Years after its release, Pokemon GO is still one of the most popular games in the world. The timeless thrill and satisfaction of the hunt remain, and many love the rare moments of stumbling upon super rare Pokemon.
But with the addition of weather conditions, seasons, spawn rotations, unique biomes, and more, along with the hundreds of Pokemon and almost six full generations to sort through, it seems to be even tougher to nab certain Pokemon and it can be difficult to pinpoint the rarest, most coveted ones.
So let's get our Poke Balls and Pokedexes ready and examine some of the rarest Pokemon out there now, and tips you can utilize to maximize your odds of catching them. Keep in mind, this will not include regional-only Pokemon or shiny variants.
Updated on November 3, 2021 by Michael Christopher: We've made some updates to this post, ensuring that the information is up to date and accurate. We've also improved the formatting to be more helpful and clear.
Meltan and Melmetal
These two Pokemon are some of the strangest in series history. They're the first Mythicals capable of evolution (Meltan evolves into Melmetal), they are the only Pokemon — ever — to debut in Pokemon GO, and they can only evolve in Pokemon GO, too.
Given their clear connection to the mobile game, you'd think they'd be easier to find in it. Unfortunately, getting your hands on a Meltan is super difficult, and Melmetal is even harder.
To catch a Meltan you can do one of two things. First, you can catch a single one (more later on why that's disappointing) as part of the Let's GO, Meltan! Special Research questline. This becomes available after you've caught 100 Kanto Pokemon.
The second method gives you many more Meltan, but it is a bit more restrictive. You'll need to activate a Mystery Box. This can only be done by transferring a Pokemon from GO to either Let's Go Pikachu or Let's GO Eevee. Then, you can activate the Mystery Box like an Incense, and it'll attract Meltan for a period of time. Obviously, if you don't have these games and/or a Nintendo Switch, this option isn't available to you. You can use someone else's game though, so if you have a friend or someone who has access to the Let's Go games, perhaps they'll be nice to you.
As for Melmetal, you'll need to evolve into it from Meltan. This takes a whopping 400 candies, meaning that, if you don't have access to Let's Go to continuously activate Mystery Boxes and you caught your one Meltan from the Special Research, you'll have to earn Meltan candies in various other ways:
- Use Rare Candies
- Make it your buddy
- Place it in a gym and feed it berries
- Trade it to someone, which gives you a candy — only do this if you have more than one Meltan
One of the first Kalos Pokemon introduced to the game is Noibat, a Flying/Dragon-type. It's also one of the rarest Pokemon introduced in quite a while.
If you're looking to obtain a Noibat, keep your eyes on your radar during windy weather, which boosts their chances of appearing. They can also hatch from 10km eggs.
The worst part about how hard Noibat is to find, though, is that you'll need 400 candies to evolve it!
Another type of egg was added to the game long after the original three (and 7km eggs, which were added in 2018). These eggs are "strange eggs," and they take, under normal circumstances, 12km of walking to hatch. They can also only be obtained by defeating the Team GO Rocket Leaders.
As if it weren't already a chore to obtain and hatch these eggs, they're also the only way to get your hands on a Sandile. On top of all of that, your chances of hatching a Sandile from these eggs are extremely low, and it evolves twice, needing a total of 125 candies for evolution. Hey, at least you get one candy for evolving Sandile into Krokorok.
Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie
These three Legendary Pokemon are very fascinating, as they're the only Legendaries that can spawn in the wild, and they still can! Most Legendaries rotate in and out of raids, but these three are always available.
However, that's not to say they're common. They're incredibly, incredibly rare. On top of their rarity, they're also region-locked! Many people were able to get them by finding someone in another region while they were in raids, since you can now raid remotely, so it's probably best to wait until that's possible again. They've rotated back into the raid pool a couple of times, so if you don't have them, just be patient!
This Gen II Psychic-type Pokemon is certainly a peculiar one, given its rarity in the wild and its variety of styles, each of which represents a letter of the Latin alphabet (and two punctuation points). They are ridiculously tough to even find, let alone catch. They cannot be obtained through evolution, can't be hatched, and there's no apparent type of location in which they're more common. Even if you do catch one, your odds of landing another won't go up, as their medal grants you no catch bonuses.
They technically do exist out there, but are among the rarest catches in the game. During some events, they'll spawn, but only certain letters. The best chance you'd have at landing one is to go to an event or patrol highly populated areas with some spare Lures handy.
