Maximizing Incubators: Egg Hatching Strategy Guide

Article by NoLucksGiven
Maximizing Incubators: Egg Hatching Strategy Guide

General Strategy

The general idea of this guide can be summarized in one picture.


With the orange (infinite) Egg Incubator, the best strategy is to hoard 2km and 10km Eggs while cycling through 5km Eggs. During specific times (outlined in “When to Deviate”), switch to orange Incubating 2km Eggs. Orange Incubate 2km Eggs when you have no 5km Eggs left.

ABI. Always Be Incubating. There’s no reason to ever stop. Pop another Egg in after each hatch as the first thing you do, and double check you did so during downtime. Unless you’re by a handful of spinnable photo discs, it’s usually better to Incubate whatever you have than hoping to get something better after visiting a Poke Stop. The distance you might lose in traveling to a Stop adds up over time.

10km Eggs should be incubated in Blue (and Purple/Super) Incubators. You can orange Incubate five 2km or two 5km Eggs in the time a 10km Egg clogs up your orange Incubator. Use Incubators with the most amount of uses left and hang onto 1 use Incubators to increase the ability to incubate multiple eggs at once.


Deciding exactly when to start Blue Incubating 10km Eggs is a decision that needs to weigh current and upcoming events, number of available Blue Incubators, and current available coins and sales. In general, it is optimal to leave be holding at least 3 or 4 2km eggs, so clearing out 10km eggs to accommodate that storage is recommended.

Why Save 2km Eggs?

Saving 2km Eggs allows you to more quickly hatch Eggs when you need to, including but not limited to the following cases:

  • Release of new (or new Shiny) Pokemon
  • Egg hatching Research Tasks
  • Events with increased rates on desired Pokemon
  • Events with limited-release Pokemon
  • Bonus Stardust events as 2km Eggs have the best Dust : km ratio (see Egg Stats below)

Event-only Hat Pichu can all be obtained more easily by saving 2km Eggs. It is important to note that Eggs have never been re-rolled in the history of Pokemon Go. The Hatched Pokemon’s Species, Level, IV, and cosmetic status (shiny/hat/form) is determined when the Egg is acquired from a Pokestop and cannot change. If this was not the case, stockpiling 10km Eggs for new releases and 5km Eggs for new Pichu variants would make sense. Keeping an inventory full of 2km Eggs allow you to quickly and efficiently (from an Incubation perspective) remove old Eggs, allowing you to pick up the new ones quickly.

In a scenario where you have a few to no Blue/Purple Incubators, continue to hatch 2km Eggs during these periods, even as your inventory fills with new 5 and 10 km eggs. Any Pichu Eggs obtained during “hat events” will continue to have a hat even if hatched after the event window ends. While it may be tempting to check your 5km Eggs during the event, waiting till you’ve finished hatching all available 2km Eggs will lead towards hatching more eggs overall, which is the best measure in increasing your odds.


The Research “Hatch 5 Eggs” with Chansey Encounter Reward is one of the most sought after Research. By hatching 5km Eggs and stockpiling 2km, this research can be much quicker. Unready trainers will need to walk 20-25km to Hatch the needed Eggs, or are forced to spending Incubators which can make completing this research expensive.

Hatching 3 Eggs is a much easier task though still made much easier by keeping 2km Eggs on hand. With only 5km Eggs, it will take 15-25km to complete these tasks, while it can take less than 6-10km with stockpiled 2km Eggs.

Players following this guide will find that number drastically reduced to 8-13km, the distance remaining in the current 5km Egg + 4*2km. Trainers with an additional Incubator may speed this up by 2km by Incubating a 5km Egg halfway through the first 2km, a 10km Egg 1/5th through your original 5km Egg, or Super Incubating a 10km Egg 4.3/5km through the initial egg.


Egg Stats

2km 5-10 Candy 400-800 Stardust[Dust = Candy*75 + (0 to 75)] 200XP
5km 10-21 Candy 800-1600 Stardust[Dust = Candy*75 + (0 to 75)] 500XP
10km 16-32 Candy 1600-3200 Stardust[Dust = Candy*75 + (0 to 100)] 1000XP
The list of current non-event egg available Pokemon can be found here.

The Batch Hatch: Incubators, Super Incubators, and Star Pieces

Egg Incubators and Super Incubators both perform the same function; they hatch 3 Pokemon. Blue and Purple Incubators will both grant the same in Pokemon, Candy, and Stardust. The only scenarios where Super Incubators outperform Egg Incubators are;

  • when trying to quickly complete Egg-related Research to make room for more Quests
  • if you will buy more Incubators when you run out
  • if you constantly run 9 Incubators
  • when you are limited in play-time during an event

*Egg-related Research can be abandoned and reclaimed when you are about hatch eggs.

