Pay Day Nerf: Analysis and Thoughts

Just want to share my thoughts about the Pay Day nerf and give a small analysis. It happened a while ago, but it’s also something I’ve been thinking about. For those who aren’t aware (which is little to none), Pay Day used to follow the equation of Level of Enemy + Level of Self = Amount of Poké, but then became rounddown((Level of Enemy + Level of Self)) / 2 = Amount of Poké.

Pokémon Who Learn Pay Day

Six Pokémon who get Pay Day:

  • Meowth (Normal/Alolan) through level
  • Persian (Normal/Alolan) through Big Mushroom
  • Purrloin through breeding/Heart Scale
  • Liepard through Heart Scale

The Alolan Meowth/Alolan Persian line isn’t in the game. Meowth is a rare egg in Jailbreak Tunnel F12, and Purrloin is only available in Rustic Savannah F1-11. Meowth is also a starter. For those who wish to get cash, they would deliberately choose Meowth over the other starters.

Valuable Items

Relics, other selling items, and certain dungeons give a lot of cash, ranging from 500 - 50,000 Poké for selling items and a variable amount for dungeon runs (with the high level dungeons ranging from approximately 10,000 Poké to 150,000 Poké per run). Relic prices were halved sometime earlier in PMU’s history, with Relic Crown being at a whopping 100,000 Poké. There’s a discussion from The State of PMU’s Economy giving more insight to PMU’s economy, which will have a play within the later part of Pay Day’s analysis.

Pay Day’s Value

Let’s take the original formula and run some calculations. Say I’m a player who has a Meowth that finally learned Pay Day at Level 30. I run through a dungeon with Pokémon around Level 5 (like Sour Root Cave). Each Pokémon you defeat would be 35 Poké each, and you have 35 PP on the move.

Without using Ethers and managing to defeat 35 Pokémon with Pay Day, you’ll end up with this:
35 Pokémon * (Level 30 Meowth + Level 5 Enemy) = 1,225 Poké

A normal run through Sour Root Cave would give around 50 - 500 Poké, depending on how you play. Pay Day increases the amount from 245% (if 500 Poké) to 2450% (if 50 Poké).

With the current formula, it becomes the following:
35 Pokémon * rounddown((Level 30 Meowth + Level 5 Enemy) / 2) = 595 Poké

The Pay Day increase then becomes 119% (if 500 Poké) to 1190% (if 50 Poké).

With this in mind, now take a look at the higher leveled Pokémon. Say you’re a Level 90 Persian now running through a dungeon with Level 70 Pokémon. You defeat 35 Pokémon there as well.

With the original formula, it looks like this:
35 Pokémon * (Level 90 Persian + Level 70 Enemy) = 5,600 Poké

Seems underwhelming, but say it’s Sky Fortress and you have lots of Max Ethers to keep your PP up.

For the purpose of this, I’ll just say there were 7 rounds of defeating Pokémon before you finished the dungeon/escaped.
7 Rounds * 35 Pokémon * (Level 90 Persian + Level 70 Enemy) = 39,200 Poké

Considering Sky Fortress with a run threshold of 50,000 to 150,000 Poké, the percent increases become 26.13% (if 150,000 Poké) to 78.4% (if 50,000 Poké).

Now with the current formula…
7 Rounds * 35 Pokémon * rounddown((Level 90 Persian + Level 70 Enemy)) = 19,600 Poké

The new percent increases become 13.07% (if 150,000 Poké) to 39.2% (if 50,000 Poké).

The percent deficits change significantly, showing that it’s marginally better early-game than it is end-game, even with how many runs you do.

Pay Day Value vs. Relic Crown

Now that I’ve done a few calculations based on dungeon runs, let’s compare with valuable items.

Let’s take the 7 rounds from Sky Fortress (19,600 Poké) and compare. At the end room, you find the Relic Crown, which is 50,000 Poké. The Pay Day run is only 39.2% of the amount you get from the Relic Crown, but remember that the Relic Crown is in the end box of Sky Garden.

In the end box of Sky Garden, there are seven items. Assuming the chance of getting a Relic Crown is 1/7 or 14.28% and assuming you get the same set variable of 19,600 Poké per run from Pay Day, let’s do a small calculation. Let’s say you get a Relic Crown every seven runs.

7 Runs * 19,600 Poké (Pay Day) / 50,000 Poké (Relic Crown) * 100% = 274.4% Increase

7 Runs of Pay Day would amount to 137,200 Poké, which, alongside the other amount you get from a Sky Fortress run (50,000 Poké - 150,000 Poké, amounting to 350,000 - 1,050,000 Poké from seven runs), means you can get 487,200 - 1,187,200 Poké from these seven runs using Pay Day, even without the Relic Crown.

