Pokemon Go! - What is Candy and Stardust
Candy and Stardust are two of the major resources that you harvest when you collect Pokemon. They are used to both upgrade and evolve your Pokemon.
What is Stardust - Stardust is a resource that is used on all Pokemon for upgrades called Power Up. There is only one kind of Stardust and it can be used on all Pokemon capable of an upgrade.
What is Candy - Candy is a Pokemon resource used for later upgrades and evolution. Candy is Pokemon specific. If you catch a Pidgey you get Pidgy candy, and Pidgey candy can only be used on Pidgey or one of its evolutionary offspring. You typically acquire around 3 candy per Pokemon catch. Usually lower level Power Ups of a Pokemon only require Stardust but as the Pokemon's level rises Candy is also required. Evolution also require a set amount of candy. The candy required to evolve a Pokemon vary by Pokemon. Magicarp takes whopping 400 candy to evolve to Gyrados, While it takes only 25 candy to evolve Rattata to Raticate.
One more way to get Candy is to transfer Pokemon. If you do need a Pokemon because you already have multiple more powerful versions of it, then you can transfer it. Transfering sends the Pokemon away to Professor Oak who rewards you with an extra candy.
Where to see them:
To see your amount of Stardust click on a Pokemon. It will show you how much Stardust and candy for a given Pokemon you have. It will also show you the costs to Power Up or Evolve that specific Pokemon.
Do not Power Up early on. There is this reality in the game that you catch more powerful Pokemon as your Trainer level increases. Sometimes this feels wrong because in the old game you built up your original Pokemon through battling. Pokemon Go rewards collecting at higher trainer levels more though and this changes strategies of how you use your resources.
The most important thing to increase early on is your Trainer Experience. You want to focus on upgrading this which can be boosted through evolving your Pokemon. Don't however spend too much time trying to boost your first Ratattas level after level. Save your stardust. I would only begin upgrading when you are serious about going to a gym battle. You should be past level 10 before you consider this.
Don't dismiss all of the Ratattas and Pigeys you get. What you will do with them is harvest them by evolving them. This will then give you high amounts of XP.
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