The Pokémon games have more than their fair share of Guide Dang Its. NOTE: Pokémon Stadium 2 provided information in-game for Generations I & II that couldn't be found elsewhere in those games, providing an exclusive guide to the games... in a different game.
Red, Blue and Yellow
- Mew. This is a unique example, as only one person on the development team was even aware the monster was put into the game at all until weeks after the game hit stores. Also, it was rumors of its existence, plus the Good Bad Bugs (which bordered on Urban Legend of Zelda in terms of execution) that allowed players to get Mew, that actually helped the first Pokémon games quickly go from a poorly-selling JRPG to one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the late 1990s. (The only legitimate way to get Mew was through special events, but Mewtwo, a normal legendary made available after beating the main storyline, implied there had to be a "mew one.") Of course, it also paved the way for the rest of these Guide Dang Its...
- In Yellow, the only location to find Psyduck/Golduck is to surf on Route 6 (the route between Saffron and Vermilion), which is a route with one small patch of water that has very little reason at first glance for the player to feel the need to go about surfing. In addition, the player never comes across a trainer using a Psyduck, and Golduck is only used by one trainer within the end-game's Victory Road that can easily be skipped over since he's an optional fight. As a result, the player won't have the Pokédex info to know about Psyduck/Golduck's game location until possibly very late in the game.
- There's a few catchable Pokémon that will come up as "Not Available" in the Pokédex due to being either found only via fishing or in Unknown Dungeon (for whatever reason) - the most obvious example of this is Horsea/Seadra.
Gold, Silver and Crystal
- Many Johto Pokémon fall under this in their debut appearance due to being sidelined for the Kanto ones instead. Overall, they are rarely used by trainers as well as having very low encounter rates and high tendency to flee from battles; compounded by the fact that some of them can only be found by methods not recorded in the Pokédex while some others are simply found in obscure or end-game locations.
- Dunsparce's 1% encounter rate in the Dark Cave is perhaps this generation's most infamous example of this. It doesn't help that there isn't a single trainer who uses a Dunsparce throughout the game. So the player never obtains the information in the Pokédex that Dunsparce is catchable within the Dark Cave. If you added Hiker Anthony to your Pokégear, there is a chance he'll alert you that said Pokémon does exist (with the encounter chance increased to 40% for a short period of time). But you'll still need to know that the mon only shows up on the Violet City side of the cave in order to take advantage of it. (In Crystal, his line mentions that Dunsparce "doesn't show up where there are strong Pokémon", giving an extra hint to this last part.)
- Yanma is similar to Dunsparce being just a 1% encounter rate on Route 35, and no trainer in the game uses a Yanma to have the Pokédex info to know that Yanma is catchable on the route. But like Dunsparce, if Bug Catcher Arnie from that same route is added to the Pokégear, he will alert the player of Yanma's existence, which will up the encounter rate to 30% for a brief time.
- Smeargle and Misdreavus are also notable examples as neither one are battled amongst trainers to learn about their hard-to-find game locations. Smeargle is only found at an off the beaten path Ruins of Alph grass area that can only be accessed through Union Cave after obtaining the Surf HM (where Smeargle is greatly outnumbered by Natu), and Misdreavus can only be found at nighttime on the 2nd Floor of the Kanto end-game's Mt. Silver. The latter is especially egregious, as it was the only new Ghost-type introduced that generation, and Johto has a Ghost-type Gym Leader.
- Slugma and Skarmory are two other notable Pokémon that are considered to be difficult to find. Slugma is owned only by a random Trainer on Route 3 (Blaine uses a Magcargo but that doesn't help) while nobody in the entire game uses a Skarmory. The former can only be found in the easily skippable grass areas around Kanto's bicycle bridge, and Skarmory is a rare 5% Silver or Crystal exclusive encounter on the optional Route 45 below Blackthorn City. The rarity of finding these two was what led many players to believe that Slugma and Skarmory are actually Gen III Pokémon since they're a lot more common to find in Hoenn and both are used by Trainers players are required to face.
- Mantine. A rare 10% Gold or Crystal exclusive encounter that can only be found Surfing on Route 41. Like many of the other Johto Pokémon listed here, Mantine is never battled amongst any trainers. So the player will never have the Pokédex info to know about Mantine's existence.
- Some people may not know that it's actually possible to catch Ho-Oh in Pokémon Crystal. That's because in order for the stairwell to appear to enter into the upper floors of the Tin Tower to reach where Ho-Oh resides, you need to have all three of the Legendary Beasts captured. The three Beasts being Suicune, Raikou, and Entei. While Suicune is the easiest to obtain due to it being allowed to be battled straight out on the bottom floor of the Tin Tower, the player needs to hope that they're able to track down Raikou and Entei as roaming encounters all around Johto. The difficult part is that the player won't know where Raikou and Entei are at first since their data isn't uploaded into the Pokédex until the first time the player randomly comes across a roaming encounter. When the player does finally manage to get hold of Raikou and Entei, it will finally open up the Tin Tower stairwell to ascend up to Ho-Oh. And if that doesn't sound bad enough, you're never told beforehand that catching the three Legendary Beasts will cause Ho-Oh to appear. It just sort of gets told to the player the moment he/she finally has the three Beasts captured.
- Catching a Chansey could end up being somewhat difficult in the Generation II games. First off, they're exclusive to the Kanto region, so you're unable to get one until after completing the Johto journey. Second, you never come across any trainers who use a Chansey, so knowing where to find them from the Pokédex is out of the question. Finally, even if you were lucky enough to find a Chansey in Gen I, you can't use that info to help in your search this time around, as both of its former locations (the Safari Zone and Cerulean Cave) are off-limits for Gen II. The answer as to where Chansey can be caught is along the three Kanto Routes (13, 14, 15) east of Fuchsia City. Unfortunately, there is a catch. They only have a 1% encounter rate on all three of these Routes. Generation II's version of Kanto's Route 14 also offers an in-game trade where it's possible to obtain an Aerodactyl. Unfortunately, the Pokémon needed for the trade is the previously mentioned Chansey. This could be taken as the game hinting that Chansey exists on the route.
- Certain Pokémon like Heracross and Pineco can only be found by headbutting trees....but they have to be very specific trees which look exactly like every other tree, dozens of which appear all over the place. And thats far from the worst part. Which trees are considered special changes depending on your trainer ID and theres literally no way to figure this out in game. Youll either have to methodically check every tree you come across, or need some online help for this one.
- Aipom and Exeggcute can be a bit annoying as well being the other Pokémon that can only be found through headbutting trees. However, they can, at the very least, be found amongst the common headbutt trees.
- Similar to Gen I, Pokémon that only appear from fishing don't appear in the Pokédex. Thus, it might take awhile to find all the Pokémon that can only be found through fishing. Corsola and Staryu have the added annoyance of only appearing during certain times of the day; Corsola being morning and day while Staryu can only be fished up during the night.
- Lapras has no encounter location, but is instead a single Pokémon that can only be found on a specific day. The location that a single Lapras will appear is on Fridays swimming around a pond within the deepest section of Union Cave, which can only be accessed once the player is able to use Surf. The hint you're given about Lapras appearing is if you talk to the Pokémaniac on the first floor after defeating him, which he will mention that roars can be heard from deep within the cave every Friday.
Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald
- Feebas only appears in 6 unmarked water tiles (out of 436 total) on Route 119. They're randomized for every player, so you can't just look up their locations; and you have to fish in the tile, not surf over it, so wandering aimlessly won't help, you have to meticulously fish in every single square. Nothing in the game hints at this—all other Pokémon appear in any tile on the route specified in the Pokédex. Inexplicably, the tiles re-randomize whenever you give a new catchphrase to a man in Dewford Town, a location NOWHERE NEAR the route Feebas appears on; knowing this is of little use, however, since setting a specific catchphrase will not put the tiles in specific locations. Even if you're on one of the special tiles, you only have a 50% chance of reeling in a Feebas, so there's a good chance of missing it unless you fish in each tile two or three times. The Generation VI remakes removed this completely, as Feebas can now be found on any tile with any of the fishing rods. But it also comes with its own difficulty, as written below in the Gen IV entry.
- The three legendary golems. Each beast occupies its own inconspicuous cave; these caves are scattered throughout Hoenn. However, to even get into the caves, they need to be unlocked. To unlock them, you need to use Dive in a tiny patch of deep water on a route at the end of some very fast currents; simply getting to the spot is a result of either trial and error or pure chance. Once you Dive and get into the cavern, you need to be able to read Braille or check the instruction manual. The Braille writing tells you to how to progress - these clues include using Dig on a wall instead of using it to try to leave the cave like you normally would, as well as putting a Wailord and a Relicanth (two relatively hard-to-get Pokémon that most trainers almost never have in their parties, especially not simultaneously) in specific spots in your party. Then you have to FIND the now-open caves, two of which are in places you can mostly ignore for the entire game. What's even more annoying, each cave has their own little Braille test before you can even get to the Pokémon; one requires you to stand in place, not touching the controls, for two minutes. Oh, and Emerald changed the method, like placing Wailord last and Relicanth first in the party instead of the other way around.
- Bagon in Generation III, especially in Ruby and Sapphire. It is found in the deepest room in Meteor Falls, an area of the game you most likely forgot about after going through it (unless you're playing Emerald in which case you return there to fight Steven.) Oh, and don't forget to bring a Pokémon with Surf and Waterfall, since they are both needed to progress to the other parts of the area. By the way, this new section of Meteor Falls has trainers in it before you can even reach the room. You can find a Dragon Fang in the small, mostly water-filled room where Bagon is, but other than that, there is no other indications that there is anything special in this room. Bagon has a 25% chance of appearing on the ground section of this area with the added possibility of encountering one beyond Level 30 (the level in which it evolves to Shelgon), but it is well worth it since Bagon evolves into the pseudo-legendary Salamence.
- So it looks like there's a hole in your Hoenn Dex at No. 151. Turns out it is Chimecho. It can only be encountered in one place, the top of Mt. Pyre, which the player will probably only visit when they need to progress the story. And even when the player is in the area, the grass is out of the way. And even if the player goes to the grass, the chance of encountering a Chimecho is only 2%. So you've got a very rare non-legendary who no one in the game uses or seems to know about hiding in a very out-of-the-way area with no hints that it's there. And it's only good for completion purposes, as its stats are horrendous.
- Another such Pokémon is Snorunt. In a similar vein to Chimecho, no trainer in-game uses one, and it's only found in one area of the game. Said area is also quite late in the game, and it's entirely dependent on phenomena. In this case, Snorunt can only be found inside the Shoal Cave north of Mossdeep City. So you might think, "Oh, I can just catch it anywhere? Sounds easy enough." Not exactly. Snorunt only appears in one particular room in Shoal Cave that is only available at low tide. During certain time intervalsnote , the cave will not be filled with much water, opening up to a icy room that can only be reached during those time intervals. This room is the only place where Snorunt can be found, and even then, the encounter rate is 10%, mildly rare. And as far as actual battle purposes, it's pretty much a Master of None with an abysmal 50 in every stat until it evolves at level 42 into Glalie and still has a mediocre 80 in every stat. To make matters worse, if the internal battery of your Game Boy Advance has run drynote , and it occurred during a period of high tide, Snorunt essentially becomes Permanently Missable Content, rendering you unable to see it in your Pokédex unless you trade.
