Power levelling with friends optimised?

Power Levelling Pokemon Go

Okay guys, one for the brains trust.

How should I use my gifts to ensure I accumulate the most experience possible?
I wanted to have a look at the most efficient way in terms of XP gain for sending/receiving gifts with friends. I am not sure if it’s been covered in any other threads or videos but please enlighten me if you have info.

The idea is to only level up to a certain point with friends, to find out when you should keep sending gifts and when you should stop and get new friends to repeat the process to achieve the most exp possible.

My spreadsheet shows the player experience gain for specific target friend levels for a period of up to 90 consistent days.

The good friend scenario plays out as a new 30 friends each day to receive gifts from. Each friend gives 3K exp which equals 8.1 million xp over 90 days. This idea is intensive as you essentially will have 2,700 friends to add (only 30 each day) and then delete over that period however it has good return compared to the other friend levels. I have included the 2xp total as well in the spreadsheet however I don’t find it viable to use 90 lucky eggs personally. 16.2 millon xp would be nice though.

The great friend scenario plays out as reaching great friends with 30 people over 7 days, then the next 7 days is a new 30 people, ect, ect. You of course accumulate the 3000 exp and the 5000 exp because you must become good friends before coming great friends. Something to note *The data displayed in the ‘great friend’ column totals to only 84 days instead of 90 because the great friends are achieved in 7 day blocks. So 84 is the largest whole number 7 is divisible by, hence why the exp gain is on the low side. Still, the exp gain is remarkably less with this friendship group. This method is not high enough return compared to the rest in my opinion at 2.05 million exp at 1x exp rate over 90 days and 16 lucky eggs used. 360 new friends must be added this way or 30/week.

The ultra friend. This plays out as reaching 30 ultra friends for 3 months straight for a total accumulation of 5.22 million exp. Only 90 new friends are added. The total exp is doubled by using 2x exp each time a friend is levelled up to be a good, then great and finally ultra friend. A total of 9 lucky eggs are calculated to be used over the 90 day period. 10.44 million exp is gained by using the lucky egg with this method.

The best friend, is it worth it? 90 days straight receiving gifts from the same 30 friends? Using a lucky egg each time you level up, same as the ultra friend. Only 4 lucky eggs required for the 90 day period, provided your friends are consistent with their gift giving. If all goes to plan, a max of 4.74 million with 1xp or 9.48 million with 2xp.

My calculations show that reaching best friends is not the most effective way to accumulate exp. You are also relying on other people to send gifts consistently over a long period of time. This has greater associated risk to not receiving max potential exp. It is however the least intensive.

I am level 34. What I am going to be trying is presumably the most cost effective (because no eggs are needed) method which is reaching good friends only for a return of 8.1 million exp over 90 days (no eggs used).
If you can burn a couple of eggs (9 to be exact {eggs only used to achieve great, ultra and best friends}) the most exp is gained is by reaching ultra friends only to accumulate 10.17million exp over 90 days. This is much more efficient than aiming to reach great and even best friends in which you only earn 5.01mil and 9.39mil respectively over 90 days with the same egg using scenario.

One thing to note, I know you can receive and send gifts each day. A total of 30 gifts can be received and there is no limit on how many you can send (edit: 100 is the max). A specific friendship can only go up one level once per day, when you or that friend opens his or her gift. Essentially we can receive 30 gifts and send as many as we like daily, provided we have the gifts (a buddy pokemon can retrieve 5 gifts, 3x per day). With this in mind, we can accumulate a lot more exp by receiving AND sending to different friends.

This heightens the risk of going for more than 30 best friends in the 90 days because you are relying on more people to be as consistent as possible over 90 days. The more people you add, the more chance there is that people will quit, and there goes your best friend exp gain.

This is hardly an issue with the good friend scenario because chances are, if you add a player to your list, they will be active the day they’re added and it’ll be easy to get that 3k exp. You can easily add a new friend if they are inactive to get those 30 gifts/day.

