By now you must’ve noticed that each pokémon has a CP above it’s head when you catch it. They also have this same CP in the list of your pokémon. The only place the CP isn’t shown is in the pokédex. This indicates that the CP of your pokémon must be important otherwise it wouldn’t be shown almost everywhere you look. So what exactly does CP mean?


CP is a whole new feature which has been introduced in Pokémon Go. We haven’t seen it before in any of the other pokémon games so there was a lot of comfusion at first about it’s meaning. We can finally tell without a doubt that CP means Combat Power. This combat power displays how strong your pokémon is compared to other pokémon.
The higher your combat power is, the stronger your pokémon will be in battles. The amount of CP the pokémon which you catch has depends on your level and plain randomness from what we know so far. Lower level players (1-9) usually don’t catch pokémon with a CP higher than 50, middle leveled players (10-19) usually don’t catch pokémon higher than 400 and high leveled players can catch quite high CP pokémon. However, even high leveled players will still encounter pokémon with a CP less than 50 so being high level doesn’t guarantee you high leveled pokémon all the time.
It will happen a lot in the beginning; you catch a pokémon with (in your mind) decent CP and you catch one with a higher cp only moments later. This could be annoying because you might have used a razzberry or a great ball to catch the first pokémon. The good news is that this pokémon hasn’t become completely useless. All the pokémon you’ve gathered can be transferred to the professor in exchange for candies. You can use these candies to evolve your highest level pokémon into their next evolution. I recommend that you wait with less common pokémon until you’re nearing level 20 because you will catch higher CP pokémon who are better to evolve.
You might have noticed half of a circle above the CP in your pokémon list. The further the line is coloured, the better your pokémon is for your level. If this line is coloured all the way to the bottom right, that means you will not find any better version of this pokémon at your level. This can increase per level don’t think you’ve caught the best pokémon there is at level 6 and 40CP because it could be 10 times better at level 20. This circle does, however, give a nice indication of whether it’s worth it to evolve this pokémon right now. If the circle is only coloured in halfway then it’s not worth spending all your candies on this pokémon. You’re better off evolving it when it’s completely coloured in or almost completely.

Once you’ve evolved your pokémon to it’s final stage, you will notice that the evolve button has disappeared. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your pokémon can’t get any stronger than it already is, it just means that this pokémon doesn’t have any further evolutions. To make this pokémon stronger than it already was, we can use the candies we gained from transferring the pokémon. Each transferred pokémon gives 1 extra candy for it’s type of pokémon. Simply click on the ‘Power Up‘ button and you will increase the CP of your pokémon by 30 on average depending on what tier pokémon you have. Rare pokémon will power up with greater numbers than common pokémon, so a weedle will never power up with the same amount that a gyarados does.

 

Charizard low CP
Even though Charizard is a rare Pokémon, this one’s CP is extremely low

The amount of CP your pokémon has also influences it’s chances to win a gym battle. Naturally, pokémon with a higher CP will win battles easier and more frequently than those with lower CP. CP isn’t the only thing that matteres in a gym battle. Gym battles also depend on what type of pokémon you are using (electric, grass, dark, etc.) and what type of pokémon the enemy is using. This takes a bit of knowledge from back in the day as Pokémon Go doesn’t explain what pokémon is good against what type, but you can easily find this information on the internet.
Make sure to keep evolving your pokémon and power the strongest pokémon up so you can enjoy the benefits of having your ultra strong pokémon on top of a gym. Remember, the higher your trainer level, the higher your pokémon will be so don’t give up!

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