We Found the Most Difficult Pokémon to Catch

If you’ve ever tried to catch ’em all in any Pokémon game, then you know some Pokémon are borderline infuriating to find, let alone catch!

With 718 different Pokémon currently available – not counting those to be introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon – it was inevitable that certain monsters would be insanely stubborn opponents. The following 10 Pokémon are some of the most notoriously difficult monsters to obtain throughout the entire series, so prospective trainers, keep your eyes peeled for these creatures as your adventure unfolds!

10: Abra


“Wild ABRA appeared!”

“Enemy ABRA used TELEPORT!”

Yes, if a trainer wants to actually catch a wild abra, they either have to throw a very lucky Pokéball or just happen to lead with a Pokémon who can put it to sleep. Otherwise, that Abra is teleporting out of combat before you even realize what happened.

9: Vespiquen


Bug-type Pokémon are generally known for being easy to catch, but the queen bee Vespiquen is surprisingly hard to acquire.

Obtaining a Vespiquen requires evolving a Combee; a female Combee, to be specific. That might not seem so hard until you realize that wild Combees have only a 12.5% chance of being female. That, of course, is in addition to Combees only appearing as much as 30% of the time, to begin with, in zones that contain them. Happy hunting!

8: Spinda (With a specific spot pattern)


Depending on how you look at Spinda, it’s either entirely unremarkable or technically the rarest Pokémon ever created.

It’s said that every Spinda is born with a unique pattern of spots, and the truth of the matter is… that’s categorically correct. The exact number of theoretical Spindas is 4,294,967,295. So yes, if there’s one specific Spinda you’re looking for, you would be almost 15 times more likely to win the lottery than you would be to actually find it.

7: Any shiny Pokémon


Shiny Pokémon are monsters that sport a different color pattern than usual, and many a Pokémon trainer has jumped for joy in excitement after actually seeing one in the wild. Of course, anyone who knows how rare these creatures are would react similarly.

The odds of a wild Pokémon being “shiny” are 1 in 8,192. That is to say, you only have a .0122% chance of stumbling upon a shiny Pokémon by chance. While there are specific tactics that can boost the chances of getting a shiny Pokémon (both through breeding and the elusive “Pokérus” virus), you’ll still be rolling heavily against the odds if you just want your favorite Pokémon in its shiny form.

6: Surfing Pikachu


Did you know that you can unlock a special minigame in Pokémon Yellow by obtaining a Pikachu that knows the move Surf? It’s true, but because Pikachu can’t naturally learn this water type attack, acquiring this special Pikachu requires trainers to

  1. Buy Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64.
  2. Complete all the content in the game to unlock the “Round 2” hard mode.
  3. Play until the final division of the “Prime Cup” tournament (AKA, the tournament filled with level 100 Pokémon).
  4. Challenge this final division with a custom team that includes a Pikachu.
  5. Use Pikachu in the final battle.
  6. Finally, answer the prompt that asks if you’d like to teach your Pikachu surf.

Even those rumors you’d hear at recess about obtaining fake Pokémon like Pikablu seem more plausible than this.

5: Beldum


The worst part about Beldum is how its difficulty to catch is so utterly deceptive.

First off, this otherwise unremarkable-looking Pokémon trolls the player right out the gate by only knowing Take Down, a move that damages itself as well as its opponent. In other words, even if Beldum doesn’t faint from the recoil damage, it’ll be damaging itself using Struggle once it’s out of PP. Second, Beldum is inexplicably tied with actual legendary Pokémon for having the smallest base chance of staying in a Pokéball – only 0.4%.

To be fair, its evolved form Metagross is one of the strongest non-legendary Pokémon you can find, but they certainly went out of their way to make sure acquiring one wouldn’t be easy!

4: Regigigas


As the trio master of Hoenn’s legendary titans, Regigigas has, fortunately, become a little easier to catch in the most recent games. However, acquiring one in the games in which it first appeared is arduous, to say the least.

Players of Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum need to have Regirock, Regice, and Registeel in their party to unlock the opportunity to catch Regigigas, except the only way to catch the three legendary Pokémon in these games involves having a Regigigas to begin with! In other words, you’ll need to own a Generation 3 Pokémon game, play all the way through it and catch the three titans, and then trade them to your copy of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum to trigger the encounter. At least there are rewards for players who have played each installment of the franchise!

3: Mewtwo (And any other legendary Pokémon with Recover)


In a game series that involves weakening but not fainting a monster to catch it, trying to snag a Pokémon that can restore its own health is absolutely maddening.

Mewtwo was the first in the series to present this challenge to players of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, on top of being literally the most powerful monster in the game by a landslide. Other notable legendary Pokémon equipped with Recover include Ho-Oh, Lugia, and the almighty Arceus himself.

2: Feebas


If we didn’t know any better, we’d say Feebas was cynically designed to sell strategy guides to trainers banging their head against a wall looking for it.

See, Feebas’ could only be found in extremely specific bodies of water in Generation 3 and Generation 4 titles… except those locations were randomly generated. The only way to tell where Feebas is located in Generation 3 is to pay attention to the “trendy” saying, whereas in Generation 4 you can only pray you found the right spot. Yes, considering Feebas is one of many Pokémon that can turn up while fishing, players have no reliable way of knowing whether or not they’ve found a correct spot. Talk about brutal!

1: All the roaming legendary Pokémon

Pokémon Gold and Silver are often considered the best games in the series, but they also introduced one of the game’s most agonizing concepts: roaming legendary Pokémon.

In the latter parts of Pokémon Gold and Silver, players can unleash Entei, Raikou, and Suicune into the wild… but finding them is another story. See, these roaming legendary Pokémon appear throughout the world at random, and they always change their location as the player moves from place to place. Not only is just finding one a time-consuming ordeal, but these Pokémon will also attempt to run away even if you do get lucky and enter into an encounter! In other words, players will have to painstakingly whittle down the health of a roaming legendary across numerous encounters with it, all the while leading with a fast enough Pokémon that can prevent it from fleeing.

Fortunately, thanks to abilities like Arena Trap, roaming legendary Pokémon would become somewhat easier to catch in later generations of Pokémon. But for anyone who tried to catch the original roaming legendary Pokémon in Gold and Silver, these handy tricks weren’t available. Yet in spite of these hardships, anyone who has persevered in the pursuit of these Pokémon can stand tall and say they’ve captured the most difficult to obtain Pokémon in the series’ history.

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Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.