To me, it’s morally frowned upon to add a friend and use them as an exp ■■■■■ and delete. Some of you may argue that it’s all about the ride to level 40 and beyond. I am just sick of not having access to XL candies.

Please, let me know of your thoughts and experiences as I am very interested to find out. Try the spreadsheet for yourself too because I wouldn’t mind a lateral view on the totals.


Welcome to the forum.

As a level 50 player, who had enough experience with farming xp via friends i’ll give my 2 cents:

  • you are overthinking this. you are focussing on the opening gifts part too much. You can send 100 gifts per day (yes, there is a max) which gives you 100 more friends to level up with. It is way easier to manage 200 friends then a few trying to max profits.

  • I can promise you opening 30 gifts per day will not be possible. It would mean that every friend must send a gift, (or open) to keep everyone at the same point.

  • we have a 400 max friend list. Just invite as many as you can, send gifts, open gifts, line several up with a lucky egg moment, and be done with it. Don’t make it your daily struggle to manage it all. You are level 34, you are almost 5 years late to the party (no offense) so relax and enjoy the game. Level 40 is all that matters, all above is bonus.

  • get friends from apps/forums. Most do not care about double xp and those who do you can just wait it out till they give up and let you have the double xp.

  • trust me when i say that managing 200 friends (or 400 even) is easier then managing a few! Even more if your main goal is the xp.

  • do all the above and i guarantee you can get an easy 1 million xp with level ups on a weekly basis, most likely more now that we have double sized friendlist. 1 million per week = a shit ton more over 90 days then any other scenario. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and it’s a steady income of xp, and much less of a hassle.


Thank-you for the thorough reply. I appreciate it and it does sound much more manageable just on cruise control. Cheers for the heads up about the 100 gift limit too.

As I may struggle with acquiring gifts due to being remote a lot, how would you spend say 30 gifts only opened a day on a 200 person friend list?
Do you focus on getting your ultra friends to best friends?

Thanks again.

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This will of course need some time to ramp up as a newer player, but for me personally it goes as follows:

  • I’m at 202 friends atm, around 80 of those are best friends level, and around 60+ of those are actually people i know and can meet up with. 28 of the best friends are lucky atm aswell, but due to corona i see less people to trade with.

  • So of those 202 people, 28 need no interaction at all, they are maxed and lucky. 90% of the rest either already has a gift from me from the day before or earlier.

  • Daily routine is do 2 or 3 gift rounds per day.

  • First round is halway the day at work, sending gifts i picked up to work and from my buddy. I send sorted to people who can receive a gift, working my way down, skipping anyone at 1 day to go and skipping any lucky friends.

  • second round is after work when i do my daily round for quests, shinies, raids or whatever there is to do. I usually drive through town, picking up gifts and quests, untill i get to our city hall (2 gyms and 2 stops all reachable from car). I take over the gyms if i want, scout for raids and send another batch of gifts. I then do my daily route picking op new gifts on the way.

  • 3rd round is just before midnight. This is when i open my gifts and resend if needed. I start at my best friends in hopes of lucky friends. Next is opening other friends, again resending if i can.

  • Many players don’t do gifts every day. My 3 rounds of sending and opening at the end of the day are usually enough to update all friends that i can update on. That’s around 50~60 gifts send each day, and most days not even reaching the 30 openings. Then everyone that can, has had their daily friendship xp. Huge factor is of course the long list of best friends i have + lucky friends that require less attention

  • around a year ago i reached the milestone of exactly 150 million xp, since then i reached over 200 million but the whole xp grind is less important now. This why i don’t have 400 friends yet, i don’t care as much :slight_smile: But even with the way i do it now, i get an easy 500k to 1 million xp per week.

again, best way to go is simply just add a shitload of friends, send gifts, open gifts, don’t care too much.That gives more time to play. The amount of players that actually do gifts every day, week in week out, month in month out is very limited. keep that in mind, more friends = better.


Seems quite unrealistic to me to collect 100 gifts to send each day. Some days I am unable to collect 20 to send (although that happens less often now than it did before the game began having events with added gifting capacities – before that time it was not unusual for me to go 20-plus spins without getting a single gift to send).