Diamond, Pearl and Platinum
- See Feebas' entry in Generation III above? Generation IV is much harder in this regard - the amount of tiles has been reduced from six to four, Feebas's appearance rate on the tile is lower, and unlike in Hoenn, the tiles change automatically each day.
- Spiritomb. The part about putting the Odd Keystone into the Ruined Tower is intuitive enough, as examining the latter suggests that something could be put in there and hints at what it is, but the other requirement involves interacting with other people in the Underground at least 32 times. There is one trainer on a nearby route who gives you a hint when you talk to him after beating him, though. The person who gives you your first Odd Keystone does give you some hints on what to do with it... Although he's fairly vague, and nowhere does the game specify exactly how many people you're supposed to talk to while in the Underground.
- Catching a Gible. Pokédex says it's in Wayward Cave, the cave accessed by cutting down some trees by the Bicycle Path and wandering past the grass there? After a couple hours of wandering (and helping Mira out), you'll probably figure out that there's no Gible there. Now go look for an alternate entrance to the cave, one which is blocked from view by the Bicycle Path running above you. You need a Pokémon with Strength and Flash. Then, go to the basement and catch one, while you complete a semi-difficult bike course, at the end of which you also find the Earthquake TM. Platinum doesn't have the boulder, however, allowing the player to catch Gible much earlier than before.
- After acquiring the Poké Radar in Generations IV and VI, you can find coveted shiny Pokémon by using the latter. The actual method, called "chaining", would take at least ten pages or so to explain, so here's the simple version: if you KO or catch a Pokémon in a Radar encounter, the Radar will continue to trigger Pokémon; by traveling to the correct patch of shaking grass note without any extra encounters, you can find that species again, and the Radar will continue to trigger encounters with the same species of Pokémon this way (making this also a useful trick for Effort Value training, which requires headhunting certain species of Pokémon). None of this is mentioned beyond "sometimes if you use the Poke Radar, differently-colored Pokémon appear". Even then you can still be screwed by the RNG.
- Munchlax, the baby Snorlax, and the only means of getting Snorlax in DPPt without trading. It can only be found in Honey Trees, which involves slathering honey on trees, waiting at least 6 hours for a Pokémon to appear (and not more than 24 hours, or the Pokémon will disappear) and then checking the tree, but Munchlax only appear in 4 of the 21 Honey trees. The trees are spread randomly all over the region and you're likely to never come across at least a few. And these four trees aren't the same for everyone - they are randomized for each individual save file based on your Player ID and a secret ID. And the game gives no indication or hint as to which trees have Munchlax in them, so you're forced to slather all the trees until you find one. And even if you did have the knowledge to know what four trees still be host to Munchlax, you're STILL at the mercy of the RNG, because each of the four special trees has a 1% chance of attracting a Munchlax. Save Scumming won't help; the Pokémon you'll get from a Honey Tree is determined when you slap on the honey, but you can't tell what it will be until 6 hours later. Went to a tree, saved, and found a Combee? Reset all you want. It's still Combee. (Though this is useful for finding female Combee, which are required to get Vespiquen, another Guide Dang It if you didn't know only female Combee evolve. You probably won't discover this by accident, because almost 90% of Combee are male.) And that's not all! If you add more honey to a tree immediately after failing to get Munchlax from it, it has a bonus 90% chance to select another Pokémon from the regular non-Munchlax group, so even if it's a Munchlax tree it now has a 0.1% chance of giving you what you want. You have to harvest another tree before slathering the first one. Not only is this arbitrary and counterintuitive, the game encourages you to screw your chances of success by asking if you want to add honey right after fighting the tree's Pokémon. Naturally, it can take months to find a Munchlax using this method, meaning the simpler and faster option would actually be to get a copy of FR/LG or HG/SS, play until you can catch Snorlax in that game, transfer it to your Sinnoh game, and breed it while the Snorlax holds a Full Incense.
- Dialga and Palkia in Platinum. First, you must find the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs, located in an out-of-the-way cavern in Mt. Coronet that is unlikely to be discovered by most players. Then, you must travel to the Spear Pillar. Players of Diamond and Pearl know that there is no post-story reason to return to the Spear Pillar, except to play the Azure Flute which is unobtainable without cheating. Sure, people might want to go to the Spear Pillar just to see if the portal to the Distortion World is still there, but it's not likely that they'd find the orbs first. Cynthia's grandmother does hint that the orbs can summon their respective dragons, at least, but that still doesn't tell you where the orbs are.
HeartGold and SoulSilver
- There is a Guide Dang It with the Johto Safari Zone itself. When the Warden tells you about objects, he doesn't really mention that you simply have to press "A" in the Safari Zone to place the objects. Thankfully, it's a mild example, but easy to miss if you didn't already know.
- A few Pokémon of the third and fourth generations can be found hiding in trees. Now, there are a handful of specimens that are found in very specific trees (and every single tree in the game can be headbutted, so we're talking about thousands of trees). One example: Taillow is found at Cherrygrove, the first city you visit in the game, after a pool of water and over a pile of rocks that can be only climbed after you beat all the 16 Gyms. There are four trees, and you need to headbutt the lower left tree. Even then you can still fight other Pokémon or yield nothing at all even after dozens of tries.
- Tracking down Suicune can be this if you didn't bother with it outside of Mt. Mortar (the one place where you need Cut to enter) after reaching Vermilion City. In Crystal, the only obligatory Suicune encounter is to the north of Cianwood City before it moves to the Tin/Bell Tower after you obtain Clear Bell following the dissolution of Team Rocket. Here, it is compulsory to encounter it outside of Mt. Mortar so that it will appear just when you leave the Vermilion Harbor, leading to another chase sequence around Kanto before it finally resides on top of the hill at the end of Route 25.
- To get a Rayquaza in Gen IV without transfer, it is necessary to bring Groudon and Kyogre. That's easy enough to guess. The unexpected part is that you cannot use Groudon and Kyogre transferred from Gen III games. One of them has to be your own, caught in Heart Gold/Soul Silver, and the other has to be the one someone else caught also in Soul Silver/Heart Gold, and traded to you. And the games don't tell you this. So it's not uncommon for people to ask in online forums why their own Groudon/Kyogre transferred from previous Generation does not work. This also means Rayquaza can become unobtainable if you traded away your Groudon/Kyogre to random person via GTS before knowing this.
Black and White
- In order to encounter Landorus you need both Tornadus and Thundurus in your party. However, make sure not to forget to bring your own Tornadus/Thundurus, because if the one available on the game you want to catch Landorus on is not yours, then you won't be able to get Landorus. Nowhere is this mentioned, and it can render Landorus unobtainable. And this is an even worse case than the Rayquaza mentioned above, as with Rayquaza you at least can still get its entry by transferring from Gen III, if you can transfer. You absolutely cannot do that with Landorus, as it is a Pokémon debuting in Gen V.
- Getting Larvesta, which can only be obtained by either breeding a Volcarona (single one per game, in an area you'll have to visit at least twice for plot, so not as bad) or getting an egg from a trainer at the far end of an otherwise optional, dead-end route. No trainers use it in battle, and it's part of the Regional dex. Fortunately unlike in Gen IV, the National Dex is opened by beating the Champion instead. In sequels at least, Volcarona is treated like stationary legends - if not caught, it respawns upon Hall of Fame.
- If you're playing White, the first one, and you don't personally know anybody else to trade with, you're going to have a lot of trouble with Vullaby and Mandibuzz. This evolutionary line is exclusive to Black and Black 2, and there are no in-game encounters with either of them to register them as "seen" in the Pokédex. Since at that point, you were only allowed to trade for seen Pokémon over the GTS, your only options were to get lucky over GTS Negotiations or schedule a meeting online with someone willing to trade for you (both of which cannot be done anymore as Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been discontinued). Black has it easier because Cynthia has Braviary on her team, allowing you to request for that over the GTS, and Black and White 2 allow you to see both evolutionary lines in both games.
Black 2 and White 2
- You can get Regirock after deciphering an odd but fairly easy puzzle. You may think that you need to solve a puzzle of similar means to find the other two, but no. Registeel is in Black 2 and Regice is in White 2. You need to go to the title screen to your Unova Link settings, manually change the location of the Rock Chamber to either the Ice Chamber or Steel Chamber, and then go capture the mon. Then, you need to trade over the correct key using the Unova Link settings and two DS systems to get the other mon you don't have. MUCH easier than all that malarkey in Gen III, but nothing in the game mentions anything about Unova Link, besides the whole flashback thing.
- Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf. When you enter the Cave of Being after beating the game (which itself is difficult to find, considering one has to surf along an early-game river to reach an off beaten path, much like Sinnoh's Fuego Ironworks), the three Pokémon will fly off so you can catch them. The problem is, you have no idea where they are, and they turn invisible until you reveal them. Bianca will show up at your house to hint at their locations (and even straight up tell you Azelf is on Route 23; surprisingly nice of her if you consider the other examples on this page), and they only reveal themselves after you stand in ONE very specific spot in the entire overworld. They will not be there prior to your arrival like other legendaries. The most frustrating of these to find is Azelf, who appears in a completely random spot on Route 23; at least Uxie and Mesprit appear in front of the Nacrene museum and in front of the stairs on Celestial Tower's roof respectively, so if you try to access either location you'll run into them eventually (although guessing they're waiting invisibly for you to find them there is still a long stretch). Bianca (who happens to be visiting your house after triggering the event) clues about where to find the Pokémon are a little roundabout though, such as talking about them being near what they embody (Azelf is Willpower, so near Victory Road, Uxie is Knowledge so Nacrene museum, and Mesprit is Emotion, so the Celestial Tower roof). However, knowing that Bianca tells you these things is a Guide Dang It in itself (or if you happen to speak to her after rematching the Elite Four).
X and Y
- X and Y have a fair bit of this. The regional Dex is massive, containing a whopping 454 Pokémon. What this means is that nearly every route has at least one rare Pokémon that only shows up there. This is slightly alleviated with the trainers in Battle Chateau who use rare Pokémon so at least you get their dex entries to know where they are located in the game.
- There are also some Pokémon that are only available via the new Horde Encounters. Some of these can reasonably be worked out, as they evolve into other Pokémon you can find on the area, like Bellsprout on Route 14 (or you could just breed their evolution). Others, not as much — and Arceus help you if it's one of the aforementioned Pokémon that only show up on one route on top of that.
- One noteworthy Horde Encounter is the Seviper and Zangoose variant as it's the only way for the player to catch the version-exclusive Pokémon from the other game. Depending on whether the player has X or Y, four will appear of the one that's exclusive to the player's current game while the fifth Pokémon will end up being the version-exclusive from the second game. The catch is that given the Seviper vs. Zangoose rivalry in the lore, the four Pokémon will gang up on the one, so it's literally impossible to defeat all four one-by-one in an attempt to save the one Pokémon that's getting ganged up on before it faints. The method to save the one getting ganged up on is to use a multi-target attack that can hit all four of the attackers at once, but even then, said multi-target attack has to still be weak enough to not knock out the Seviper or Zangoose that's being ganged up on.
