Part of the joy and wonder of the Pokémon series of games is the air of mystery and adventure that surround them. As a player starts the game, they have no idea where they’ll find various creatures, and it’s only through exploratin and discovery that the secrets to catching and evolving the hundreds of Pokémon becomes an achievable goal.
Some Pokémon are common and easy to find, while other require a lot of experimentation. Fishing rods, evolutionary stones, and special moves are required to unlock all the secrets within a Pokémon game. This is all part of the fun, and the hard to catch Pokémon that are particularly rare are what makes the game so unpredictable, and such a compelling experience. You never know when you’re going to stumble across a new secret, completely by accident.
That said, while it’s fun to not have all the answers when starting a game of Pokémon, sometimes the developers, Game Freak, go too far in making the Pokémon catching and evolving process complicated and difficult to decipher. Some Pokémon can only be caught in incredibly specific circumstances, that aren’t signposted anywhere in the game, so that those who want to complete their Pokedex will never succeed – unless they resort to searching the internet for answers.
Here are some of the most nonsensical, bizarre Pokémon-catching methods that nobody would be able to figure out on their own, no matter how hard they try. These are 17 Pokémon That Are Impossible To Catch Without A Walkthrough.
We mentioned the difficulty of catching Magikarp copycat Feebas in another recent article on the rarest Pokémon in games. This small, weak fish Pokémon first debuted in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and can only be caught in a very specific lake on Route 119. The lake is fairly large, but Feebas will only spawn on six tiles within the water, and can only be found with a fishing rod.
What’s more, the six spots that Feebas appears change periodically, as they’re tied to the trendy phrase that the player can set in Dewford Town, on the other side of the map – this means that, unless you keep the phrase the same (it changes periodically) the location of Feebas will shift at random each time you visit the lake.
If you do manage to find a Feebas, the hard work’s not over yet – in its original appearance, Feebas will only evolve when its beauty stat is maxed out, so you have to feed it berries before levelling it up. None of this is explained in the game, so there’s no way of knowing any of this without reading a walkthrough.
17 Registeel, Regirock, and Regice
Another hard to decipher puzzle from Ruby and Sapphire, getting the three legendary creatures from these games isn’t easy. West of Pacifidlog Town is a series of fast-moving currents. If the player can navigate to a very specific hidden place within these rapids, they can dive underwater to find a message written in braille.
Using dive in front of the message will bring the player into a cave filled with more messages. Using the move Dig in the right place will reveal a second room within the cave. The player then needs to stand in a certain place in the cave, with the incredibly rare Relicanth as the first Pokémon in their party, and Wailord as the last. If any other Pokémon are in these slots, the player can’t progress.
By reading a certain text within this cave, the player can unlock three caves in different locations across the map, which contain the rare legendary Regis.
All of this is explained in cryptic messages written in braille, and the manual for the game does contain a translation key for braille, but that doesn’t make any of this any easier for a first-time player to decipher.
As if the bizarre and convoluted steps to getting Regice, Registeel, and Regirock weren’t bad enough, in the next games in the series, Diamond and Pearl, Game Freak introduced an additional Regi that requires yet more hoop jumping.
It’s not that difficult to explore Snowpoint Temple and discover Regigigas, but upon discovering this dormant Pokémon, most players could be forgiven for mistaking it for a large, inanimate statue. There’s no way to bring Regigigas to life without bring some help with you.
For those players who’d managed to unlock the mysteries of the trio of original Regis in Ruby and Sapphire, it’s possible to import these creatures into Diamond and Pearl. Bringing them in your party when you visit Regigigas’ statue will cause it to come to life, and the player can battle to try and catch it – doing so isn’t easy, the player will only have three of their standard team of Pokémon with them.
At no point in the game is it explained that a player has to make use of the Regis from the previous games, and if you didn’t play Ruby or Sapphire, you’re out of luck. There’s no way to awaken Regigigas without them.
One of the coolest Pokémon to be introduced in the third generation, Shedinja has only a single HP point, but its ability means that it can’t be attacked by any move unless it is super effective, making it a very useful battler in the right circumstances.
