There are a lot of different resources – from Pokéballs to Potions and Revives – that Pokémon trainers need in order to progress through the notoriously popular augmented reality game that most of the world now knows about – Pokémon GO. However, Stardust is one of the two most important resources in the entire game, the other being candies, as they are used to level a Pokémon up, increasing its CP (Combat Power) and HP, which are the two most important stats for any Pokémon in the game.
When they start playing the game for the first time, almost all players are completely oblivious as to what Stardust is, what it is used for and how they can obtain it as it is a resource that wasn’t part of the Pokémon world until Pokémon GO. In order to become a Pokémon master, though, every Pokémon trainer needs to know everything there is to know about Stardust.
What is Stardust used for?
Stardust, in collaboration with candies, is used to level Pokémon up. Leveling Pokémon up is important because doing so increases their CP and HP, ultimately increasing their strength and usefulness to their trainer. In order to level a specific Pokémon up, you are going to need a specific amount of Stardust (the least possible amount being 200, with the amount increasing as the level of the Pokémon in question increases) and one candy belonging to the same Pokémon family as the Pokémon you are trying to level up. In order to level up a Pokémon, tap on the Pokéball at the bottom of your screen, tap on Pokémon, tap on the Pokémon you want to level up, tap on Power Up (provided that you have the required Stardust and one candy of the Pokémon’s family) and then tap on Yes to confirm.
How can you get more Stardust?
Unlike other resources in the game such as Pokéballs, Stardust cannot be bought at the Shop and, instead, has to be earned. The following are the three different ways you can earn Stardust in Pokémon GO:
The simplest and most frequent way in which you can earn Stardust in Pokémon GO is by catching Pokémon. Every Pokémon you catch, no matter how rare or common the Pokémon is or whether or not you have already caught it before, will award you with 3 candies of its Pokémon family and 100 Stardust. The more Pokémon you catch, the more Stardust you earn.
Pokémon GO players also earn Stardust when they hatch eggs. Whenever you hatch an egg, you are rewarded with not only a Pokémon but also with XP, candies belonging to the Pokémon’s family and a pretty decent amount of Stardust. The exact amount of candies and Stardust you get when you hatch an egg depends on the kind of egg you hatched – the more you had to walk to hatch the egg, the more Stardust and candies you get!
If you have even one of your Pokémon defending a gym that belongs to your team, you are going to be eligible for an extremely valuable Defender Bonus in the game every 21 hours. This Defender Bonus will reward you with both a generous amount of Stardust and a few PokéCoins (the currency of Pokémon GO). For each Pokémon of yours that you have stationed at a friendly gym, you will receive 10 PokéCoins and 500 Stardust.
To claim your Defender Bonus, tap on the Pokéball at the bottom of your screen, tap on Shop and tap on the Shield icon in the top-right corner (as depicted in the images below). You can get another Defender Bonus every 21 hours. The small number inside the Shield icon indicates how many of your Pokémon are currently stationed at and defending friendly gyms. Once you have collected a Defender Bonus, a countdown will begin right under the Shield icon representing the amount of time left until your next Defender Bonus becomes available.
The best way to use your Stardust
Stardust can’t be bought at the Shop and needs to be earned, which is all the more reason for you to use your hard-earned Stardust wisely. For starters, don’t just go leveling up every Pokémon you have. It is also extremely important that, until you reach at least level 8, you save up all of the Stardust you earn without spending any of it as doing so will allow you to catch Pokémon with higher CPs and then spend your Stardust on leveling them up to make them even stronger. Leveling up Pokémon you find when you are at the lower levels of the game is pretty redundant as you will be able to catch Pokémon that have much higher CPs from the very start in the wild once you reach level 7.