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How to Make Money in the Pokémon Games

Updated on April 18, 2016
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has been playing Pokemon since 1999. She favorites include SoulSilver, X, and AlphaSapphire. She enjoys breeding Pokemon.

What is the Pokémon Dollar?

In the Pokémon games, items are purchased with Pokémon Dollars. This currency is based on Japanese yen; the Pokémon Dollar was created for the English versions of the Pokémon games, whereas the Japanese versions simply use yen. Pokémon Dollars have been referred to by fans as “Poke Dollars”, “Credits”, “PokeMoney”, “PokeYen”, and “Pyen”. Pokémon Dollars are used from anything like buying Pokeballs and potions to entering the Safari Zone.

Many actions throughout the Pokémon games earn the player Pokémon Dollars. Players can sell their items at the Poke Mart, earn money from NPCs and from passerby Pokémon trainers. Defeating gym leaders earns more Pokémon Dollars, while defeating the infamous Elite Four earns even more. Some versions of the Pokémon games have game-specific methods of earning Pokémon Dollars.

What are Amulet Coins?

Amulet Coins are items that double the prize money received from a Trainer battle. To work, the Pokémon holding the Amulet Coin must participate in the battle. Having multiple Amulet Coins will not increase the amount of Pokémon Dollars earned from a Pokémon Trainer. Amulet Coins were first introduced in Generation II and can be found in most Pokémon versions. Lucky Incense - introduced in Generation III games - works the same as an Amulet Coin. Amulet Coins cannot be bought, but they can be sold for 50 Pokemon Dollars.

Amulet Coins must be given to a battling Pokémon to hold to have effect.
Amulet Coins must be given to a battling Pokémon to hold to have effect. | Source

Locations of Amulet Coins by Game

Pokemon Version
Game Location
Gold, Silver, Crystal
Goldenrod Underground
FireRed, LeafGreen
Route 16
Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Amity Square
HeartGold, SoulSilver
Goldenrod City
Black, White
Castelia City
Black 2, White 2
Castelia City
X, Y
Parfum Palace

In the Pokémon game versions featuring the Johto region, the Amulet Coin is found in the basement of the Goldenrod Department Store. In Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen, the Amulet coin is found on Route 16, given by Professor Oak’s aide. In the Hoenn region games, the player’s mother receives the Amulet Coin after after defeating the player’s father. In the Sinnoh region games, the player can find Amulet Coins in Amity Square; they will be picked up by the player’s Pokémon if they take them for a stroll.

Using Pay Day while battling another Trainer can earn you even more money!
Using Pay Day while battling another Trainer can earn you even more money! | Source

The most effective way to use an Amulet Coin is to give it to Meowth (or Persian) and have it use the move Pay Day in battle. With this move, the Pokémon hurls coins at the target Pokémon to inflict damage; using the move, however, also increases the amount of money earned after the battle. With an accuracy of 100%, the move is guaranteed to hit the target Pokémon. Meowth and its evolution, Persian, are the only Pokémon capable of learning Pay Day. If you have Meowth or Persian in your party, give it a try!

What is the Elite Four?

The Elite Four are the four toughest Pokémon Trainers in the region’s Pokémon League. These four Pokémon Trainers are just below the Pokémon League Champion. For each Pokémon region, there is a Pokémon League and for each League, an Elite Four. Challengers of the Elite Four must have obtained all eight Gym Badges from the corresponding region and defeat all four of the Pokémon Trainers consecutively without losing. Losing to a member of the Elite Four starts the player at the beginning of the Elite Four, no matter how far they have progressed.

Facing the Elite Four is recommended to earn money and get experience.
Facing the Elite Four is recommended to earn money and get experience. | Source

In all Pokémon game versions except for Generation V (Pokémon Black, Pokemon White, Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2), the Elite Four need to be faced in order. The levels of the Pokemon used by the Elite Four generally start around level 48 and get as high as level 50. If you are planning to battle the Elite Four, try to have Pokemon in your party of at least level 45, and level 55 or level 60 if you want to ensure victory. Bringing high-end potions with you to the Elite Four is strongly advised.