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Awesome share. So much XP!

I agree with more friends the better.

I have one thing to note from my findings though;

You earn the most XP by only levelling up to Ultra friends. You earn the least XP by only levelling up to great friends (I used to do this because I couldn’t be bothered trying for ultra or best frankly)

This info is derived from the table below, which show’s a realistic scenario that I set for a user to do daily for 90 days. Each day you have 30 gifts to receive and 10 to send. Each scenario concentrates on sending/receiving 40 gifts daily to reach a certain friendship level only. Lucky eggs are used only for great, ultra and best.

Sending/receiving 40 gifts to level up until;

  • good friends only= 0.9mil exp/week

  • great friends only= 0.55mil exp/week

  • ultra friends only= 1.13mil exp/week

  • best friends only= 1.04mil exp/week

I know in the long run it’s probably better to go for best friends with everyone, but I personally don’t trade much and hence it has less appeal to me. XP is more useful to me. I can always keep levelling the ultra friends too once I feel like it :smile:


These sure are some impressive calculations… although playing 100% optimised is not reliable, because people aren’t perfect. If all works out perfectly, I completely agree with you. Although, as a level 44 player, I don’t mind not having optimised exp gain anymore, and just go the easy-going route that @punica suggested, and I even shaved a bit off of that too lol

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xp wise ultra friends are better indeed. However, since the cap is 400, there is no reason to dump those ulta friends and slowly keep grinding. Even if you can’t send or open on a daily basis, neither wil they.

I kept track yesterday of my routine i described.
I played roughly 1,5 hour, as i do most days. This is just the daily grind after work, no real hunting as the event is boring. With good events we tend to go real hunting after diner for another 2 - 2,5 hours.

I did multiple small gifting sessions and at the end of the day the opening/resending.
At the end of the day i had gifts to spare, and not even had to open the max 30, since other players opened first, or just did not send/open that day.
This is with 200+ friends, and just 1,5 hour of play.

The friendship xp hype has been over a long time,.people care less, and less people care.

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The most important thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned, do NOT open or send gifts to or from people with a blue ring around their avatar. Such friends have already had their friendship level go up that day. If you open from someone like this or send to someone and they open, it’s wasted opportunity if you have others who can receive gifts and other people you can open from.

My tactic is to open/send from lowest friendship level up. I send gifts throughout the day prioritising those who haven’t sent me a gift and can go up a level that day, once done, I then focus on sending to those who have sent me gifts and can go up a level. At the end of the day when I’m about to go to bed, I open gifts from 30 people who have not levelled up yet that day. Rinse, repeat each day.


So after this topic started I decided to add some new friends. over 50 friends have been added in a day, no new ones since.
As of today (almost a month later), 6 of those friends still need to open or send their FIRST gift. They are still at 0 hearts.

So any theory about maxing this system can be thrown out of the window, as i predicted, Don’t bother thinking about it, just YOLO it

I understand it can take time to send a gift, we don’t all have 100’s of stops nearby. or drive around entire cities looking for certain quests.
I understand people might prioritize some friend leveling over others
I understand people are too lazy to open every day (my GF has that problem)

I can understand all of that. But why do you want to add people if you do áll that, for a month long. Why take the effort to post your code in an app (which takes time to watch a lot of adds or costs actual money), and do nothing with it?
/rant over :slight_smile:


Yeah, I understand you.
But still, if you find, casually, players which respond, it’s delicious to see when you reach the 4 hearts, and better if you can manage to use a lucky egg.
I have a group of, at least 10, friends which stop to send when we reach the first heart. It was enough for them. And really, the step from 3 to 4 hearts, for me it’s too long, too many casualities could break the streak.

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I don’t stay friends with someone for very long if there are no gift exchanges. That tells me they aren’t playing, especially when it’s 2+ days since last catch

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this is where the 400 friends list comes in handy.
With so much space for friends, you can just keep em around.

Also +2 days of inactivity isn’t really much, i’d rather they added a +7/week offline. That’s at least really saying something, 2 days can happen.