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There are 251 Pokémon in total, but you'll never get them all without hunting down the rare ones, evolving them in various ways, and trading with your friends. Here's everything you need to know to catch 'em all.

Finding Pokémon[edit]

You'll get the vast majority of Pokémon by catching them in the wild. Some Pokémon will be given to you as rewards, but there are only six ways to get into random confrontations with them:

  1. Walk in tall grass.
  2. Surf on water.
  3. Explore caves.
  4. As a result of fishing.
  5. Using Rock Smash on small rocks.
  6. Headbutting trees.

Catching Pokémon[edit]

Catching Pokémon isn't as easy as it may seen. First, you must encounter a wild Pokémon, and you must have a Poké Ball to throw at it. You don't want to face the wild Pokémon with an overfly powerful Pokémon from your team because your Pokémon could easily overwhelm the less powerful, wild one with one attack. You need to be patient, and you might have to use several Poké Balls to accomplish the task. Specialized Poké Balls will help you catch some of the tougher Pokémon.

1. Attack
Your goal is to reduce the wild Pokémon's HP Meter as close to zero as possible without having it faint. Use your weaker moves (or use False Swipe or Super Fang) and attack with Pokémon that are not much more powerful than the wild Pokémon that you are fighting.
2. Incapacitate
Use attacks that induce sleep or paralysis in the wild Pokémon so you can whittle away at its HP Meter without taking damage. Once a wild Pokémon is asleep or paralyzed, you can attack with a weak Pokémon, reducing your opponent's HP by small margins until it's just about ready to faint (or again, use false swipe).
3. Throw a PokéBall
When you have reduced the wild Pokémon's HP Meter as close to zero as possible, it's time to try to capture it with a PokéBall. Choose a ball from the PokéBall pocket of your pack. It will be thrown automatically, and in a few seconds you will see if you have captured the Pokémon or if it managed to escape the attempt.

Some Pokémon run away when you try to attack them (like Teddiursa), so you will need to use the skill Mean Look or Spider Web before attacking.

The art of capturing Pokémon is something you must master. When attempting to catch a Pokémon, there are certain to keep in mind.

  • Weaken the Pokémon: Trying to capture a full-health Pokémon shouldn't be attempted. Because you'll miss, and you'll waste a Poké Ball in the process. What you'll want to do is weaken it. You can weaken it to 50% to make it vulnerable to capture, but lowering it to as low as 10%-15% is the best. If you miss, try again. If you miss again, weaken the Pokémon more, and try again. You should capture it. If not, you might have encountered a strong-resistance Pokémon, or a rare Pokémon that will need a stronger type of Poké Ball to capture.
  • Statuses: Certain statuses, such as sleep and paralysis, will make a Pokémon easier to capture. If you're having difficulty capturing a Pokémon, even with a higher level Poké Ball, then try using a Pokémon that can cause sleep, such as Jigglypuff. Pokémon that can't struggle, can't escape.
  • False Swipe: A move that brings an enemy's health down to 1hp. If used properly, this move can be very useful for catching wild Pokémon. Scyther is a good example of a Pokémon that can use this move.
  • Use the Right Poké Ball: The standard Poké Ball will capture a vast majority of the Pokémon, as long as you've weakened them enough. For some Pokémon, a stronger ball will be needed, such as a Great Ball or Ultra Ball. Don't waste these stronger Poké Balls, however. Try your regular Poké Balls several times, try weakening the enemy more, and try capturing it again before you waste a more powerful ball.
  • Be Patient: If you kill a Pokémon when you're attempting to capture it, don't fret; it happens. With rare exceptions, you'll get the chance to capture that Pokémon again. Just simply run around the area where you originally ran into it, and chances are you'll run into it again. As a last resort, if you can't seem to find that Pokémon again, use the Jhoto/Kanto Map in your Pokédex, or check out the entry for that Pokémon in your Pokédex to find more locations on where you can find that Pokémon, as well as more vital stats and information that might be of assistance in capturing that Pokémon.
  • Once Captured, Don't Neglect!: Some Pokémon might not look like much. Some might not even have any attacks. But use that Pokémon in battle (switching it out after the battle starts if you have to, to get it half of the battle's experience) or use an Exp. Share to build it up. Eventually, these weak Pokémon evolve into strong Pokémon.