The process for getting this Pokémon is relatively simple, but it does require specific circumstances tht most players wouldn’t imagine putting themselves in.
When Nincada evolves into Ninjask at level twenty, if the player has a spare Pokéball in their bag and an empty slot in their party, the space will be filled by the ghostly shell that Nincada leaves behind as it evolves. This is a fun idea, but as most players would never, ever travel the Pokémon world with less than six Pokémon in their party, this would only happen by accident in an extremely rare circumstance.
Most players who want to evolve a Shedinja have to resort to Bulbapedia or a similar knowledge site in order to figure out how to unlock the secret of this mystery monster.
It’s not that difficult to get hold of a Wynaut in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The player will be given an egg at one point in the game that will hatch into the baby form of Wobbuffet. In all subsequent games, this is achieved by breeding Wobbuffet while it is holding a Lax Incense.
It is possible to catch this Pokémon wild, though, but doing so is perhaps the most difficult, rare challenge that any Pokémon trainer has ever faced. Wynaut appears in the wild on Mirage Island, which is found on Route 130 in Ruby and Sapphire, in the middle of the ocean. The catch is that this island is only visible if the hidden personality value of one of the player’s Pokémon matches two randomly generated numbers that the game generates at the start of each day. The chances of any Pokémon’s value matching these numbers is 1 in 65,536, (although this reduces to 1 in 10,923 when the player has a full party) and the only way to check whether a Pokémon matches these numbers is by asking an old man in Pacifidlog Town, who will say whether Mirage Island is visible.
Much like Wynaut, there are easier ways of getting hold of Munchlax than catching one wild, such as breeding a Snorlax while it holds Full Incense. This, though, was only introduced in Munchlax’s later appearances - in its original debut in Diamond and Pearl, players have to mess around with honey.
Slathering honey onto a tree will cause a Pokémon to appear, and in some rare cases, this Pokémon might be a Munchlax. The problem is, there are only four trees in the entire game that a Munchlax will appear on, and these trees are chosen by the game at random before the player begins their adventure, so there’s no way of knowing which trees will provide a Munchlax. What’s more, Munchlax will only spawn 1% of the time, meaning that the player will need to pour honey on every tree over a hundred times in order to be certain that Munchlax won’t appear.
Beldum has turned up a lot in games over the years, and is normally not all that hard to get hold of – it’s given as a gift to the player in Ruby and Sapphire, and appears in rare circumstances is other games, such as through breeding.
In Sun and Moon, though, the challenge of grabbing a wild Beldum is ramped up a few notches, leading many players to despair at the difficulty of actually getting one of these creatures into a Pokéball. Near the Observatory on Mount Hokulani, players can find a patch of grass which, very, very occasionally, will spawn a Beldum. It has a low spawn rate, meaning that it will likely take the player a while to even stumble across a Beldum to begin with.
Finding the Pokémon is the easy part, though – Beldum has a capture rate that’s the same as a legendary, meaning that it’s incredibly hard to get Beldum to stay in a Pokéball once it’s been thrown. What’s more, Beldum knows Take Down, which is a move that does damage to the user as well as its opponent, so it’s common for Beldum to faint mid-battle, forcing the player to start all over again.
Getting a Vespiquen is not a complicated process – the Pokémon evolves from Combee at level 21, which means that all the player has to do to get a Vespiquen is to find a Combee, catch it, and then level it up to a relatively low level.
That said, there is a big catch. Vespiquen will only evolve from a female Combee, meaning that any player who has the hope of evolving their male Combee is out of luck – it will simply never happen.
What’s more frustrating is that only 12.5% of all Combees are female. Most of these Pokémon are male, and if the players wants to get a Vespiquen, they’ll have to spend a long time hunting to find a rare female member of this species, before catching it and evolving it.
The game doesn’t tell the player this at any time, of course, meaning that those who don’t resort to reading walkthroughs will be left scratching their heads as to why their Combee doesn’t seem to want to evolve.
In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, players will come across an Odd Keystone at one point in their adventure. Taking this item to an area south of Solaceon Town, and placing it in a pile or rocks named the Hallowed Tower, is the first (and easiest) step to finding Spiritomb.
