How to get coins in Pokémon Go

As part of a free-to-play title, the digital currency of PokéCoins makes the Pokémon Go world spin. They’re used to buy additional Pokéballs, draw Pokémon to your location, and even change your character’s appearance. From buying to grinding them for free, we’re going to show you how to get coins in Pokémon Go.

Buying PokéCoins

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play game and, as such, is commanded by the virtual currency of PokéCoins. Although you can grind coins for free — we’ll show you how in just a moment — you’ll need to fork out some cash if you want to purchase upgrades quickly. Thankfully, PokéCoins are fairly cheap.

  • 100 coins – $0.99
  • 550 coins – $4.99
  • 1,200 coins – $9.99
  • 2,500 coins – $19.99
  • 5,200 coins – $39.99
  • 14,500 coins – $99.99

The conversion is about a penny per coin, but you can save by purchasing them in bulk. For instance, the most expensive bundle includes $145 worth of coins for $99.99. Although it’s never fun dumping $100 into a mobile game, the larger bundles of coins are the best option if you want to get the best bang for your buck.

As for how far your real-world money will take you in-game, it depends on what you’re looking to buy. Pokéballs are around a nickel each, while Lures are a dollar. Like coins, you can save big by purchasing items in bulk, which we’ll detail in the last section of this guide.

Getting PokéCoins for free

Although various companies have done promotions featuring PokéCoins — Sprint gave away $100 worth of coins to customers a few years ago — the only way to receive PokéCoins for free is to place your Pokémon on gyms. If you’re uninitiated, gyms are controlled by one of the three teams you can align with in Pokémon Go. If your team controls a gym, you can place your Pokémon there. If not, you’ll need to battle for control.

Once your team controls a gym, you can place up to one Pokémon there, removing it from your roster. Each Pokémon you have placed on a gym nets 10 coins and 500 Stardust, the latter of which you can use to level up and evolve your Pokémon. You can place Pokémon on as many gyms as you want, but there’s a catch when it comes time to cash in.

You can only redeem up to 10 gyms for coins each day, leaving you with a maximum of 100 coins and 5,000 Stardust. Technically, you can redeem more in a span of 24 hours — the “cash in” option resets every 21 hours — but for all intents and purposes, it’s 100 coins a day.

That’s $1 of in-game value each day, but it comes with quite the slog. Like most free-to-play games, Pokémon Go’s system for achieving coins in-game is a bit of a catch 22. You’ll need to control a lot of gyms in order to earn coins each day, which also means you’ll need to stock up on items, which cost coins.

What you can buy with PokéCoins

Now that you have some PokéCoins lining your pockets, it’s time to spend them. Here’s what you can buy with PokéCoins.

Pokéballs

For the most part, you’ll be purchasing Pokéballs with your coins, and thankfully, they’re pretty cheap. You can use Pokéballs to catch wild Pokémon, though only the standard Pokéballs are available for purchase in the shop. If you want special Pokéballs, you can get them from PokéStops.

  • 20 Pokéballs – 100 coins
  • 100 Pokéballs – 460 coins
  • 200 Pokéballs – 800 coins

Incense

You can use Incense to attract Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes, though which Pokémon you attract is random, not dependent on the location you’re in. Unlike Lures, Incense doesn’t provide a boost to all players within a certain range of you. If you’re going to use it, it only works on you.

  • 1 Incense – 40 coins
  • 8 Incense – 250 coins

Lucky Egg

Lucky Eggs grant you double XP for 30 minutes, allowing you to capitalize on catching new Pokémon, hatching eggs, and participating in gym battles. Like Incense, this effect only applies to you and lasts a half hour, no matter if you’re actively playing the game or not.

  • 1 Lucky Egg – 80 coins
  • 8 Lucky Eggs – 500 coins

Lure

Lures are a big deal in Pokémon Go, attracting Pokémon to a PokéStop for 30 minutes. Unlike Incense, however, the effect applies to everyone in proximity of a PokéStop. That means if someone drops a Lure at a PokéStop every 30 minutes, it could mean hours of stationary Pokémon grinding.

In addition to standard Lures, there are some special Lures available for purchase. Unlike most other items in the game, however, you can get these special items in various ways. You can learn more about that in our guide on how to get special items in Pokémon Go.

  • 1 Lure – 100 coins
  • 8 Lures – 680 coins
  • Glacial Lure – 200 coins
  • Mossy Lure – 200 coins
  • Magnetic Lure – 200 coins

Other items in the Pokémon Go shop

In addition to Pokéballs, Incense, Lures, and Lucky Eggs, there are various other items, upgrades, and cosmetics you can purchase in Pokémon Go. The mainstays include the Egg Incubator for 150 coins, 10 Max Poitions for 200 coins, and six Max Revives for 180 coins. Additionally, you can purchase an item bag and extended Pokémon storage, each of which costs 200 coins.

You’ll get the best bang for your buck by purchasing boxes, however. These limited edition items bundle multiple items together with a steep discount. At the time of writing, for example, there’s the Adventure Box for 1,480 coins, which includes 10 Super Incubators, three Incense, three Star Pieces, and seven Egg Incubators. Neglecting the Star Pieces, this box would have a value of over 3,000 coins.

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