Pokémon Go Stardust Complete Guide | How to Find it, Use It, Trading Costs, and More

Stardust is one of the most important resources in Pokémon Go. Stardust is used, along with Candy, to increase the levels and CP values of your Pokémon. You can Power Up a Pokémon to gain half of a level and an increase to your Pokémon’s CP. The amount of CP a Pokémon will gain by powering up is directly proportional to that Pokémon’s maximum possible CP, which is based on that Pokémon’s Individual Values (IVs).

It’s worth noting that the amount of CP your Pokémon gains will become significantly lower as that individual Pokémon reaches higher levels. Once your Pokémon reaches level 30, its CP gains per level will be halved. A Pokémon’s CP will generally reach 90% of its total potential by level 30, so depending on it’s IVs, it may not be necessary to pay the extremely high Stardust costs required for powering up at higher levels (30-40).

How much Stardust is required to level a Pokémon

Currently, the maximum level that a Pokémon can reach is 40. Raising a Pokémon’s level requires a significant investment of Stardust, making it an extremely valuable consumable. Your Pokémon will gain one half of a level with every Power Up.

The amount of Stardust required is variable based on the Pokémon’s current level. The amount of Stardust required to level a Pokémon is the same for all Pokémon, gradually increasing the more times you Power Up each individual Pokémon. It costs a total of 270,000 Stardust to level a Pokémon from 1 to 40.

Could you really deprive this cute little guy of delicious Stardust?

The amount required per Power Up increases every three levels. Keep in mind that each level requires two Power Ups, so the amount of Stardust required per level is double the value listed below. Here’s how much it’ll cost you to Power Up your Pokémon:

Levels 1-3: 200 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 3-4: 400 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 5-7: 600 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 7-9: 800 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 9-11: 1000 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 11-13: 1300 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 13-15: 1600 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 15-17: 1900 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 17-19: 2200 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 19-21: 2500 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 21-23: 3000 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 23-25: 3500 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 25-27: 4000 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 27-29: 4500 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 29-31: 5000 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 31-33: 6000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 33-35: 7000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 35-37: 8000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 37-39: 9000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)

Levels 39-40: 10000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)

You may wish to hold off on spending Stardust until you’ve caught a wild Pokémon with a high CP value. There’s not much point in wasting the Stardust on a Pokémon you plan to replace.

How to obtain Stardust

There are multiple ways to obtain Stardust in Pokémon Go. Generally, your primary source of Stardust will be catching and hatching Pokémon. Here are all of the methods for obtaining Stardust in Pokémon Go:

Catching Pokémon in the wild (100/300/500 Stardust)

The amount of Stardust you’ll receive will depend on the current evolution of that Pokémon. Not every Pokémon has three evolutions (only 53 Pokémon total out of the available), so you won’t be able to score 500 Stardust from most catches. However, this is typically the best method of obtaining Stardust since you can boost wild Pokémon spawn rate using Incense and Lures.

Earn bonus Stardust by catching weather influenced spawns (25/75/125 Stardust)

You can earn additional Stardust for catching weather influenced wild Pokémon. You’ll earn 25% more Stardust for capturing these Pokémon, so higher evolved Pokémon will reward more Stardust.

There are seven different weather conditions in Pokémon Go, affecting both the spawn rates of specific types of Pokémon as well as the IVs of those Pokémon. You will be able to see if a Pokémon’s spawn is weather affected on your map, as the Pokémon will be surrounded by a special blue swirl effect. These Pokémon will have significantly better stats than non-weather spawns and will award bonus Stardust on capture. Here’s a list of the possible weather conditions along with the Pokémon types affected:

Sunny / Clear: Fire, Grass, Ground

Rainy: Bug, Electric, Water

Party Cloudy: Normal, Rock

Cloudy: Fairy, Fighting, Poison

Windy: Dragon, Flying, Psychic

Snow: Ice, Steel

Fog: Dark, Ghost

Hatching Pokémon from Eggs (potential 400-3200 Stardust, based on km of Egg)

You can also obtain Stardust by hatching Eggs, essentially allowing you to passively earn Stardust just by walking. You will be limited, however, by both the number of available Egg slots (nine) as well as your supply of Incubators. If you’re using only the free Incubator, it’s best to focus on hatching 10 km eggs, for the highest overall potential Stardust gain.

