Speculation is reaching a fever pitch in Pokémon Go. There's speculation about shiny Pokémon and what Niantic is doing with Unown, but by far there's been the most speculation about whether your buddy Pokémon or the time of day will affect your chances of getting a special evolutionary item.
Up to now there hasn't been enough evidence to determine whether these theories could be corroborated, but a new study from Pokémon Go online community the Silph Road may have just given players a huge insight into what does and does not affect their chances of getting a special evolutionary item.
Pokémon Go special items drop rate: It might just be random chance
Silph Road user reneritchie released a pretty comprehensive study on Sunday, detailing all the evolutionary items they'd gotten in the space of a month. They included their buddy Pokémon, the time they acquired the item and the amount of spins between each item acquisition. If you've been skeptical about the various theories regarding these evolutionary items, reneritchie's findings likely won't surprise you.
According to their findings, there didn't seem to be much evidence to support the theory that your chances of getting an evolutionary item was anything other than random chance. The intervals between when reneritchie obtained special items ranged from over 1,000 PokéStops to as few as 23, and only once did they get an evolutionary item that corresponded to their buddy Pokémon in the course of a month.
Additionally, when walking with a friend, reneritchie reported it was most common that the friend would get an item and they would not, and only once did two stops in close proximity yield an evolutionary item for both parties. Along with reneritchie's report that they never received an evolutionary item from the same stop twice, this would appear to debunk the claim that certain PokéStops are more likely to yield items.
There's also no evidence that the game is required to give you a certain amount of special items. Poster Pisces4Fish observed this, writing, "I've spun just over 9,000 stops in this time period and have 1 Kings Rock, 4 Sun Stones, 5 Metal Coats, 2 Dragon Scales & 6 Upgrades. I have over 3 times as many spins as OP [Original Poster] and only 6 more items."
Although there are definitely gaps in reneritchie's table (for instance, they don't indicate whether an item was obtained as part of a daily PokéStop streak), it seems to indicate there's no real rhyme or reason to evolutionary items currently. You get what you get, and it's all just luck of the draw.
So until the next study comes out with enough outliers to cast doubt on these findings, it seems like your best option is just to hit as many PokéStops as you can per day if you're really looking to get some of these Gen 2 evolutions for your Pokémon. Good luck and happy hunting.
More Pokémon Go guides, tips and tricks
If you're booting up the game for the first time in a while to get ready for Gen 2, be sure to check out Mic's guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10km eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.