The Pokémon series has a special place in many people’s hearts. It is a timeless classic that, with each iteration, seems to improve and expand in some way – even just the slightest. Of course, there are some of us who remember there being just 151 Pokémon in Red and Blue. Today, there are too many to count. Seriously, our fingers don’t go that high. In total, there are over 800 of these little monsters in the game world to capture.
The entire point of Pokémon is to be the very best and catch them all, as you probably know from the iconic theme song that players during the cartoons every morning. To accomplish such a momentous task, you’ll need to travel the world, acquire more powerful Poké Balls, and do battle with all manner of pocket monsters. These monsters come in a variety of flavors and forms, from electricity (Electabuzz) to shadow (Gengar). We would love to say it’s a leisurely ride, especially considering the game is designed specifically for younger audiences, but it’s not. This is an incredibly difficult, lengthy series that has spanned over two decades now. Some have managed to capture every Pokémon in the game, while others, like myself, creep on slowly – year after year – hoping to catch just one Mewtwo. Some dreams just aren’t meant to happen and the following 20 Pokémon make that dream harder to achieve. These are the hardest to find Pokémon in the entire series. Good luck locating and capturing each!
Darkrai, a Dark-type Pokémon, was introduced in Generation IV. He has no known evolution and is a member of the Lunar duo alongside Cresselia. He appears to have a relatively small head when compared to his body, especially his legs. Oh, those legs. When extended, his legs are quite long and somewhat spiky in appearance. Furthermore, this dark monster is known to inhabit the dream world, causing a target to experience terrifying, unending nightmares. We are aware of a monster like that.
If you’re hoping to find Darkrai, you’re going to have a tough time. Since Generation IV, you could only find one in the entire game. In recent iterations of the series, the only method to locate this Dark-type monster is to witness a special event.
Jirachi, a dual-type Steel/Psychic Pokémon, was introduced in Generation III, which makes him/her ancient at this point. Like Darkrai, Jirachi has no know evolution at this stage, though we never know when that may change. Unlike Darkrai, Jirachi has short, stubby legs and longer arms. Its belly is adorned with a curved seam, which hides a third eye, known as its “true eye.” This is, assumedly, where its psychic powers hail from. Additionally, this little critter tends to hibernate for extended periods of time, making him difficult to find both in-game and in the lore.
To locate Jirachi, you’ll need to either experience an event in some of the games, trade for him in others or visit the Pokémon Bank in Generation VII (Sun and Moon). It’s quite easy to pass him up.
Genesect is unique – even within the world of Pokémon. This dual-type Bug/Steel monster was introduced in Generation V and does not evolve into any other Pokémon. He does, however, alter in appearance based on the Drive inserted into his back-mounted cannon. Depending on the Drive, the sprites will change colors – from orange to red, blue to yellow, etc. Each Drive also changes its attack type.
In the games, the only method to find Genesect is through an event. You’ll have to be in the right place at the right time. With such a massive world, that’s a lot to ask. In the most recent Generation (Gen. VII) you can find him at the Pokémon Bank, which requires real money from the player to access regularly.
You may remember Torchic as the quirky fire-type introduced in Generation III as a starter selection. This little chick, bursting with flames, evolves into Combusken at level 16, then to Blaziken at level 36. You may be asking yourself, how is it difficult to find a starter Pokémon? Well, because he’s only a starter choice in certain games. In others, he’s been introduced to the game world for the player to capture at random. Doing so, however, is another story altogether.
If you’re on the hunt for Torchic, you’d best start searching now. Depending on your game, you can find Torchic through in-game events, trades, or, in rare occurrences, out in the field while sightseeing. Don’t hold your breath, though. He doesn’t pop up willy-nilly.
Feebas is ugly, let’s just get that out of the way now. This Water-type was introduced in Generation III and evolves to Milotic once you raise its Beauty high enough. Alternatively, you may trade this ugly fish while it holds a Prism Scale in Generation V onwards. You’ll probably notice this trout is light brown, with dull, irregular spots adorning its scaly body. It is generally ignored by most players.
When it comes to actually catching a Feebas, though, don’t expect another Magikarp. You’ll have to fish extensively or trade to get your hands on one. It’s not simple, though. There is one spot per game where you can fish and catch a Feebas, but you’ll have to contend with a few other Water-type Pokémon first.
15 Shiny Spinda
Spinda, a Normal-type, was introduced in Generation III. Like many other this list, it does not evolve into any other Pokémon. What we do know, however, is this panda-like creature has dead eyes, which point in opposite directions and a small body with stumpy appendages. It loves to dance, hence its signature move, Teeter Dance, which is dizzying and confusing to witness.