Participating in Raids (500 Stardust)

You’ll gain a reward of 500 Stardust for participating in a Raid, even if you don’t manage to successfully defeat the Raid Pokémon. The reward is the same regardless of the Raid tier level. This is obviously a far less reliable method of obtaining Stardust, since Raid Passes are required for participation in a Raid, and they’re time-limited and may not be easily accessible in your area.

Feeding Berries to Pokémon in a Gym (20 Stardust)

This method is limited by both time and your available quantity of Berries. You can feed 10 unique Pokémon up to 10 Berries each in a 30 minute window. Once it’s been 30 minutes since your first feeding, you’ll be able to feed another 10 Pokémon. While this certainly isn’t the most lucrative method of obtaining Stardust, it also has a (ridiculously low) chance of awarding Candy. If you’re already at a Gym and have extra Berries you aren’t using, you might as well feed some Pokémon. It doesn’t matter what Berry you feed, so you’ll generally want to feed Nanab Berries as they have the lowest overall functional value.

Bonus daily Stardust rewards

Even if you’re not very actively playing, you’ll want to at least take a few minutes each day to obtain the daily bonus rewards. You can gain additional Stardust once each day for completing each of the following tasks:

Daily Bonus catch: 600 per day, awarded once per day when you catch your first Pokémon of the day.

7-Day Streak catch: 3000 Stardust, awarded after successfully catching a Pokémon after six consecutive days of catching at least one Pokémon.

Catching just one Pokémon each day for seven days straight will award you with a total of 6600 Stardust!

Participating in events

Pokémon Go regularly features special themed events, such as the recent Water Festival, which usually offer Trainers the opportunity to receive additional Stardust. If you’re really focused on grinding Stardust, it’s important to keep an eye open for these events so you can take advantage of doubled or even tripled Stardust rates! Additionally, there may be special missions during an event that can reward Stardust.

How to use Stardust

As mentioned before, Stardust is used to level up your Pokémon, increasing their CP. To actually use Stardust in Pokémon Go, simply tap the Main Menu then select “Pokémon.” Choose the Pokémon you wish to level and touch the Power Up button on the Pokémon’s summary screen.

If you've got the PokéCoins, Star Pieces can currently be obtained in purchasable Boxes.

It’s important to note that Candy is also required to Power Up a Pokémon, as well as to evolve a Pokémon. Candy is utilized for each specific Pokémon’s evolutionary line and can be obtained through catching, hatching, or trading a Pokémon from that family. For example, evolving a Pikachu into Raichu costs Pikachu Candy. Power Ups will cost 1-304 of a specific species’ Candy, with the cost increasing every Power Up.

Obtaining and using Star Pieces

You can boost your Stardust gains by using the consumable item Star Piece. Star Pieces increase the amount of Stardust earned by 50% for the next 30 minutes. Star Pieces can be obtained only by purchasing limited edition Great Box and Ultra Box in the Shop using PokéCoins. PokéCoins can be earned by earning a Defender bonus in a Gym or purchased directly from the shop for real money.

Due to their rarity, it’s important to optimize usage of your Star Pieces. You’ll have the potential to earn the most Stardust on your seventh consecutive day of playing (because of the 7-Day Streak bonus) as well as when you’re ready to hatch eggs. Therefore, it can be quite lucrative (although difficult) to line up these events to occur within a single 30 minute window so you can activate a Star Piece and gain significantly boosted Stardust.

Stardust costs for trading Pokémon

In addition to its use in powering up Pokémon, Stardust is also required for trading Pokémon with other Trainers. We cover Pokémon trading in full detail in our complete guide to trading in Pokémon Go.

The amount of Stardust required for trading a Pokémon with another Trainer will decrease as you become better friends with that Trainer. You can learn more about raising your Friendship Level with trainers in our complete Friendship guide. With those discounts in mind, here are the Stardust cost for all kinds of Pokémon trades:

Unowned Pokémon

Shiny / Legendary:

  • Good Friend: 1000000
  • Great Friend: 800000
  • Ultra Friend: 80000
  • Best Friend: 40000

Regional / Regular:

  • Friend: 20000
  • Good Friend: 20000
  • Great Friend: 16000
  • Ultra Friend: 1600
  • Best Friend: 800

Owned Pokémon

Shiny / Legendary:

  • Good Friend: 20000
  • Great Friend: 16000
  • Ultra Friend: 1600
  • Best Friend: 800

Regional / Regular:

  • Friend: 100
  • Good Friend: 100
  • Great Friend: 80
  • Ultra Friend: 8
  • Best Friend: 4
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