The best way to make money in Pokémon Crystal is to challenge the Elite Four repeatedly. Each run will earn you around 22,000 PokéDollars.
You can even double that amount by giving your party leader the Amulet Coin to hold while tackling the Elite Four.
But if you need funds before reaching the Elite Four, then your best options are to fight nearby trainers, or to sell valuable items like TMs or Nuggets (worth 5,000 PokéDollars). You can also visit Mom to retrieve your savings.
Alternatively, you can try to duplicate valuable items like Nuggets to sell at the PokéMart for massive profits.
In this guide we’ll cover details on every viable money making method in the game.
Best Method: Grinding the Elite Four
The quickest way to earn money in Pokémon Crystal is by repeatedly battling the Elite Four at the Indigo Plateau.
Note: You can take on the Elite Four after obtaining all eight Johto badges.
Defeating this All-Star group of trainers the first time can be a big challenge, but it gets easier every time.
Once you have a few Pokémon powerful enough to triumph without spending a ton of expensive items, you can start farming money fast. Around level 65 should do!
Each run of the Elite Four produces around 22,000 PokéDollars.
Tip: Double Your Earnings With the Amulet Coin
Giving your party leader an Amulet Coin to hold is a fantastic way to farm more cash from the Elite Four.
You can get the Amulet Coin from a hidden room in the Team Rocket Warehouse in the Goldenrod Underground. Just climb the stairs in the top-right corner of the map to find it.
This item doubles the prize money you’ll get for defeating trainers. It applies to random trainers out in the field, and it applies to important trainers like the Elite Four and Champion Lance.
The Pokémon in your team holding the Amulet Coin only needs to enter the battle for at least 1 turn for the item to take effect. Giving it to the party leader ensures that it’s always active.
Early Game Ways to Make Money
If you’re short on money but can’t battle the Elite Four yet, there are still a few things you can do:
#1: Fight Overworld Trainers
The primary way of making money in Pokémon Crystal is by playing the game and fighting trainers.
You’ll find them on routes all around the region, and they all have some prize money for you.
The stronger the trainer, the more cash they’ll give you after defeating them. For this reason, it’s better to try and fight the strongest available trainers.
Sometimes a trainer you have already defeated will call you on the phone to rechallenge you. These battles usually yield more money than the first time, so don’t ignore them!
This is also a great reason to keep saving people’s phone numbers when they offer them.
#2: Check Your Savings (Mom’s Account)
At the beginning of the game, your Mom asks whether you want her to set apart 25% of your earnings. It’s a savings account of sorts.
Mom will occasionally take some money from there to buy items for you, but most of it is stored patiently for the day you return to pick it up.
If you’re short on cash, ask yourself when you last visited New Bark Town and checked your savings.
Tip: You can call Mom on the PokéGear’s phone. She’ll tell you how much money you saved and ask whether you want to stop/start saving.
Withdrawing your Mom’s savings is the best way to inject cash into your pockets – assuming you accepted her offer to save up for you.
To do this, just return to New Bark Town and talk to Mom at home. She’ll ask whether you’re there about your money and what exactly you want to do with it.
#3: Sell Valuable Items
Throughout your travels you’ll come across valuable items whose only purpose is being sold for a high price.
The most valuable items worth getting include:
|Most Valuable Items|
|Item||Sell Price||Acquisition (Repeatable)|
|Nugget||5,000 PokéDollars||Held item by 2% of wild Grimer/Muk.|
|Star Piece||4,900 PokéDollars||Held item by 2% of wild Staryu.|
|Big Pearl||3,750 PokéDollars||Held item by 2% of wild Shellder.|
|Big Mushroom||2,500 PokéDollars||Held item by 2% of wild Paras or Parasect.|
|Stardust||1,000 PokéDollars||Held item by 23% of wild Staryu.|
Along with the repeatable acquisition methods listed above, these items can be found on the ground around certain routes or can be received as rewards from various NPCs.
It’s always a good idea to check your inventory in case you have some valuable items to sell.
The Bargain Shop
Every Monday morning (4 AM – 10 AM), a man shows up in the Goldenrod Underground to sell valuable items at lower prices than usual. The man calls his store the Bargain Shop.
You’ll find this man in the first stand on the northern end of the underground bazaar.
This Bargain Shop lets you buy the following items cheaply so that you can resell them at full price in a regular PokéMart or Dept. Store.
|Bargain Shop Items List|
|Item||Bargain Price||Reselling Price||Profit|
|Nugget||4,500 PokéDollars||5,000 PokéDollars||500 PokéDollars|
|Pearl||650 PokéDollars||700 PokéDollars||50 PokéDollars|
|Big Pearl||3,500 PokéDollars||3,750 PokéDollars||250 PokéDollars|
|Stardust||900 PokéDollars||1,000 PokéDollars||100 PokéDollars|
|Star Piece||4,600 PokéDollars||4,900 PokéDollars||300 PokéDollars|
Tip: You’d need 14,150 PokéDollars to buy everything in the catalog. Reselling it all should net you a tidy profit of 1,200 PokéDollars.
Duplicating Items for Profit (Duplication Glitch)
Contrary to popular belief, duplicating items in Pokémon Crystal is possible, just like in Pokémon Gold and Silver. It’s just a little bit harder to pull off.
You need to:
- Make a Pokémon in your party hold the item you want to duplicate.
- Deposit that Pokémon into a box in Bill’s PC.
- From the PC menu, change boxes. The game will attempt to save.
- Turn off the power or yank the cartridge just as the words “Saving… Don’t turn off the power.” finish rendering in the text box.
If you do this correctly, your Pokémon will be duplicated. The original will remain in your party, while the copy will be in the box you put it in.
Doing this with valuable items such as Nuggets (5,000 PokéDollars) can make you plenty of cash.
This can even be done with multiple Pokémon simultaneously, allowing you to duplicate several items at once.
If you give five Pokémon in your party a Nugget to hold before depositing them all in Bill’s PC, you could copy five at a time.
If you learn how to do it correctly this could mean making 25,000 PokéDollars in just a few seconds.
Note: You should duplicate Pokémon and items at your own risk. It’s unusual to have big issues with this process, but you could lose your Pokémon, the items, and even lose access to one of the Boxes in Bill’s PC in your save file.