The whole joy of Pokémon revolves around the lofty task of trying to catch them all. With each new game in the series, there continues to be a growing tally of new Pokémon that join the staggering Pokédex.
With such a high number of creatures out there, it’s easy to catch a lot of the more common Pokémon and build up a respectable collection as a Pokémon trainer.
However, there are always going to be a number of Pokémon that people are convinced don’t even exist because they’re never seen one appear in the game. Sometimes, this just comes down to bad luck, low encounter rates, or extreme conditions that need to be followed to activate the rarer of the Pokémon.
Across the many generations of Pokémon titles that are out there, it’s been fascinating to see the many different ways that the games have made certain Pokémon “rare.”
As the titles and software become more sophisticated, so do the requirements for certain Pokémon. With elements like a live clock, gender, and items to consider, there have never been more ways to make new Pokémon.
Additionally, gamers continually get savvier and more creative and there are far too many occasions where big surprises turn out to be discovered much quicker than anticipated.
Pokémon manages to keep some of that mystery alive. That’s certainly exciting, but it also increases the challenge in a big way.
With news of new Pokémon titles headed to the Switch and even more creatures on the way, here are the 22 Pokémon That Are Impossible To Find (And Where To Catch Them)!
22 Munchlax (Diamond And Pearl)
The introduction of Snorlax’s pre-evolution, Munchlax, turned into a frustrating experience for many people. Gamers were ecstatic about this cute, baby form of Snorlax, but they didn’t realize that he’d be as rare as they come and they might never actually see one.
In order to encounter a Munchlax, players need to slather trees in the Sinnoh Region of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl with honey.
Doing so will attract Pokémon, but that being said, there’s just one tree in the region that randomly gets designated to be the Munchlax-spawning tree.
Even then, the Munchlax's appearance rate is still only 1% so it’s a lot of effort for an extremely small chance of reward.
With those odds, why does the guy have to be so adorable?
21 Tauros (Red And Blue)
One of the advents of the original Pokémon games is the Safari Zone that’s featured in the title. The area features exclusive Pokémon and switches up gameplay in a few ways that make for an interesting change of pace.
There are plenty of diamonds in the rough in the Safari Zone, but Tauros is the most elusive of the bunch.
Tauros can only be found in the North and East regions of the Safari Zone. The Pokémon’s rarity is a problem, but it also doesn't help that you can't actually battle in the Safari Zone, but merely throw bait or rocks.
This makes capture more difficult and Tauros already has an intimidating catch rate of 45 (a 5.9% if he's at full health). Many players can work through the entire Safari Zone and have no idea that he even exists.
20 Electabuzz (Red And Blue)
Right from the jump, Pokémon was cleverly designed to release two versions of the “same” game, each with their own exclusive Pokémon.
This was to reinforce the practice of trading Pokémon and getting use out of the Game Boy’s link cable, but it would also result in some Pokémon becoming quite rare due to their exclusivity to a certain title.
Electabuzz is one of the earliest examples of this and he’s a considerable pain in the original Pokémon titles.
Electabuzz is only in Pokémon Red and he can only be found in one region, the Power Plant. On top of that, Electabuzzz has a reasonably low encounter rate and a catch rate of 45.
There are much more daunting tasks out there, but in the original titles, this was still a decent challenge for many budding Pokémon trainers.
19 Salazzle (Sun And Moon)
Salazzle is another one of those cruel jokes in the Pokémon universe where a new game introduces a Pokémon that looks super cool, but then turns out it’s incredibly rare to acquire.
At first glance, it looks like finding this Pokémon will be easy, but not so fast. Salazzle evolves from Salandit and they’re all over the place, but when many players got their Salandit to the requisite level 37 nothing happened.
The missing link here is that players need to have a female Salandit and the issue there is that the males are plentiful, but the females are not (1/10 will be female).
After that, all it takes is raising that lady Salandit to level 37, but the Alola region is unfortunately full of Pokémon that are super effective against Salandit, like Rock and Water types.