- Rotom can be found in garbage bins at the Lost Hotel, but only on Tuesdays. Rotom cannot be "seen" in the Kalos Pokédex without catching one (meaning you can't consult the in-game Pokédex as to where they are), and there is no guarantee that any of the garbage bins would contain Rotom. While some of the garbage bins wiggle, hinting that you should check them, the ones that stay still may have Rotom in them too. On all other days of the week, they contain Garbodor.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- There's a locked room in the Sea Mauville that tells you you're being watched when you enter, and reading through some files mentions the Odd Keystone (an item related to Spiritomb). You can encounter a Spiritomb by opening and closing your bag after reading the document about the Old Keystone, but the game never gives a hint about taking that course of action.
- If you thought that the legendary golems were hard enough to find, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bring the trump card with Regigigas. After you get all three Regis, you need to go back to the Island Cave (the cave on Route 105 where you caught Regice) during daytime, nickname the Regice and have it hold an icy item (eg. Castelia Cone or Never-Melt Ice). Then you can battle Regigigas. Oh, and they have to be golems you caught in that game. No fair cheating bringing in transferred or Mystery Gift Regis.
- Finding most of the legendary Pokémon originating from the Johto, Sinnoh and Unova games requires fulfilling certain conditions that are never specified. Some require you to Soar around with a specific Pokémon in your party before their Mirage Spot appears. Some of these are logical, like needing both Reshiram and Zekrom to find Kyurem. On the other hand, finding Tornadus or Thundurus requires you to Soar around with a Castform in your party. Yes, it's related to weather, but it only makes sense in retrospect, and it's unlikely you'll just have it in your party anyways. Some require you to have one or three Pokémon with certain qualities to find- you'll probably find Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit without even knowing what triggered it (have three Pokémon with maximum Happiness in your party) and Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion will likely be the same (have three Pokémon with maximum Effort Values in your party), but finding Reshiram or Zekrom (have a level 100 Pokémon in your party) probably won't happen by accident.
- And then there's the thing with the encounter itself, particularly in the case of the trios. Each trio have their own Mirage Spot, with each member sharing the same Mirage Spot note , but the thing is, each trio member rotates their appearance, and nothing in the game tells you this, not to mention this is the only instance in the entire series where a trio of stationary legendaries in one same location naturally rotates their appearance, so someone who finally discover the island, encounter one member of the trio, and reload save to bring a Synchronizer or catcher Pokemon, may gets freaked out when another member of the trio shows up instead, just because he/she comes into the Mirage Spot island again after it already rolled into the next rotation. And oh, each of the trio has different rotation method, which is naturally, also not mentioned in the game.
- For Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, which one shows up is determined by the current time, separated by 20 minutes each in every one hour.
- For Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, which one shows up depends on what day is it - Cobalion on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, Terrakion on Tuesday and Saturday, Virizion on Monday and Thursday.
- For Mesprit, Uxie, and Azelf, which one shows up is also determined by the current time, but separated by certain hours within one day. The kicker here, is that they are not equal separation at all. Mesprit appears from 4:00 AM to 7:59 PM, Uxie from 8:00 PM to 8:59 PM, and Azelf from 9:00 PM to 3:59 AM.
Sun and Moon
- A new kind of wild battle introduced in Sun and Moon is the SOS battle. This is where a wild Pokémon may call for an ally to aid it battle against your Pokémon. Usually it'll call another of its kind (either the same form or an evolved relative), but a few Pokémon will call in a different species. Sometimes it'll be a Pokémon that can only be encountered in this fashion. For example, if you want to catch a Sableye, you'll need to get into a battle with a Carbink and wait for it to call in one.
- Of particular mention are 'Weather SOS' encounter tables - in certain regions of the Alolan Islands like the Lush Jungle, for example, the kinds of Pokémon that can be summoned by wild encounters will change when it's raining (or hailing, or sandstorming, or so on). This is the only way to encounter certain Pokémon, like Goomy. Out of all of them, one that's the most aggravating to find is Castform. It can be found in all kinds of weather, but it only shows up 1 percent of the time note .
- Getting all 100 Zygarde Cells and Cores to get a Zygarde with Power Construct is so convoluted that it generated several reports that a glitch could render the quest Unwinnable by Mistake; it's hard to tell whether or not this glitch actually exists or if it's the product of a player not realizing that he or she didn't pick up an easy Cell elsewhere. Getting the Cores is easy once you know where they are - there are only five of them, and they appear in your house and the homes of the Kahunas - but collecting the 95 Cells is a different story. There's no in-game indication of how many Cells are left on an island or where they are, meaning you have to visit every single location listed in walkthroughsnote , and some only appear at a certain time of day, meaning you have to scour all four islands and Aether Paradise twice.
- A large number of fishing-exclusive Pokémon in Sun and Moon (that is, most aside from Magikarp and Wishiwashi) have ridiculously low encounter rates... with one exception. Exactly one fishing spot on the entire route will bubble, and fishing while the spot is bubbling will increase your chance of encountering the rare Pokémon. So what is the condition for bubbling? Well, it bubbles by default, but as soon as you successfully fish anything from the spot, the bubbles will disappear and the fishing hole will act identically to any other. You can also move too quickly past the fishing hole to accomplish the same effect. The only way to reset the bubbles is to leave the area and come back (quick for Seafolk village, rather long for Brooklet Hill) or reset the game itself. And on top of that, knowing which rare encounter is present in which route is dependent on finding a trainer who uses the Pokémon in the first place and consulting the Pokédex.
- Mareanie is a pretty annoying Pokémon to catch. It's found in two routes in the game and only by fishing, which by itself, isn't too bad. The issue comes in that you can't directly fish a Mareanie; you first have to fish a Corsola, which has a 5% encounter rate. From there, the player then has to hope that it will call upon a Mareanie through the SOS mechanic, which has a 1% or 5% chance of occurring depending on which location you're fishing.note Yes, it's a great example of deliberate Gameplay and Story Integrationnote , but it's still time-consuming and can take a few hours to accomplish.
- Surfing encounters are even worse as there is no way to increase the rare encounter rates at all unlike the bubbles on fishing spots, not helped by the reduced encounter rate while surfing. For example, Lapras is so scarce that it is easier to get one from Poké Pelago than running around the Poni Coast, which says something considering Poké Pelago is not even the easiest way to get a specific Pokémon. So most players just transfer a Lapras from previous games instead.
- After completing Sun and Moon, some players may notice that there's an empty slot in the Rotom Pokédex (#165) between Marowak and Magby. That's because this unknown Pokémon happens to be Kangaskhan, who has a rare 1% encounter rate, or has to be called upon by Cubone through the SOS Battle mechanic, at Wela Volcano Park. Players can easily pass over this due to the rarity of getting Kangaskhan to appear, and no trainer before the postgame is ever battled against who owns a Kangaskhan for the player to learn about its Wela Volcano Park location Explanation . The closest hint the game provides is that because Kangaskhan is sandwiched between Marowak and Magby in the Rotom dex, an educated guess can be made that the missing Pokémon will most likely appear along with Cubone and Magby at Wela Volcano Park. This was addressed for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as a new Preschooler trainer on Route 7 (the area right after Wela Volcano Park) battles with a Kangaskhan.
- Despite being Trade Evolution Pokémon, it's possible in Sun and Moon to catch Gengar and Politoed in the wild. Unfortunately, both are extremely rare encounters that only have a 1% chance of appearing through the SOS Battle mechanic.
- Compared to Gengar, Politoed is even worse, because the Pokémon will only appear during the night while it's raining. If that wasn't bad enough, the only area that the player can find Politoed, the 3rd island's Malie Garden, doesn't even have natural rain pouring down. The player has to constantly use Rain Dance or the Drizzle ability to keep the rain going while trying to initiate SOS Battles to get Politoed to appear in the rain. The feeling of wasting a SOS Battle appearance during that one turn where it happens to not be raining due to the Rain Dance / Drizzle effect wearing off will always be there.
- Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon decided to add even more Trade Evolution Pokémon that can only be found through the SOS battle mechanic with Slowking, Huntail and Gorebyss. Like before, they all have the 1% encounter rates, and Huntail and Gorebyss can only be found during the night and day respectively.
- The SOS Battle mechanic allows you to obtain a Salamence on route 3 at level 10. However, it is also a 1% encounter rate when called in by a Bagon... Which is a 1% encounter rate itself.
- Obtaining Porygon may look simple at first glance since you just need to speak to an NPC within Route 15's Aether House, and they provide you the Pokémon. Unfortunately, it's only possible to initiate the NPC conversation of obtaining Porygon after the player has become the Alola Champion. As a result, this can be easily forgotten about after the player finishes the game. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon makes you wait even further by having to complete the "Episode RR" post-game content first.
- Catching Larvesta in the Lush Jungle can be a bit of a challenge in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. It may seem like common sense at first to check the jungle's tall grass, but in actuality, the only area Larvesta appears at is within the small cave area after the Strength boulder, which means that you can't actually get Larvesta until you receive "Machamp Shove" from Hapu's grandmother on the 4th island. For added difficulty, Larvesta only has a rare 1% encounter rate with no additional methods to make that percentage go up any higher; meaning that you could be spending up to an hour-plus until one finally appears amongst all the Golbats, Salandits and Dugtrios.
- When using the Ultra Warp Ride to try to find legendaries in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, getting the warp hole for Guzzlord is easily the most difficult. The white-colored warp holes for the Ultra Beast encounters are already rare to come across during the Ultra Warp Ride, but to get to Guzzlord's world, you need to hope that the white warp holes that appear are at the level of Rarity 3 or Rarity 4. And even then, the Rarity 3 warp holes only have a slight chance of taking the player to Guzzlord's world while the Rarity 4 warp hole that has the best chance to reach Guzzlord's world has the lowest chance of appearing amongst ALL the different warp hole variants.
- Something that's very easy to gloss over for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is that it is possible in-game to obtain the fossil Pokémon that are exclusive to the opposing game. The method to do so however is very time consuming as it requires the player to go into Poké Pelago, and continuously send Pokémon off on "Rare-Treasure Hunting" trips in the hopes that one of the random items that gets brought back after a certain amount of hours turns out to be a new fossil. Finding 1 new fossil could already end up taking days to drop due to being the rarest random items that could be brought back, but there's up to 5 fossil exclusives that the player could possibly find.
Sword and Shield
- Dhelmise is a rough one to find in Sword and Shield. It's already quite rare to find on Galar's Route 9 being a 1% encounter, or hoping that it pops up during active weather, but what makes it worse is that it's impossible to get the Pokédex entry since no trainer throughout the game ever uses a Dhelmise. The only hint you ever get that the Pokémon even exists in the game is when you're partnered with a NPC trainer during a Max Raid battle who uses a Dhelmise. And even then, you're still not provided the Pokédex entry.