Today, many trainers consider Spinda, especially a shiny, to be an incredibly rare catch. There are seven million possible spot patterns, and shiny is one of the most extraordinary to acquire of them all. As a Pokémon, Spinda isn’t great. As a rare commodity to collect, though, good luck finding the right one. These trade for legendary Pokémon on the regular.
You may remember Mew from Generation I. He was the most elusive legendary Pokémon in the game at the time and he shocked the entire world upon first appearance. Like most legendary monsters, Mew does not evolve, nor does he change. He is capable of learning every single Technical Machine, Hidden Machine, and Move Tutor in the series, though. This makes him a formidable opponent if you can acquire him for your team.
If you want to find Mew in-game, you’ll need to be lucky. There are a few in-game events where he makes an appearance and even one public domain (Faraway Island – Emerald) where players may find the legendary being. Mew has a reputation for being difficult to catch, but more so for being difficult to find.
Arceus, another Normal-type, was introduced in Generation IV. While he does not evolve into any other form, Arceus will change depending on whether you're holding a Plate or Z-Crystal. Nintendo did not officially recognize Arceus as a Pokémon until February 14th, 2009, the year of the debut movie. It was officially unveiled to the world on August 3rd, 2009.
What makes Arceus so rare? Simple: He’s known as “The Original One.” The being who is said to have created Sinnoh and Ransei, and perhaps the whole universe. Before Generation IV, Arceus was unavailable to the player, despite Nintendo have every intention to include him in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. In recent iterations, you’ll need to witness an event to lay eyes on this legendary monster simply.
Nosepass doesn’t give the impression of being overly rare or difficult to locate, but this rock-type from Generation III is a troublesome one. The bipedal Pokémon resembles the Easter Island Heads, which is, we assume, where the inspiration hails from. According to the lore, Nosepass is incapable of being too close to others, as his nose would repel everyone around him. Due to this, the monster lives a solitary, lonely life.
If you’d like to become his companion, though, prepare for a long, arduous journey. You see, Nosepass has just one spawn location in each game. You cannot find him elsewhere unless you trade with another player. In the most recent games, you can find the Pokémon in the Akala Outskirts. In older titles, various caves and safari zones are his home.
In our world, Volcanion is only about two-years-old. This dual-type Fire/Water (what a combination!) Pokémon was introduced in Generation VI. Again, he does not evolve nor transform into anything else. Volcanion is a maroon, quadruped Pokémon with blue and yellow markings adorning his body. He is armed with two great cannons on his back, both of which deal damage to another Pokémon.
There is only one known method to locate Volcanion within the game: an event. More specifically, the Helen Volcanion event, which is no longer available. Nintendo ceased the promotion on January 31st, 2017. Right now, your only option of acquiring one is through a trade. Good luck finding another trainer who will willingly give up theirs. You’ll need something far more substantial, most likely.
At one point in time, Tauros was the Pokémon everyone strived for. Of course, this was in the early days, back when Red and Blue were the only released titles. I fondly remember spending entire weekends in the Safari Zone, hoping to nab one for my collection. It was nearly impossible, though. This bovine, with its brown fur and mane, was an unstoppable force, but one that rarely reared its head. As I said, you could spend days in the zone searching for just a single glimpse, but receive nothing.
Like many other Pokémon, there are only one, maybe two areas per game where Tauros spawns. You’ll need to be in the right spot at the right time to have even a chance of capturing one, though.
Registeel, a Steel-type introduced in Generation III, is another Pokémon with no evolutionary form. Many players don’t know this, but Registeel is one of three legendary titans of Hoenn, alongside Regirock and Regice. Despite being a Steel-type, Registeel is made of a stronger metal. This material stretches and shrinks, having been tempered by underground pressure over thousands of years.
If you want to locate your very own Registeel, trade may be your only option. In older games – notably Ruby and Sapphire – there was only one in the entire world. You could find him in the Ancient Tomb. At one point in time, there was an event held in Japan. Sadly, that event ended way back in 2005. Nintendo has not held another since then, though. They have, however, hosted in-game events, including one that ended October 31st, 2016.
Deoxys, a Psychic-type mythical Pokémon, does not evolve but does have three Formes. Its Forme depends on which game you’re currently playing on – Ruby/Sapphire, FireRed/LeafGreen, or Emerald. In later generations, you can change the Forme at will in Veilstone City, Ambrette Town, or Hokulani Observatory, among others.
For the most part, the only method to discover Deoxys is through an in-game or real-life event. In Sun and Moon, the only known method is through the Pokémon Bank, which, again, costs real-life money to access. Alternatively, you could always trade, in some instances. You’ll need X or Y to trade Deoxys, though. There is currently no indication of any type of event for the foreseeable future, so mingle with other trainers and find a willing trade partner.
