So you've been playing Pokemon Go for a bit and want to catch a rare one, eh?
You're in luck. We at Pocket-lint have played with the game ourselves and scoured the internet for the best tips and tricks out there, so everything you need to know is laid out below, including details about which Pokemon are common/rare/legendary, as well as how to find and catch rare ones.
Once you're done getting all the information you need, check out these pieces for more stuff about Pokemon Go, such as how to play, general tips and tricks, how to get the game in your country, why is everyone talking about it, and other mind-boggling facts about the new app:
- Pokemon Go: How to play and other tips and tricks
- Help! Pokemon Go isn't working: How to fix common Pokemon Go problems
- Pokemon Go top tips: Master the Pokemon mayhem
- Pokemon Go Gym tips: How to battle, train and win
- Pokemon Go: How to catch Pikachu as your first Pokemon
- What is Pokemon Go and why is everyone talking about it?
What are Pokemon?
Everyone has heard of Pokemon. They're fictional creatures from the self-titled franchise that exploded in the 90s. The idea is that Pokemon Trainers - aka humans - try to catch and battle Pokemon for sport. Pokemon originated in a Nintendo video game for the first Game Boy and eventually landed in trading cards, animated shows, movies, and comics. Now, via Pokemon Go, they're in an augmented-reality mobile game.
There are more than 700 Pokemon that have appeared in the Pokemon franchise over the past 20 years, though only 151 of them are in the new mobile app. Browse our gallery of all the Pokemon in Pokemon Go, in alphabetical order:
What are rare Pokemon?
There's actually two types of rare Pokemon: Rare and Legendary. The Legendary ones are the rarest creatures in the Pokemon universe. In fact, few have actually seen them. It's been confirmed (via code in the game) that Legendary-status Pokemon are hiding, and Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos, and Ditto were even spotted by a player. Rumour has it Niantic, the game’s developer, is withholding them for a huge in-game event or something.
Now, as for the general rare ones... this gets complicated. Pokemon that are rare might only be rare in your area; they could be very common Pokemon somewhere else. Still, there seems to be some Pokemon, including evolved ones, which almost all players have trouble spotting. Here's a list of just 20 rare Pokemon, in order of most rare (it's based on information compiled by thousands of users across the world at Poke Assistant):
How do you find rare Pokemon?
The most common Pokemon found in Pokemon Go include Pidgey, Rattata, Caterpie, Duduo, etc. Chances are - after playing the game for a few days - you'll notice you keep finding these little guys and none of the rare ones, like a Marowak. So, how do you find these elusive creatures? Simple: raise your trainer level. Wild Pokemon rarity is tied to your trainer level and CP stat (how well a Pokemon can attack).
You can see your trainer level in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. To raise your trainer level, you need to get experience. That means you must grab all those PokeStops, fight in several gyms, hatch those eggs, walk around a lot, and just play the game basically. You can even buy a Lucky Egg from the store to double your experience gain for 30 minutes. After about 10 levels or so, you will spot those wild, rare beasts.
How can you use Pokevision maps to help you catch Pokemon?
The Pokevision map is Pokemon tracker/locator for the mobile game Pokemon Go. It uses the Niantic API to grab the location of all Pokemon near your (or your selected location) and display them on the map in real-time; this means if it is displayed on the map, you can go out and catch them.
It's perfect for seeing what Pokemon are around you at any given time. The map even features a countdown timer so you know how long you've got left to catch the Pokemon you want to get. Furthermore you can find out exactly where the Pokemon that are nearby to you actually are making hunting a lot easier. The catch though is that you are only allowed to hit the refresh button for that request every 30 seconds.
How do you catch rare Pokemon?
The Nearby menu in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen shows how close a Pokemon is to you. When hunting the rare ones, you’ll want to track the creatures that appear greyed-out behind a silhouette. These are Pokemon you haven't caught yet, and thus they aren't recorded in your Pokedex. The closer the Pokemon is to you, the fewer footprints you'll see underneath the silhouette (3 footsteps = 300 metres, etc).
Make sure to keep the Nearby menu open and then circle the Pokemon you want to capture by clicking on it. The circled silhouette should shift up and down based on proximity to you (the more right and down the silhouette is, the farther it is from you). If the Pokemon is moving down the menu, walk away to see if it gets closer. Pokemon listed on the Nearby menu are always close by, so keep trying and looking.
Now, check out this guide to learn how to catch a Pokemon in general. For rare Pokemon, try to get the ring around the Pokemon as small as possible before flinging a Poke Ball. The smaller the ring, the more likely the Pokemon won’t escape from the ball. If the Pokemon does escape, just fling several Poke Balls at it before it has a chance to run away. That and pray to the Poke Gods is about all lower-level players can do.
Higher-level trainers upon hitting Level 7 can grab Razz Berries from PokeStops. Feed these to wild Pokemon to make them less likely to run away or escape Poke Balls. At Level 12, you can use more powerful Poke Balls (like Great and Ultra Balls). Wild Pokemon of all levels have difficulty escaping these balls. And if you feed a rare Pokemon a Razz Berry first, then fling a powerful ball at it, you'll likely be successful.
Are there any other tips and tricks?
Rare Pokemon change from location to location, and it depends on a number of factors, including player population density, proximity to certain types of landscapes, nearby landmarks, different times of the day, etc. Also, certain Pokemon dwell in areas related to their type. Psychic- and ghost-type Pokemon can be found near cemeteries, while fire- and ground-type Pokemon are more likely to appear in arid, desert climates.
Based on information culled from Reddit, Twitter, and our own experiences, here's other tips and tricks on how to find and catch rare Pokemon:
- Walk a lot, and walk slowly.
- Check unvisited lanes, undiscovered locations, and unpopulated areas.
- Go to locations depending on the type of rare Pokemon you want to find.
- Place lures at PokeStops to lure all nearby Pokemon to your area.
- Use Incense to draw Pokemon if you're staying put in an area for 30 mins.
- Look for rustling leaves in the game.
- Continually check the near "Nearby" menu for Pokemon.
- When you spot one, switch off the AR Camera (top-right corner of screen).
- Throw a clean Poke Ball without excessive hand movements.
- Make sure your phone has plenty of battery.