- The version exclusives, Turtonator (Sword) and Drampa (Shield). Both are entirely weather-dependent where they will only spawn in the Lake of Outrage if there's sunlight for Turtonator or a thunderstorm for Drampa. For added difficulty, neither are Overworld Pokémon, so players need to grind random encounters from the rustling grass to finally get Turtonator or Drampa to appear, which could end up going for awhile as it turns out that they only have a 2% encounter rate. Sword players get an extra kick in the balls when it turns out that the Turtonator they're trying to catch has Explosion, which has led some players to use Quagsire during the search since its Damp ability prevents Turtonator from using the suicide move. Shield players get shafted a different way, though: like Dhelmise above, no trainer in the game uses a Drampa (not even Max Raid AI partners like with Dhelmise), but one does use a Turtonator. The end result is that without looking up the Pokédex for Galar, Shield players will be left with Turtonator, a Pokémon whose Habitat data simply says "Habitat Unknown", and an empty slot above it.
- Any Pokémon evolution that does not involve leveling up is a Guide Dang It since the second generation, what with things like certain stat values, time of day, gender, or even location affecting Pokémon evolutions. It can even be two of those at once, like Galarian Yamask needing it to be at low HP as you passed a certain location in the game that does not even look like it can be an evolution location.
- Eevee is a Pokémon with the primary gimmick of having more than three evolutions, each with their own method and not one of them hinted at. Good luck getting the one you want. Luckily, you can just press B to cancel an evolution, though even this is All There in the Manual... however, this doesn't work if you used an Evolution Stone to evolve it.
- Evolving Eevee into Vaporeon, Flareon or Jolteon involves using a Water / Fire / Thunder Stone respectively on Eevee. This is the only time one of those stones is used to evolve a Pokémon outside of their respective types.
- Espeon and Umbreon are gained by getting Eevee to max happiness followed by leveling it up. However you also have to level up Eevee in the day to get Espeon while it will evolve into Umbreon at night.
- Were you hanging on to Eevee in the hopes of snagging an Espeon or Umbreon for your team, and happened to level up while training in either Eterna Forest or on Route 217? Even if this just so happened to be the level in which your Eevee reached the point where it would evolve into Espeon/Umbreon, the Mossy/Icy Rock evolutions take precedence over the happiness evolutions. Hopefully you realized this during the very brief evolution scene and pressed B in time. Generation VIII dropped location-specific evolutions in favor of using stones; Mossy Rock-based evolutions (such as Eevee to Leafeon) now require a Leaf Stone, Icy Rock-based evolutions (such as Eevee to Glaceon) now require an Ice Stone, and magnetic field-based evolutions (such as Charjabug to Vikavolt) now require a Thunder Stone.
- Thanks to HGSS ditching out Mossy and Icy Rocks a few players may not have even realized the developers added them to Unova; then, they unwittingly level up their Eevee in Pinwheel Forest or the basement level of Twist Mountain. On top of that, thanks to the new evolution scene (which removed the silhouette flicker in favor of a vortex effect), it's hard to tell just WHAT it is your Pokémon is evolving into until it's already too late. Fortunately, this sets up a trend for future games to have their own Mossy and Icy rocks as well. Gen VIII did away with the Mossy and Icy rocks entirely, finally allowing players to use a Leaf or Ice stone to evolve an Eevee into Leafeon or Glaceon.
- As though we didn't have enough Eevee-related woes, in Gen VI, it got another evolution in the form of Sylveon. How do you get one of these? Eevee has to level up with level 2 Affection (from Pokémon-Amie) while knowing a Fairy-type move. This is never mentioned in the game, and it took a while after the game's release for somebody to figure it out. Actually getting your hands on Sylveon is frustrating enough if you didn't know this beforehand, but it's worse if you're trying to get an Espeon or Umbreon instead; if you happened to let your Eevee learn Charm or Baby-Doll eyes, and its Affection is high enough, the Fairy-type move-based evolution takes priority over the normal friendship evolutions. And, like Gen V, you have no way of telling what your Pokémon is evolving into until it's evolved. Due to the Affection mechanic's removal in Generation VIII, Eevee instead evolves into Sylveon by leveling up with high friendship while knowing a Fairy-type move; since evolution into Sylveon still takes precedence over evolution into Espeon or Umbreon, any Fairy-type moves must be deleted if the player wants an Espeon or Umbreon instead.
- Baby Pokémon might count as this: you can only find some Pokémon by breeding their parents. This then requires a female evolution of the baby. Which Pokémon are only obtainable therein isn't really explained. To add insult to injury, in the case of any baby introduced from Generation III onwards note this also requires the parent to be holding a certain type of incense. Thankfully, at least using a Ditto will also work for breeding when you only have a male.
- Certain Pokémon only evolve if traded while holding a certain item, or if leveled up holding a certain item. These items usually aren't labeled as influencing evolution, and some of them have a beneficial effect, so one might never realize they have a second use.
- Tyrogue will evolve into one of three Pokémon based on whether its Attack and Defense are higher than each other or equal. Strangely, all three evolutions have similar stats and are all offensively-based.
- Milotic in Generations III and IV. If the player is exceptionally lucky on Route 119 (see above), the player can encounter some ugly brown fish called Feebas which the Pokédex urges you to ignore and cannot do anything but Splash around. How does it evolve? Level up with max Beauty stat, one of the stats for Pokémon Contests. In order to raise its Beauty stat, feed it with blue PokéBlocks (in Generation III) or Poffins (in Generation IV). It's actually harder than it sounds. Generation V has greatly simplified that by making Feebas way easier to encounter, and Feebas now evolves by being traded with the Prism Scale as there's no contest in Unova, which even mimics Milotic's color scheme. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have brought back the original evolution method, but it's now much easier, since not only has the Pokéblock-making process been heavily simplified, but now your Pokémon are able to eat an unlimited number of Pokéblocks. In addition, it's easier to find Feebas in this game; they have a 5% chance of appearing when you fish in any Route 119 water tile with any rod. What's more, if you fish underneath the bridge on that route at daytime or around a conspicuous large rock in the water near a female Ranger at night, Feebas will always appear.
- Shedinja. Shedinja cannot be found in the wild and despite appearing in the Pokédex after Nincada and Ninjask and obviously being from the same evolution line, doesn't evolve from anything. To get it, the player must raise a Nincada to Level 20 and let it evolve with at least one empty slot in their party and (in Generation IV and later) at least one standard red-and-white Pokéball with them. Having the Pokéball is pretty likely already, but most players go around with a full party for the entire game as soon as they are able to do so. Shedinja is also used only by five Trainers in the entire seriesnote : Greta while battling her for Silver Symbol, Bugsy in his rematch team, Inver as one of his possible Pokémon in the Inverse Battle, Agnol in the Deep Colosseum, and an Ace Trainer in Mauville's food court.
- Wurmple evolves into either Silcoon or Cascoon at random. "Cool, so just press B if it's the wrong one?" No, it's also fixed. Specifically, it's based on its hidden personality value, a 32-bit unsigned integer assigned to every mon upon creation that determines random-but-fixed traits such as gender, IVs, ability, nature, etc. "Cool, so I can derive it from those?" Maybe? If you can figure out how to derive "the upper half of the PV, modulo 10", all power to you. However, it's easier to catch the other one from what your Wurmple evolves into, in Petalburg Woods, but they won't know any offensive moves and will never learn any until after they evolve at level 10.
- As of Generation IV, some Pokémon only evolve if they know a specific move when they level up. Some of them make sense - Mime Jr. and Bonsly need to learn Mimic to evolve, and they are known for mimicking things. Yanma, Piloswine and Tangela need to learn Ancient Power to evolve, and as their evolutions have prehistoric basis, that makes sense. Evolving Lickitung into Lickilicky makes no sense whatsoever, as it needs to know Rollout to evolve, and that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the evolutionary line's abilities. But with Piloswine, it's worse than that; the only way it can learn Ancient Power to begin with is via the Move Relearner.
- Magneton and Nosepass only evolve if leveled up in Mt. Coronet, which apparently exudes a magnetic field that affects the two magnet-based Pokémon. Unfortunately, nowhere in the game is it mentioned that Mt. Coronet is magnetic! An NPC in Platinum tells the player that certain Pokémon evolve when leveled up at Mt. Coronet, but they never hint as to which Pokémon or that Mt. Coronet is magnetic.
- Then there's Mantyke, which has another unique evolution method... you have to evolve it by leveling it up with a Remoraid in your party. Although the evolutionary line is blatantly associated with Remoraid, it's still a stretch because Slowpoke doesn't require Shellder in the party to evolve and Remoraid hasn't been attached to Mantine since Generation IV.
- Karrablast and Shelmet. The two have some kind of relation in vaguely-worded Pokédex entries. Evolving them turns out to be more confusing. Not only do you have to trade them to evolve (which is a guide dang it in itself), but you specifically have to trade one for the other to evolve each. No other Pokémon evolve this way.
- On the other hand, Black 2 and White 2 did its best to avert this to newcomers. You can ask Prof. Juniper via Xtransceiver how any Pokémon in your party can evolve (if possible), and when she doesn't outright tell you every possible way to evolve it (she even explains every single method at once for Eevee), she at least gives you a clear hint (for example, if you show her either Karrablast or Shelmet, she will tell you they evolve only when traded with a certain Pokémon, leaving you to connect the dots). However, you're still on your own to figure out anything after Generation V, which brings the question of why didn't Game Freak bring a similar feature back in the subsequent games...
- In Black 2 and White 2, getting Chansey is surprisingly kind of difficult. The player is given an egg that hatches into a Happiny. However, there's no simple way to get the Oval Stone that evolves it since the only ways to get one is to hope that one is randomly looted from a cave dust-cloud encounter, or grind through the entire White Treehollow / Black Tower post-game content until the final item store is unlocked that will allow the player to purchase an Oval Stone.
- In order to fully evolve Sliggoo into Goodra, you have to reach level 50. Sounds simple, except it has to be raining in the overworld for it to evolve. The only hints we get are that Route 14 (the first time you encounter Goomy) is raining often and an Advance Tip at Route 17 that indicates one Pokémon evolves in the rain but never states which or it must be raining overworld. There's also the fact that Sliggoo can learn Rain Dance by leveling up, but that still isn't helpful, given that the rain created with this move won't appear in the overworld.
- Inkay to Malamar needs to reach level 30 and requires the system to be upside down upon level up. The only hint is Inkay's preference for reversing. This method carried over to Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch, meaning players won't be able to evolve Inkay at all if they only play a non-Lite Switch in docked mode, as opposed to handheld or on a Switch Lite.
- To evolve Pancham into Pangoro, it needs to reach level 32 while a Dark-type is in the party with them. While it isn't a big one, it's annoying to those who don't like overlapping types in their party and expected Pancham to naturally evolve without any additions.
- Finding the post-game Mega Stones in X and Y is more complicated than necessary. First, the player must go to the Battle Maison and defeat a trainer at least once so the rival will appear at Kiloude City. After defeating the rival, the rival will inform the player that Sycamore is at Anistar City. After the player talks to Sycamore, the Mega Ring is upgraded and now the player can find all the remaining Mega Stones. The kicker? The player can only obtain these Mega Stones from 8 PM to 9 PM. Not only that, most of the Mega Stone's location makes no sense. Such as Mawilite is located at an area that most players have little to no reason to go back. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire fixes the time issue in that Mega Stones can be found at any time of day before the end of the game, although only a few of them will be available from the beginning - the rest turn up after you calm down Primal Kyogre/Groudon and complete Episode Delta. Even then some of them can be found in counter-intuitive places, just like in X and Y.
