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 - as well as for trading Pokémon in Pokémon Go, now that it's been introduced in Summer of 2018. 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.
Star Pieces explained
Star Pieces are to Stardust what Lucky Eggs are to XP - giving you at 50% boost in Stardust from all sources within the next 30 minutes.
Like Lucky Eggs, it's wise to wait until the right time before using them. Waiting until you're about to hatch Eggs, get a 7 Day Daily Bonus, and go on a catching spree is ideal, as well as waiting for a double Stardust event to really maximise your returns.
You can also use them at the same time as Lucky Eggs if you fancy.
Unlike Lucky Eggs, it does appear they are exclusive to the in-game shop and bundle, and are not received as part of levelling up. Furthermore, it's also likely they will only appear temporarily around seasonal events, as with Super Incubators.
Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League - which is currently highlighting the Master League - and soon, Clone Pokémon. We've also recently had the Buddy Adventure feature, which introduces a variety of perks - including finding Souvenirs - as well as a new trade evolution feature. 2019 saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, along with new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus evenings, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day, plus a new Giovanni counters quest - the latest being The Shadowy Threat Grows. There is also an upcoming paid in-game event, A Drive for Discovery.
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!
You can also earn a small amount of Stardust from feeding creatures as part of the summer 2017 Gym rework. For every Berry you give to a defending Pokémon, you'll receive 20 Stardust in return, alongside a small amount of Gym Badge XP and a small chance of Candy.
Elsewhere, 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.
Finally, you can get more Stardust from catching creatures of a certain type boosted by the current weather effect boost, adding an additional 25 Stardust on the 100 you'd usually receive.
Additional reporting by Matthew Reynolds.