Since gifts were added to Pokémon GO in June 2018, the Silph Research Group has opened over 150,000 gifts in a controlled study attempting to learn more about this feature. During that time, a few key observations have come to light. Let’s dive in!
- Gift bundle drop rates
- Proposed bundle probability “weights”
- Egg drop rates
- Friendship level and drop rates
- Drop rates over time
Gift Drop Rates
After September 25, 2018, gift boxes have always awarded three bundles when opened. One of these bundles may be an egg if a player has both an open egg slot and an open Pokémon storage slot. Since the addition of Stardust on July 25, 2018, and aside from one event discussed later in the article, the average item drop rates have remained consistent.
Additionally, after observing patterns in our dataset, the Research Group has assigned suspected weights to most items*. These weights represent one simplified way the observed probabilities could have been generated.
Without further ado, here are the current drop rates:
|Observed drop rate||Suspected weight||Suspected drop rate|
* Evolution items are excluded from weight calculations due to their very low drop rate.
When an egg slot and Pokémon slot were both open, almost exactly 2/3 of gifts rewarded a 7-km egg (66.72 ± 0.88 %). Interestingly, in contrast to spinning a PokéStop or Gym disc, eggs replaced an item bundle that would have been received.
Observant readers might notice that not all evolution items appear on the table. Indeed, only two of the five Johto evolution items, King’s Rock and Metal Coat, are obtainable from gifts.
Our data suggests that the ratio between the two evolution items is 1:1; both items are equally likely to drop from a gift.
Effect of friendship level
The Research Group also explored the impact of Friendship Level on drop rates. No friendship levels were significantly different from each other (p>0.05 for all results). We can therefore conclude that friendship has no significant effects on gift contents.
The study leaves out data from the first friendship tier, Friend. Data on the first friendship level was too scarce, since any friendship interaction immediately increases friendship to Good Friends. Given that gift contents did not significantly differ between other friendship levels, we can safely infer that gifts at this lowest friendship level are unlikely to differ from any other.
Evolution of gifts
Gifts have changed a few times since their release. The current mechanics have been in place since July 25, 2018.
- June 20: When gifts were introduced, Stardust was not included, and bundle sizes were different.
- 5 for all balls,
- 10 for Pinap Berries,
- 1 for evolution items,
- 2 for all other items.
- June 25: item bundles were adjusted to current bundle sizes.
- July 25: Stardust was added.
- August 18: Stardust bundles were visually grouped together to show total Stardust in the gift opening animation and in the journal, rather than showing separate bundles.
- September 25: Missing bundles were fixed (read on for more).
The case of the missing bundles: pre-September 2018
Along with the above changes, many players noticed a period during which it was possible to receive only two bundles from gifts when no egg slots were free. This period ended on September 25, 2018, after which all gifts consistently dropped three bundles. Silph Researchers hypothesized that item bundles were determined before checking if an egg and Pokémon slot were open. Eggs would then be discarded if all slots were full, creating two-bundle gifts. The available data strongly supports this hypothesis.
During this period, almost all data shows that two bundles were only received when egg or Pokémon slots were full, and all egg drops were in three-bundle sets. There were a few reports of Researchers getting two bundles with open egg and Pokémon slots, but when revisiting these reports, Researchers were no longer confident they were correct. These few reports leave some doubt as to whether variable bundle counts were an intentional feature, even though these reports may be incorrect. However, it is likely the two-bundle gifts were a bug.1
Global Challenge Boosts
The current item drop rates from gifts were set on July 25 with the addition of Stardust. They have remained the same except for a single case: Professor Willow’s Global Challenge Event from September 13 to September 30, 2018.
Stardust rewards from gifts became much more likely, increasing from their roughly 35% drop rate to over 45%. Other items changed as well: Pinap Berry drops increased slightly to almost 12%; Ultra Balls went down to 7.5%; Hyper Potions, Max Potions, Revives, and Max Revives all dropped to 2%.
Take a look at the bundle drop rates, where you can clearly see the Global Challenge Event.2
This change in gift item drop rates is significant as it reminds us that gift content drop rates may be subject to change in the future.
Notably, the Research Group did not manage to collect sufficient data to determine whether egg drop rates were boosted during the event.
It is possible that in the future, Niantic will add other items to gifts such as more evolution items, as new Pokémon generations and mechanics are added to the game. Might we finally see Sun Stones, Up-Grades, Dragon Scales, or Sinnoh Stones emerge from behind that gift wrap?
We will continue to monitor gift boxes and their contents to see what their future holds, and we hope that you’ll follow along with us. Keep your eyes peeled for a new permanent resource for keeping track of item drop rates! Stay safe out there, travelers, and happy gifting!
1 This is not the first time egg rewards have been missing in the game. For a few weeks around the beginning of 2019, Adventure Sync rewards suffered from missing egg drops and were later fixed.
2 Our study recorded data before and after the periods visible on the graph; those dates were omitted to make the graph more legible.