Pokemon Go: how to get coins and earn free Pokecoins

Coins are the main currency in Pokemon Go, and they can be earned in game or bought with real money.

Whether or not it’s worth investing the real cash rather than just accruing it gradually comes down to how often you play, and what you’re likely to spend the coins on. Here, we’ll break down how to earn Coins, how to buy Coins, what items offer great value for money, and which ones are the more luxury purchases only to be bought when you have money to burn.

Earning Coins From Gyms

The easiest way to earn Coins is by defending Gyms. To do this, you just have to be near enough to a Gym with your team’s colours. First, click it, then click the plus icon, then choose a Pokemon to add. You won’t be able to add another Pokemon already in the Gym (so you can’t use Snorlax if someone else is), you can only use Pokemon at full health, and gyms are limited to six Pokemon. It’s best to use a Pokemon with a high defense stat like Blissey, Snorlax, or Slaking, and to try and vary the types compared to Pokemon already in the Gym.

However, if it’s in a busy area which tends to get taken over a lot, it’s often best to just put a weak, newly caught Pokemon in there, since then you won’t need to waste Revives and Potions healing it afterwards.

Speaking of Gyms getting taken over, if a Gym is not your team’s colours, instead of a plus icon there will be a battle icon. You’ll have to fight the Pokemon in the Gym to gradually wear their health down until it’s clear, allowing you to turn it your team’s colours by adding a Pokemon.

You earn 1 coin for every 10 minutes a Pokemon defends a Gym, and you can have as many Pokemon in as many different Gyms as you like. However, your daily rewards are capped at 50 coins per day, meaning whether your Pokemon defends a gym for 8 hours and 20 minutes (the minimum time needed to get 50 coins) or for 6 days, the rewards are the same.

If you play with a friend on a different team, you can ask them to take your Pokemon out of the Gym once those 8 hours 20 minutes have passed, ensuring you’re always in control of your income and not waiting for days for someone to finally defeat your Metagross. If you can get 50 a day every day, that’s a pretty healthy 350 a week. Remember, however, that players under Level 5 cannot use Gyms.

Other Ways To Earn Coins

In May, Niantic tried a new Coin system in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Germany. This system included fixed daily rewards for Coins for completing tasks like ‘Make An Excellent Throw’.

However, this system also drastically reduced the effectiveness of gyms, making it take longer to earn Coins and capping the Gym limit to 30 Coins, with the daily tasks making up the other 20. As a result, this new system was unpopular, and was eventually scrapped.

Niantic may look at other ways to earn Coins in the future, but for now, it’s just Gyms. Unless, that is… you want to reach into your wallet.

Buying Coins

The other way to get Coins is to buy them. There are some fairly cheap options, which are a good idea if you’re just a few Coins away from an item you’ve got your eyes on. There are also some much pricier options which will ensure your Coin supply never runs dry.

  • 100 Coins – £0.79
  • 550 Coins – £4.99
  • 1,200 Coins – £9.99
  • 2,500 Coins – £19.99
  • 5,200 Coins – £38.99
  • 14,500 Coins – £99.99

While more Coins are obviously more expensive, they do offer the best value for money. To get 14,500 Coins by repeatedly buying the 100 coin option would not only take you a long time, it would also cost £114.55. If you use Coins regularly, then the best long term option is the priciest one, although only the most hardcore players are likely to use that many Coins.

What Should I Spend My Coins On?

There’s a huge range of useful items in Pokemon Go’s in-game Shop, but your mileage may vary on which ones you want to buy. Typically, the most purchased items are Raid Passes and Remote Raid Passes, which cost 100 Coins each. You can buy bundles of three Remote Raid Passes for 250 Coins, but there’s no regular Raid Pass bundles.

However, you can get one free Raid Pass per day by spinning a Gym. If you just Raid casually, you’ll probably be okay with the free Passes, especially as a few Special Research quests give them out as rewards. If you frequently do Raid events, chase down the 5-star and Mega Raids, and get through lots of Raids a week in search of shinies, Rare Candies, and max stat Legendaries, you’ll end up buying a lot of Raid Passes, which might require you to buy some Coins.

After Raid Passes, Egg Incubators are the most popular. You get one permanent Egg Incubator in the game, but can buy extras which last for three Eggs. The regular Egg Incubators are 150 Coins, while Super Incubators, which reduce the hatch distance by a third, are 200 Coins. Incubators allow you to hatch more Eggs more often, which means more Pokemon, more XP, and more Stardust. These are most effective during limited time events, when rare Pokemon are added to the Egg pool for a brief window. You can find more on that, including a list of all hatches, in our Pokemon Go Egg chart.

For 200 Coins, you can boost your Item Storage and Pokemon Storage by 50 slots each time. As you level up and accrue more Pokemon and a bigger cache of items, you’ll want to expand these as you go.

If you’re looking to gain XP or Stardust, there are Lucky Eggs and Star Pieces which give you a timed boost for those respectively. Lucky Eggs are 80 Coins, Star Pieces 100, but both can be bought in packs of 8 for 500 Coins and 640 Coins too.

The most expensive item in the Shop is the Team Medallion, which sets you back 1000 Coins. It allows you to change your team, so is useful to hardcore players from a tactical Raiding perspective, but is expensive and fairly useless for anyone playing solo. You can also buy a Rocket Radar, which summons a Team Rocket boss, for 200 Coins, or a Poffin to feed your buddy for 100 Coins.

That’s it for the really useful items, though you can also buy Max Potions, Max Revives, or Pokeballs, but these can also be obtained by spinning stops, so only buy them when you really need them. You can also buy Lures or Incense to help catch Pokemon, but these are too expensive for lower level players and not that useful for high level players, so don’t tend to be that popular.

The store also includes a range of different boxes, which change periodically and include different bundles of items. These can be quite useful, but can only be bought with real money, not Coins. Sometimes, these boxes will be free, so you’ll want to take advantage.

Luxury Items

If you have Coins to burn, you might want to personalise your avatar a little. Every so often, there’ll be an event which gives out free clothing options – the Detective Pikachu movie, for example – and other items can be earned by completing challenges in the game itself. For a good chunk of the clothing options though, you’ll need to buy them from the shop.

These run as a cheap as 50 Coins for some Meltan earrings to as pricey as 400 Coins for a Gengar onesie. Your avatar will wear these clothes in the player menu, while walking on the map, and in the Raid waiting lobby, so you’ll get a lot of use out of them. Niantic will occasionally run seasonal discounts on certain items too, so keep your eyes peeled for a bargain. These usually correspond to in-game events like Halloween or Christmas.

You can also buy Poses, which change how your avatar stands in the player menu and in the Raid waiting lobby. These are the most expensive luxury items, setting you back 500 Coins.

Now you know everything there is to know about Coins in Pokemon Go. Whether you’re looking to gradually earn those 50 Coins a day or splash out on 14,500 at once, you’re ready to get that Coin.