Pokémon Go players are always looking for ways to hatch eggs faster and easier without spending money on incubators from the in-game shop. Incubators allow you to hatch multiple eggs simultaneously, saving a lot of time and effort. While they can be purchased using PokéCoins, there are also several methods to get free incubators in Pokémon Go.
Overview of Incubators in Pokémon Go
In Pokémon Go, eggs contain Pokémon that will hatch once you‘ve walked a certain distance. There are several types of eggs:
2km eggs – Require 2 km of walking to hatch common Pokémon like Pidgey, Rattata, and Zubat. These are the most common eggs.
5km eggs – Require 5 km of walking and hatch uncommon Pokémon like Geodude, Poliwag, and Machop.
7km eggs – Require 7 km of walking and contain Alolan forms of Gen 1 Pokémon or baby Pokémon like Pichu and Magby. You can only obtain these by opening gifts.
10km eggs – Require 10 km of walking and contain rare Pokémon like Dratini, Mareep, and Larvitar. These are highly coveted.
12km eggs – Require 12 km of walking and contain very rare Pokémon from Team Rocket like Larvitar, Scraggy, and Vullaby. You can only get these by defeating Team Rocket Leaders.
To hatch eggs, you need to place them in an incubator. There are two types of incubators:
Infinite Incubator: This is given to all players at the start and can be used unlimited times. You can only have one egg incubating here at a time.
Regular Incubators: These have 3 uses and allow you to incubate multiple eggs simultaneously. They are blue in color.
Now let‘s look at the various ways to get free incubators in Pokémon Go without spending any money.
1. Level Up Rewards
As you gain XP and level up in Pokémon Go, you will occasionally be rewarded with free incubators. Here are the levels where you get incubators:
- Level 6: 1 Incubator
- Level 10: 1 Incubator
- Level 15: 1 Incubator
- Level 20: 1 Incubator
- Level 25: 1 Incubator
- Level 30: 1 Incubator
- Level 35: 1 Incubator
- Level 40: 4 Incubators
So make sure to keep grinding XP through catching, hatching, raiding, etc. Higher level players have a big advantage when it comes to incubating multiple eggs.
2. Limited Research Tasks
Niantic occasionally provides special research tasks that reward incubators upon completion. For example, during certain events you may get tasks to hatch 3 eggs for 1 incubator.
Keep an eye out for these timed research tasks and make sure to complete them before they expire. Having spare egg inventory space helps to quickly finish these.
3. Weekly Adventure Sync Rewards
One reliable way to get free incubators is through the Adventure Sync feature. This tracks your walking distance even when Pokémon Go is closed.
Based on how much you walked in a week, you will get the following rewards each Monday:
- 25km – 3,000 Stardust and 10 Poké Balls
- 50km – 3,000 Stardust, 10 Poké Balls, and 1 Incubator
- 75km – 3,000 Stardust, 10 Poké Balls, 1 Incubator, and 1 Rare Candy
- 100km – 3,000 Stardust, 10 Poké Balls, 1 Incubator, and 1 Rare Candy
So if you walk 50km or more in a week, you are guaranteed at least 1 free incubator. Enable Adventure Sync in your settings and get walking!
4. Trainer Battles and GBL Rewards
Battling other trainers and taking part in the Go Battle League (GBL) has a chance of rewarding incubators.
You can get a Sinnoh Stone, Unova Stone, or Incubator as a reward for your first 3 Trainer Battles each day against other players. The odds of getting an incubator are low but still possible.
When you rank up in the Go Battle League, you get reward encounters. The reward pool includes incubators, so you may randomly receive some as you progress to higher ranks.
While not a reliable strategy, it‘s still a potential source of free incubators as you partake in PvP battles.
5. Team Go Rocket Battles
Similar to trainer battles, defeating Team Go Rocket grunts and leaders can reward incubators. When you beat a grunt, you‘ll get a mysterious component. Collect 6 components to make a Rocket Radar and track down Leaders like Arlo, Cliff and Sierra.
The rewards for beating leaders include incubators, though the odds are low. Keep battling them whenever you get the chance. Also, use the Rocket Radar equipped to find Giovanni and get a Super Rocket Radar to locate the Team Go Rocket Leaders.
6. Gym Defense and Raids
When you defend gyms and partake in raids, you can get free PokéCoins as rewards. Having Pokémon stay defended for hours or days will quickly accumulate coins. Here is the breakdown:
- Defend a gym for 8 hours and 20 minutes: 50 coins
- Defend a gym for 16 hours and 40 minutes: 50 coins
- Defend a gym for 1 day and 8 hours: 50 coins
- Defend a gym for 2 days and 16 hours: 50 coins
- Raid rewards: Up to 50 coins per day
With 50 coins per day from gyms, you need:
- 150 coins to buy 1 Incubator
- 200 coins to buy 1 Super Incubator
So every 3 days of coins gives you 1 Incubator! Raid and defend as much as possible to get free incubators over time.
7. Complete Field Research Tasks
Certain field research tasks reward incubators once completed. These are different from the special timed research mentioned earlier.
