Pokemon Go Evolution Items explained - How to use special items and which Pokemon to evolve

There's a whole bunch of Pokemon Go evolution items in the game, some of which are brand new to the Pokeverse. They're not self explanatory though and nowhere does it explain which Pokemon can actually be used with each of the Pokemon Go evolution items, so we're here to help. There's the Metal Coat, Sun Stone, King's Rock, Up-Grade, Dragon Scale, Sinnoh Stone, Magnetic Lure, Mossy Lure, and Glacial Lure in Pokemon Go, so if you're curious about any of them, just read on for everything you need to know.

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How to get evolution items in Pokemon Go

Now, I don’t want to sound like a nagging Poke-parent - ironic given how lax parents are in the main games - but it’s time to up your game and start playing Pokemon Go every day. Yep, on your feet soldier. If you aren’t already, this small step will guarantee you a Pokemon Go evolution item every seven days from your seven day Pokestop streak and increase your odds of finding a Sinnoh Stone.

Regular special items such as Up-Grades and King’s Rocks sometimes even drop from regular Poke Stops but making sure to spin a Poke Stop every day and working towards your streak will ensure you get at least one every week. Bear in mind though that it’s impossible to predict what you’ll get so you might have to see a few Metal Coats before you find the Sun Stone you want. 

The Sinnoh Stone, introduced with Gen 4, is a significantly trickier find but not impossible. There are two main ways to find a Sinnoh Stone. The first is to complete your seven day research breakthrough tasks. This essentially means earning one stamp each day until you earn a legendary Pokemon encounter. If you’re lucky, at the same time, you’ll earn a Sinnoh Stone but they are not guaranteed. The second way to find one is to take part in trainer battles via PvP. Sinnoh Stones have been known to drop for both winners and losers. Good luck! 

What do evolution items do in Pokemon Go? 

Pokemon Go - Politoed

If you’ve spun a Pokestop for the seventh day in a row or finished your weekly research breakthrough task and found a brand new shiny thing you’ve never seen before, you can say hello to your first Pokemon Go evolution item. You might even have a few you don’t know you have, so pop into your items list and have a quick scroll. 

Evolution items were introduced with the Gen 2 update all the way back in 2017 and mean a whole stack of new ‘mon via evolution if you hoard your candy just right. So far, we’ve only got one fourth generation item, the Sinnoh Stone, but you’re going to need it for a stack of 4th generation Pokemon evolutions. More on that below but the current evolution items are as follows:

  • Dragon Scale
  • King’s Rock
  • Metal Coat
  • Sun Stone
  • Up-Grade
  • Sinnoh Stone
  • Magnetic Lure
  • Mossy Lure
  • Glacial Lure

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

How to use the Dragon Scale in Pokemon Go 

Pokemon Go Evolution 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 Evolution 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 Metal Coat in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Evolution Items - Metal Coat

The Metal Coat can be used on two different Pokemon too, and as you'd expect, they both turn into Steel types. If you evolve Scyther, you can obtain the snappy Scizor, while Onix the rock snake will turn into Steelix.

- Scyther evolves into Scizor with a Metal Coat and 50 Scyther candy

- Onix evolves into Steelix with a Metal Coat and 50 Onix candy

How to use the Sun Stone in Pokemon Go  

Pokemon Go Evolution 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 Evolution Items - Up-Grade

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 

How to use the Sinnoh Stone in Pokemon Go

Sinnoh Stones are much more convoluted than the other special items, so we've got a dedicated Pokemon Go Sinnoh Stones guide that goes into detail on the ways to obtain Sinnoh Stones, and all of the Sinnoh Stone evolutions.

How to use the Magnetic Lure in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Magnetic Lure

The Magnetic Lure is one of three new types of lure in the game (check out our guide on how to get Leafeon & Glaceon in Pokemon Go for the other two) and it works much like a normal lure, with some slight modifications. For 30 minutes, extra Pokemon will be attracted to the lure, but while a normal lure can attract any type of Pokemon, a Magnetic Lure will only attract electric, steel, and rock type pocket monsters.

It's also an evolution item! If you're within the vicinity of a Poke Stop with a Magnetic Lure applied, you can evolve Magneton and Nosepass into Magnezone and Probopass respectively - provided you have enough candy, of course. If you don't want to fork out 200 coins for one yourself, you could also wait until the next Pokemon Go Community Day and find someone else who's used one!

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.