- Set goals. Have a number in mind for your event total, then break that down by days, hours, and/or catches. One million stardust is around 2,100 catches. Can you catch 300 Pokemon a day? How long will that take?
- Consider opportunity costs. A Rayquaza duo takes two minutes in the lobby, three to four minutes in the raid, and one to five minutes to catch, for a minimum of six minutes and a return of 4500 stardust. Could you catch ten Pokemon in that time? If so, you may want to skip the raid.
- Plan your playtime. Plan routes that minimize time with no Pokemon onscreen. If you’re using lures, time your loop to ensure you can catch all the spawns.
- Have fun! Bring a friend or pet along. Play some music. Grinding can be tedious, so don’t let optimization stop you from enjoying a week outside. You can always get more stardust.
- Visit high-density areas like local parks, college campuses, and (sadly) shopping area parking lots. Aim to always have something to catch.
- Skip starter nests for “urban trash” biomes. “Trash” Pokemon like Pidgey and Zigzagoon are desirable this week, as they have high catch rates and low flee rates, therefore requiring the minimum amount of time and Pokeballs to catch.
- Try to match the day’s weather with your local nesting Pokemon to earn an additional 25% dust. If the nesting Pokemon is easy to catch, of course.
- Use star pieces. There is no better time. All calculations in this article are based on the 50% boost from a star piece, which is actually a 150% boost on the base stardust amount. USE STAR PIECES.
- Fast catch. Given constant spawns, strong fast catch technique can rake in three times the number of Pokemon as waiting for the animations, at double the catch rate of a Go+ or Gotcha. A good primer is available here!
- Clear your research queue in dead spots. If there are no spawns immediately available, seize the moment by catching a stored research reward. Last month’s Loudred will net 1350 stardust apiece, while those Venusaur from a while back will earn 2250 each! If your stack is full, you can earn 45,000 to 225,000 stardust just from working it off.
- Consider guaranteeing a minimum spawn level with lures. Lures spawn a new Pokemon every three minutes for a duration of half an hour. Do you have three Pokestops nearby? That’s 60 spawns an hour for 27,000 dust. Is it five? Try 45,000 dust. Lucky enough to have ten? You can make 100,000 dust an hour with weather boost. Bonus tip: if you have a street with lured stops on both sides, try alternating the side of the street you catch on; i.e. catch everything on one side as you go south and the other side as you go north. By the time you get back to the top, your lures will have refreshed.
- Consider using Glacial, Magnetic, and Mossy lures if you’re low on time, short on stops, or long on cash. Special lures are more expensive on a coin per spawn basis (10 coins per spawn to 8.5 coins per spawn for a bundle of eight regular lures), but spawn 20 Pokemon per half-hour as opposed to 10.
- Don’t forget about incense and Mystery Boxes! Three Meltan boxes over the course of the event is an additional 60 spawns and 27,000 stardust. That’s a second move for both your Blaziken and your Swampert, and a good start on your Torterra.
- Hatch eggs under a Star Piece. Using a star piece on an egg is like hatching another egg and a half, without the disappointment of another non-shiny Buneary. USE STAR PIECES.
- Select eggs to incubate based on your incubator budget. Ten-kilometer eggs give the most stardust per incubator use (2400 on average, or 10,800 this week), but two-kilometer eggs give the most per kilometer (300 on average, or 1,350 this week). If you have nine two-kilometer eggs going at all times, walking 50 kilometers for the Adventure Sync bonus will yield 607,500 stardust through hatches alone!
- Avoid dead time by receiving gift eggs. If you’re far from a stop, take advantage of the overlapping gift event to immediately fill your incubator with guaranteed two-kilometer eggs, simultaneously collecting the gift stardust under the star piece you had running to hatch the previous flight of eggs.
- Keep a close eye on remaining egg distance. Distance updates happen intermittently, and Adventure Sync can result in eggs hatching immediately upon app opening. Try to have the app open prior to hatching to ensure you have a star piece on and can get your next batch incubating right away. Not sure if you still have time to use a star piece? Quickly check your journal. Note that two-kilometer eggs require more regular attention, but are less costly if you miss a star piece.
- Exhaust any saved incubators. Stardust value per incubator has never been higher. If you hold an incubator after this week, it will be like it took a 67% nerf.
- Keep a Star Piece on while raiding. If you forget, you can put one on in the lobby, or even back out and pop one mid-raid. USE. STAR. PIECES.
- Lower the opportunity cost of raiding. As mentioned above, a Rayquaza duo can take six minutes or more. Try one or more of the following to get back to throwing balls:
Raid in larger groups to decrease the fight time
Force quit the app after starting the lobby and catch Pokemon for 90 seconds before tapping the gym
Flee from low-IV raid bosses
Raid only if/when you have exhausted the spawns in your area
- Consider trashing potions and revives to make room for balls. If you’re not doing gyms, Rocket stops, or raids, free some bag space to ensure your supply can always meet the demand.
- Feed berries to gyms. You have a Star Piece on anyway, right?
- Open gifts during dead times, not at night. Gifts give an approximate average of 100 stardust each. With 30 gifts available during the friendship event, that amounts to 4500 a day, since you have a star piece on.
- Use Star Pieces. Seriously. Use ‘em.
Pokemon GO events don’t get any bigger than triple Stardust on the three main income streams. Now is the chance to amass resources to power up your Silph Cup team, your PokeDraft squad, or your next sweet shiny. Use your Star Pieces and incubators wisely, but use them. Be safe, and have fun!