- Many of the new Pokémon evolve using methods detailed in the sections of previous generations. But a completely new requirement is now involves which version of the game you have. Rockruff evolves at level 25 into Lycanroc, but what kind of Lycanroc you get depends on the version you're playing. You can only get Midday Lycanroc evolving Rockruff in Sun while doing the same in Moon will reveal Midnight Lycanroc.note Fortunately they can be encountered in the Vast Poni Canyon grass regardless of version. This kind of restriction also applies to what Legendary Pokémon Cosmog will eventually become.
- A few of the Alolan variants require different methods of evolution from their regular counterparts. Both kinds of Rattata evolve at level 20, but Alolan Rattata also need it to be nighttime to evolve. Cubone will only evolve beyond level 28 at nighttime and refuse to do so at any other time unlike other games. Alolan Meowth and Alolan Sandshrew don't evolve by leveling like their regular counterparts but instead evolve via happiness and an evolution stone respectively. And just to be annoying, some of them (such as Alolan Diglett and Exeggute evolving into Alolan Exeggutor) evolve the same way as normal.
- Want the regular variants of Raichu, Marowak and Exeggutor? In Sun and Moon, getting them is impossible as they'll automatically evolve into their Alolan variants. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon changes this by allowing you to travel outside of Alola and evolve them there. Specifically, you need to travel into Ultra Space, which doesn't count as "Alola".
- Magnetic-based evolutions in this generation. One would think that the power plant at the Blush Mountain would serve as the method to perform this kind of evolution, but it was actually located at the Vast Poni Canyon, which is filled with mostly Rock-types and has no connection to electricity or magnetism at all. What's worse is that Vast Poni Canyon is a late-game area, meaning you have to wait for a long time to evolve your Magneton, Nosepass and Charjabug.
- Good news for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon players. They changed the magnetic based evolution location so it actually is the power station on Blush Mountain (though Vast Poni Canyon still also works). The bad news is, since the game gives an extremely missable hint and all the other location based evolutions are in the same place players of the original version probably will not think of that.
- Similarly, Crabrawler can only evolve into Crabominable by leveling it up at Mount Lanakila... which is the final area of the story. Putting aside that Crabrawler simply isn't really equipped to go through the entire game unevolved, the player never sees a Crabominable until the very end of the game where it's used by one of the Elite Four members, so unless they knew about it beforehand they likely would have no reason to guess Crabrawler's evolved form would be part Ice-type at all, much less that it would require such an extra step in evolving it.
- Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon changes it so that you can access just the very beginning part of Mount Lanakila as soon as you arrived at Tapu Village, allowing you to evolve Crabrawler earlier, but as with the change for magnetic-based evolutions, since nothing in the game tell you this, players can easily miss this.
- Evolving Sneasel can be a bit difficult in Sun and Moon, because there's no way to easily obtain the Razor Claw evolution item in the game apart from hoping to get one off of the wild Jangmo-o line in Vast Poni Canyon. And even then, not only do Jangmo-o only have a low 5% encounter rate, it's only a 5% chance that a Jangmo-o, or a SOS Battle Hakamo-o, will actually be holding a Razor Claw. The final Kommo-o stage has a 50% chance of holding a Razor Claw, but the player still has to rely on the SOS Battle mechanic to get it to appear. This has led a lot of players to have a Butterfree in the first slot of the party while hunting for Jangmo-o since Butterfree's ability, Compound Eyes, increases the chance of the Razor Claw appearing.
- This is rectified in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon where a scientist by the patch of grass in front of Route 15's Aether House will provide the player a Razor Claw.
- Although it's not available in the main game in either Sun and Moon or the Ultra versions, evolving Gligar into Gliscor is almost as much of a pain as Sneasel. Much like Sneasel, it can only evolve by leveling up at night while holding a Razor Fang, which in both releases can only be found 5% of the time on wild Bruxish. While Bruxish is more common overall than Jangmo-o, it can only be found by fishing in certain areas and if you either find something that isn't a Bruxish or find a Bruxish that isn't holding the item, you have to leave the area and come back for a reasonable chance of finding another Bruxish.
- Evolving Poipole in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon requires the Pokémon to level-up while knowing Dragon Pulse, which is a move that Poipole doesn't have when you first receive one at level 40. Unfortunately, Dragon Pulse is a level 1 starter move that has to be relearned from the Move Reminder, who you can't meet until reaching the final Pokémon Center on Mount Lanakila. The game never hints at you requiring Dragon Pulse to evolve, so it's very easy to end up skipping over this, and level-up Poipole to a high level until finally catching on that some other component is required for Poipole's evolution.
- Sirfetch'd, the evolution of Galarian Farfetch'd, has a particularly diabolical example, as Farfetch'd will only evolve if it manages to land three critical hits in a single battle. Not only is this never hinted at in the main game (it only makes a bit of sense in retrospect, as Sirfetch'd is mentioned in its Pokédex entry as being the result of a Farfetch'd surviving many intense battles), but given the nature of critical hits as a random and largely unpredictable boost, evolving it is something of a Luck-Based Mission even with the use of items or moves to boost the rate of crits. Using False Swipe to prevent the opponent from fainting isn't an option — while Kantonian Farfetch'd (which can't evolve) can learn False Swipe via TM, even in Generation VIII, Galarian Farfetch'd and Sirfetch'd can't.
- In order to evolve Milcery into Alcremie, the player is required to spin the joystick on the Joycon until the player begins pirouetting in place, making sure that the Milcery in the player's party is holding a Sweet item. This could arguably qualify in itself, since the spinning mechanic is never directly alluded to in the game; however, the mechanic does make a fair amount of thematic sense (Alcremie is made of cream, so the player is essentially churning Milcery into Alcremie), and the Sweet items specifically allude to a connection with Milcery and Alcremie. The really tricky part, however, is that the flavor of the resulting Alcremie (i.e. what form it takes upon evolving) depends on three separate factors: the direction the player spins (clockwise or counterclockwise, the amount of time they spin for (more or less than 5 seconds), and the time of day (day or night). Not only is this part much less intuitive, but the details are once again never mentioned in-game, leaving it up to the player to figure it out.
There's also a Guide Dang It within this Guide Dang It in order to unlock the special Rainbow Swirl Alcremie form. The method for unlocking it is so obtuse that for a while the fandom actually thought it was random chance until the solution was stumbled upon. In order to unlock Rainbow Swirl Alcremie, you have to make sure your Switch's clock is set to 7 PM, go to an area of the game where the sky is at dusk, and spin either clockwise or counterclockwise for at least 10 seconds.
- Evolving Galarian Yamask into new Pokémon Runerigus is quite possibly the most obtuse evolution method ever devised. In order to do it, you have to have your Galarian Yamask take at least 49 damage note from attacks without fainting or healing it, then walk under a specific stone archway in the Dusty Bowl with it in your party. Nothing in-game indicates any of this, so you probably won't figure out how to do it without a guide.
- Trying to figure out which Pokémon learn which moves can be frustrating because sometimes there seem to be no rules at all as to what moves a Pokémon can learn. Moves learned by leveling up are fairly predictable and tend to be within the Pokémon's own type. As for TMs, Pokémon understandably can learn almost any TM move that is the same elemental type as they are. TM moves outside of a Pokémon's own type is where it really gets confusing. They can be anywhere from reasonable to just impossible. Generation VI does make it easier by selecting Item on any Pokémon in the party, and switching over to the TM tab can show which TM moves are incompatible with that Pokémon.
- Wonder why two or more same of the Pokémon will have different stats at the same level? That has to do with Individual Values. The existence of these stats are only vaguely alluded to in-game outside of a stats judge, and fully understanding the process and its various formulas by oneself without hacking and digging deep into the game files is likely an impossible task. Knowing these stats and understanding them is essential for breeding Pokémon for competitive battling. In fact, this is specifically an Internet Guide Dang It, as even Nintendo's official guides include only very vague information on IVs. Generation VII would eventually make IV checking easier for the player, making it an unlockable function on the PC so one doesn't have to hunt down on specific NPC every time.
- Effort Values (officially called Base Stats) also counted as this. After defeating a Pokémon, the Pokémon will add 1 to 3 EVs to a particular stat, that usually the highest stat of the defeated Pokémon (for example, a Geodude would give you 1 Defense EV). You can also gain and lose EVs by using certain items. Gaining a certain amount will raise that stat depending on the Pokémons level. Pokémon can have a maximum 252 EVs in a single stat and 510 EVs in total. However, prior to Generation VI introducing a straight-forward minigame known as Super Training for player to better manage this, the system was barely mentioned despite being just as important to competitive play as the above mentioned IVs.
- Natures were introduced in Generation III. One might think nature is just some Flavor Text that doesnt affect anything at all, but most of them will raise a particular stat by 10% in exchange for lowering another stat by the same amount.note From Heart Gold and Soul Silver onwards, theres a red text for stats that increase and blue text for stats that decrease, but some might think it's the opposite. From Generation VI onwards, the box system does have a search system that not only allows the player to search for a specific Nature of a Pokémon, but also details which stats are increased or decreased by Nature.
- Generation IV introduced Characteristic, which varies for each Pokémon, including the same species. Some might think its merely Flavor Text, but Characteristic actually vaguely indicates one of the stats contain the highest Individual Value.
- The entire move list in the first generation of games was a guide dang it, because nowhere in the game did any of those moves get their effects described. So you really had no idea what that new move Charmander just learned actually does, you just knew it's a Fire attack with 15 PP. Is it stronger or weaker than that other Fire attack it just forgot? Who knows?
- And still, in Generation II, you don't know if a move is good or not until you actually learn it. Obviously, when you replace a decent move for Swift (60 power, Normal-type and ignores accuracy and evasion modifications), this can be frustrating when you deleted a 100% accurate Normal move with 85 or so power.
- There are also several moves that seem a lot less useful than they actually are if you only go by the in-game description. Sacred Fire, for example, is Ho-oh's Signature Move. Checking its description, "a fire attack that may leave the target with a burn", and it seems to just be Flamethrower with 5 more power and 5 less accuracy. How is that worthy of being the Signature Move of an Olympus Mon? Well that's because it has a whopping 50% chance of inflicting a burn, while most other Fire moves only have 10%. Only Stadium 2 lists the exact chance. Even worse is Substitute. None of its in-game descriptions come anywhere close to describing everything it can do, probably because doing so would require multiple pages of info. (All only mention it being a "copy that serves as the user's decoy". They fail to mention that it makes you immune to Status moves while it's active, can be passed to others via Baton Pass, and retains the HP used to create it even if transferred to a Pokémon with more or less maximum HP)
- The ins and outs of breeding for movesets is a guide dang it all on its own. Breeding can result in babies that know moves from their parents, which results in expanded move pools for most Pokémon. However, which moves can be inherited aren't told anywhere in the game. Some of them can be inferred (it's easy to figure out that you can breed Thunderbolt onto any Pokémon who can learn it via TM), some of them aren't that surprising (Mud Shot can be learned by an awful lot - but throwing mud around isn't the most mind-blowing technique), but some are positively mind-boggling (Aron, a Rock/Steel type that weighs over a hundred pounds and eventually evolves into something weighing nearly 800 pounds, can inherit a move called Aerial Ace, a Flying-type swallow-inspired move). Additionally, it's more likely than not that you'll discover that Pokémon whose parents both know any level-up moves will also know said level-up moves upon hatching (for example, Magikarp being born knowing Tackle and/or Flail) completely by accident. Valuable for Pokémon with wildly divergent movelists upon level-up (like Seedot) or anyone looking to breed for Tournament Play (which sometimes imposes level restrictions, preventing you from acquiring moves via Level Grinding).