Next, the player has to travel underground, entering the area below the standard game map, and talk to real life strangers over WiFi or the Internet. The player has to talk to 32 people, although it is possible to talk to the same person multiple times if they repeatedly leave and re-enter the underground area.
Finally, the player can return to the Hallowed Tower, and by examining it again, they’ll find Spiritomb appear.
None of this, of course, is explained in the game itself – it’s expected that the player will simply place the item in the Hallowed Tower, go away, speak to a series of strangers over the Internet, and then return later to discover that the Pokémon has appeared. For anyone who doesn’t consult online guides or use the online features of the Nintendo DS, this Pokémon is unobtainable in Diamond and Pearl.
Many Pokémon only evolve at specific times of the day, or while holding certain items. Weavile takes this one step further, though, by requiring two special circumstances at once.
Introduced in Diamond and Pearl, Weavile requires that the player levels up a Sneasel to any level, while holding a Razor Claw. In addition to this, it has to be night time, meaning that if the player tries this at any other time of day, the evolution won’t take place.
These two conditions aren’t difficult to meet, and as the razor claw does have a useful benefit (it increases the likelihood of a critical hit), it’s not impossible that this could happen by accident if a player is regularly using Sneasel in battle. But for those who are trying to complete their Pokédex, it’s very unlikely that they’d stumble across this technique during normal playing circumstances, meaning that the player will likely need to seek outside help to figure out how to get a Weavile.
Part of the way through Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the game puts colorful creature battling to one side to present minature horror story.
The Old Chateau is a creepy place by all accounts – NPC characters make a point of singling it out as a potentially haunted building that the player should steer clear of. If the player chooses to ignore this, and wanders inside, they’ll find a spooky old abandoned building filled with ghosts – both of Pokémon, in the form of Gastlys and Haunters, and of people, a little girl and an old butler who disappear when the player approaches them.
In one nondescript room in the Chateau is a television set, which looks like all the other sets in the game. If the player interacts with it at night, though, Rotom will appear, and the player has the chance to battle it. There’s no indication that this television is in any way special, and during the day it doesn’t do anything remarkable at all.
Piloswine only evolves into Mamoswine in a very specific circumstance, that can be a pain for Pokémon trainers who are very specific about the moves they want their team to know. In order to trigger Piloswine’s evolution, the Pokémon has to level up while knowing the move Ancient Power.
This is perfectly easy to achieve for trainers who know what they’re doing, but anyone who avoids walkthroughs will find it a struggle to figure out what to do to trigger the evolution, especially if they’re not paying attention to what moves Piloswine learns.
If the player has already convinced their Piloswine to abandon Ancient Power, it’s possible to relearn it by trading a Heart Scale with the Move Tutor that appears in any of the recent games. The only problem is that Heart Scales are incredibly rare, so getting hold of one (especially without a walkthrough) can also be frustrating in an of itself.
Here’s hoping you like to break immersion in your Pokémon games, because Tyrogue only evolves into Hitmontop if you’re constantly watching its stats in order to perfectly balance its power levels.
In its original appearance in Gold and Silver, Tyrogue is a gift from Kiyo the Karate King who oversees the Saffron City Dojo (but who is, at the time, training in a cave in the Johto region). Tyrogue evolves into three potential Pokémon at level twenty, depending on its stats. If its attack stat is higher than its defense, Tyrogue will evolve into Hitmonlee. If its defense is higher than its attack, it’ll evolve into Hitmonchan. If both stats are completely balanced, it’ll evolve into Hitmontop.
None of this is explained in the game itself, so unless the player is willing to sit through a lot of trial and error, constantly breeding new Tyrogues, and is willing to experiment endlessly with stats boosting items, there’s no way of figuring this out without outside help.
In Pokémon X and Y, Game Freak decided to play around with some of the unique features of the 3DS in evolving Pokémon. Inkay is a small squid that will evolve into Malamar at level thirty, but only if the player is willing to mess around with the accelerometer on their 3DS handheld.
