How to claim your Defender Bonus and get Coins and Stardust in Pokemon Go

Taking over a gym in Pokémon Go isn't just for the prestige and the XP value — you can get some sweet rewards, too, thanks to the Defender Bonus. You can collect this bonus any time you've taken over one or more gyms; the more gyms you collect, the higher bonus you'll receive. Here's how to go about it.

How to claim your Defender's Bonus in Pokémon Go

  1. Tap the PokeBall icon along the bottom center of the screen.
  2. Tap the Shop icon, located in the middle right of the screen.

  1. Tap the Shield button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the reward box to return to the Shop.

How many PokeCoins and how much Stardust do I get?

The reward you receive depends on how many gyms you've conquered. Put a Pokémon in one gym, and you'll pick up:

  • 500 Stardust
  • 10 PokéCoins

Every additional gym will double this number; hold ten gyms (the max), and you'll get a whopping 5000 Stardust and 100 Coins as your Defender Bonus.

Wait, can I just pick this up at will?

Not quite: You can only claim your Defender Bonus once every 20 hours — and you'll only get credit for the gyms you're holding when you press the button. Even if you've defeated ten gyms in the last 20 hours, you still need your Pokémon to hang out at that gym to get the bonus.

So I shouldn't hit the button until I have Pokémon in multiple Gyms?

That's up to you. If you only have one Arcanine in a Gym when you hit that button, you'll only get a 1x Gym bonus. Even if you grab two new gyms 15 minutes later, you'll have to wait 19 hours and 45 minutes to claim your new bonus.

That makes it a gamble: Claim your bonus immediately so you don't risk losing the Gym you have, or wait it out in the hope of getting two or more Gyms — and two or more times the bonus — when you hit the button.

You'll have to make up your own mind, depending on the holding power of your Pokémon, as well as any real-life team members yore working with to hold the Gym.

That's not a ton of PokéCoins for this much work!

No, it's not. But hey, free PokéCoins! If you really need more coins, you can pay for them — another choice you'll have to make. But take the free ones when you can get them.

How will I know when the Defender Bonus countdown has expired?

Set a reminder for when the countdown expires on your iPhone so that you can jump on your next bonus immediately, if you have one coming.

Any questions?

If you have any other questions on Pokémon Go, drop them in the comments!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.