There are many different resources in PoGo that are acquired in diverse ways: namely Experience (XP), Stardust, Candy, Berries, Pokécoins and special items. There are a few strategies, relevant to both beginners and advanced players, to use them as efficiently as possible.
Experience is needed to increase the trainer level. A higher trainer level allows one to power up Pokémon to a higher level, unlocks additional items from Pokéstops, and lets you encounter higher level Pokémon in the wild.
The biggest goal is reaching level 30. This is the maximum level of Pokémon in the wild (except for weather spawns, see Weather Effects) and is the level that unlocks the last item (max-revives). Up to trainer level 30, the maximum level of wild Pokémon is equal to the trainer level, with the exception of Wild Pokémon enhanced by weather effects. From level 30 on the gain in combat power (CP) per power up is halved, meaning the Pokémon’s strength increases at a significantly slower rate (see 6.2 Pokémon Combat Power (CP)).
Selection of sources for experience (XP)
- Catching a Pokémon
- Base: 100
- Curveball: 10
- Nice throw: 10
- Great throw: 50
- Excellent throw: 100
- First throw: 50
- Evolving: 500
- Level 1: 3000
- Level 2: 3500
- Level 3: 4000
- Level 4: 5000
- Level 5: 10000
- Spinning a Pokéstop: 50
- Spinning a new Pokéstop (marked with a halo): 250
A complete list can be found here.
The fastest way to get XP is by mass evolving Pokémon in combination with a lucky egg and ideally a double XP event. The goal is to evolve as many Pokémon as possible during the 30-minute duration of the lucky egg. Best suited are Pokémon with low candy cost (Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, etc.), but every common Pokémon works. One evolution lasts around 20-25 s, so it is possible to evolve around 60-80 Pokémon per lucky egg. Force closing the app and restarting skips the evolve animation and can significantly increase the number of evolutions per lucky egg on fast phones (video example).
To guarantee a smooth evolution session, one should sort the Pokémon one plans to evolve, for example by renaming them to “#” or by making use of the search function. Using the keyword “evolve” returns only Pokémon with enough candy for an evolution (other search functions). Combined with a limitation of Pokédex numbers, one can build a custom evolution query (link). Example:
shows all Pidgey (16), Rattata (19), Spearow (21), Sentret (161), Hoothoot (163) and Natu (177), if you have enough candy to evolve them. “&” is the logical AND; “,” is the logical OR.
If you don’t want to enter the query by hand every time you can use the text replacement function in the phone settings. Using iOS you go to Settings General Settings Keyboard Text replacement. Enter the query above or a custom query of your choice and add a shortcut like “!evo”. Entering “!evo” in the PoGo search field and hitting space will enter the preset search query.
Ideally one should save enough candy to do 60-80 evolutions in one session to make full use of the lucky eggs. During double XP events you gain 2,000 XP per evolution, so up to 140.000 XP per lucky egg.
Candies are needed to evolve and power up Pokémon. The power up costs increase at higher Pokémon levels. Every Pokémon family, meaning all evolutions, shares the same kind of candy.
- Catching a Pokémon: 3 (1st evolution, e.g. Pidgey), 5 (2nd evolution, e.g. Pidgeotto), 10 (3rd evolution, e.g. Pidgeot)
Feeding a pinap berry before a successful catch doubles the received candies (see 5)
- Transferring a Pokémon: 1
- Evolving a Pokémon: 1
- Hatching a Pokémon (Source):
- 2 km: 5-15
- 5 km: 10-21
- 10 km: 16-32
- Feeding a Pokémon in a gym: 1 (low chance < 1%)
- Walking with a buddy Pokémon: 1 candy every 1, 3, 5 or 20 km (depending on species)
Stardust is required in addition to candy to increase the Pokémon’s level. Similar to the candy costs, the stardust costs increase at higher Pokémon levels.
