Pokemon are ranked by their Combat Power (CP) in Pokemon Go, rather than levels like in previous games.
Combat Power is essentially how powerful your Pokemon is. Increasing its CP will increase its hit points. The stronger your Pokemon is, the higher the chance it will have of winning battles.
Common and unevolved Pokemon tend to have a lower CP whereas evolved and rare Pokemon will typically have higher CP.
As your trainer level increases, so will the CP of the wild Pokemon you will across. For example, a trainer at level 5 may find a Voltorb with 77 CP, whereas another trainer who is level 14 could attempt to capture the same Voltorb and will likely find ts CP to be higher 250CP +.
You can raise your Pokemon CP by powering them up. There are currently two ways of doing this at the moment.
Increasing CP requires the use of Pokemon Candy which will always need to be specific to the species you are powering up and Stardust which can be used on any Pokemon.
How does CP work?
CP is best understood by looking at two values.
- The CP number displayed on the Pokemon’s screen
- The higher the CP, the stronger the Pokemon is.
- The maximum CP value is determined by your trainer level
- The higher your trainer level the higher CP your Pokemon can have.
2. The position of the dot on the white arc above the Pokemon’s picture.
- The position of the dot on the white arc is extremely important. Imagine the arc is a percentage meter of how strong the Pokemon is, the further to the right the white dot is, the stronger that Pokemon is for your trainer level.
- The arc is therefore used to determine how strong a specific Pokemon is. For example, you may find a Pidgey and a Pidgeotto with the same CP, but the position of the white dot on the arc is much higher on the Pidgey than the Pidgeotto. This means that the Pidgey will evolve into a much stronger Pidgeotto than the one you already have.
The Pidgey on the left will evolve into a much more powerful Pidgeotto than shown on the right. You can tell this in advance due to the white dots position on the arc. The further to the right, the more powerful it is for its type of Pokemon.
Which Pokemon Should you Evolve?
Evolving a Pokemon will increase its CP, but not its percentage of power.
You should evolve the Pokemon whose dot on the arc is the furthest to the right. This means that when you evolve them they will be powerful for their type. You will also only need to power them up a few times each time your trainer level increases.