Evolving your Pokémon[edit]

Stone
Evolutions

Many of the 251 Pokémon in your Pokédex can't be caught at all and will need to be obtained by evolving other Pokémon. Pokémon evolve in one of five different ways:

Experience[edit]

Pokémon gain levels as they gain experience, or EXP. Most Pokémon evolve when they reach a predetermined level. For example, Hootoot evolves into Noctowl at level 20 and Spinarak evolves into Ariados at level 22. Since EXP can only be gained in battle, you'll need to spend many hours leveling up your Pokémon to evolve them. You can try catching the evolved forms themselves, but they tend to be rarer and harder to catch than the base forms, and many evolved Pokémon (like Ampharos and Forretres) never appear in the wild. Evolved forms tend to be stronger, but don't learn techniques as quickly as their unevolved forms.

Evolutionary Stones[edit]

There are six kinds of Evolutionary Stones, and 18 Pokémon that can be obtained when you use a Stone on their unevolved forms. You can use the Stones at any time, but beware: While the evolved forms may have much better stats, they usually lose their ability to learn new moves, with Eevee, Gloom, Exeggcute and Poliwhirl being the only exceptions. Before you use a Stone, look up that Pokémon in the Pokédex and make sure they already know every skill you want them to learn.

Trading[edit]

Certain Pokémon will evolve into their higher forms when they are traded to another Gold, Silver or Crystal Game Pak. If you have a Kadabra, Machoke, Graveler or Haunter, you can transfer it to someone else then recieve an evolved Pokémon when it's returned. Unlike Pokémon that evolve with Stones, traded Pokémon continue to learn the same moves, so there is no reason not to trade them off as soon as you can.

Evolutionary Baggage[edit]

Some Pokémon come into being through a natural evolutionary process; others require a special item. Once you find the special items shown below, have the indicated Pokémon hold them when you trade them to another Gold, Silver or Crystal Game Pak. The transfer will produce new evolutionary forms.

Pokémon Holding a When traded become a
Poliwhirl King's Rock Politoed
Slowpoke King's Rock Slowking
Onix Metal Coat Steelix
Scyther Metal Coat Scizor
Seadra Dragon Scale Kingdra
Porygon Up-Grade Porygon2

Friendly Evolution[edit]

Day or Night
Eevee's other evolutions are created with Stones, but Espeon and Umbreon are not. Eevee evolves into either Espeon or Umbreon when it's extremely attached to you, and its evolution starts at a certain time of day. To get Espeon, allow Eevee to evolve in the morning or day. For Umbreon, allow Eevee to evolve at night.

Some Pokémon need more than just experience to evolve, they need to be attached to you, too. If you treat those Pokémon very well, they will grow to trust you and will evolve far more quickly than if you mistreat them. While many Pokémon will evolve regardless of how well you treat them, you should try to be a good Trainer to all of your Pokémon. Many events in the game are based on how attached your lead Pokémon is to you.

There are a quite few things that will help your relationship with your Pokémon, and a couple that will hurt your relationship with your Pokémon. You should try to forge strong relationships with all of your Pokémon, escpecially the party you travel with most often.

Do:

  • Have your Pokémon groomed in Pallet Town by Blue's Sister.
  • Get your Pokémon's hair cut by one of the Haircut Brothers.
  • Travel with a Pokémon and keep it in your party as often as possible.
  • Use many items on a Pokémon and let it hold an item, too.

Don't:

  • Let your Pokémon faint in battle or repeatedly allow it to get very weak.
  • Make the Pokémon take bitter medicine, or trade it away to another trainer.

Trading Pokémon[edit]

Trading is an important strategy for filling your roster. Keep in mind the following things when you trade:

  • You do keep the Pokédex entry for a Pokémon after you trade it away. So by trading a Pokémon to a friend you both get credit for having caught it, regardless of whether he trades it back or not.
  • You do not get credit for the earlier evolutions of traded Pokémon. So if your friend trades you his Meganium, you'll still be missing Chikorita and Bayleef. When trading Pokémon that are rare but also have evolutions (such as starters), trade them at every stage of their evolution (and then trade them back if necessary).
  • You'll need the appropriate Badge to control traded Pokémon. If you think you can streak through the game with a friend's super-powered Pokémon, you'll be in for a nasty surprise when it just falls asleep at the start of every battle. Each Badge increases the level of Pokémon you can control successfully by around 10, so don't try to get ahead of things. If you're determined to cheat, you can trade your Pokémon to a friend and have him or her teach it TMs and HMs you don't have yet, and then trade them back.
  • Traded Pokémon gain EXP about 50% faster. So if you're trying to level up a lot of Pokémon, you may want to trade them to your friends and have them do the training for you. However, if you try to just trade them over to a friend and then trade them back, you'll find that the boost is gone. The Pokémon has to be away from its original trainer to receive the bonus.