- Catching a Pokémon: 100 (1st evolution), 300 (2nd evolution), 500 (3rd evolution)
+25 % if it is a weather empowered type (see 7 Weather Effects)
- Bonus for 1st catch of the day: 500 (2500 for a 7-day streak)
- Feeding a berry in a gym: 20
- Hatching a Pokémon (Source):
- 2 km: 400-800
- 5 km: 800-1600
- 10 km: 1600-3200
As you accumulate high-level Pokémon, stardust can become a scarce resource. Therefore, I highly recommend using it with caution and plan the “investments” carefully. Information to make good decisions will be provided in section 6 Moves, IVs and more.
Pokécoins are an in-game currency used to purchase special items. Some of these items are very valuable and can’t be received from Pokéstops. Pokécoins can be purchased with real money or by defending gyms. For every 10 min defended one receives one coin, up to a limit of 50 coins per day (500 min, 8:20 h). Important: The coins are only awarded when a Pokémon returns after being defeated in a gym.
The following items can be purchased with Pokécoins:
- Pokéballs, max-revives, max-potions:
Usually not worth buying, since they can be received from Pokéstops
- Lure modules (85-100 coins):
Activation at a Pokéstop spawns one Pokémon every 3 min for a duration of 30 min
- Incense (50-80 coins):
Activation spawns one Pokémon every 5 min, or one every 60 s if moving with more than 200 m/min (12 km/h).
- Incubator (150 coins)
One incubator that gets destroyed after the 3rd use
- Super Incubator (200 coins, only during some events)
One incubator that gets destroyed after the 3rd use and reduces the hatch distance by 33 %.
- Premium raid passes (100 coins)
- Bag space upgrade (200 coins)
- Pokébox upgrade (200 coins)
- Lucky egg (50-80 coins):
Double XP for 30 min
How should I spend my Pokécoins?
Pokémon box and bag space upgrades can be a huge quality of life improvement and one should invest some coins up to a point where one doesn’t have to destroy items and transfer Pokémon all the time. These upgrades have been discounted during some events, so spending then can be a nice way to conserve coins.
Apart from that, premium raid passes are usually the best investment. One gets another chance to catch a fully evolved Pokémon of one’s choice, which is generally useful right away (e.g. Legendary Pokémon, Tyranitar, Machamp, etc.). Raids also award quite a bit of both trainer XP (a rapid way to level up if you are with an active raiding group and do not have enough candy to evolve many Pokémon) and gym XP (which can increase gym awards, which allegedly include the chance to obtain an EX pass).
Incubators can be worth an investment. The most efficient way of using incubators is to only hatch 10 km eggs, but many trainers use incubators on 5 km eggs during double stardust and/or double candy events. If one really wants to invest a lot of money, it is possible to incubate 9 eggs at a time to get some extra Stardust and candy. Contrary to raids, it is not possible to choose which Pokémon will hatch and the possible Pokémon change from time to time. A reliable source for the possible hatches can be found here.
Lucky eggs are best used (and purchased) during double XP events, since the increase is multiplicative leading to 4-times XP making the XP strategy even more efficient.
There are four different kinds of berries with different effects when fed to a Pokémon while catching it. One can only feed one berry at a time and it must be reapplied if the Pokémon breaks out. It is not possible to combine different berries – only one berry can be used per catching attempt. Berries can be received from Pokéstops (except for Golden Razz Berries, which are an exclusive reward for completing raids).
- Razz Berry: Increase of catch chance
- Golden Razz Berry: Great increase of catch chance
- Pinap Berry: Double candy for successful catch
- Nanab Berry: Reduction of movement and defense animations (example)
Berries can also be used at gyms to increase the defending Pokémon’s motivation (see 3 Gyms). Pinap Berries are very useful to acquire a lot of candy for certain Pokémon, while Golden Razz Berries are best used on strong and rare Pokémon. A surplus of standard Razz and Nanab Berries can be used for feeding at gyms.