18 Bonus Disc Celebi (Pokémon Colosseum)
There were many interesting ways in which Pokémon Stadium and Colosseum connected to their handheld counterparts. At the same time, Pokémon games had a tendency to be buggy, and these spin-off titles allowed an interesting opportunity.
Interestingly enough, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire had a “Berry Glitch” in the game, which prevented berries from growing in the titles.
Game Freak's planned to patch this error with a bonus disc that was packaged in Pokémon Colosseum that was advertised to give gamers Jirachi, but secretly patch the glitch, too.
While North American players got Jirachi, in Japan, the bonus disc gave out a special Celebi and Pikachu, which were impossible to obtain in the English release, even though the events are still programmed into the disc.
You can get them with cheats like Action Replay devices, but not legitimately.
17 Latios and Latias (Ruby And Sapphire)
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire decided to take a more unconventional approach with their Legendary Pokémon.
Rather than the usual decision to place them at a difficult to reach spot towards the end of the game, Ruby and Sapphire put Latios and Latias out in the open and free to encounter in the tall grass.
It’s actually rather exciting to know that big deal Legendary Pokémon are just out there in the wild, but that excitement might fade when it’s understood just how rare it is to find these two.
Not only is it difficult to track down Latios and Latias in the first place, but they’re quite prone to change their location and flee to somewhere new.
If players are lucky enough to encounter these Pokémon, they also have an unfair tendency to run away in battle.
16 Pikachu With Surf (Pokémon Stadium)
The reveal of new Pokémon titles that existed outside of the main games got a lot of people excited because it usually meant these new titles would offer up some exclusive Pokémon that could be transferred over to the handheld titles.
The Nintendo 64’s Pokémon Stadium had a lot of fun with this and created a special version of Pikachu as a reward.
In order to acquire a rare Pikachu that comes with the ability Surf, players must clear Pokémon Stadium’s Master Ball division of the Round 2 Prime Cup under certain conditions: all of the Pokémon must be selected directly from a Pokémon Game Pak, no saves can be used, and Pikachu must be selected for the final battle, although he doesn't actually have to fight in it.
Finally, then the Pikachu with a water ability is yours!
15 Regigigas (Diamond And Pearl)
The later Pokémon titles have come up with some creative ways to involve games from past generations to complete a much bigger puzzle. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduce the behemoth, Regigigas, but what they really introduce is a major aggravation.
That being said, Regigigas is also the ultimate reward for the players that were vigilant during the previous Pokémon generation.
Regigigas can be found at Snowpoint Temple, but you can't access the room that he's in unless you've already captured Regirock, Regice, and Registeel, which were all only available in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.
On top of that, Regigas is at level 70, so it's a grueling battle even if players do manage to reach him.
14 Wish Chansey (FireRed And LeafGreen)
Pokémon has gained such a level of popularity in the world that there have even been a number of exclusive Pokémon that have been given out during limited windows at special locations.
If New York City is going to build its own Pokémon Center, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ll get some extra use out of it like this.
Wish Chansey may not seem that special, but it’s quite the rarity due to how it was only available for roughly two weeks at the end of 2004 at the New York Pokémon Center.
Wish Chansey comes in the form of an egg that would eventually hatch into a Chansey that has the abilities Wish and Sweet Scent.
For what it’s worth, there’s also a Wish Drowzee that was distributed under very similar circumstances.
13 Drifloon (Diamond And Pearl)
Drifloon is a weird little Pokémon not just because he looks like a balloon, but also due to his surprisingly morbid history and how his presence can often lead to children disappearing.
Ghost Pokémon are typically on the darker side, but Drifloon leans in that direction particularly hard even if he looks awfully innocent.
The rarity of Drifloon comes down to how he won’t appear in tall grass or caves, which already limits the likelihood of finding one.
In order to encounter a Drifloon, it's required that players defeat Team Galactic at the Valley Windworks. Achieving that will trigger appearances of Drifloon, but he only shows up on Fridays.
This is severely limiting, and unless you’re prepared to mess with your system's internal clock, Drifloon’s a once a week kind of Pokémon.
12 Shedinja (Ruby And Sapphire)
Shedinja is a true nuisance for most, regardless of which way you decide to encounter him.
