Pokémon GO Tips: Gamebreaking Gym and Trainer Powerleveling Trick

Pokémon GO Tips: Gamebreaking Gym and Trainer Powerleveling Trick

- in Tips & Tricks

This game-breaking technique is gaining a lot of traction on the internet as it’s an extremely efficient way to level up your gyms and yourself. There are many tricks to get a lot of XP in Pokémon GO, but this is by far one of the most efficient.

Gym training can also be cumbersome and hard to hold while leveling up your gym.  This strategy should help you hold a gym while your doing so.  The bubblestrat is broken down on gamepress.gg and has been getting a lot of traction on Reddit:

The Bubblestrat is a newly-discovered optimal method of gym and trainer powerleveling.  It can:

  • Max a Gym to Level 10 in less than 10 minutes.
  • Earn 1.5 million XP per day without using any potions or revives.
  • Make it impossible to wear down a gym, no matter the attackers, when actively training it.

By utilizing a 10CP Level 1.5 Diglett with the appropriate IVs and moveset, we are able to defeat a 20CP Horsea, Krabby, or Poliwag with Bubble and appropriate IVs without taking any damage.

This will reward 1000 Gym Prestige and 100 trainer XP per Bubble-Pokemon defeated, and takes only seconds while requiring no revives or potions even if you mess it up! This works by exploiting the long startup-animation of Bubble, by killing the Bubble-User before they can get off a single attack. (Diglett will often go invisible after the first fight. This is itself not part of the tactic, but is just a regular occurrence any time you defeat a Defending Pokemon just before it would do fatal damage to you.)

Discovered and theory crafted by PEEFsmash, working in conjunction with the rest of the GamePress Pokemon Go Research Team.

Optimized Gym Powerleveling

To explain this trick further, let’s start with the goals of powerleveling your team’s gym:

  • Quickly gain Prestige and XP by taking advantage of the500+ Prestige (and 50+ XP) bonus for defeating a Gym Defender with a Pokemon of lesser CP.
  • If possible, take advantage of the 1000 Prestige (and 100 XP) bonus for defeating a Gym Defender with a Pokemon of half or less of the defender’s CP.
  • Have fights end quickly allowing for more Defenders to be defeated in a given time period.
  • Use the minimum possible number of resources (Potions and Revives) during the process
  • Have no resource penalty for “messing it up.”
  • Obviously, follow the game’s Terms of Service
The Bubblestrat

The Bubblestrat is the absolute optimal method of achieving each and every one of these goals.

  • 1000 Prestige and 100 XP (the max possible) is gained each fight due to the Half-CP Bonus
  • The fights end as quickly as a fight can theoretically end. The defender is defeated in a couple seconds.
  • This strategy requires NO revive and NO potion. The Pokemon you use to attack your Gym’s defender doesn’t ever take damage.
  • If you mess the tactic up, no big deal! You only lost a few seconds of your time. Even your Diglett that faints at 1HP is perfectly useable, as he only needs that 1HP to enter the fight and defeat the enemy.
  • The tactic is entirely within the game’s Terms of Service. You are selecting a legitimately obtained and legal gym defender, and attacking it with a legitimately obtained attacking Pokemon. You are merely exploiting a weakness in that defender’s slow attack speed with the glass-cannon that is Diglett.

Now, onto the details of how you can execute this technique yourself:

First, you need a Diglett. This Diglett has to be caught at Level 1. All Level 1 Digletts will be caught at 10CP. At this point, you will need to power it up once, bringing it to what we call “Level 1.5.” The Level 1.5 Diglett will need to remain 10CP. If he is 11CP, his IVs are too high to use the tactic (and you won’t know this until you actually power him up once). Now, once you’ve got your 10CP Level 1.5 Diglett, he still isn’t guaranteed to be useable. The minimum Attack IVs required for the Diglett to do 4 damage per Scratch or 5 damage perMud Shot (if you’re lucky enough to have a level 1 Mud Shot Diglett lying around) will be determined by the species and defense IVs of your Bubble-using gym defender…


So, let’s describe our potential Bubble-users:

There are exactly 3 species capable of serving the punching-bag role. They are:

These are relatively weak, unevolved Pokemon that can learn Bubble. They will stand in, start to attack, and do us proud by dying before they can hit you with the incredibly slow Bubble. The order I have listed them is the order of likelihood of having the correct IVs.


Horsea, for instance, are quite likely to have the appropriate IVs as the tolerance required allows for many IV Horsea to work. Because your Diglett might have any attack IV, it is not possible for me to tell you which Horsea will work exactly, but it needs to be at least 20CP when powered up once to Level 1.5, and its defense IV must be no more than 7 higher than Diglett’s Attack IV.


For Krabby, the window of workable IVs is smaller. Again in addition to needing to be 20CP at level 1.5, the Krabby’s defenseIV must be at least two lower than the Diglett’s Attack IV.