- And while it might occur to some people that if a move can be bred into one species, it could then be bred into another, the extent of chain breeding moves might not be so apparent. Some Pokémon can only learn certain moves if you go through multiple steps to get it. For example, say you're battling a friend who uses a Mamoswine (Ground/Ice), and you try to take advantage of its Water weakness, only to have your Water type one-shotted by a move you didn't know existed: Freeze-Dry (an Ice-type move that has the special bonus of being super-effective against water). You might wonder when Mamoswine learns such a counter-intuitive move. Well it had to be bred from a Delibird. How did Delibird learn it? It was bred from a Lapras. Which in turn was bred from Aurorus, the ONLY Pokémon in a useful Egg Group that can learn the move naturally. This specific chain is one of the only ways the move gets passed on (the other is breeding Swinub with Smeargle, if you can get Smeargle to Sketch the move). An extreme example of chain-breeding, but sometimes the move you want takes more work than you'd think to put in, or wouldn't know could even be learned by your mon, so good luck without a guide. Even worse is chain-breeding Wide Guard onto Honedge, who used to require at least five different Pokémon, two of which are starters, and Smeargle can't help here. note . Thankfully this was changed when Probopass (who can breed with Honedge directly) was given Wide Guard as a level up move.
- Many moves are learned by Pokémon at a lower level than you can actually acquire them legitimately meaning without a guide you may be unaware that your mon can even learn the move. This means the moves require a visit to the move relearner to obtain. A pretty bad case for this is Alolan Marowak (Ghost/Fire) who can only learn one useful Ghost type move named "Shadow Bone" (it can learn Shadow Ball via TM, which in itself is obtained fairly late in the game, but it's stats don't complement it) but learns it one level before Cubone can evolve. The move relearner in gen VII is right before the league so your Marowak will be stuck with no ghost moves for most of the game and only be able to get one good one right before the end.
- There's the Generation IV National Dex. It is unlocked by seeing (not catching) every Pokémon in the Sinnoh Dex (150 in Diamond and Pearl—seeing Manaphy, the 151st in the Sinnoh Dex, wasn't necessary—and 210 in Platinum), and to help make this easier, they made it so that every non-legendary Pokémon in the Sinnoh Dex could be seen in a trainer battle at some point during the game. Furthermore, to increase the likelihood that you'd have to beat the game (or come up just short) to do so, the only trainer with a Garchomp, Spiritomb, or Milotic (and in Platinum, you can add Togekiss to this list) is the Pokémon League Champion. However, they didn't always make it entirely evident where to find some of these. Examples of Pokémon that could easily be missed:
- Wormadam—in the party of a trainer on a part of Route 214 that you might not even end up visiting at all (in between Veilstone City and Lake Valor, since the first time you visit Lake Valor for plot purposes, you'll be coming from Pastoria City), whose gaze can easily be avoided as she isn't facing the main path.
- Riolu—in the party of a trainer at Ravaged Path. Platinum remedied this by giving one to another trainer on Route 217, but given the wide-open nature of that route, it's still no sure thing. And the only way to get one for yourself is to go through a sidequest in an optional area while keeping a slot in your party open (which also means no catching Pokémon while you're there) and then hatching an egg.
- Drifloon, which in Diamond and Pearl only appeared in a skippable trainer battle inside Fantina's gym, could be annoying to find as well if you didn't know that one and only one appears in front of the Valley Windworks every Friday. One appears in Amity Square with a Trainer and you can talk to it, but that doesn't count as viewing it...
- Palkia (Diamond)/Dialga (Pearl)/Manaphy (Platinum): In the original two, the Pokédex data for the legendary not appearing in your game could be obtained by returning to Celestic Town after Spear Pillar and talking to Cynthia's grandmother. In Platinum, both Dialga and Palkia are seen (and uncatchable) on your initial trip to Spear Pillar, but the expansion of the Sinnoh Dex to 210 means that data for the hidden number 151, Manaphy, must be collected. You can find this data in a similar fashion, but a different place: a book in Mr. Backlot's mansion.
- Rotom (Platinum only, as it only appears after beating the Champion in Diamond and Pearl). Without the guide letting you know you can only catch it in the Old Chateau at night, and that you need a certain key (which can only be obtained during a limited Wi-Fi event) to unlock its various forms...you'd pretty much have no idea it even exists. Later generations made accessing Rotom's forms easier by not making it a one-time event. It is even an easy-to-find NPC trade in Generation V. If you examine the TV during any other time, it at least hints that there's something special about it... However, it is kind of vague, and if you didn't already know about Rotom then you'd have little reason to examine the TV in the first place.
- Related to above is the Diamond and Pearl's iteration of the regional Pokédex. For some reason, some Pokémon that are introduced in Generation IV are not in them, and which are available and which aren't are mostly random (leading to things like Rotom only available after getting the National dex for example). Platinum thankfully fixes this problem with the regional dex expansion.
- Before all of this, there was the original guide dang it of the series: physical versus special moves. You can hammer your way through the game without knowing the difference, but if you want to fight well, it's the very first thing you have to understand. But nowhere in the first three generations of Pokémon games are the nine physical and eight special types actually listed — not even at the trainer schools! It does get listed in Earl's Academy in Pokémon Stadium 2, but it's fair to assume not that many people delved too deeply into what was a pretty minor part of the game (not to mention less people plays Stadium games compared to the main series games), and the help menu in FR/LG while in battle, as described below. Generation IV uncoupled physical/special from move types and added icons to each move showing which of the two it was, so it's no longer an issue.
- The entire Pokémon series is pretty much one giant guide dang it, but one huge one is the whole Elemental RockPaperScissors:
- The game does explain about super-effective and not very effective hits, and it gives some tips before Gyms, but you don't see a chart anywhere detailing the full list of what resists and what's weak to what. Some can be intuited, like Fire against Grass or Bug, Water against Fire, or Electric against Flying or Water, or Ground against Electric, but quite a lot of them make you scratch your head. Dragon weak to Ice?note Rock weak to Ground? Poison weak to Psychic? Dark weak to Bug? Fighting weak to Fairy? You can only find this out through trial and error, which can take a while. Luckily, you can get a type-matcher app in the Generation IV games which helps, and the Generation I remakes had a type-matcher guide if you left the L-Button=Help option on - and the type guide is only available in battle, anyway which adds a new layer of guide dang it. Well, nowhere except the original Generation I instruction book, anyway—although it wasn't very clear that "Bad" was supposed to mean "no effect" in that chart. And of course, it didn't cover Steel, Dark and Fairy, or any type-matchups that were changed for Generation II & VI. What's more, the type matchups in Generation I were glitched so that while according to the manual, Ghost was supposed to be super-effective against Psychic, it was in fact completely ineffective.note Which rendered the already powerful Psychic-type a Game-Breaker, since it had no weaknesses outside of Bug, a type with few useful Pokémon or moves at the time. Good luck figuring out why your manual was lying to you.
- Gen VII helped this somewhat by giving pointers to what kind of attacks were effective to use against the opposing Pokémon. Sure, it serves more as a reminder since you need to have battled or caught the Pokémon to get the pointers to show up, but it's useful. There are caveats though as these don't take abilities into account (for example, Earthquake will be listed as "Super Effective" against Weezing despite the fact that Weezing's Levitate Ability will make it immune to the move).
- Transferring your Generation II remake Celebi and/or Beast Trio to get your Zorua/Zoroark. And even if you know to do that, you need to use the Relocator if you want to transfer them before getting the National Dex, and finding it within the maze of buildings that is Castelia City isn't the easiest task.
- Purifying Shadow Lugia in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. It's said multiple times throughout the game that it cannot be purified, and you're led to believe they're right; using it in battle, giving it Scents, even putting it in the Purify Chamber does absolutely nothing to drop its Heart Gauge. Well, to purify it, you need all nine sets of the Purify Chamber to be at full tempo, and then you need to put Lugia into any of the sets. This instantly drops the gauge to zero, giving you the ability to purify Lugia. Now, if just putting Lugia into the Chamber regularly doesn't do anything, how the hell would you know to have nine perfect sets going at the same time? What makes this worse is the fact that the Purification Chamber itself is otherwise fairly intuitive. Having sets at max tempo does help you purify more quickly, so if you've been using the Chamber much it's likely that you already have at least a few sets at max tempo. Still, nothing at all in the game hints that you need all sets at max tempo to purify Lugia. However, once you get all the sets to max tempo, the game tells you that Lugia reacts to it, giving you a hint to put it in the chamber. Getting max tempo is still a hassle though.
- The sidequest to trade with the other Gen. III games in FireRed and LeafGreen, which also served as a requirement to enter Cerulean Cave and capture Mewtwo. The first part is pretty straightforward; beat the Grunts, get the Ruby, and catch Moltres early if you want. The second part is nearly impossible to figure out (unless you can read Braille). You're told that the Team Rocket base requires two passwords, and you already have one. You are then expected to go two islands ahead and run all over looking for an ancient ruin, then Cut the door open and fall through holes in the right order. You are given no direction (in your language, at least) at all, then once you find the Sapphire you are robbed and THEN storm the Team Rocket base. Even initiating the sidequest is this if the player visited the first three of the Sevii Islands at the first opportunity (after defeating Blaine) since there is no indication whatsoever that the Team Rocket Grunts at Mt. Ember can be fought, nor anyone telling the player to go back there.
- One very, very small one, and only for those of us for whom Pokémon was one of our first-ever Role-Playing Games. The games start you off in your room in the upstairs part of your house. Going downstairs is intuitive, but nowhere does it say that the little floor mat marks the front door of your house. It's even somewhat Lampshaded in the help function for the Generation I remakes — one of the topics you can look up reads something like: "I can't get out of the house! Help!" Later generations added arrow markers at the edge of rooms to indicate places you could walk out from, and then progressed to making players hit the 'A' button to open doors to leave rooms.
- Similar to that last one is the Olivine Lighthouse in Pokémon Gold and Silver and the remakes. There's one section that involves a blind leap out of one of the lighthouse windows, and without looking it up, it can be frustrating trying to find your way off that floor.
- A more mild example. While one can muddle through by trial and error, Berry growth in Generation IV has driven some tropers to create cheat sheets of Berry growth. As silly as a full-blown spreadsheet sounds, the developers got rather enthusiastic with their Berry system. Each Berry plant has a total growth time between 8 and 96 hours and a moisture rate (between 4 and 35) that is deducted from the soil moisture count each hour. This count is set to 100 at planting and reset to 100 whenever the plant is watered; the final yield of the plant decreases by one berry for every hour the plant spends at zero moisture. Thus, each plant has to be watered with a certain easily calculated frequency to ensure maximum yield. To keep things from being too simple, the dev team added Mulches to either reduce the water requirement while increasing growth time, or decrease growth time in exchange for more frequent watering. With this twist, Berry plants now have three different growth times, and three different minimum watering frequencies.