Tasks that reward incubators include:
- Hatch 3 eggs – Reward: 1 Incubator
- Hatch 5 eggs – Reward: 1 Incubator
- Hatch 7 eggs – Reward: 1 Incubator
Stack up on these tasks by getting them from PokéStops. Try to hold 3 at a time and make sure you have egg space before claiming the rewards. This is an easy way to get 1-2 free incubators per week.
8. Check the Shop for Free Boxes
Occasionally, Niantic will offer free item boxes in the shop that contain incubators. For example, during certain events, you may find:
- Free box with 2 incubators
- Free box with 1 incubator and 10 Ultra Balls
Keep checking the shop during events and on Community Days for these surprise deals. They are great for getting bonus incubators at no cost.
9. Referral and Invite Bonuses
Pokémon Go offers bonuses for getting friends to join the game and return after being away for a while.
- Referring a new player to the game rewards 1 incubator
- If you invite a friend back after 60+ days away, you both get 1 incubator
Referral bonuses like these don‘t come often, but can give 1-2 free incubators per year.
10. Special Events and Giveaways
For certain events and milestones, Niantic provides free items to all players via promo codes. Sometimes these include incubators.
Events where players have received free incubators include:
- Pokémon Go‘s birthday
- Christmas/New Year‘s
- Lunar New Year
Follow the Pokémon Go social profiles and blogs to stay updated on these special giveaways.
11. Get Lucky With Daily Free Box
The daily free box contains random items, including revives, berries, balls, etc. While highly unlikely, it can randomly give incubators as well.
I‘ve personally never gotten an incubator from the daily box, but some lucky players report getting 1 every few months or so. Open it daily and cross your fingers!
12. Check Out Deals on App Stores
Sometimes the app stores themselves run special promotions that give PokéCoin discounts on items. For example, the Apple App Store has offered:
- 25% extra PokéCoins when you buy a bundle
- $1 for 100 PokéCoins (regular price is $0.99 for 100)
Watch for these limited time deals, ideally paired with the first purchase bonus, and you can score incubators for cheap.
13. Find Sponsorship Deals and Partnerships
Certain third-party apps, stores, and companies run partnerships and sponsorships with Pokémon Go. By using their services, you can often scores some free PokéCoins.
For example, players have gotten free coins for:
- Downloading sponsored apps
- Dining at sponsored restaurants
- Visiting sponsored businesses/locations
- Activating services with sponsored phone carrier
If you don‘t mind taking advantage of some promos, this can be an avenue for cheap incubators.
14. Look for Incubator Sales and Bundles
Occasionally, incubators will go on sale in the Pokémon Go shop, usually during special events or promotions. Instead of 150 coins, they may cost:
- 100 coins
- 125 coins
- Or be bundled at a discount like "5 incubators for 200 coins"
This cuts down the cost to hatch eggs with paid incubators. Sales don‘t happen often, but watch for them a few times per year.
15. Split Incubator Costs with Friends
To save on incubator costs, you can split them up with friends in your local Pokémon Go community.
For example, you cover the cost of 5 super incubators one time, they cover the cost next time. This lets you both take advantage of incubators at half price.
16. Save PokéCoins from Gyms Over Time
If you focus on getting 50 coins daily from gyms, you will quickly accumulate PokéCoins over time. Here is the math:
- 50 coins per day
- 350 coins per week
- 1,400 coins per month
After one month of max coins, you can buy around 9 incubators! This does require consistent daily play to earn maximum coins from gyms.
17. Take Advantage of Free Trial Periods
Some phone carrier plans and services offer free Pokémon Go trial periods. For example, you may get 3 months of free Pokémon Go with premium data/hotspot plans.
This unlocks bonuses like double daily PokéCoins from gyms. Make the most of these trials by earning 200 coins per day. You‘ll be able to buy many incubators for free!
18. Participate in Group Events with Incubators
Local Pokémon Go groups often organize events with prizes like incubators:
- Big raid days where players walk and raid all day
- Long distance walking events and journeys
- Egg hatching competitions and distance challenges
Participate and win these competitions, and you could walk away with incubators without spending coins.
19. Enter Giveaways and Sweepstakes
Many Pokémon Go fans, websites, streamers, and content creators run giveaways with in-game items as prizes.
You can often find incubators among the prize pools. Follow your favorite influencers and enter any promotions you come across for chances to win.
20. Write Game Reviews in Exchange for Coins
Some user review networks and platforms give out Pokémon Go coins for writing reviews. Based on reviews and content quality, you can earn 100-200 coins.
It takes time and effort, but this gives another avenue to slowly accumulate coins for incubators.
While incubators certainly help you hatch eggs faster in Pokémon Go, they are not required. Take advantage of the free infinite incubator everyone gets.
Remember that hatching common Pokémon from 2km eggs is generally not worth the investment anyway. Focus your incubator efforts on 10km, 7km, and 12km eggs which can contain rare Pokémon and shinies.
I hope these tips help you get free incubators legally without spending real money. Let me know if you have any other creative ideas or strategies! Happy hatching and enjoy your Pokémon journey.