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These routes are a good place to collect more Pokémon. Route #22 (shown below) is full of Rattata, along with a specimen or two that are rarely found in this area. Remember to weaken a Pokémon in battle before using a Poké Ball on it, or else it will be able to break free. The first time you come through Route #2, head into Viridian Forest to continue your journey.

Route #22
New Pokémon Available
Red Blue Yellow

SpearowPokemon 021Spearow.png
Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.pngNidoran♀
Nidoran♂Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.png
Pokemon 013Weedle.pngWeedle

SpearowPokemon 021Spearow.png
Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.pngNidoran♀
Nidoran♂Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.png
Pokemon 010Caterpie.pngCaterpie

SpearowPokemon 021Spearow.png
Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.pngNidoran♀
Nidoran♂Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.png
Pokemon 056Mankey.pngMankey

Your rival awaits[edit]

Route #22 encounters
RattataPokemon 019Rattata.png 50% 50% 10%
Pokemon 021Spearow.pngSpearow 10% 10% 10%
MankeyPokemon 056Mankey.png N/A N/A 20%
Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.pngNidoran♀ 5% 35% 30%
Nidoran♂Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.png 35% 5% 30%
It's time to show him who's best.

It's a good idea to take some time and train your Pokémon on Route #22. You will have the chance to catch a Mankey, but they are only in Yellow version. Be sure that you do if you're playing it. Otherwise, be sure to pick up whichever Nidoran is more common in the version you're playing, both if you're trying to complete your Pokédex. If you stumble upon a Spearow, it makes a nice addition to your collection, being a better Flying-type than Pidgey.

If you would like to earn extra EXP (and Pokebuck.png280), you can challenge your rival here by heading west towards the pond along the top path. Before you do, make sure that you have a few strong Pokémon, and that they're healthy and ready to fight. You may wish to wait until after you've traveled through Viridian Forest to conduct this battle or you may want to skip it entirely.

If you beat your rival, you can head back to Pallet Town to get 5 Poké Balls for free from Professor Oak in his lab (but only if you have not purchased any Poké Balls yet, so it's really not worth the hassle of fighting your rival with only your starter Pokémon).

When you're done at Route #22, make your way back to Viridian City and exit to the north to reach Route #2. Much of this route is inaccessible to you at this point in the game, but that will change in time. For now, your only concern is reaching the entrance to Viridian Forest. Don't bother hunting for Caterpie or Weedle out here; they're plentiful in the forest.

Rival battle #2[edit]

Rival's Pokémon
Pokemon 016Pidgey.png Pidgey
Level 9
Pokeball.png Rival's Starter
Level 8
Pokemon 021Spearow.png Spearow
Level 9
Pokemon 133Eevee.png Eevee
Level 8
Pikachu is effective against Pidgey

Your rival has improved somewhat since Pallet Town. In Red and Blue, he's using a Pidgey in addition to his starter; in Yellow, a Spearow. You will also want to have some new Pokémon at your disposal. The strategy below is not essential, but it makes things much simpler.

The first order of business is acquiring a Spearow, since it's right here on Route 22. Anyone not using Charmander should probably acquire a Spearow. Training it to Level 7-8 will be sufficient. After that, go to Viridian Forest and capture a Pikachu. You'll want to do this no matter what starter you have, because Pikachu can counter your rival's new Pidgey (as well as two out of his three starters). Level Pikachu up to Level 9 for Thunder Wave.

Battle strategy

Your rival always leads with Pidgey, so have Pikachu in the lead and knock it out with 2-3 Thundershocks (preferably two). If your rival chose Bulbasaur, switch to Spearow and use Peck until Bulbasaur faints; if he chose Squirtle, keep Pikachu in and use Thundershock repeatedly, sending in Spearow if Pikachu faints. Charmander has no true counter yet, so you'll have to rely on a little more strategy, namely Pikachu's Thunder Wave. Paralyze, then attack until one Pokémon faints. If Pikachu goes down first, Spearow can finish it with ease.

In Yellow version, your rival has Spearow and Eevee. Pikachu will destroy Spearow without any difficulty whatsoever, and Eevee is best handled by catching a Mankey on Route 22 and raising it to Level 9 for Low Kick. Pikachu's Thunder Wave, when Pikachu learns it at level 8, also helps against your rival's Pokémon.

Route #2 (early in the game)
Route #2 encounters
RattataPokemon 019Rattata.png 45% 45% 40%
Pokemon 016Pidgey.pngPidgey 40% 40% 30%
WeedlePokemon 013Weedle.png 15% N/A N/A
Pokemon 010Caterpie.pngCaterpie N/A 15% N/A
Nidoran♀Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.png N/A N/A 15%
Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.pngNidoran♂ N/A N/A 15%
#29 Nidoran♀ & #32 Nidoran♂
Pokemon 029Nidoran♀.png
Pokemon 032Nidoran♂.png
Female Nidoran are everywhere in Blue, and males abound in Red, but both appear with equal frequency in Yellow. The sharper horned males have a slight edge, since they learn better offensive attacks in this and the next phase of their evolution, but both are solid all-around fighters early in the game. Yellow gives them both Double-Kick at level 12, useful in an upcoming battle with Rock-types in the near future. While both are Poison-types, they don't get a lot of Poison techniques: Poison Sting is about it. They make up for it by learning practically every good TM in their final forms. Both Nidoran can reach their final forms through the use of a Moon Stone, and they can both get to their final forms as early as Cerulean City, so if you want to try getting one, that would be a good idea. Male Nidoran are also the preferred Pokémon choice for Pokémon Yellow speedruns and can also be the Pokémon to run with in the Red version instead of Squirtle.

Recommended Moves: Thrash (Male)/Body Slam (Female), Earthquake (TM28), Rock Slide (TM48), Blizzard (TM14)

#21 Spearow #56 Mankey
Pokemon 021Spearow.png
Spearow may not have a third stage of evolution like Pidgey do, but they're actually a bit stronger, and a bit rarer early on. Unlike Pidgey, Spearow begins with a Flying-type attack in Peck, and is destined to learn what is probably the best one: Drill Peck. Spearow has an immunity to Ground-type attacks, as well as dealing powerful STAB damage to Grass-, Bug-, and Fighting-type opponents. The increased damage from STAB helps a lot against Bug-type Pokémon as you make your way through Viridian Forest.

Recommended Moves: Drill Peck, Fly (HM02), Double-edge (TM10), Swift (TM39)

Pokemon 056Mankey.png
Only available this early in Yellow, you'll find Mankey's Low Kick to be very useful against Normal- and Rock-types. In Yellow, it learns Low Kick at an easy level 9 and its great against the first gym leader, Brock. It's first available on Route 5 in Red, but it isn't really worth it in that game: it can't learn Low Kick, so its only Fighting-type attack is the fixed damage Seismic Toss.

Recommended Moves: Submission (TM17), Thrash, Strength (HM04), Dig (TM28)