Out in the wild, Shedinja keeps his appearances to a minimum, but to make matters more frustrating, he only has One HP and a move called Wonder Guard that prevents him from being hit unless the attack happens to be super effective.
The alternative method for Shedinja is to evolve the Pokémon’s previous form, Nincada, but this is also a challenge.
Nincada evolves at level 20, but he'll turn into a Ninjask unless you have the proper bizarre requirements set up.
Your Nincada needs to reach level 20 while you also have an open slot left in your party and an additional PokéBall in your inventory. This in itself isn't impossible, but it's a lot of strange work that never explains itself.
11 Mew (Red And Blue)
Mew goes back to some of the very first rumors that ever circulated around a Pokémon game. Mew is the original “mystery" Pokémon.
If you had the game back during its original release, you surely attempted to get under that truck next to the S.S. Anne and find big secrets.
Game Freak programmed Mew into Pokémon Red and Blue at the last minute, but because the original Game Boy game cartridges were limited in space, there wasn't a way to actually find Mew in the game, in spite of his data existing.
Gamers have figured out various glitches to work around this that can trick the game into thinking that a wild Mew has been encountered, which can then be captured.
These glitches have even carried over to the re-releases of the game, so they still work.
10 Ditto (Pokémon GO)
That’s right, even the wildly popular Pokémon augmented reality game has some crazy rare Pokémon that deserve serious bragging rights if they get acquired.
Rumors about Ditto started close to Pokémon GO's release and it still remains a contentious Pokémon in the mobile ARG.
To catch Ditto, a player needs to encounter a Rattata or a Pidgey, then catch it. Upon obtaining the creature it will actually reveal itself to be a camouflaged Ditto.
This is frustrating to most because there's no clear distinction that these common Pokémon are actually the much rarer one and even then there's still no guarantee.
It’s an easy way to lose a lot of PokéBalls and even the most seasoned players have no advantage here.
9 Zoroark (Black And White)
If players want to run into Zoroark in Pokémon Black and White there are actually some pretty steep requirements in place. If Pokémon trainers want to obtain the Unova Region’s most elusive Dark type Pokémon, they’re going to have to do some work.
First of all, players need to access an event that took place in the previous generation’s HeartGold and SoulSilver titles.
Completing this event in those games will give players either a Shiny Raikou, Entei, or Suicine. Which of these is obtained isn’t important, but upon transferring it over to Black and White, players can now enter a forest where Zoroark is hiding.
There’s no other way to encounter the Pokémon and it’s a testament to how far these games will go in terms of incorporating past titles.
8 Beldum (Sun And Moon)
Just to be clear, Beldum isn't that challenging of a find in previous Pokémon titles, but it's Sun and Moon that turn it into the rare creature that it is today.
Beldum doesn’t stoop to any fancy tricks, it's just one of those Pokémon that barely shows up.
Beldum is exclusively located in the grass patches around the observatory, but its appearance rate is absurdly low and if it does appear, its catch rate is even more miniscule.
In fact, it has as challenging of a catch rate as a Legendary Pokémon for some reason. To make matters worse, Beldum's only move is Take Down, which inadvertently hurts itself in the process.
Without a proper battle strategy, this creature will knock itself out before you have a chance to even ready a Quick Ball.
7 Pangoro (X And Y)
Finding a Pangoro is difficult if players are not aware of the bizarre conditions required. For whatever reason, there are some extremely random guidelines in place around this Pokémon.
Furthermore, there's not really any way to figure any of this out unless you get lucky or explicitly know what to do.
Basically, the short version of this is that players need to catch a Pancham and raise it to level 32, at which point it will evolve into Pangoro.
The only caveat is that you need to have another Dark type Pokémon in your party for the evolution to take place.
Additionally, there's a scarcity of Dark Pokémon during the beginning of the game, so if you want a Pangoro early in your quest it becomes even more difficult.
6 Feebas and Milotic (Ruby And Sapphire)
The trials and tribulation of a Feebas are basically like Magikarp training back in Red and Blue, only a whole lot more sadistic.