This is just theoretical data and is not exact. Do not take this as absolute.

My Thoughts

So, was the Pay Day nerf beneficial or not? From my viewpoint, not too much. Pay Day only comes with limited Pokémon that you would specifically have to train up, and due to the normal-typing of the move, it doesn’t really do that well. Moreover, the halving of Pay Day really doesn’t affect much due to the nature of how sellable items and normal dungeon runs are pretty good. The halving the price of relics and halving the payout of Pay Day doesn’t affect much of anything due to the accessibility of these sellable items, along with how much money has already flooded the economy. That, and most players just use Speed Boost to get through dungeons quicker.

If there was a needed fix for Pay Day, I suggest not accounting for player’s level. Instead, it should just take the level of the enemy Pokémon and become Enemy Level = Poké. That way, it wouldn’t be as broken and be more dependent on the dungeon. Also, I might be a bit biased in wanting to get a precise level of bosses for the Wiki using Pay Day…

But this is just my analysis and thoughts on the Pay Day nerf. Was the Pay Day nerf really necessary? Is this beneficial in fixing the economy? Or was it just a hasty fix with no foresight? Is Pay Day even viable anymore? Have a problem with my inexact and theoretical calculations? Have I made enough controversial starting questions on this last paragraph? Share your thoughts below!


So, before I sit down and assess all of this piece by piece, I’ve gotta ask…

Is the only thing you particularly want some way to determine a pokemon’s level?

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It wasn’t originally a reason until I really started looking at my despite of the nerf. I want to have a good way to determine a Pokémon’s level, and I haven’t figured out a viable way to check yet. If there’s a way, I’d love to hear it.

On the subject though, this post mostly started out with me being reignited about the Pay Day’s nerf and how horrible it was. Then while I was making the post, I got curious of how bad it really was and found it… wasn’t really as bad as I thought. So I decided to make a neutral analysis based on certain circumstances. I will admit that my data is only a visualization and not an accurate measurement.

If there’s anything that could be explained better or be expanded on within my analysis, feel free to rip it apart!

personally that nerf was way too much now you can barely cover the costs of keeping up ethers its almost more expensive to use payday over other moves, before you could at least recoup some of the ether expenses when using it to train or what not

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What dungeons are you running that you’re struggling to cover the costs of supplies in?

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Not struggling but using a weaker power move is pointless if it can’t give me some benefit. If the poke from using a 1/3 power move compared to like night slash isin’t worth it then it can’t cover its “costs” of using a weaker/less aoe move


Max ethers cost 250p. If we assume an average poke drop of 85 (you at level 100, enemy at level 70) KOing 3 enemies will put you at 255p, a 5p net gain. Any KOs beyond that are also net gains. With proper equipment Pay Day’s 40 base power can be easily made into a one or two hit KO with ease. I should know, I’m singing the praises of Ember at its 40 BP glory all the time, and AoEs to my knowledge wind up in the same power bracket after being autonerfed.

If we assume Pay Day takes 3 hits to KO, then your payout per max ether against level 70 enemies is just about 4 times the cost of the max ether. If you can land 2HKOs, which I’ve done quite frequently as I’ve progressed with my Persian, then the payout per max ether is closer to 1.5k, and if you can snag OHKOs (which is very doable against level 70s at 100) then that’s nearly 3k per max ether.

The only time you won’t be turning a profit is if it takes you 10+ Pay Day uses per enemy to knock them out.

And not to mention this is all after the nerf. Before the nerf, just 2 KOs would completely pay for a max ether with plenty excess to spare.

As far as SF without Pay Day VS SF with Pay Day goes…

I’d argue Sky Fortress’ payout isn’t healthy for the economy either. Increasing its payout by approximately 25% is insane and this is after the nerf! Imagine a whopping 50% increase to one of the most profitable dungeons in the game, and if that doesn’t scream nerf worthy then I don’t know what does.

I don’t think how hard it is to obtain matters when, once you’ve gone through the trouble of acquiring and training one, it basically prints money on a massive scale. If you’ve convinced me of anything it’s that halving the output may have been too generous.

And this is ignoring the fact that the most powerful pay day user is a starter. I don’t think “but it’s so rare” holds any water as a balancing factor in the first place, but it honestly doesn’t even apply in this case anyway.


Good analysis, Leo!~ I admit that I’m not well acquainted with how to prepare for normal-types (since I don’t get to play the weekly events, get event tokens, and buy globes and the sort due to schedule conflicts), but this is a good eye-opener.

