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Though there are concerns about Nintendo's use of microtransactions in games — with Animal Crossing: New Horizons being thrown under the bus and compared to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Pokemon Unite's suspiciously 'pay-to-win' setup — Pokemon GO is relatively lenient on microtransactions. RELATED: Pokemon Go Needs To Stop Relying On Raids

Though it can make your life easier by providing access to extra items and more events per day, players of this mobile game don't need to pay money to experience and participate in 95% of the game. Plus, it's possible to earn the in-game currency without buying it outright. This guide is here to walk you through that process.


By Putting Pokemon In Gyms

Pokemon GO - Meowth in Pokecoin pile (left), Gym with Pokemon in it (right)

As of this writing, the only way to earn Coins for free is by leaving your Pokemon to defend your team's gyms. Start by tapping on a gym that's the same colour as your team. There's a button in the bottom right of the screen that looks like a Pokeball with a plus sign — clicking on that will bring up your Pokemon storage so that you can choose a Pokemon to leave in this gym.

Keep in mind...

  • There can't be two of the same Pokemon in a gym (i.e. if there's already a Milotic in the gym, you can't put in your Milotic)
  • You'll only be able to put Pokemon who are at full health into a Gym
  • Gyms hold a maximum of six Pokemon

Which Pokemon Do You Leave?

There are two factors you should consider when deciding which Pokemon to put in a gym:

  1. What is its defence stat? You'll want to choose a Pokemon with high defence since they'll last longer against attacks from other teams.
  2. What types are already present in the gym? If the Pokemon that are already in the gym are mostly water- and fire-types, add a grass-type!
  3. Will the gym be taken over quickly? If the answer is yes (for example, if it's in a high-traffic, downtown area) you may not want to bother putting a strong Pokemon in it, since you'll just need to use up more revives when it's kicked out.

How Many Coins Will You Earn?

The number of Coins you'll get depends on how long your Pokemon stays in the gym.

For every 10 minutes that your Pokemon is in the gym, you earn 1 Coin. You get the coins when the Pokemon is kicked out of the gym and returns to your storage, which happens whenever another player from another team has battled against and defeated your Pokemon. There's a limit, though — you can only earn 50 Coins per day. To earn the daily maximum, the Pokemon needs to be in the gym for 8 hours and 20 minutes.

With this in mind, you can strategize about which Pokemon you place where and when. If you put Pokemon in three different gyms and they're all kicked out the next day, you'll still only earn 50 coins. If they had been kicked out on three different days, you could have earned 150 Coins. You can feed any Pokemon in your team's gym your berries in order to heal them. Usually, you'd need to be near the gym, but when one of your Pokemon is in it you can do this any time. One way to earn more coins is to strategically heal one Pokemon so that it survives until the next day.

RELATED: Pokemon GO: How To Catch Smeargle

By Buying Them

Pokemon GO - in-game store (1)

The easier (and more expensive) way to get PokeCoins is by purchasing them with real money. Prices may vary...

  • depending on the region you live in
  • because they've been adjusted by the developer for affordability in your region
  • because they've been adjusted for inflation

However, at the moment, the price of PokeCoins is:

Amount of PokeCoins Price (USD) Price (CAD)
100 0.99 0.99
550 4.99 6.99
1,200 9.99 13.99
2,500 19.99 27.99
5,200 39.99 54.99
14,500 99.99 139.99

Note: never buy PokeCoins anywhere other than inside the Pokemon GO app — these are often illegal scams and the developers are well within their rights to punish you for it by restricting or deleting your account, among other things.

RELATED: How To Take A Snapshot In Pokemon GO

Scrapped Methods

Pokemon GO - PokeCoin background

Fans of Pokemon GO often complain about the fact that Gyms are the only way to obtain PokeCoins.

In New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and Taiwan, Niantic tried out a system in which players could earn Coins by completing tasks akin to what you do for Field Research. However, it was paired with a nerf to the Gym method of earning coins. They could only earn 30 coins per day by putting Pokemon in Gyms. This also garnered anger and frustration from their fans. It was eventually scrapped altogether and never rolled out anywhere else.

Whether Pokemon GO will try to respond to fans' complaints another way is unclear but there are no hints of it at the time of this writing.

NEXT: Pokemon GO: A Complete Guide to Buddy Pokemon and Hearts

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