Stardust is an oft-neglected resource in Pokémon Go, what with all that delicious, definitely-not-made-from-Pokémon Candy to busy yourself with - we've lined up some tips for how to get Candy, if you're looking for more on that - but it actually plays an extremely central role, and the decisions you make on how you use it will likely be the difference between an average player and the very best.
That's because Stardust is used to evolve and Power Up your Pokémon - your central means of making them as strong as possible. It's a resource that becomes increasingly scarce as you reach the mid and late game, as it becomes more and more important to Power Up and evolve whenever possible. Likewise, it's integral to calculating your Pokémon's maximum CP, IVs, and overall potential strength which - if you really want to get the most out of Pokémon Go - is a crucial mechanic.
We have a whole separate guide on when to evolve and Power Up Pokémon, but if you're looking to earn Stardust fast, you're in the right place.
The best way to get more Stardust in Pokémon Go
There are several ways to get more Stardust in Pokémon Go, but the quickest and easiest way to do so is through catching Pokémon.
Starting with the February Gen 2 update, you get more Stardust (and Candy) the higher in the evolution chain the wild Pokémon is:
- First in evolution chain - 100 Stardust, 3 Candy
- Second in evolution chain - 300 Stardust, 5 Candy
- Third in evolution chain - 500 Stardust, 10 Candy
Whatever creature's you're catching, with the relative ease you can catch Pokémon in city centres and any populated area, getting out there and catching is by far your best option.
Aim for low-level areas to catch the weaker, more common Pokémon - they're the easiest to get a hold of, and the quickest, and so grinding through a field of Pidgeys, Zubats and Rattatas is your safest bet. You'll also want to think about ways to find Pokémon faster, such as dropping lures and incense, so that you can get the very most out of a quick grind session.
If you think about the numbers, it's possible to catch around one Pokémon a minute when really trying - at 100 Stardust per Pokémon, that's 3,000 Stardust in half an hour's catching, which isn't bad.
It's also worth remembering to combine any Stardust hunts with seasonal events that may increase drops and encounter rates, such as the Thanksgiving update that doubled all Stardust drops for a whole week.
Other ways to get more Stardust in Pokémon Go
The next best alternative for getting more Stardust is through hatching Pokémon Eggs. You'll get a range of Stardust rewards for Egg-hatching, depending on the type of Egg you crack open. 10km Eggs reward the most, dishing out around 2,000 Stardust when they hatch. You'll get less for the 2km and 5km Eggs, however. If you're looking for more tips on that, then check out our guide to hatching 2km, 5km and 10km Eggs and using incubators.
Hatching Eggs is without doubt the best way to get large chunks of Stardust in one go, but it's simply a case of time invested that makes it less of a priority when compared to catching Pokémon. Whilst 2000 Stardust is a lovely reward, it's unikely you'll be able to get out there and trek 10 kilometres in half an hour. Although if you can, then congrats - I envy your endurance!
Want more help with Pokémon Go's Gen 2 update? Our list of new Gen 2 Johto Pokémon can teach you where to find each one, what you need to know about new Pokémon Go Berries, Special Items to evolve Pokémon such as King's Rock, Sun Stone, Up-Grade, Dragon Scale and Metal Coat, and how to get Eevee evolutions Umbreon, Espeon, and updated Egg distances and best Pokémon charts, as well as other Pokémon Go tips, tricks, cheats and guides.
You can also earn a significant amount of Stardust from taking and defending Gyms in Pokémon Go. If your team owns a Gym - or you're lucky enough to find one unclaimed - then you can place your own Pokémon there to defend it.
Once every 21 hours, you'll be able to claim a Defender Bonus for having held the Gym. You only need to have a Pokémon in the Gym when the countdown timer - located in the top right by the little shield icon in the Shop page - isn't counting down the next 21 hours.
Each Gym you're defending earns you 500 Stardust, which is a very solid amount, but does of course require you to have taken and held a Gym. Easier said than done - especially if you're in Team Instinct - so you can check out our guide to Gyms, battles, and increasing prestige for more help there.
Finally, an update to the game introduced a Pokémon Go Daily Bonus, whereby you receive 600 Stardust for your first catch of the day, and much more if you catch creatures seven days in a row.