XL Candy is a resource which allows you to level your Pokémon even further than before in Pokémon Go.
Introduced alongside the level cap increase alongside the Go Beyond update and the Season of Celebration, it allows players to increase the CP of a Pokémon past the original Level 40 cap, all the way to Level 50.
Sourcing XL Candy is similar to regular Candy, but with a number of small differences - including the ability to convert regular Candy into XL Candy. Though, as we'll discuss, it's not the most efficient method.
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What is XL Candy in Pokémon Go and how does XL Candy work?
XL Candy is a new resource available for players who hit Level 40, allowing them to level their Pokémon to an even higher CP level.
As with Levels 1 to 40, this new CP level scales with the new Trainer level cap increase - going all the way to Level 50. It should be noted with XL Candy is that, as soon as you hit Level 40, you can level a Pokémon all the way to 50 if you like - provided you have the XL Candy available.
As with Candy and Mega Energy, each XL Candy is tied to that evolution chain of Pokémon. So if you want to level up a Charizard past its Level 40 CP cap, then you need to get your hands on Charmander XL Candy.
Due to it being an end-game resource, and the ability to make already powerful Pokémon even stronger, it's harder to get your hands on than existing Candy. That said, many of the methods are the same - it just involves a spot of luck.
How to get XL Candy in Pokémon Go
As of February 2021, there are several confirmed methods of sourcing XL Candy in Pokémon Go:
- Catching unevolved Pokémon gives you a chance of receiving between one and three XL Candy.
- Catching evolved, Legendary or Mythical Pokémon gives you guaranteed XL Candy for that Pokémon.
- Trading gives you a chance of either player receiving XL Candy, with chances increasing with an increased catch distance.
- Hatching Eggs gives a chance of receiving XL Candy.
- Transferring Pokémon to Professor Willow gives you a chance of receiving XL Candy.
- Walking with a Buddy Pokémon gives you a chance of receiving XL Candy.
- Converting regular Candy to XL Candy at a rate of 100 Candy per XL Candy.
Remember you can only start receiving XL Candy once you are Level 40. The exception to this is if one player in a trade is Level 40 and above, making both players eligible to receive XL Candy through that method alone. (However, as mentioned above, this is a random chance on both sides.)
Finally, there is Rare XL Candy, working the same as Rare Candy currently, allowing you to 'convert' this resource into XL Candy for your chosen Pokémon. At the launch of XL Candy, the only known method to get Rare XL Candy is by levelling up past 40 to the new level cap increase, where one or two will drop per level.
What is the fastest way to get XL Candy in Pokémon Go?
Taking all the above methods into consideration, the fastest way to get XL Candy in Pokémon Go is to catch Pokémon, especially if they are evolved, Legendary or Mythical, where XL Candy is guaranteed.
For unevolved Pokémon, there's still a decent chance; going by early user experiences in the Australian test ahead of a worldwide launch, this is around a 15% to 25% that each catch will give you one to three XL Candy for that Pokémon. Those odds, along with the fact catching is the fastest and easiest method on the above list, makes this by far the best way to get XL Candy.
With the introduction of guaranteed XL Candy for evolved, Legendary or Mythical, it's worth trying to make the use of Raid Hours and other events to help you power up creatures past level 41. Also, it makes opening the Meltan Mystery Box all the more attractive.
For unevolved creatures, there are also occasionally promotions which will give more Candy XL when catching than normal. For example during Season of Legends, certain encounters as part of Go Battle League rewards - including Poliwhirl, Flaaffy, Pupitar, Medicham, Scraggy, Galvantula, Lampent, and Stunfisk - will give more XL Candy.
Regardless, it seems that converting Candy into XL Candy is a very expensive way to level up a Pokémon past Level 40, requiring some 29,600 Candy in total in total. Instead, it's better to use that Candy to evolve another Pokémon to Level 40.
But if you're able to catch a lot of a select Pokémon you want to evolve with XL Candy - such as during Community Day, seasonal events, or in the case of Meltan, using a Mystery Box - then the XL Candy grind in some instances can be eased significantly.
The Season of Legends is here! Current activities include the Luminous Legends X event, which introduces Gloomy, Spritzee and Swirlix, Xerneas and the Rainly Lure. We've also recently seen a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals.
How much XL Candy do you need to fully level a Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
To level a Pokémon from Level 40 to Level 50, you need a total of 296 XL Candy and 250,000 Stardust.
At each level, the amount of XL Candy required to level a Pokémon after level 40 is as follows (thanks to lewymd on the Silph Road subreddit for the following):
- Level 41 (10 XL Candy required)
- Level 42 (10 XL Candy required)
- Level 43 (12 XL Candy required)
- Level 44 (12 XL Candy required)
- Level 45 (15 XL Candy required)
- Level 46 (15 XL Candy required)
- Level 47 (17 XL Candy required)
- Level 48 (17 XL Candy required)
- Level 49 (20 XL Candy required)
- Level 50 (20 XL Candy required)
The amount of XL Candy you need is the same for every Pokémon, with the exception of Shadow Pokémon (which is increased to 360 XL Candy) and Purified Pokémon (which is reduced to 272 XL Candy). Thanks to 2kilotango on Silph Road for confirming these.
As mentioned above, choosing to convert Candy into XL Candy is a very expensive prospect, costing 29,600 Candy in total. As such, it's best to earn as many XL Candy as possible through catching, or trading then transferring.