If you recently downloaded the Pokémon GO app and have a few Pidgeys under your belt, you may be starting to sniff around Google for tips and tricks of the game. But before you go all-out-advanced Pokémon Master, make sure that you first understand the basic rules and are asking the essential questions — a particularly important one being, "What does the candy do in Pokémon GO?" This is a confusing one that I avoided when I first started to play (all of six days ago). Instead of learning the facts myself, I would hand my phone to a friend, wait for them to graciously perform their Pokémon magic, and suddenly my avatar would level up — all thanks to these mysterious candies.
If you have no idea what a candy is, that's totally OK (seriously, this game is super new). The highly addictive augmented reality game has its own special language — some of which you will definitely recall from childhood. When you first start playing there seems to be an overwhelming amount of new lingo to learn, though by the end of the year, I'm sure it will be added to the Webster's Dictionary.
To locate the candies, tap on the Pokéball at the bottom center of your screen, and select the "Pokémon" option. This will bring you to your list of captured Pokémon. Select any individual Pokémon and it will bring up the stats for that particular acquisition. You will see the numbers for its type, weight, and height — which you can ignore for now. Just under that, you will see the amount of stardust and number of candies you have for catching that particular Pokémon. The candy icon is a depicted by a sphere which is a similar color to the Pokémon's genus.
Each Pokémon type has a certain number of candies that are needed to evolve it to its next (more powerful) form. Some Pokémon, like Ratata (a fairly common one) are easy to evolve and need only 25 candies. Middle-of-the-road Pokémon like Psyduck or Mewoth need about 50 candies and are far harder to find. Then there are Pokémon that make you want to give up on the game all together, like Magicarp, which requires a ridiculous 400 candies to evolve (so give yourself a big pat on the back if you caught a Gyarados).
You gain three candies every time you catch one Pokémon and add it to your roster. However, you also have the ability to trade-in a lackluster poke to The Professor, and in return you receive one more candy of that Pokémon's type. No word on what this Professor does with the Pokémon after he acquires them (hopefully, sets them free???).
Candy is required to evolve Pokémon, but is also useful for powering up a strong Pokémon's CP — otherwise known as Combat Power. Once you are a level five trainer, you gain the ability to join a team (Yellow, Blue, or Red) and fight at gyms to claim them for your color. The combat power of your Pokémon will determine how well they do in these battle arenas — you don't want to send a Caterpie with a CP of 34 in to fight a Vaporeon with a CP of 1500 because that just wouldn't be any fun. Sadly, we cannot buy actual Pokémon candy or Razz Berries to eat, but I'm sure that is not far behind.