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Magikarp and some other Pokemon require at least 400 candies to evolve. The obvious way to get enough candies to evolve a Magikarp, is to catch 101 wild Magikarp - a feat which would probably take me half a year.

Thus far I've caught maybe 2 Magikarp and hatched 1. My current Magikarp candy level is 13 (although I'm not sure why).

What's the fastest way to generate candies in order to evolve a Magikarp? So far that I know of:

  1. Hatch as many eggs as possible, and hope for a Magikarp (that seemed to yield 10 candies).
  2. Catch as many in the wild as possible.

What else can I do to accelerate the evolution of my Magikarp?

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  • 1
    Go somewhere near water, I already have about 120 candies w/o spamming too much Pokemon Jul 19, 2016 at 6:59
  • I think this would have worked during the water festival. On other days I've tried this. Doesn't seem to work
    – Raj Kumar
    Sep 19, 2019 at 16:42

5 Answers 5

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The quickest way I have experience to catch Magikarp is to locate a Pokestop next to a body of water. With the combination of a Luremodule and an Incense, I have witnessed people "fishing" for Magikarp. I sat there and a Magikarp was spawning roughly every 2 minutes

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    Literal fishing, who could've imagined that?
    – Braiam
    Jul 20, 2016 at 0:50
  • There's a famous spot in my town with 3 Pokéstops, which are always lured since there's at times hundreds of people playing there. Magikarps come in multiples every minute, as well as water Pokémon. If you're able to find something like that you'll only need a couple of hours. Aug 17, 2016 at 15:43
  • There's a spot like that near me too. I got over 100 candy without even trying.
    – Kat
    Sep 22, 2016 at 8:49
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There's evidence that Gyarados can be found in the wild, so if you can manage that, you don't even have to evolve your Magikarp at all. Hang out around lakes, harbours and the seaside and you might get lucky (in the meantime, you'll probably catch Magikarp anyway).

Other than that though, the only way is to catch 101 Magikarp, transfer at least 97 of them1, and then evolve 1 of them. You don't need 400 of them, because you get 3 candies for each catch and 1 for each transfer.

Eggs could help (Magikarp can hatch from 2km eggs, and you'll get much more than 3 candies for a hatch), but given the odds of 14 different Pokemon that can hatch from a 2km egg, you'll probably find it faster to specifically focus on catching Magikarp near bodies of water. If you hatch one... bonus :)

1 Thanks xehpuk for the maths help ;)

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    It seemed to me that the hatched magikarp yielded me several more candies than the one which I caught. But, I definitely could be wrong. Jul 19, 2016 at 1:05
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    I assume the additional candies from hatching is because of the chance that if you just hatched a rare that doesn't spawn near you, finding NONE AT ALL ever again would be really frustrating for leveling it up.
    – Sobrique
    Jul 19, 2016 at 13:02
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    You only need to transfer 97 of the 101 Magikarps.
    – xehpuk
    Jul 19, 2016 at 15:10
  • 4
    @xehpuk Good point. Your arithmetic skills are outstanding, mostly because you actually used them.
    – wizzwizz4
    Jul 19, 2016 at 17:11
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    Now that Pinap Berries are available, the math is even more favorable. Catching 58 Magikarp (with Pinap berries on at least 57 of them) and transferring 57 of those will be the shortest route now, leaving out the possibilities of wild Gyarados or egg hatching.
    – pjmorse
    Mar 13, 2017 at 17:17
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Ultimately, the "fastest" method is to use as many simultaneous methods to increase candy production as possible. So with that in mind, here are all possible methods of increasing candy production. Note this holds true for all Pokemon, not necessarily just Magikarp.


Catching

This will be the primary method of generating candies for your Pokemon, but there's some considerations here.

Spawn locations

As others have covered, common spawning areas for Magikarp are near real-world bodies of water - lakes, rivers, streams, oceans.

For an increased spawn chance, you also need to consider a popular spot: more Pokemon spawn when there's more people around. Look for spots with many Pokestops close by - usually parks, waterfronts or other popular locations.

Walk around

This is a very basic point, but worth mentioning - you will increase your chances of finding Pokemon by walking around the local area, as this increases the amount of area you see.

Lures and Incense

Use either a regular (Purple) lure, or if you have it, a Glacial lure, which will attract Ice and Water types, including Magikarp. Lure effects stack when on multiple nearby Pokestops, so that's another good reason to find a spot with many nearby Pokestops.

Likewise, Incense increases the chances of a Pokemon spawn based on the local spawn chances. If you're in an area that can spawn Magikarp, it should help. Incense also works better if you're walking around.

Pinap Berries

Feed wild Pokemon a Pinap berry before throwing Pokeballs. This doubles the candy of any caught Pokemon. For tier 1 Pokemon like Magikarp, this will result in moving from 3 to 6 candies per capture. This stacks with any timed research or other currently active event that increases catch candies, potentially netting you up to 12 candies per capture.


Transferring, Evolving, and Trading

Transferring a Pokemon to a Professor will give 1 candy. Likewise, evolving a Pokemon will give 1 candy - including if the evolution cost was 01.

When trading, Pokemon can give more candies based on the distance between the two Pokemon's catch locations. If the Pokemon were caught 100km or more apart, they will give 3 candies.


Buddies

Add a Pokemon as your buddy. As you walk around, your buddy will earn candies for their species. Magikarp and Gyarados earn 1 candy per 1km, so it's a pretty good trade-off.


Mega Evolving

When you have a Mega Evolved Pokemon, any Pokemon caught that shares a type with the Mega Pokemon will have a catch bonus of 1 extra candy. If your Mega Evolved Pokemon is at it's maximum Mega Level (30), this is increased to 2 extra candies per catch.


Community Days, Events and Timed Research

Keep an eye on announcements for upcoming community days, timed research, or themed events, which can both increase the spawn rates of featured Pokemon during those events, as well as double the amount of candy from catching them, depending on the event.

A Magikarp community day especially, will see a 3-hour window where 100% of wild spawns will be Magikarps (with increased shiny chances to boot).

Event Research Tasks

During events it's common for Pokestops to give research tasks specific to the event, with the completion reward being a Pokemon encounter. Generally speaking, Pokemon spawned from completing research tasks have better IVs - Attack, Defense, Speed stats).


Hatching

Hatching Pokemon from 2km eggs (the ones Magikarp are found in) results in 5-15 candies. Like events, the Pokemon available through Eggs changes occasionally, so Magikarp may not be available (and isn't, at the time of writing).


Rare Candies

Certain timed and special research, as well as raid battles, can drop Rare candies, which can be "used" on a Pokemon. Once used, the rare candies are converted to the Pokemon's candy type.


Feeding Gym Pokemon

Giving a gym Pokemon berries can very rarely drop a candy. Not a reliable source of candies, but if someone's dropped a Magikarp or Gyarados on a gym of your team colour, why not feed it a berry and try your luck?


1 For Pokemon that meet certain requirements, such as having been traded, their evolution cost is dropped to 0

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I set a Magikarp as my buddy Pokemon, which gives one candy per km walked!

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    The question asked for the fastest scenario... I've had the game since July 6th and I've only walked 263km. Walking 400km is much slower than any other method.
    – Vemonus
    Sep 22, 2016 at 13:16
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    Unless you are not conveniently near water areas, in which case, having a Magikarp buddy would be the fastest way.
    – Jerry
    Nov 15, 2016 at 12:21
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I would just go near a body of water and hang there... If there is a pokestop, double luck! If you are going on a vacay to a beach, fully charge your device, and get out there!

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