Inkay will only evolve if the device is held upside down, and while this makes for a neat little feature, as the game doesn’t specifically state this anywhere, and as there are so many existing methods of evolving Pokémon that are convoluted and confusing, it’s unlikely that many Pokémon players will think of turning their device upside down when their Inkay gains a level to see what will happen.
This is a case of Game Freak wanting to add some extra use to the 3DS’s special functions, without wanting to tell the player that they need to be thinking about the handheld’s unique input methods.
The large, fighting-type panda Pokémon introduced in Pokémon X and Y is a useful monster that players will likely only get hold of at random. While not as impossible to find as some on this list, it’s still down to pure chance as to whether or not a player will discover the trick to evolving a Pancham without outside help.
Pancham will evolve once it hits level 32, but will only do so depending on the other Pokémon in the player’s party. If the player has a dark-type Pokémon in their team, then Pancham will evolve without a problem. Without a dark type teammate, however, this particular Pokémon simply will not evolve, no matter what level it gets to.
Thankfully, dark type Pokémon aren’t too much of a rarity in X and Y, and the water-type starter, Froakie, eventually evolves into a part dark-type Pokémon, so many players will naturally have one of these in their team throughout the game.
For those who chose Fennekin or Chespin, though, there’s a slimmer chance that they’ll figure out this evolution on their own.
Each generation of Pokémon has introduced a large, powerful dragon-type Pokémon that is only readily available towards the end of the game, and that generally evolves into its most powerful form only after reaching a particularly high level.
X and Y introduced Goomy, Sligoo, and Goodra, Dragon type Pokémon with an affinity for water. Goomy evolves into Sligoo at the incredibly high level forty, and after ten more levels, it’s possible to get a level fifty Goodra, in the right circumstances.
Sligoo will only evolve into Goodra if it’s raining when the Pokémon levels up. This means that, instead of simply battling the Elite Four endlessly, the player has to go out and find a rainy patch of ground to finish off the evolution, even if finding one with high level Pokémon isn’t always easy.
What’s more, because Game Freak wants this to be as convoluted as possible, the moves and abilities Rain Dance, Drizzle, and Primordial Sea, all of which trigger rain in a battle, don’t count towards this goal. Goodra will only evolve when it’s raining in the overworld as well as in a battle.
Good luck figuring that out without reading a walkthrough.
It is possible that, for many of the Pokémon on this list, players might accidentally stumble their way to finding a bizarre evolutionary tactic, or getting extremely lucky when hunting for a new critter to capture.
This is impossible with Phione, though – players not only need outside guidance to find this monster, but also need to play a video game that isn’t even part of the main series of Pokémon titles.
Pokémon Ranger on the DS has a secret mission called “Rescue the Egg” that can only be found if the player performs a series of seemingly random button presses, and then enters a long, twelve digit code. Playing through the mission will unlock a secret egg that can be transferred to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, but only if you have a second DS to enable the transfer.
This egg will eventually hatch into Manaphy, and there’s no other way to get it, apart from subsequent official download events. The trail of breadcrumbs doesn’t end there, though – Manaphy will breed with a Ditto to produce another egg, which will hatch into a Phione.
This ridiculous system, which involves multiple DS handhelds and a completely unrelated Pokémon game, was, until relatively recently, the only way players could get Phione. The entire thing was designed so that players had to seek help from walkthroughs.
There’s definitely some charm to the idea that Pokémon games don’t give you all the solutions to its puzzles immediately. Routing out secrets, hunting for clues, and sharing tactics and tricks with other players has always been a core part of the Pokémon experience.
At the same time, though, it’s safe to say that in some instances, Game Freak has gone too far in creating mysteries for its games. Plenty of the Pokémon capture techniques on this list are an enormous, unnecessary hassle, to the point that if players don’t consult with online sources or walkthroughs, it would be absolutely impossible to fill a Pokédex.
By this point, though, it’s clear that Game Freak expects for players to discuss the game online in order to find all of its hidden secrets. The convoluted methods of Pokémon hunting are part of the fun, as players around the world come together to unlock the secrets of various hidden or unavailable Pokémon that can’t be found by a single player working all by themselves.