Pokemon GO’s Evolution Items Seem Incredibly Rare 

Pokemon GO’s Evolution Items Seem Incredibly Rare 

One of the biggest draws of gen two in Pokemon GO are the fancy evolutions that require special items, such as the Metal Coat or Dragon Scale. Some players vying for these items are having a hard time actually finding them, though.

As far as anyone can tell, evolution item drops are random. There are many reports of people obtaining evo items during a seven day Pokestop streak, but it isn’t guaranteed. Some players report getting evo items outside of streaks, some say they haven’t gotten anything at all in spite of playing every day since the update launched. Personally, I haven’t found anything yet, and I’m not alone.

Pokemon GO Hub (via Trainer Tips) decided to compile some data relating to Pokestop drops, and the numbers are kinda eyebrow-raising. Out of a recorded 23,700 item drops, they found that evolution items appeared less than a per cent of the time, combined:

Now, obviously, the sample data is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of players out there using Pokemon GO, but anecdotally, this seems to track. And really, it makes sense for evolution items to be rare, because it creates a roadblock for players to just obtain everything in the update from the get-go; you’ll have to keep spinnin’ those stops. Even so, the rarity of evolution items are a thin, unsatisfying way to give an already scarce game more longevity. Pokeballs, meanwhile, are plentiful and abundant. You can read the stats for all the item drops in this data here.

When reached out for comment regarding evolution items, Niantic declined to share anything. For now it seems safe to say that if you want to catch ’em all, you’ll need some patience!


  • So far I’ve gotten a Dragon Scale and my girlfriend has 2 Metal Coats.
    Been playing for close to an hour each day since release, although I haven’t had any 7 day streaks during that time.

  • I’ve receive 2 different ones since the update. Drop rate seems ok, you aren’t going to use them that often so while it might be annoying now the actual required drop rate is quite low.
    Take a sun stone to evolve a gloom. Working of the basis of catching just oddish you need 125 candy. With 4 candy per catch that is 32 oddish you need to catch. Even with a single pokeball per catch you need to consider the spawn rate as well. An oddish will only spawn 1% of the time so that is 99 other mons you will catch for each oddish. So we are at 320 pokeballs you need for each sunstone. Add in a more realistic 2 balls on average per catch and your up to 640 balls needed per sunstone. So you are looking at needing over 200 pokestop visits before you have the need for another sunstone.
    That is without factoring in candy to power up your evolved mons.

    • Each of those pokemon spawns and pokestop spins are calculated independently. On average they might match up, but you could easily be better or a lot worse. And just because you got better than average luck on the pokemon spawns doesn’t mean you’ll get equivalent luck in finding evolution items.

      So overall, there will be a lot of people who need to hang on to pokemon or evolution items waiting until they can actually use them. And that increases the market for pokemon and item storage upgrade purchases …

      • My point was more that everybody wants the new shiny now but the drop rate has probably been calculated based on the longer term. People will need to hold onto one or the other but the issue is if the drop rate on average balances up with the need for the items.
        Individually it won’t always be good, but all they can do work on the basis the overall the drop rate balances out.

  • Got two sunstones in my first play session of gen 2. Mate got 2 evo items in 15min last night. Not too rare.

    • Until your sample size approaches that of the article, I think I’ll trust their numbers. While it is possible that they were just incredibly unlucky with their 23,701 dropped items, it is more likely that you and your friend just happened to be more lucky.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers for a decent explanation of why.

      • Oh yeah, I don’t doubt it, just sharing our personal experiences. Third dude we play with has gotten at least one of each by then, multiple of many. I think he needed 2 more to do all the evolutions but he plays a lot. We got lucky for sure.

  • Kind of by chance found a sunstone at a stop near Museum station. My gps kicked in and I was able to quickly twirl the thingy. BAM! Sunstone

  • Seems I was lucky to find that Dragon Scale then…. looks like I will never find any of the other items though :p

  • I play daily.

    In the 20 or so spins at gen 2 launch I got a Dragon Scale, then nothing until 5 days after (last wednesday) when another Dragon Scale dropped on my 7 day streak spin.

    Since then, nothing. Despite well over 2,000 spins over the past week. This morning I spun my first stop quiet hopefully as it is now wednesday again and my 7 day streak hits.
    Alas, nothing.

    Comparable is a mate of mine who scored a Metal Coat on his first spin on gen 2, then another on his first 7 day streak. He then landed an Upgrade and Sun Stone during the week with just over 1,000 spins. He also got nothing on his second 7 day streak.

    My guess:
    -Each player gets an almost guaranteed evo item on their first 7 day streak on gen 2.
    -RNG, RNG, RNG. There is no ‘method’ or ‘way’ of increasing the chances. Even location based landmarks, such as sporting venues, hospitals and public hot spots make no change to the odds.

    Just got to be lucky. Mine is just around the corner… right?

    • I’ve been playing straight since gen 2. After 2 seven day streaks I’ve not got any evo items. So with stats in mind it is a 50/50 chance of guarantee on your first guess…. until more people comment.

  • Got a Metal Coat on my first 7 day streak after the update and nothing since.

    Play daily, about an hour per day but I live near a ton of pokestops.

    My guess would be their calculation is correct and they are extremely rare.

  • Got a metal coat 30 minutes before my 7 day streak and one more exactly at 12am. Both different stops.Not sure if its the numbers or i was lucky. But im sure a happy man atm.

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