More Info: Which Pokemon Are Attracted To Each Lure
Pikachu Libre is another Pokemon that is technically always available, but that doesn't mean very many people have one. This costumed wrestler is only obtainable at the top rank of the GO Battle League.
It's going to take a long, long time to get yourself there, since you have to fight against the upper echelons of all players to reach the top rank. It was easier before, but with many updates to the GO Battle League, it's become much, much harder.
There are a ton of Pokemon that you can't just go out and catch on the average day, because they're locked behind some type of time-sensitive event, season, raid rotation, or what have you. For almost all of these, you'll need to either wait for the events to come back or trade someone — there are some that don't seem likely to ever return that you might definitely need to trade for, like some costumed Pokemon.
These time-limited Pokemon include the following, but also many more:
- Delibird (locked to the holiday season)
- Yamask (locked to the Halloween season)
- Most Legendaries (raids rotate, and they're sometimes obtainable in other ways, but are always only available for a short time before leaving again)
- Costumed Pokemon
- Clone Pokemon
- Armored Mewtwo
- EX Raid Pokemon, like Regigigas and Genesect
- Some Mythicals, like Genesect, Darkrai, and Deoxys
- Spiritomb (locked to Special Research and event-exclusive Field Research tasks)
- Wash Rotom (only appeared at GO Fest 2020, hasn't been seen since)
- Galarian Mr. Mime and Mr. Rime (locked to ticketed special research)
- Skwovet, Falinks, Wooloo, Zacian, and Zamazenta (These Sword & Shield Pokemon appeared for one event in the summer of 2021 but are seemingly not available anymore)
There are many Pokemon that are unfortunately tucked away behind events, holiday seasons, and more. Luckily, some of them have appeared several times, so you should likely be able to find someone willing to trade with you.
Niantic has been rolling out the Pokemon that were originally found in the Unova and Kalos regions over the past couple of years. To keep the hype up, they've been making some of them extremely rare. Like Gible before it, Deino was made very hard to find for many players, often requiring a super-lucky egg hatch.
Which Pokemon is currently the hardest to find changes often, but it's currently Axew, arguably. This small Dragon-type will evolve twice, first into Fraxure and then into Haxorus. If you're incredibly lucky, you can find it in the wild. Otherwise, you'll have to be lucky enough to hatch it from a 10km egg. Get walking!
Tirtouga and Archen
Each new set of Fossil Pokemon seems to come with rarity, before becoming more common later. In the beginning, it was hard to find Kabuto, Omanyte, and Aerodactyl; Cranidos and Shieldon were super tough; and now, Tirtouga and Archen are seemingly nowhere. Lileep and Anorith seemed to be the single exception to this, as they've never been super rare.
This, of course, makes sense, since Fossil Pokemon are extinct and revived from fossils, but it's still frustrating when trying to complete your Pokedex and you can't find these rare Pokemon. Both are technically available in the wild, but you probably won't see them very often. They've both been in eggs before too, but they aren't always in the egg pool.
Archen, luckily, is available as part of the Legacy 40 Special Research. However, this Special Research was only available to anyone who hit level 40 before they raised the level cap.
Special Research Mythicals
Some Mythicals have appeared in raids or have been obtainable through other means, like Genesect, Darkrai, and Deoxys. But, the primary way new Mythicals are released is through special research.
Mew was the first, followed by Celebi, Jirachi, Victini, Meloetta, Zarude, and then Hoopa's Confined Form. Since you can only do special research once, and you can't trade most Mythicals, everyone is limited to having one of each of these Pokemon for the most part.
However, some people have access to shiny Mew and shiny Celebi. Mew's shiny variant was unlocked as part of the All-in-One 151 questline, which is only available to those who purchased a Kanto Tour ticket. Celebi's shiny variant is currently only available to those who activated the Distracted by Something Shiny questline in 2020. Hopefully, they'll become available again one day.
Obtaining Zarude is of particular difficulty, since the Special Research that led to an encounter with it was only available for a limited time. Surely, Niantic will run another event in the future in which Trainers that missed out can grab Zarude, but that remains to be seen.
More Pokemon GO Reading:
- Pokemon GO: The Best Pokemon Of Every Type
- How Many Pokemon Are There?
- Community Day Guide
- A Beginner's Guide To Field Research
Dominate every raid with these Pokemon, which are the best in their class.