PokéStop Basics

Items: To obtain items from a PokéStop or Gym, check out Niantic's starter guide! PokéStops and Gyms restock every 5 minutes.

XP: Spinning a charged PokéStop also gets you 50 XP in most cases (XP from spinning Gyms is a little more complex and is covered in our article on Gym Overview and Strategy). Since the Gym rework of 2017, Pokestops a trainer has not spun before have a white ring around the Photodisc. This ring is a handy way for trainers to see places they haven't been yet, and, more importantly, a source of decent XP. Each never-before-visited Pokestop grants 250XP for its first spin (instead of the 50XP normally gained for spinning a PokéStop), and the white ring then disappears.

Drop Rates

Base on drop rates data collected by trainers noted below, Gamepress estimates the current Pokestop drop rate at:

Balls65%16 : 4 : 1
Pokeballs / Great / Ultra
Potions22%10 : 4 : 2 : 1
Potion / Super / Hyper / Max
Revives5.5%10 : 1
Max Revive / Revive

Drop Rate Research:

TrainerGame VersionSamples


PokéStops and Gyms are mostly based on locations used in Niantic's previous location-based game, Ingress. These locations are reported by players to be of artistic or cultural value—basically just something of an interesting nature. Submissions for these kinds of locations in Ingress was closed roughly 8 months before the release of Pokémon GO in preparation for launching the game, but was re-opened later. New PokeStops and Gyms are periodically added to Pokemon GO based on these changes in Ingress. (PokéStops and Gyms also sometimes are removed from Pokemon GO.)

Some PokéStops and Gyms, though, are "sponsored" locations that are not found in Ingress and are unique to Pokemon GO; these sponsored PokéStops and Gyms are based on partnership agreements made with various companies (e.g., Starbucks, Sprint, and Boost Mobile locations in the U.S.A., McDonald's, Aeon, and Softbank in Japan; Unibail-Rodamco in Europe; etc.). Depending on the nature of the agreement and to avoid marketing to minors, though, trainers under the age of 13 may not be able to see sponsored locations as PokéStops or Gyms in their apps.

Discarding Items

You can throw away items by clicking the trash can symbol to the right of the item name. Tap and hold the "+" button to rapidly increase the quantity to discard.

Depending on your playstyle and level, you'll have different surpluses and deficiencies of items. In general:

  • Discard weaker Potions - Unless you're constantly fighting against gyms or raiding, you're not going to need that many basic Potions, especially once you gain access to potions that heal a Pokemon completely in one use
  • Discard Evolution items - Although some found them very rare initially, with the guaranteed item on a 7th-day spin, many trainers might discard items. (If you find that Evolution Item RNG is not in your favor, you could consider keeping an Up-grade—since Porygon-Z is due in Generation 4, and you might find a better Porygon to evolve. Further in the distance, the Sun Stone might be needed again to evolve 3 Pokemon in Generations 5 and 6.)
  • Discard Poké Balls* - Only if you really must (or once you gain access to better balls). Pokémon become much harder to catch as you rise in trainer level due to higher average wild Pokémon level encounters, taking roughly up to several Poké Balls to capture. Also, if you ever go to a high Pokémon density region, you can easily use over 250 Poké Balls in the span of a few hours. The most important caveat is if you use a Pokemon GO Plus device, which can only use Poké Balls (the device cannot use Great Balls or Ultra Balls, so many Plus users may prefer to dispose of Great Balls and even Ultra Balls).
  • Discard Revives - A Pokémon knocked out of a Gym or defeated in a raid battle stays at 0 HP until it is revived. Discarding Revives depends on how many Revives you go through daily. (In very desperate situations, if a fainted Pokemon is not already at level 40, you can power it up once or twice, which "gives" the Pokemon one HP, thus "saving" you from using a Revive—but costing you candy and Stardust).

Things to take the time to use, not discard:

  • Incense - If you buy Special Boxes, you may find you have a lot of Incense, but it's worth your while to use them (or at least have a plan to use them before buying a box). Check out our article on Incense.
  • Berries - Don't forget that the basic Berries (Razz, Nanab, and Pinap) are not just used on the capture screens, they're also potential sources of both stardust, candy, and gym badge XP. Feed Pokemon from your team in gyms regularly, so you won't be tempted to dump them in a pinch.

Tips and Tricks

  • While items from Photodisc spins appear in bubbles that can be "popped"/tapped individually, it's also possible to just hit the "X" at the bottom of the screen to collect all the items at once.
  • Trainers who are at or near item cap who spin a Gym or Pokestop will still get all the items and exceed the limit, but trainers who are already above the limit, will not be able to spin a PokéStop or Gym for any items or XP.
  • Even if the PokéStop or Gym fails to load or says "please try again later", you usually still collect the items - check your journal to confirm. The exception is if you receive the "please try again later" message when you are moving too fast. In that case, you will be able to spin the PokéStop or Gym when you slow down.
  • Going critical.  If you spin 10 unique PokéStops or Gyms in a row with no more than 10 minutes between stops, the tenth PokéStop or Gym will go critical. It'll be guaranteed to drop at least 6 items and give 100 XP.
  • Daily bonus. Your first PokéStop or Gym spin of the day will give you an extra 500 XP and at least 6 items.
  • Streak bonus. Spinning at least one PokéStop or Gym every day for seven days in a row, gives 2,500 XP on the 7th day and an even larger amount of items. While Evolution Items are rare drops for any PokéStop or Gym spin, at least one Evolution Item is guaranteed on the 7th-day-streak spin.
  • Stacking bonuses. Gyms that a trainer has higher gym badges at are prime targets for first-daily spins, especially on a 7th-day streak spin, since they already grant bonus items (for more information on Gym badges, Gym XP, and bonus items, see our Gym Overview and Strategy Guide).
  • Leveling help.  Because every new PokéStop grants 250XP on the first spin, one strategy is to find but leave a PokéStop-dense region alone until a double-XP event is announced. During the event, use Lucky Eggs while you spin the new stops and evolve (better yet, use a Pokemon GO Plus to spin while you walk and evolve). The stacked event and lucky-egg bonuses give 1000XP per new PokéStop spin.