Outside of these examples, Blue and Purple Incubators serve an identical function and should be considered the same when analyzing Special Box deals and when to purchase them. The next step is maximizing Incubator use. During events with increased rates of better Pokemon, new Pokemon releases, bonus candy, and bonus Stardust, it is obviously more advantageous to start incubating do maximize benefits. This also provides an additional incentive to not rush through Incubators if an upcoming event may offer hatching incentives.

To continue to get benefits, you can Batch Hatch piles of eggs. This allows you to use one Star Piece to multiply the effects of multiple Incubators. Star Pieces provide 1.5 times the Stardust for every activity in Go, making each 10km egg hatched under a Star Piece effectively like catching 24-48 Pokemon.


An example of a setup for a Batch Hatch (that also has the bonus of completing “Hatch 5 Eggs”)

Here are some additional things to keep in mind while performing a Batch Hatch.

  • If you are Incubating all 9 Eggs in synch, there will be some time after the hatch before you spin some Pokestops to receive Eggs. For this reason, it is recommended that players attempting to be efficient with Incubator use only ever have 8 Eggs Incubating at once so that there is always an available Egg for the infinite orange Incubator.
  • Don’t stop Incubating with the orange Incubator just to line it up with other Eggs. In the above picture, Super Incubators were started with 1.6 distance remaining on an Egg (0.4 on a 2km or 3.4 on a 5km) so that the orange Incubator would line up. A worse mistake is Super Incubating 9 10km Eggs at the same time. If you find this fun don’t let that stop you, but it is inefficient. If the goal is to hatch 9 10kms at once and you have Super Incubators, start Super Incubating when a 10km Egg is 3.3/10km through an orange Incubator., though it is still recommended to only incubate 8 at a time.
  • For the less diligent, having one of the Eggs hatch .1-.3 km before the other can be a nice reminder to break your Star Piece before it hatches your other Eggs. Don’t space Eggs too far out that you can’t complete the distance in one Star Piece reliably.
  • There are only 2 benefits to a Batch Hatch; combining them with Research Tasks and Star Pieces. Ideally, a batch hatch should be combined with a Star Piece grind session, though players with excess Star Piece may find themselves using them more frivolously. Those running low should Batch Hatch when they also have the availability to claim rewards, and catch Pokemon, including “banked” Research Encounters.

When to Deviate/Event-Specific Strategies

Current/Upcoming Event:

Water Festival 2018

  • Bonus Stardust and Candy for hatches
  • All 2k Eggs (with Water-type Pokemon)

Strategy: Keep 1 2km Egg orange Incubated. 5km Eggs grant the Stardust equivalent of 10km Eggs, making them worthy of a Batch Hatch. 3x dust on common catch further increases Star Piece viability. Those with no Blue/Purple Incubators should still stick to 2km Eggs as they have the best Dust:km ratio.

Common Research: Hatch 2 Eggs - Rare Candy

Strategy: Forgo typical Batch Hatch sessions in favor of focusing on research completion, hatching in pairs. Super Incubating can be combined with orange Incubating to continually complete research. Super Incubate 10km Eggs when the previous Egg has 1.6km left before orange Incubating 5km Eggs. Super Incubate 5km Eggs when the previous Egg has 1.3km left before orange Incubating 2km Eggs. Pay attention to task locations and remaining Egg distance to acquire Research right before you complete it.


Limited Release: Event Pichu in 5km Eggs

Strategy: Prioritize hatching 2km Eggs whenever available and fill inventory with 5km Eggs to be cleared after the event ends as their contents won't change when the event ends.


Bonus Stardust for Hatches

Strategy: 2km Eggs have the best Dust : km ratio so prioritize these unless one of the two above events is believed to be happening soon. Batch Hatching becomes more effective. This is particularly noteworthy for Community Days with these bonuses due to limited time and events with other Stardust bonuses, which increase the efficacy of breaking a Star Piece.


Again, the entirety of this guide can be more or less summarized by one picture, though that picture may be worth a few thousand words to fully understand the reasons the strategy is so effective.


Prioritize orange incubating 5km Eggs to reap the benefits of 2km Eggs for events and research tasks. Batch Hatch 10km Eggs as needed during Star Piece grind sessions for the greatest income of one of the game’s scarcest resources.

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