Mesprit is a member of the lake guardians, the Sinnoh region’s Psychic-type legendary group. Introduced in Generation IV, Mesprit is known as the bringer of emotion, which makes sense considering the colorful dome. Those eyes, though. They don’t exactly scream “emotion.”
If you’re working tirelessly to acquire one of every Pokémon in the game, you’ll be happy to know that there is exactly one in each game since Mesprit’s introduction. In Diamond/Pearl, you could find just one while roaming Sinnoh. In Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, the nameless cavern was home to just one, but only between 4 am and 7:59 pm. And in Sun/Moon, the Pokémon Bank is the only surefire method to acquire one. All-in-all, good luck finding Mesprit in the wild. It’s a task many trainers have attempted and failed over the years.
Like Mesprit above, Azelf is a member of the lake guardians – the group of Psychic-type legendary Pokémon watching over the Sinnoh region. Unlike Mesprit, however, Azelf is the bringer of willpower. The small, blue, fairy-like monster has two tails, each with a red jewel on the end, and another red gem in the center of his forehead. The creature is typically quite docile, but shows its mean side when threatened.
If you’re on the hunt for an Azelf, begin your journey in the Valor Cavern (Diamond/Peal/Platinum) or the Nameless Cavern (Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire). Unfortunately, there is only one in each game, so don’t expect to get too lucky. You could spend quite a bit of time, between 9 pm and 3:59 am, searching for an Azelf.
Heatran, a fire/steel legendary, was introduced in Generation IV. It does not evolve nor transform. The reddish-brown creature resembles a combination tortoise and ram and is dotted with orange and gray spots across its entire body. Furthermore, Heatran is the only known Pokémon to learn Magma Storm in the entire series, making him even rarer.
Like many other Pokémon on this list, there is only one per game. In Generation IV, you could find Heatran at Stark Mountain. In Generation V, Reversal Mountain. And in Generation VI, you could acquire one at Scorched Slab. Prior to Gen. IV, Heatran was not available in-game.
Quick facts: Heatran is the only legendary that can be either male or female in-game. And he/she is the only fire/steel in the entire series.
Cresselia is part of the Lunar Duo alongside Darkrai. She is a Psychic-type legendary Pokémon first introduced in Generation IV. Cresselia has a swan-like appearance, with a yellow underside and bright pink eyes. Furthermore, Cresselia is the only Pokémon in the series capable of learning Lunar Dance.
Prior to Generation IV, Cresselia was unavailable to the world. Once Gen. IV hit, though, players could find one, and only one, while roaming Sinnoh. In Generation V, just one could be found near Marvelous Bridge. And in Gen. VI, you could find a single Cresselia at Crescent Isle. The chances of having one spawn were random, though, so take some time, spend a few hours, and really do some hunting. Alternatively, you could always visit a forum and find someone to trade with!
Giratina, another dual-type creature, albeit Ghost/Dragon, was introduced in Generation IV. Despite not evolving to any other Pokémon in the series, Giratina does transform from its Altered Forme to its Origin Forme. In its Origin Forme, Giratina is the mascot for Pokémon Platinum.
Due to its legendary status in-game, you can only find a single instance of Giratina in any one iteration. In Generation VII, like most legendary Pokémon, you can only find him at the Pokémon Bank. In past releases, however, he was found soaring through the skies or tucked away inside caves. In Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, you’ll need both Dialga and Palkia in your party to trigger the event. The chances are quite slim, unfortunately, making him one of the more difficult Pokémon to capture.
Terrakion, a dual Rock/Fighting-type legendary Pokémon, was introduced to the world in Generation V. Alongside Cobalion, Virizion, and Keldeo, Terrakion is a part of the Swords of Justice. He is yet another bovine-style creature, with a black, rounded forehead and two brown horns curving upwards. During a war with the humans, Terrakion fought against humankind alongside the Swords of Justice.
In Generation V, you could find just one Terrakion at Victoria Road (Black/White) or Route 22 (Black 2/White2). In Generation VI, Terrakion could be obtained through trade (X/Y) or at the Pathless Plain (Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire), but you would need 3 Pokémon with max EVs in your party to trigger the event. Of course, you could get him from the Pokémon Bank in Generation VII. That’s not always an option for most players, though.
As part of the Forces of Nature, Tornadus made his appearance in Generation V. Like many legendary Pokemon before him, Tornado has a secondary Forme, known as Therian Forme, which resembles a giant bird. His original, known as Incarnate Forme, resembles a genie. Its genie form is certainly a favorite amongst those trailers lucky enough to have captured one. The raindrop-like designs along its body are striking characteristics.
For the most part, you would need to trade for a Tornadus. In Black and Omega Ruby, however, he could be found roaming the world. The latter of which required Castform to be in your party. In both instances, only one was available in the entire game. Again, you could receive Tornadus through the Pokémon Bank in the most recent releases.