Remember to stock up on potions and antidotes before battling the Elite Four!
Remember to stock up on potions and antidotes before battling the Elite Four! | Source

Elite Four Pokemon Trainers by Region

Pokemon Region
Pokemon Trainers
Pokemon Types
Kanto / Johto (I & III)
Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, Lance
Ice, Fighting, Ghost, Dragon
Kanto / Johto (II & IV)
Will, Koga, Bruno, Karen
Psychic, Poison, Fighting, Dark
Sidney, Phoebe, Glacia, Drake
Dark, Ghost, Ice, Dragon
Aaron, Bertha, Flint, Lucian
Bug, Ground, Fire, Psychic
Shauntal, Marshal, Grimsley, Caitlin
Ghost, Fighting, Dark, Psychic
Malva, Wikstrom, Drasna, Siebold
Fire, Steel, Dragon, Water

Battling the Elite Four is a common way for players of all Pokemon games to earn more Pokemon Dollars as well as level their Pokemon. You will, however, need to constantly resupply on helpful potions and battle items each time. If you’re in a pinch for money and have six Pokemon of at least level 45, take advantage of the Elite Four:

  • Battle the Elite Four repeatedly

  • Have a Pokemon hold an Amulet Coin

  • Have a Meowth or Persian use Pay Day

Once you’ve beaten the Elite Four for the first time, you have the option to re-battle the Pokemon Trainers for extra money and Pokemon experience. This is one of the best ways to train your Pokemon, as well as earn more Pokemon Dollars. While you have to wait around for other Pokemon Trainers to call you for battles (or schedule battles with Gym Leaders), the Elite Four is available to battle every day and time of the week.

How Else Can I Make Money?

There are many ways to make money in the Pokemon games, though using an Amulet Coin against other Trainers and challenging the Elite Four offers the best output. In different game versions, there are more specific ways to get more Pokemon Dollars; in general, players of the Pokemon games can earn more money by:

  • Battling other Pokemon Trainers

  • Scheduling battles with Gym Leaders

  • Selling items for Pokemon Dollars

After you run into certain Trainers throughout the game, they might ask to swap phone numbers with you. If you turn them down, you’ll regret it later! As you are playing your Pokemon game, these Pokemon Trainers may decide to call you back at random; sometimes it’s just to talk, and sometimes it’s to challenge you to another battle. If the Trainer wants to battle, they’ll remind you where they are located, making it easy to head over and win!

Sometimes Pokemon Trainers call you to battle, so answer your phone!
Sometimes Pokemon Trainers call you to battle, so answer your phone! | Source

Once you’ve defeated the Gym Leaders, it is possible to schedule battles with them, too! Unfortunately, this option is only available in Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver at this time. If you play one of these game versions, it is possible to get the Gym Leader’s phone number and challenge them to a rematch. The time windows to catch a Gym Leader leaving their gym are fairly specific, however, as well as what days the Gym Leader is available to battle. Take advantage of this opportunity if you can!

In Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can challenge Gym Leaders to a rematch!
In Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can challenge Gym Leaders to a rematch! | Source

Finally, you can make some extra Pokemon Dollars by selling unwanted items to the Poke Mart. Items that serve no purpose other than to be sold for a high price are called valuable items. These items are often found throughout a player’s journey through the Pokemon region. Some examples of valuable items include:

  • Nugget

  • Pearl

  • Big Pearl

  • Star Piece

  • Star Dust

Depending on the Pokemon game version, some valuable items can be found while others don’t exist. The Nugget, for example, was introduced in Generation I and can be found in all Pokemon games. The Big Nugget, however, was introduced in Generation V Pokemon games and does not exist in earlier versions. Find out what valuable items exist in your Pokemon game and start searching - selling items is a good way to make money in a pinch!

Selling valuable items is a great way to make some spare Pokemon Dollars.
Selling valuable items is a great way to make some spare Pokemon Dollars. | Source

How much time do you spend earning Pokemon Dollars?

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Remember that certain Pokemon games have special methods of earning even more Pokemon Dollars. For example, players of Pokemon Black and Pokemon White can sell feathers found by Driftveil Drawbridge for up to 1500 Pokemon Dollars apiece. Players of Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver can buy valuable items in the Goldenrod Tunnel on Monday mornings for 10% less than the sell price. Try researching specific methods to making extra money in your Pokemon game. Before you know it, you’ll be virtually rich!

© 2013 Jessica Marello


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    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 years ago from Louisiana

      Nice hub, Jessica! For me, I loved battling so much that money was rarely an issue; Game Corner coins are another story. And do you remember the laughably exorbitant price of bikes in Kanto? As a kid, I thought I was actually going to have to pay 1,000,000 Pokemon dollars for one.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 2 years ago from United States

      @Jeremy: Thank you! And I remember those bike prices. It did make you feel special though, when you were just given one for free!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 24 months ago

      I definitely recommend the PayDay move! It may be hard to ensure that you have a Meowth with you, but it can sure come in handy when you need money in the game!

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 24 months ago from United States

      @mikeydcarroll67 That is definitely a move I don't use often enough. I remember using it all the time in the Gameboy Color Games, though!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 24 months ago

      Those were the best! I loved it! Kids these days don't understand what a joy that was growing up on the originals!

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