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

Paul Cot

For many Pokemon Go players, reaching Level 40 is the holy grail. Those who have reached the impressive milestone will be all too aware of just how difficult it is to get to Level 40. How long does it take, though?

It has been more than four years since the ground-breaking mobile game released and the majority of trainers are still building their way to the mountain summit that is Level 40. At a minimum, it takes several months of play to get there and even then that requires a lot of Pokemon Go play time.

It is common to see many players around the Level 30 mark but this doesn’t mean you’re getting close to the final level. It is actually astonishing just how far Level 30 is from Level 40 in terms of XP.

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

That’s a lot of XP

Despite Level 30 being 75% of the way there in terms of levels, it is just 10% of the total required XP. You need 2 million XP to get to Level 30 and Level 40 requires 20 million! You can read exactly how much XP is needed for each level in our Pokemon Go XP levels chart article.

The Pokemon Go leveling system is exponential. That means the higher level you are, the more XP that is needed to reach the next one along.

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 GoThe 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.

In addition to all of this, it looks like Niantic will be increasing the maximum level in Pokemon Go to Level 50. You can read more about the prospect of Level 50 in Pokemon Go and what will be required, but it looks like there will be more to it than just accruing XP.