Pokémon Go promo codes allow users to receive bonus items through special promotions.
The ability to redeem codes can be done through both Android and iOS, though the methods between the two differ.
Despite launching in 2017, there have only been a handful of promotions to date. In 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic, Niantic has begun to roll out promo codes themselves to help isolated players get items - and in 2021, saw collaborations with brands to redeem avatar items using codes.
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How to redeem Promo Codes on iOS and Android in Pokémon Go
The process of redeeming Promo Codes differs from platform-to-platform.
To redeem promo codes on Android in Pokémon Go, the process is straightforward; tap the Pokeball menu on the main map screen, then the Shop, and scroll right to the bottom to see an entry field where you can enter the code.
Alternatively, Android players can use the same method as iOS users, described below.
For owners of iPhones, you cannot enter codes via the app, with Apple known to restrict the entry of codes inside apps on its store.
To redeem promo codes on iOS in Pokémon Go, you have to go through an official Niantic rewards website.
Log in with the same account as you would playing Pokemon Go in the app, then enter the code in the field.
It should be noted Pokémon Trainer Club accounts won't work through this website - instead, you have to link that account with another type (such as Google or Facebook) to log in.
Once you have redeemed the code, you should then receive a notification the next time you log into the game.
For long time players of Niantic's games, this process is nothing new, as Ingress had the same web-based interface for codes on iOS.
And, if for whatever reason you cannot access the web interface, if you are an iOS user you can log into the game using your account on an Android device and redeem the code that way. Probably the most long-winded route but options are options!
Where you can you find Pokémon Go Promo Codes?
Most promo codes are given directly to players in emails to encourage them to return to the game, but from time-to-time, Niantic will release Pokémon Go Promo Codes for anyone in the community to redeem on their account.
These are sometimes associated with events and marketing tie-ins. One example in late 2021 was a themed hoodie as part of the Ed Sheeran collaboration. Such codes are also usually time-limited, meaning you must redeem them by a certain date - such as before the event ending.
Otherwise, the best place to find these are on Niantic's support Twitter page. These are supplied infrequently and can expire within less then 24 hours, so be sure to redeem them as soon as you are able.
As always - promo codes can be used once per account, and will run for a limited time only.
As for those targeted promotions or giveaway codes, we discuss the history of these in the following section...
Currently available is the Astral Eclipse event, which brings the A Cosmic Companion special research quest of the Season of Light to a close. You can also finally evolve Cosmoem into Solgaleo or Lunala! Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres.
What is the history of Promo Codes in Pokémon Go?
In 2017, Niantic originally acknowledged the feature on its official support site with the following:
"Pokémon GO occasionally offers promotional codes through our partnerships and special events. Promo codes can be used to redeem items such as Poké Balls, Lure Modules, Lucky Eggs, and more."
What does that mean in practice? Over time we've seen the source of several codes, including:
- Niantic emailing inactive players welcoming them back with Incubators and Lucky Eggs
- Sprint giving away common items (Incense, Poké Balls, and so on) through a online promotion in 2017
So far the use of codes has been few and far between. Where could the game go next?
For one, Niantic could continue to team together with a number of partners across the world (as they have with Sprint) - such as Starbucks in United States, 7-Eleven in Korea and Unibail-Rodamco malls across Europe.
While these collaborations have mostly involved sponsored PokeStops and Gyms (and in the case of Starbucks, a special drink) it's easy to conceive situations where free promo codes being handed out for using their services.
We can also get some clues from Niantic's other augmented reality game, Ingress, who give out codes direct to players on a regular basis through social media and events.
Code provided range from being single use, to being redeemable across multiple accounts - leading to lists being shared on Reddit and pastebin so anyone can use them (though are sometimes later locked after a certain number of uses).
Codes are known to handed out from Niantic itself inside encrypted puzzles as well as during official fan gatherings.
As for what the codes will unlock, as quoted above, it appears items available free from PokéStops (specifically Poké Balls) as well as paid-for consumables (Lure Modules and Lucky Eggs) will be made available.
There is also hopes from the community promo codes could be used to obtain more substantial unlocks - such as rare or even Pokémon, but there's nothing yet to support such speculation.