over the past few weeks, we’ve been collecting data (time and date) on Evolution Item drops, in search for an answer to a simple question: are evolution item drops influenced by time of day?

The theory we tested was that a correlation exists between the current time of day (local) and Evolution item drops”Our research showed no confirmation of that, quite the contrary – evolution item drops are perfectly random and well distributed.


You can view the collected data (1300-ish entries) here, but do note that the data was not collected in a controlled fashion. Again, even when we manually tried to clean up the data, it still showed the same random results as previously.

More information

There was a number of other interesting questions that were asked (will same PokéStop drop always on the same time, is the Trainer ID included in any calculation, etc…), but this research does not answer them.

We are inclined to believe that none of those questions will ever have affirmative answers, as seemingly, the evolution items drops are completely random.

Sure, one can say that our research methods were messy, not scientific enough or even argue that we’re completely wrong.

There is a number of trainers who did report drops happening at the same time, but the quantity of contradicting reports made it quite obvious that these are just coincidences, and not proof of anything concrete.

Moreover, a redditor gave an excellent summary (Could time be related to X?) of how and why it is unlikely that Niantic bases drops (or anything) on time of day:

1) If goal is to have uniform distribution and equal chance, then simple random function will be superior in results and less bug prone.

2) If goal is to have uneven, but fair distribution that for example allows players with low spawns/pokestop density, then they have demonstrated to do it otherwise (with daily/weekly bonuses for example).

3) If players figure it out, then it will be used and abused feature. That is very risky because it would reward people in-the-know a lot, while being COMPLETELY invisible to others (Unlike nests for example which are un-named, but highly visible mechanic). So why do it this way to begin with?

4) It would suck for people who are off-schedulle for these timers or mechanisms.

5) Timezones exist. Does each timezone get its own timer? Or do people in off-timezone suffer? Again, source of developper headache and player frustration.

6) There are arguments which support it with alternating source – for example, random seed being same, so results being same. That one argument has some merit, but will not help in anyway to predict results. It would also be notably difficult to pull off because any lag would wreck ability to send requests to server to achieve random generator initialization in exact same MILLISECOND.

7) There are deterministic features that look random in main series games (like shinyness). TRANSFERRING them to pogo makes some sense, but that does not mean that

In other words, the null hypothesis did not stand – there is no correlation between time of day and evolution item drops.

  • Joseph Coleman

    The only thing I could think of with time being related to the drops is that when you hit your 7 day streak or 1st day streak, maybe that’s the time you can unlock a special item. Did anyone test that?

    • Silly

      I know currently there is a reward if you get a 7 day streak you will get an evelution item. however this has nothing to do with the time of day that you full fill this requirment… however I dont believe there is any data supporting or opposing the type of item you get in the seven day streak.
      also this will take a long time and will be hard to prove as full filling this requirment will require at least multiple people and a month or so to prove.

  • PCK Music

    I live and work in a downtown area with many Pokéstops. I’m lucky to be between 2 or 3 stops at any given time of the day 🙂 That being said, I have quite a few evolution items: 16 of them.
    More interesting is the lack of variety: 6 Sun Stones, 4 King’s Rock, 6 Metal Coats. I tend to play in the same areas everyday (downtown core). So based on my experience, the type of evolution items are location-related. Even my first 7-Day Streak item was a Metal Coat. And I spun another Sun Stone yesterday (3 days after my 7-Day Streak, same downtown area).
    Can we get some data about WHERE these items are being spun? Especially since time-of-day has proven a wash…I can personally verify that that theory doesn’t work 🙁

    • Pascal F

      Same for me, I only get Metal Coat, Sun Stone and King’s Rock. I had a total of 20 of them before I got my first Up-Grade and I still don’t have Dragon Scale.

      • PCK Music

        Ok so I’m sure there’s a location correlation to the items…Can u recall if you got that Upgrade Item in your usual area? Downtown? Suburb?

        • Pascal F

          All of mine are from downtown area and Up-Grade came on my 7th day spin after this week’s update.

          • PCK Music

            Interesting. Maybe they rotate locations like the nest spawns do.