That’s why I said “limited”, not rare. I’d compare it to Altaria/Golduck/any Cloud Nine-status healer since they are a must have with weather such as Hail/Sandstorm and status effects such as Poison and Burn being devastating. Meanwhile, the Pay Day users are just a convenience to have and aren’t heavily needed. However…

If you take the time, it really doesn’t take long to train up a Pokémon lategame, doesn’t it? With proper training tools and the like, you’ll be able to train a Pokémon up to Level 80 with little to no trouble.

But I realize one thing. Your analysis is with Meowth/Persian, who has SATB with Pay Day. I wonder what damage difference there would be with Purrloin/Liepard?

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I dunno. Feels like it was justified. There are plenty of dungeons with more than enough supplies to the point where you don’t even need to buy ethers. I think the argument that there are little Pokemon who learn it works for moves like refresh since they’re so important but Pay Day is really only used for farming an already inflated economy.

I don’t think it will fix how much money is in the economy right now but it should help it in the long run.

Also there are probably better ways of finding out a bosses level, you could just ask the staff who made it.


Persian has technician too. So pay day is even stronger

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Staff who made some dungeons are no longer around. Also, certain staff have told Wiki members not to ask about boss levels due to the apparent difficulty of checking boss’s level data, so we try to figure it out other ways. The Pay Day method was going to be how we would have checked, but then the nerf happened before we could get our Pay Day 'mons trained up… >.>

It really doesn’t fix anything, to be honest, and future investments aren’t really affected in the long run. Poké is pretty much infinite with no real money sinks to properly invest in.

1.1mil to get a full house expansion? Easily obtained.

Heart Slate system? Really not much costs due to the ability to use multiple Mystery Parts, and it’s really not worth it since legendaries from the Heart Slates are practically worthless.

Guilds? Really not worth it since there are so little benefits from it except for if a guild member goes and saves another member. Even then, large guilds tend to get in the way of one another when going through dungeons and stealing EXP of people who are also training.

Auctions? … I’m a little uncertain about this one. People do buy stuff for a high price, but I assume it’s just a drop of a bucket for them since they can recover pretty easily.

Doesn’t matter how much you nerf the prices for selling items and Pay Day. There’s just way too much money that can already be obtained easily, and rich players who might be generous could also hand out cash like its nothing due to how much they’ve invested time in grinding. Nerfing just makes obtaining money take longer, but the amount is still going to rise.

So it’s mostly Persian who would be used for Pay Day. Nice to know that Purrloin/Liepard would be the least used 'mon here then.

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The foundation of your argument here doesn’t quite stand up, if I’m understanding you correctly. “X is also broken and gives too much money” doesn’t mean we should ignore Pay Day until every single dungeon with excessive relic and poke drops is adjusted.

Bettering PMU’s in-game economy is a multi-step process, and the faster changes can be made to curb the influx of money and high-tier loot, the less backlog we’re going to have to wait for new sinks to drain out.

Pay Day’s power is largely, if not entirely irrelevant. The problem is specifically that it generates a large amount of superfluous cash.

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Fair point. However, I still stand by my point that nerfs aren’t going to get us anywhere. We need more places to spend this currency.

I feel at this point, there’s no way to control it without cutting off the high-paying dungeons at this point. Nerfs slow the money gain, sure, but the fact is that money sinks being created slower than the nerfs that are created to control it. More focus should be placed on the money sinks over the nerfs, not the other way around.

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I disagree that the nerfs “aren’t going to get us anywhere.” Adjustments to methods that are outputting more money than they should are an important part of the process.

I agree wholeheartedly that cutting output from a number of dungeons that are currently spitting out way more cash than they should is important. However, simply trying to race inflation by creating bigger and bigger money sinks doesn’t actually solve the problem. It may give players more to do with their money, but that money is still going to be incredibly low in value if it can be printed in the millions daily on a per-player basis. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

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… I should really read what I say. I guess I mean to say that nerfs aren’t getting us anywhere fast enough. It is a process, but the economy’s so inflated at the moment that we need to get rid of some money somehow.

There’s really no race in this inflation though. It’s been overinflated to the point that most nerfs only effect newer or casual players. That’s why I feel money sinks are much more important than nerfs at this point. However, I will agree though that turning off certain money-making dungeons will definitely cause things to slow. The problem though is that players will probably make a huge uproar when most high-paying dungeons will be closed off, which will cause a huge amount of issues. In the long-run, sure, changing rarity of items and lowing Poké amount in high-paying dungeons would be beneficial, but the backlash would be way too enormous and would take a long time to recover from. Heck, Mt. Moon’s nerf still is causing problems to this day. I don’t go a day without seeing a comment against Mt. Moon’s changes.

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