How long does it take to get to Level 40 in Pokemon Go?

by Paul Cot


Pokemon Go players will be all too aware of how difficult it is to get to Level 40 but just how long does it take?

Even nearly four years after the ground-breaking mobile game released, the majority of trainers are still building their way to the final level in Pokemon Go. At a minimum, it takes several months of play to get there and that's when playing a lot of hours everyday.

A lot of trainers will be around the Level 30 mark but this doesn't mean you're getting close to the final level. The level you're at is based on how much XP you have accrued over your Pokemon Go career.

Pokemon Go Levels Up
Pokemon Go Levels Up
There are 40 levels in Pokemon Go with each becoming exponentially harder to attain...


That's a lot of XP

It takes 2 million XP to reach Level 30, something many players will know just how long that takes. You can read about how much XP is required for each level in our Pokemon Go XP levels chart article.

It takes 20 million XP to reach Level 40 because of the exponential nature of the Pokemon Go leveling system. That's 10x the amount you need to reach Level 30 and nearly 100x more than Level 20.

In short, it's a grind to go through the Pokemon Go levels and a mammoth task to reach the final level. Using some examples of XP earning activities, let's take a look at just how many of them you need to do to reach Level 40.


Getting to Level 40 is hard

The essence of Pokemon Go, and other games from the series for that matter, is to catch Pokemon. After all, you've 'gotta catch 'em all'.

Catch Pokemon Go
Catch Pokemon Go
The most obvious way to get XP in Pokemon Go is to catch Pokemon...

Catching Pokemon

There are obviously numerous ways to get XP, but firstly, let's take a look at just how many you need to catch to reach the lofty heights of Level 40. How much XP you earn from every catch depends on a few factors. These include the accuracy of your throw, the type of throw, whether it's your first throw and whether it's a new Pokemon.

For the sake of keeping it simple though, we'll look at an 'average' catch. It's not hard to throw curveballs and most trainers can consistently hit nice throws. Also, the vast majority of Pokemon you can catch will be ones you already have.


With that said, if the average throw is a nice curveball, that is successful on your first throw and is for a Pokemon you already have, you will earn around 150 XP. So, if you were to do nothing but catch Pokemon (which isn't really possible) it would take 133,333 catches to reach Level 40 - that's a lot of throwing PokeBalls!

Spinning PokeStops

To play the game well you have to spin PokeStops. They give you PokeBalls among other useful items. They also give you 50 XP every time you spin one, which means if you did nothing but spin PokeStops, you would need to do so 400,000 times to hit Level 40.

However, you do get a first spin of the day bonus and a first Pokemon catch of the day - both of which are worth 500 XP. Even when taking this into account though, over a year the daily bonus will only get you 182,500 XP - a fraction of the 20 million needed for Level 40.

There are other ways to get XP as well, such as battling Team Rocket...


A more realistic approach

Let's just try and take a more realistic approach based on daily activities. If, in an average day, you did the following:

  • Spin 10 PokeStops - 1,000 XP
  • Catch 10 Pokemon - 1,000 XP
  • Complete a Tier 3 raid - 3,000 XP
  • Hatch a 2km egg - 200 XP
  • Defeat a gym with 4 Pokemon defending it - 300 XP

Then you would earn 5,500 XP a day. However, when taking into weekly bonuses as well as the daily bonus then you can add another 5,000 XP per week. With the above and this bonus that means you'll earn 43,500 XP a week. If you did this every single day it would still take you 460 days to reach Level 40!

Some trainers will be able to do a lot more than this every day and reach the file milestone in a shorter space of time. There will be others who need longer, though. Either way, it's a huge task to reach Level 40 in Pokemon Go.