- Possibly Ditto's role as the universal breeder. The only hint is that the only move it knows lets it transform into other Pokémon. Also, nowhere in the game hints that non-legendary Genderless Pokémon, which normally can't breed with anything, can produce eggs when bred with Ditto. Or that the only things that Ditto can't breed with are its own species and the aforementioned legendary Pokémon. Although even that analysis isn't quite true. On the one hand, there's Manaphy and its pseudo-baby formnote , the two legendaries that can breed at all. On the other, there's the baby-stage Pokémon, which (rather thankfully) are unable to. Unown, likely due to how unique they are. And, for some reason, Nidorina and Nidoqueen, whose flavor text entries explicitly mention them taking care of their young. Other Pokémon that are also incapable of breeding include Cosplay Pikachu from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Ash's Greninja which is available from the Pokémon Sun and Moon demo.
- Egg groups, which indicate what Pokémon species can breed with one another. Like elemental types, a Pokémon can have up to two egg groups, but they're quite independent from types: two Pokémon can share a type, yet belong to different egg groups; conversely, two Pokémon can be in the same egg group(s) while having no type in common. Despite its importance in breeding and passing down egg moves, they are not visible to the player and nobody in-game mentions its existence. The full list of egg groups can be found in Stadium 2, but obviously only covers the first two generations. It can usually be inferred that Pokémon of similar body shape can breed with each other (for example, its easy to see that Houndoom and Manectric can breed with each other since they are both based on dogs). However, the game does throw a few curve balls here and there, such as Magmar being in the Human-like egg group despite resembling a dinosaur, and the humanoid Gardevoir being in the Amorphous egg group, the same egg group as Pokémon like Muk, Chandelure, Jellicent, and Stunfisk.
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, there are the Shiny Leaves. You need to collect five leaves on a single mon and have Ethan/Lyra make a crown out of them in order to add a trainer star to your card. Seems simple enough, but the routes your 'mon can obtain said leaves is dependent on their nature, so expect to comb both Kanto and Johto's grassy regions and interact with your 'mon to see if a reaction occurs. To make it worse, nowhere in the game hints to these leaves until you actually find out, at which point Ethan/Lyra give a little info and then leave the rest to you.
- HGSS also have the Gym Leader rematches. You can rematch any Gym Leader in the game, with a souped-up team...if you have their phone numbers. Talking to them in their Gyms won't get you the number. For most of them, you have to find them outside their Gyms, and then they'll give them to you. Most of them have either a tiny window of time in which they're available (Jasmine, Lt. Surge), while others appear well off the beaten path or in places you aren't likely to revisit (Morty, Bugsy). But the absolute worst is Blue. You can scour the world and you'll never find him. To get Blue's number, you have to have his sister massage one of your Pokémon seven times, while said Pokémon is at maximum happiness, then she will give you Blue's number.
- Finding the Seven Sages in Black & White, most of them are in places where you fought Team Plasma in main game but two of them are in out of the way areas that have nothing to do with Team Plasma.
- Black 2 & White 2: The Dropped Item sidequest. You may even miss picking up the key item on your way through the game, not even knowing it was there. The item in question is a Xtransceiver that belongs to a person named Yancy (if you chose the male Trainer) or Curtis (if you chose the female Trainer). You have to scour the main hexagon of Unova, for 15 specific areas, and on a specific tile to trigger a call from them. After that (getting called ten times by Yancy/Curtis), comes the second part of the quest. You have to call them in the above mentioned 15 areas (not on the same tile, just being in the route/town counts this time). Where you can call them is randomized, meaning you have to run/fly around Unova to the designated areas, and their number will disappear after every call (and you need to either wait a day or go to a different area)...and it takes a total of 50 phone calls to get your ultimate reward: unlimited daily trades in which Yancy/Curtis will trade a Lv. 50 'mon (with its Hidden/Dream World ability) for any 'mon. Good luck trying to figure all of this out without the aid of an online guide.
- There are 5 Berries which restore 1/8 of HP, but confuse Pokémon who hate its taste. This is not as much as problem in Generation III and IV, where the tag options exist (bag description of HGSS outright states the taste), but Generation V? They say "If held by a Pokémon, it restores the users HP in a pinch, but will cause confusion if it hates the taste.", but nowhere in the game it is stated which berry has which taste or even what taste is, so unless you've played older games or feel like experimenting... Of course, they're inferior to Sitrus Berries, which restore 1/4 of max HP but with no chance of confusion and they take effect if the Pokémon's HP reaches below half, not below quarter. But the game never tells you that either. Seemingly to make up for this, Pokémon Sun and Moon buffed the healing to 1/2.
- There are certain Abilities that have overworld effects if you put the Pokémon with it as your lead. However, most are never alluded to:note One of the only times in the series they ever are is in Black 2 and White 2 if you contact Cheren and only with a Pokémon that has the ability in question.
- Arena Trap: Encounter rate is doubled.
- Compound Eyes: Wild Pokémon that can have held items are more likely to have them.
- Cute Charm: Pokémon is 66.7% of the time opposite gender of leading Pokémon, regardless of ratios. Doesn't work on swarming species and in Hidden Grottos, though.
- Flame Body, Magma Armor, and Steam Engine: Eggs hatch twice as fast, doesn't stack.
- Hustle, Pressure and Vital Spirit: Makes higher-levelled Pokémon more likely to be encountered.
- Hyper Cutter: In Emerald only, doubles radius of Cut when used in tall grass.note
- Intimidate and Keen Eye: 50% chance that a Pokémon won't appear if it's at least 5 levels lower than the lead.
- Lightning Rod: In Emerald only, increases the chance that NPC Trainers will call you.
- No Guard: Encounter rate is increased by 50%.
- Quick Feet and White Smoke: Encounter rate is halved.
- Sand Veil and Snow Cloak: Encounter rate is halved if player is in an area with sandstorm or hailstorm, respectively.
- Static: 50% of the time game will force an Electric-type encounter, if possible.
- Magnet Pull: 50% of the time game will force a Steel-type encounter, if possible.
- Sticky Hold and Suction Cups: More likely to find a Pokémon while fishing.
- Swarm: Increased encounter rate.
- Synchronize: Some Pokémon you meet have a 50% chance of having the same Nature as that of lead Pokémon.note
- The SOS battle mechanics are further affected by Abilities in Generation VII in ways that are not directly explained or made clear:
- Intimidate, Pressure and Unnerve increases the rate that Pokémon will call for help. There's actually hint for Intimidate; Adrenaline Orb activates if the holder is hit by Intimidate. But for those familiar with the usual application for Intimidate in the overworld, they might think that it will do the opposite and decrease the calling rate instead.
- Rather than the lead Pokémon (the one that initiates the start of the encounter) possessing the ability you are using to manipulate encounters, in SOS battles it is the active lead Pokémon (who is in battle right when the SOS calls are made) that will affect the encounters being generated with abilities like Synchronize, Compoundeyes, Cute Charm, Magnet Pull, and Static.
- One of the abilities of the HM Cut was not heavily discussed in guides or in normal in-game conversations - up until Emerald, players could use Cut to mow down tall grass, removing the space where wild encounters could happen until it grew back, and in Emerald Hyper Cutter would improve Cut's ability to mow down tall grass by increasing the affected radius.
- Join Avenue in B2W2: Recommending shops to people walking down the avenue can be tricky. Some requests can be as vague as "I want to go there!" or "Where do you think I want to go?" The player would have to look up exactly where in order to avoid them leaving out of disappointment. The only one that's safe is "Please take me to a shop you recommend" where any shop is allowed, which is not the case for the similarly phrased "Take me somewhere! Anywhere!".
- The Festival Plaza in Sun & Moon carries on the tradition of vague stall requests. One of their request lines is basically a request for you to take a wild guess, and several of their 'Guess What I Want' quizzes require foreknowledge of their player trivia that you could obtain from their Guest Information in the subscreen lists, but you need to actively look for this information beforehand. The only mercy is that there are several easier opportunities to earn FC, from simply outperforming them in Record Battles, participating in Festivals, and earning small amounts of FC with every Link Trade, Wonder Trade, or Global Trade you make.
- The Boutique located in Lumiose City won't allow you in until you are stylish enough. It's not uncommon for players to ask in forums why customizing your character's looks and wearing the most expensive clothing available at that point, does nothing. It's because the NPC doesn't mean that you have to look pretty, rather, you need to get a hidden stat to a certain level before they'll let you in. There are a number of ways to increase this stat around Lumiose, but nothing actually tells you that these things make you more stylish and the dialogue when you get kicked out of the boutique seems to suggest that you basically just need to visit every building in town. On a similar note, a number of other services are unlocked or have their prices reduced as your style rating goes up. That old guy in the stone shop selling Mega Stones for 500,000 Pokédollars? Get your style rating up high enough and it drops to 10,000. The Art Museum? Gives you the Audio Guide to the gallery's pieces for free rather than require a token small payment of 200 Pokédollars. The Hairdresser? She'll eventually treat you as a regular customer, which unlocks a few more options of hair customization (though the girl gets more options than the guy does). Also, some things will increase your style rating more than others, which can be helpful... but knowing which activities give you more style points basically requires the use of a guide.
- The final O-Power, the highly useful Hatching Power, is difficult to find, let alone get. To get it, you need to max out your style and go to Café Introversion, where Mr. Bonding will be if you did everything right.
- What about Trainers and their Pokémon's movepools, during Trainer Battles? In Gen I and Gen II, the majority of their movepools are level-up moves, which means that at the very least, you've got a pretty good idea what type their Pokémon's moves are most likely to be. Only Gym Leaders would use TM moves. Fast forward to Gen VI, and now it seems like they'll source their Pokémon's moves from anything, including TMs and Egg Moves. (Sometimes even from cheating.) And there's absolutely no telling what abilities their Pokémon will have too without consulting a guide, creating another avenue to screw up your strategies. And this is not just for Gym Leaders, but regular trainers too. And this is just the main series. The Orre games are happy to give out TM and Egg moves to random mooks.
- Invisible items have been scattered around the overworld since Gen I. Some of them are on conspicuously odd bits of terrain, but others are in completely random places, and there's no way to know anything is there unless you stand facing that exact square and press A, or use the Itemfinder. Getting the Itemfinder is often a Guide Dang It in and of itself. (In gen 1 you have to talk to a specific assistant of Oak—not in his lab, but in a gate between routes on the other side of Kanto—after catching at least 30 mons. Oak will mention this only if you happen to talk to him when you've caught between 30 and 39 mons—any other amount triggers a different message—and he doesn't tell you where the assistant is.)
- Speaking of the Itemfinder, in its original incarnation in Generations I and II, it only indicated the presence of a hidden item, but did not drop hints as to where it was. Happy Easter egg hunting! Thankfully later incarnations of the Item Finder/Dowser make it more user-friendly by letting it indicate which direction the hidden item was. Even so, there is still yet another undocumented Item Finder behaviour in FireRed and LeafGreen - At certain special locations (Where Mr Fuji, the two Snorlax, Giovanni (in Viridian Gym) used to stand before leaving their location, as well as tiny patch of land by the Cape Brink's pond and Navel Rock), standing exactly where these folks used to be and using the Itemfinder will produce a unique reaction that reveals a special item (Mr Fuji's spot in Lavender Tower has a Soothe Bell, there are Leftovers where the two Snorlax used to be, Giovanni was standing over a Macho Brace the whole time, that tiny patch of land by the pond has PP Max, and if you had access to it, you could find Sacred Ash on Navel Rock, in addition to the one Ho-Oh holds in Emerald.).
- Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire takes this to a whole new level in the underwater areas. The original games at least had "invisible" items be marked by a noticeable bulge on the seabed, but in the remakes the items are completely invisible. You are unable to use the Dowsing Machine while underwater, which means that you are forced to trawl every inch of the seabed in case you miss an item which may or may not even be there in the first place! Some of these are easy to find, since they're in otherwise completely empty areas, or in rather conspicuous gaps in the middle of the seaweed, but how is anyone supposed to know that there's a Pixie Plate in the middle of nowhere?! There's even a necessary Pixel Hunt for the Scanner in the submerged part of Sea Mauville, as giving it to Captain Stern nets you the Clear/Tidal Bells, which is needed to open up Ho-oh/Lugia's portal on Sea Mauville. And depending on your version, either one of them are needed to be in your party while soaring to find the Legendary Beasts.
- Before FireRed and LeafGreen, Stick and Thick Club had description of vendor items, while in reality they increase Farfetch'd's critical hit ratio and Cubone and Marowak's Attack, respectively. They were one of the few items to get description changed in Emerald, where it was corrected.
- In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it's possible to obtain both types of bicycle at once. Not only does this save a lot of time, it means you can fully traverse the Safari Zone, and a few of the mirage islands, which requires both bikes. How do you do this? Just talk to three completely random people who are all off the beaten path (one of them is found in the Battle Resort, which you can't access until after the Delta Episode) and then go talk to Rydel. Nowhere is any of this mentioned. Even the fact that you can obtain both bikes at all is never brought up even by Rydel himself! Your only hints is that there are areas that blatantly need both bikes to get to, and the people you need to talk to disappear after they comment on your bike as if they're just part of a quest, but that still does nothing for figuring out how to do it.
- Starting in Gen III, you can get stars to appear on your trainer card based on your performance in the game. Beating the Elite Four and Champion, seeing and catching all regional Pokémon, completing the National Dex, etc., all seem fairly logical. However, even then some of them don't make sense, such as the Shiny Leaves mentioned above. Every time you get a star, your card changes color as well. Starting in Gen V, the stars don't show up anymore but the card still changes color, with no indication of what rank each color is other than when you first start. You could easily rank the card up twice in a row without realizing it and never see one of the colors, or have it maxed out but not know it without outside help. They also changed it from 5 ranks in Gen III to 6 in Gen IV, then down to 4 in Gen VI. Thankfully, the changes are purely cosmetic and it doesn't affect the game itself apart from getting special dialogue from nurses in Pokémon Centers.
- Getting to the Pokémon Village in X and Y. You need to head west into a roughly t-shaped part of the forest, go back the way you came which now leads somewhere completely different, then turn around again to enter a part of the forest that looks similar (but not identical to) the first t-shaped area. Now you are free to head west to the Pokémon Village.
- Although a good chunk of TMs are this, the worst of them all is Energy Ball in Generation VI. In X and Y, it's found in Route 20. Said Route has paths that usually lead to areas the player wouldn't expect and you need Cut in order to get that TM. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, you require both bikes, which is already a huge Guide Dang It in itself, and it's found in the Safari Zone, also well off the beaten path. It doesn't exactly help Energy Ball is actually a very useful move, either.
- The Mirage Islands of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. They open up once you've gotten the Eon Flute after calming Groudon or Kyogre. However, which island(s) you can access is random and they change daily. More of them can be accessed at a time when you streetpass other players, but usually you'll only have access to one of them at a time. Many of these islands also house rare species of Pokémon that cannot be obtained anywhere else in the Gen VI games (not even in the Friend Safari Zones of X and Y). Many islands also have rare items, including TMs. One of the islands even has a Cresselia, but unlike other islands that have legendaries, this one also appears and disappears at random. Also in order to fully explore some of the islands, you need both bikes.
- There are a few items that affect how breeding work, though the item descriptions never state their effect regarding breeding at all:
- Starting in Emerald, Everstone has an additional effect when a Pokémon holds it and is put in a Day Care, the nature of the holder will be passed down to its child (50% chance of passing down its nature to its child prior to Black 2 and White 2). Said item prevents the holder from evolving and has barely anything to do with nature.
- Breeding a non-Alolan Pokémon in Generation VII. Requiring a Pokémon in their regular form sounds simple enough. However, the Pokémon must also hold an Everstone in order to work, otherwise, its baby will be in its Alolan Form.
- From Generation VI onward, Destiny Knot has an additional effect when a Pokémon holds it and is put in a Day Care, five of the parents Individual Values will be passed down to its child. Additionally, the Power Bracer, Weight, Lens, Anklet, Band, and Belt will guarantee that their specific IV will be inherited by the child if a parent holds it from Heart Gold and Soul Silver onwards..
- Entering Saffron City in the Generation I games and their remakes. The first time the player attempts to enter (from Cerulean City) the only path into the city will be blocked by the security guard, and the player has to go around, and every other guard on every other path to the city says the same thing. The only hint as to how to get in is that the guards mention that they are thirsty before telling the player to wait because the road is closed. Much later in the game, the player can buy drinks, but only at a single vending machine which only exists on the roof of the Celadon Department Store, which a player could easily overlook. Even when the player gets them, nothing in the game says that they can now enter Saffron, and so the player might well avoid the city until they can do nothing else. This means that a first-timer could wind up fighting Blaine (the seventh Gym Leader) before Sabrina (the sixth). It's even worse in the remakes, because instead of getting a drink from the vending machines, the player must instead get a Key Item from an old woman in the Celadon Mansion, when there was nothing important on the ground floor of the Mansion in the originals. This is especially true since this is the only thing changed in the main story.
- In Pokémon Emerald some players may end up getting stuck wondering where the new Team Magma hideout is at since it's not that obvious at first glance. After receiving the Magma Emblem at the top of Mt. Pyre, players are supposed to remember back to a lone Magma grunt that they stumbled across on Jagged Pass on the way to Lavaridge Town. When the player returns to the rock wall location of Jagged Pass where the grunt was originally standing, the Magma Emblem will react as a door key, and opens up the entrance to the Team Magma hideout.
- It's pretty obvious for Contests that you have to increase the primary condition for it (increasing Beauty for a Beauty contest for example) to do well in the primary judging. It's far less obvious that each contest also has "secondary" conditions that will also increase how well you do in the primary judging if you raise them. This really begins to show in Master Rank in the original games and when Lisia starts competing where unless you are taking advantage of it, you will be using scarves to try to keep up or be losing every primary. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire aid with this by adding the Contest Star accomplishment and Lisia to hint at the benefit of increasing multiple stats besides your main one, the Rainbow Pokéblocks, and starting Cosplay Pikachu with a good amount in all its stats but still never tells you directly.
- The infamous switch puzzle in the Vermilion city gym. Finding the first switch is just trial and error, but good luck figuring out the second switch when there are usually multiple buckets surrounding the first switch. Further muddying matters is that it doesn't matter which switches you've already checked, the second one can be any bucket adjacent to the first one, including ones you just checked. To make matters worse, the puzzle resets if you choose wrong and the two switches are moved to another location. It's even worse in the first generation, where the puzzle is glitched all to hell and has a moderate chance of breaking its own rules — the second switch has a decent chance of being in the top-left can regardless of where the first was, and in Yellow, the second switch can fail to spawn at all for a given try.
- The Battle Buffet in Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon challenge you to complete as many battles as possible in 10 turns. Though every NPC trainer carries only 1 Pokémon, some of them use Pokémon with Sturdy, who, except for very specific conditions, can't be knocked out in one turn, and until you can identify who they are,note you're guaranteed they will waste your valuable turns. Sightseer George is like this too, in a different sense, as he uses a Muk with a Minimize strategy to raise Muk's evasiveness and make you spend your turns failing to damage Muk. You have to finish Muk quickly, or that thing is likely to end your Battle Buffet run then and there.
- Though you've probably heard of physical moves vs. special moves, if you haven't done any internet research, you may not know about contact. It's a separate mechanic that mostly correlates with that concept—most physical moves make contact, most special moves do not—with some exceptions like Earthquake, which is physical but does not make contact. The game mentions contact in the description of abilities like Flame Body that are triggered by it, but it does not tell you what "contact" means, nor does it point out any of the moves that don't follow the pattern.
- The Abyssal Ruins in the Generation V games are home to the plates required to change Arceus' form, as well as some very rare and expensive Vendor Trash. To get there, you have to use Dive and then navigate a complex maze system, your only hints being some cryptic coded messagesnote on purple pillars. You also need Flash and Strength for the third and fourth floors, respectively. There's nothing indicating that you need to get to the center within a certain number of steps, meaning players may get to the center and not realize they can't proceed. Also, you can't be in the ruins for more than 500 steps or a torrent of water will force you above water, meaning you can't get all the items in one go, and you have to ignore nearly all items in order to make it to the center. The few NPCs who discuss the Abyssal Ruins with you never give any hints on how to navigate the maze, other than mentioning what you can find in the ruins.
- First off, finding out which dungeons spawn what items. Some dungeons even add or remove items as you progress through floors.
- Rescue Team and Explorers assign you to be a certain Pokémon depending on your answers in the quiz. Each question awards hidden points that are used to calculate your result, on top of being dependent on the chosen gender. Note Even if you know this beforehand, there's no guarantee that you will get as set of questions that'll allow you to choose the Pokémon you want. This problem is fixed in Super where you can just pick a Pokémon yourself if you don't agree with the choice.
- In the older games, the moves Screech, Memento, Charm and Aurora Beam do not affect stat stages like other stat-changing moves, but instead apply a direct multiplier to your stats.
- All evolutionary items are found only in certain dungeons, either as a random or a scripted item. The worst offenders are Link Cables, which appear in place of the scripted items you've already got, and the few evolutionary items that you can get only if Wish Cave generated a shop on one of the 12 specificWhich ones? floors. With only the last two guaranteeing that the shop will have an evolution item.
- To recruit Pokémon, you need Friend Areas. However, the game never tells you that certain legendaries' FA are given to you by recruiting their residents.Which ones?
- In the original game, Pokémon found in the first dungeonTiny Woodscannot be recruited for your team. Nothing in the game tells you this, and Nintendo and Game Freak got enough complaints from frustrated gamers who went through the dungeon over and over again trying to recruit team members that they had to fix it for the DX Switch remake.
- The best way to find buried items is to dig a long corridor in seemingly unused portion of the map (if you walk in the naturally generated corridors, you might sometimes see that map left a big chunk without any rooms or corridors). and then run back that corridor. This is because if you suddenly stop in a corridor for no apparent reason, it means there's a buried item near you.
- Unlike other legendaries, Mew will spawn as a random Pokémon, either at the beginning of a floor or in a Monster House (with a particularly low spawn rate). If you fail to recruit it, you can try your luck at later floors. Even the guidebook's not really helpful on this.