Pokémon Go Coins is the game's premium currency to buy new items and upgrades in the game.
Though you can earn many consumable items through regular play, some things - such as clothing items for your Trainer, to permanent storage upgrades - are only possible through acquiring Pokémon Go Coins.
There are two ways to get PokéCoins. One is through paying real-world money (the means of which the game is monitised) and the other is by interacting with Gyms.
In May 2020, there was an change to how PokéCoins would be earned - giving them out for completing activities as well as defending Gyms daily.
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How will you earn PokéCoins with the new Pokémon Go Coins update?
In May 2020, Niantic announced earning PokéCoins will be adjusted away from defending Gyms and towards other activities.
The following PokéCoins changes are currently being tested in Australia as part of an initial phase, before final adjustments and a worldwide rollout.
- The cap of the free number of PokéCoins you can earn is being increased from 50 per day to 55 per day.
- PokéCoins earned from defending Gyms will decrease from six PokéCoins per hour to two per hour.
- You will earn an additional five PokéCoins per day by completing a number of featured activities, which can include:
- Make an Excellent Throw
- Evolve a Pokémon
- Make a Great Throw
- Use a Berry to help catch a Pokémon
- Take a snapshot of your buddy
- Catch a Pokémon
- Power up a Pokémon
- Make a Nice Throw
- Transfer a Pokémon
- Win a raid
To clarify, can still earn PokéCoins by defending Gyms as before, but the rate you do so will be slower. From there, you can add to your daily PokéCoins total by completing highlighted activities, giving you a total of additional five PokéCoins when completing the set.
Though it diversifies the source of PokéCoins - useful for those who aren't near Gyms - it means getting to the cap and earning enough to purchase items in the Shop looks to become more difficult.
For example, if you can't access a Gym, it'll take 20 days to earn enough PokéCoins to get a Premium Raid Pass or Remote Raid Pass (which costs 100 PokéCoins) through completing activities alone.
These changes will only come into effect once the Australia testing ends, and could see a number of tweaks once it concludes. Until then, the usual method of defending Gyms still applies...
How to get free PokéCoins from defending Gyms in Pokémon Go
To get PokéCoins without paying real-world money, you must interact with Gyms, which are available from Trainer level 5.
These are towering, spinning monuments (not to be confused with regular PokéStops) that can be taken over by one of the game's three Teams and be defended by placing Pokémon inside.
From 2017, this is how defending Gyms works:
- You earn six PokéCoins per hour defending a Gym (a rate of 1 PokéCoin per 10 minutes).
- There is a cap of 50 Coins per day regardless of how Gyms you are defending.
- Your earnings will be delivered to you automatically when your Pokémon has been removed from the Gym. If your Pokémon remains in the Gym at the end of the day, you won't earn any PokéCoins.
This is different to how Gyms worked in the game's first year, where placing a Pokémon in a Gym would get you a flat rate of 10 Coins per creature (with a 21 hour cooldown period whenever you cash out) so in theory, you can now easily earn 50 PokéCoins in the same period.
In short, the longer your Pokémon is in a Gym, the more PokéCoins you will earn. However, you can only earn a maximum of 50 PokéCoins per day, even if all Pokémon are removed from all the Gyms you are defending at once.
Additionally, if your Pokémon has been in a Gym for several days, they will only provide 50 coins in total when they come back to you. This also means that, if other Pokémon come back to you on that same day, you won't receive any more Coins - as you've already hit the cap for that day.
As such, it is probably better to have your Pokémon return from Gyms on a regular, staggered basis, rather than over long periods and all at once to maximise your gains.
It's also worth noting you can only have one of your Pokémon in one Gym at a time. Though can still have Pokémon in multiple Gyms, there is a cap of 20 Gyms you can place creatures inside.
Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League, Remote Raids and the trade evolution feature. There are also planned changes to PokéCoins on the way. Meanwhile, coming soon is the Sinnoh Throwback quest. Last year saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, and with it new regional exclusive Pokémon and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day.
What can you use PokéCoins for?
When you have started earning PokéCoins - or bought them from the shop - you can use them to purchase items. Highlights include:
- Premium Raid Pass or Remote Raid Pass (100 PokéCoins for 1)
- Max Revives (level 30 required, 180 PokéCoins for 6)
- Max Potions (level 25 required, 200 PokéCoins for 10)
- Poké Balls (100 PokéCoins for 20, 460 PokéCoins for 100, 200 PokéCoins for 800)
- Lure Modules (100 PokéCoins for 1, 8 PokéCoins for 680)
- Egg Incubator (150 PokéCoins for 1)
- Lucky Egg (80 PokéCoins for 1, 500 PokéCoins for 8, 1250 PokéCoins for 25)
- Incense (80 PokéCoins for 1, 500 PokéCoins for 8, 1250 PokéCoins for 25)
- Bag Upgrade (200 PokéCoins for 50 PokéCoins extra item slots)
- Pokémon Storage Upgrade (200 PokéCoins for 50 extra Pokémon slots)
Before you splash the cash, it's worth noting:
- Some of the above (PokéBalls, Revives, Potions) can be received from PokéStops
- Revives, Potions, Poké Balls, Lure Modules, Lucky Eggs, Incense and Egg Incubators are given out as level rewards
- Bag Upgrade and Pokémon Storage Upgrades are exclusive to the shop
- Sales for select items do take place, usually doing seasonal events such as Solstice and rock event, so if you can be patient before you buy a set of
- Lucky Eggs or Egg Incubators, then do so!