Pokemon Go Special Items Guide - How to use them and which Pokemon to evolve


Pokemon Go special items arrived back in 2017 along with the second generation of Pokemon. Now we have Hoenn Pokemon from generation 3 as well as Johto and Kanto but as it stands, only generation 2 Pokemon can be evolved with special items. And they can only be used on certain Pokemon, and definitely no Pokemon Go Legendaries. You’ll find these in your item bag below all your Poke Balls and Berries. 

How to get special items in Pokemon Go

You’re probably already doing it but make sure you are playing Pokemon Go every day. Get a seven day Pokestop streak and you are almost guaranteed a special item for evolution will drop alongside your usual Poke Balls, potions and revives. There’s no predicting which one you’ll get though so expect plenty of the wrong items before you get the one you want. Just like everything in Pokemon Go, it’s all about time, and it’s important to note that you can’t buy special items in the shop. It’s all about that spin. 

What do special items do in Pokemon Go? 

Pokemon Go - Politoed

If you’ve spun a Pokestop for the seventh day in a row and found a brand new maguffin you’ve never seen before, you can say hello to your first Pokemon Go special item. These were were introduced with the Gen 2 update and mean a whole stack of new ‘mon via evolution if you hoard your candy just right. The current special items are as follows:

  • Dragon Scale
  • King’s Rock
  • Metal Coat
  • Sun Stone
  • Up-Grade

Each one can be used to evolve one of your existing Pokemon into a new Gen 2 evolution. Below are each of the ways you can use special items.  

How to use the Dragon Scale in Pokemon Go 

Pokemon Go Special Items - Dragon Scale

The good news is that you can only use your Dragon Scale on one specific Pokemon but you’re going to want to take a trip to the seaside or your nearest river. Combo up the Dragon Scale with 100 Horsea candies to evolve Seadra into Kingdra.  

- Seadra evolves into Kingdra with Dragon Scale and 100 Horsea candy

How to use the King’s Rock in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Special Items - King's Rock

Now here’s where the choices come in. King’s Rock can be used in two different ways, which means you might already have the candies you need for at least one Pokemon evolution. 

Kings’ Rock can not only evolve Poliwhirl into the froglike Politoed, it also turns Slowpoke into Slow King. As ever you’re going to need serious candies for both Pokemon.

- Poliwhirl evolves into Politoed with King’s Rock and 100 Poliwag candy

- Slowpoke evolves into Slow King with King’s Rock and 50 Slowpoke candy

How to use the Sun Stone in Pokemon Go  

Pokemon Go Special Items - Sun Stone

What’s with all these choices? Is Niantic trying to make this as hard as possible? You decide. Not only will Sun Stone let you evolve Gloom into Bellossom, but also the adorable Sunkern into the equally delightful Sunflora. The latter here is the easiest of the two if you’re blessed with a local garden or even golf course. 

- Gloom evolves into Bellossom with Sun Stone and 100 Oddish candy 

- Sunkern evolves into Sunflora with Sun Stone and 50 Sunkern candy

How to use the Up-Grade in Pokemon Go  

Pokemon Go Special Items - Up-Grade

Finally, another one shot special item. Pokemon Go’s Up-Grade is only used to evolve the oddly cute Porygon into Porygon2, provided you’ve got enough candy. 

- Porygon evolves into Porygon2 with Up-Grade and 50 Porygon candy 

As ever, whenever you’re evolving, try and wait until you’ve got a good few evolutions available and the crack a Lucky Egg to double your XP. Double this up with a good old Pidgey evolution grind for maximum XP boost.