Matters are already exceedingly difficult for Feebas hunters because the Pokémon is only encountered on six water tiles from the whole map and at no point does the game explain where these special spots are located.
Then, if you are lucky enough to find and catch a Feebas, getting him to evolve into a Milotic is just as frustrating of an experience.
Feebas' Beauty stat needs to be continually increased and he won't actually evolve until it's been maxed out. It’s such an unusual request and if anything it shows how vain this Pokémon actually is.
All of that, and for what?
5 Amnesia Psyduck (Pokémon Stadium)
Pokémon Stadium has a surprising amount of connectivity to the handheld titles, it’s just that many of the better prizes are so arduous to achieve that most people don’t even know that they existed.
However, for those Pokéfans who need to work through every inch of a title, there are some welcome surprises.
In a touching nod to the Pokémon anime, the game makes a Psyduck with the ability Amnesia available if the player can register all 151 Pokémon in the game’s Hall of Fame (which means beating the game with every single Pokémon).
This is an incredibly time consuming task, but it’s a strong substitute Psyduck for those that love the little guy.
4 Hitmontop (Gold And Silver)
Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced the idea of pre-evolutions and baby Pokémon into the mix, much to the delight of fans. Tyrogue hit the scene as the pre-evolution form of Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, and Hitmontop.
Determining which of the three that Tyrogue will evolve into depends on how the Pokémon gets raised.
If Tyrogue's attack is higher than his defense, he turns into Hitmonchan, and if the opposite is true, then a Hitmonlee is born.
Hitmontop is quite challenging to obtain, though, because the requirements state that Tyrogue's attack and defense need to be perfectly in balance.
If you don't understand how to change a Pokémon’s stats and what's important in their rearing period, a Hitmontop may never be found. Even if you know what you're doing, it's still an imperfect process that requires a lot of attention.
3 Weavile (Diamond And Pearl)
The addition of Weavile marks the period when Pokémon starts to get really vindictive and decides that some Pokemon are only meant for the extremely dedicated gamers.
Weavile is a real tricky Pokémon and if players try to naturally catch it, they never will. The circumstances around finding this Pokémon involve properly training and monitoring the stats of a Sneasel.
Catching the Sneasel isn’t the hard part, but players then need to give the Pokémon the item Razor Claw (which is already rare and can't be purchased in stores).
Finally, the Sneasel also has to be leveled up at night, which isn’t difficult, but it does divide the amount of time that this is all possible.
If you never play the game at night, it’s a particular pain. After all of that, Sneasel will finally evolve into a Weavile.
It’s about time.
2 Manaphy (Pokémon Ranger)
Most people who have obtained all the Pokémon in Diamond and Pearl are still missing one, Manaphy, and it’s because it requires playing a Pokémon spin-off series.
Pokémon Ranger never exactly caught the same attention as the main series, but those that gave it their all got a nice surprise.
There's a special timed event in Pokémon Ranger where Prof. Hastings has a rare Manaphy Egg stolen by the Go-Rock Squad.
If you recover the egg, you can raise it into a rare Manaphy, which can then be transferred to other Generation 4 games.
To do this, after you've completed the game, you need to push R +X + Left to unlock the egg and then transfer it a Gen 4 Pokémon game as a Mystery Gift. Pokemon.com also released a code that would unlock the hidden Manaphy Egg.
1 Spiritomb (Diamond And Pearl)
In order to encounter a Spiritomb in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, players have to go through some of the most ridiculous requirements ever seen and in the end, they’re dependent on over two dozen other people!
To find Spiritomb, players need to first have the item, Odd Keystone, and then put it in the Hallowed Tower on Route 209.
After that's done, you need to go into the Underground and proceed to talk to 32 different people-- not 32 NPCs that are down there, but 32 real people who also happen to be online and in the Underground at the same time that you are.
After doing this, you'll fight Spiritomb when you come back to the surface, but it's so much work.
As more new Pokémon games come out, the odds of this crowd appearing become even smaller.
Are there any other Pokémon that are extremely hard to catch? Do you know where to find them? Let us know in the comments!
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