For Poliwag, Diglett must have access to the now-discontinued Mud Shot move. Scratch will not do enough damage to Poliwag. Assuming your Diglett has Mud Shot, any Poliwag that hits 20CP upon Level 1.5 and has a Defense IV no more than 8 above your Diglett’s Attack IV will work.

Remember that the only way to test if your CP20 Bubble-User has the appropriate IVs without potentially breaking Pokemon Go TOS is to actually try them in the Gym and see if they work. Again, if you’re looking to farm appropriate Bubble-users, Horsea will yield the highest percentage, followed by Krabby, and finally Poliwag who won’t even work with a Scratch Diglett.

Test and Execution

First, either take over an enemy gym or level an existing gym up so you can add your Bubble-user in defense.

Next, spam click with all your might.

If your Pokemon have the proper IVs, the Bubble-using Pokemon will get hit with 5 Scratches or 4 Mud Shots and will faint. The word “Victory!” will appear on the screen. If your Diglett’s health bar goes to 0, and it usually will, don’t worry, Diglett didn’t actually faint. The damage from Bubble just visually registered –after- the fight actually took place (hence why you got the word “Victory” across the screen.)

You will have now gained 1000 Prestige for the gym, and 100 personal XP. If there is another higher-level gym defender, he will proceed to demolish your poor Diglett, but again, don’t worry! You still got your XP. Your Diglett will now have 1HP, but this is just fine! Since this strategy does not rely on your Pokemon actually tanking any damage during the fight, a 1HP Diglett does just as well as one with full HP. No revives and no potions necessary!

In addition to being able to powerlevel a gym to level 10 in just a few minutes, this same exercise powerlevels your trainer. Since you get 1 XP for every 10 Prestige you add to a Gym, you now have an infinite source of XP.

Doing this alone can net you a solid XP rate, but manage to gather 9 friends together, and you can all soar in levels at incredible speed. Each of you, armed with your Glass Cannon Digletts and Bubble-users, can stack a Gym full of Bubble-users in just a couple minutes. Then, because your Diglett technically takes no damage in each fight, you can defeat all 10 Bubble-users in the gym, netting 1000XP for your trainer if you beat all 10, in approximately 100-110 seconds. This yields, conservatively speaking, a rate of 32,700 XP per hour, or 65,000XP per hour with a lucky egg active. This alone allows for a gain of over 1.5 million XP in 24 hours, more than has ever been accomplished by a fair-play non-botting trainer.

Enjoy, and good hunting!

-PEEFsmash, GamePress Team Researcher

Technical Details
Duration (seconds) Event
0.5 Scratch
0.55 Mud Shot
2.3 Bubbles
0.5 Attacker’s Initiative (lag dependent)
2.5 Scratch Diglett K.O. game duration
2.2 Mud Shot K.O. game duration
10 Real world battle to battle duration
15 Real world end battle screen to new battle duration
# of Defenders
In Gym Length of Battle Prestige Gain XP Gain
1 Defender 25 1000 100
2 Defender 35 2000 200
3 Defender 45 3000 300
5 Defender 65 5000 500
6 Defender 75 6000 600
7 Defender 85 7000 700
8 Defender 95 8000 800
9 Defender 105 9000 900
10 Defender 115 10000 1000
XP Rates
In Gym XP Rate XP Rate /w Lucky Egg
1 Defender 14,400xp/hr 28,800xp/hr
2 Defender 20,500xp/hr 41,000xp/hr
3 Defender 24,000xp/hr 48,000xp/hr
4 Defender 26,200xp/hr 52,400xp/hr
5 Defender 27,700xp/hr 55,400xp/hr
6 Defender 28,800xp/hr 57,600xp/hr
7 Defender 29,647xp/hr 39,286xp/hr
8 Defender 30,300xp/hr 60,600xp/hr
9 Defender 31,100xp/hr 62,200xp/hr
10 Defender 31,300xp/hr 62,600xp/hr
Pokemon Requirements
Diglett Requirements
Level 1.5
CP 10 CP; appx maximum IV 60%
HP any
Attack IV 3 min; 10+ ideal
Defense IV any
Stamina IV any
Horsea Requirements
Level 1.5
CP 20+ CP; appx minimum IV 50%
HP 10
Attack IV any
Defense IV No more than 7 above Diglett Attack IV
Stamina IV any
Krabby Requirements
Level 1.5
CP 20+ CP; appx minimum IV 50%
HP 10
Attack IV any
Defense IV At least 2 below Diglett Attack IV
Stamina IV any
Poliwag Requirements
Add. Requirement Legacy Diglett w/ Mud Shot
Level 1.5
CP 20+ CP; appx minimum IV 50%
HP 12 max
Attack IV any
Defense IV No more than 7 above Diglett Attack IV
Stamina IV any

You may also like

Trainers Reveal Truth Behind Nocturnal Nests in Pokémon GO

Nests have been recently changing and everyone who