Should you Power Up or evolve your Pokemon first - is a question that many trainers still don't know the answer to, even four years after Pokemon Go's release.
Everyone knows the concept of evolution in Pokemon. However, a much newer concept is the Power Up mechanic, which is something those who haven't played Pokemon Go at length may not understand.
What is Powering Up?
Firstly, before answering the question of whether you should power up or evolve first, it is important to fully understand what powering up does.
Powering up your Pokemon essentially gets it closer to its maximum potential. Every species can attain Level 40 and powering up gets you closer to that maximum level. Level 40 is also what a trainer can get to but it's important to note these are separate and to distinguish between the two.
- Read More: What are Elite TMs and where to get them?
When powering up you also need to consider the diminishing returns of using precious stardust on increasing your Pokemon's level. As the level goes up, the more stardust it costs to increase it but for less reward. Stardust is a scarce resource in the world of Pokemon Go - something regular players will be all too aware of.
Additionally, it is worth noting that there is a big difference between CP and IV, whereby CP is an aggregated statistic that combines a Pokemon's level and IVs. A good way to understand the difference is to think of CP as how strong your Pokemon is. IVs on the other hand, show your Pokemon's potential.
A species' CP will also increase when it evolves. This is because evolved forms tend to have higher base stats, indicating a more powerful Pokemon, which is essentially what CP shows. Again, base stats shouldn't be confused with IV and CP. Base stats are specific to an individual species and IVs show how strong that Pokemon is within a specific species.
So, now we know exactly what powering up does, we can discuss which to do first. Before the introduction of TMs, the Pokemon's moveset was more important. This meant it was better to evolve Pokemon first to find whether they had the desired move.
With that said though, there is no reason to waste TMs. While they aren't too rare, they certainly aren't common either. Therefore, the argument can be made that it's more sensible to evolve first. That way you can see if you get the move you want for free.
However, with the introduction of GO Battle League, your best Pokemon having two Charged Attacks at their disposal is becoming increasingly important. Having a variety of moves can often be the difference between victory and defeat.
Now, you can purchase a second move irrespective of whether you have evolved your Pokemon or not. There is sometimes a big difference in the cost of doing so, though, depending on its evolution stage.
For example, Tyrogue's second move costs 10,000 Stardust and each of its evolved forms - Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan and Hitmontop - each cost 75,000 Stardust to give a second Charged Attack. It's important to check on this before evolving and if there is a big difference in the price, you should make sure you get that second move before evolving.
It's a question that is continually asked within the Pokemon Go community but as the mechanics of the game stand, as discussed, there is little difference.
With Pokemon Go continually evolving it would be wise to stay on top of the latest. This will help you to know whether to Power Up or evolve first.