tyranitar’s Charged move, Fire Blast, does 77 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 40 Tyranitar’s Charged move, Fire Blast, does 83 damage to Blissey

Results

  • The increase in damage output between levels 20 and 30 is 22.2%
  • The increase in damage output between levels 30 and 40 is 7.8%

Machamp Vs. Blissey

  • A Level 20 Machamp’s Charged move, Heavy Slam, does 30 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 30 Machamp’s Charged move, Heavy Slam, does 36 damage to Blissey
  • A Level 40 Machamp’s Charged move, Heavy Slam, does 39 damage to Blissey

Results

  • The increase in damage output between levels 20 and 30 is 20%
  • The increase in damage output between levels 30 and 40 is 8.3%

Conclusion

Judging by these three examples, we can see that:

  • Powering up a top tier attacker from level 20 to 30 yields an average of 20.53% extra damage. This increase costs you 75,000 stardust and 66 of that Pokémon’s candies.
  • Powering up a top tier attacker from level 30 to 40 yields an average of 8.47% extra damage. This increase costs you a further 150,000 stardust and a further 182 of that Pokémon’s candies. This equates to over double the cost, for less than half of the improvement, when compared to powering up from level 20 to level 30.

For many Trainers, the relatively small increase in damage output gained by powering up above level 30 is only worth all that extra stardust and candy, if the Pokémon is extremely useful and relevant in both the current meta-game and what they expect the future meta-game to become.

It is worth also mentioning, that powering up above level 30 doesn’t necessarily mean taking your attacker all the way to 40; you may also be powering up to reach a certain breakpoint, i.e. the point at which your attacker will deal one extra damage per use of its Fast move. Powering up beyond this point may further reduce the value of any extra stardust and candy investments into that particular Pokémon as no additional damage can be gained from the Fast move after that point. To learn more about this, please read our article about Breakpoints in Pokémon Go.

There are many Powerful Pokémon yet to be released in Pokémon Go and it is up to you to decide whether investing your resources into powering up above level 30 is right for you or not. Hopefully the above analysis can help you make that decision.

All examples used data from Jop.Space