Pokemon GO is still one of the most played games in the world, even though it came out years ago.

The thrill and satisfaction of the hunt will always be there, and many people love those rare times when they find a super rare Pokemon.

But when weather, seasons, spawn rotations, unique biomes, and other factors are added to the hundreds of Pokemon and more than six generations to sort through, it seems even harder to catch certain Pokemon, and it can be hard to find the rarest, most wanted ones.

So let’s get our pokeballs ready and look at some of the hardest-to-catch Pokemon and how you can improve your chances of catching them.

Remember that this won’t include the shiny versions.

14. Rotom

Only two times have we seen Rotom in Pokemon GO so far.

During the 2020 GO Fest, Wash Rotom got in the way of a photo, and in the 2022 GO Fest, Mow Rotom showed up as a Research.

So, if you didn’t catch either of these Rotom forms, you can’t get them in Pokemon GO anymore.

13. Salandit & Salazzle

In Pokemon GO, you’ll need to catch Salandit before you can add Salazzle to your Pokedex.

This Pokemon can only be hatched from a 12km Team Rocket egg as a rare spawn, but that’s the least of your worries.

Only a female Salandit can evolve into a Salazze, and it costs 50 Candy to do so.

If you hatch a male, you’ll have to start walking again.

Make sure you have the Pokemon GO Egg Widget set up so you can keep track of how far you’ve walked.

12. Axew

Axew is a Pokemon that is a dragon type and lives in the Inova region.

Iron Tail and Dragon Claw are Axew’s best moves for attacking Pokémon in Gyms.

This Pokemon can evolve into two different forms: Fraxure and Haxorus.

However, it takes a long time for this Pokemon to turn into Haxorus, so you may have to wait a long time.

11. Sandile

Sandile comes from the Unova region.

It is a Dark-type Ground Pokémon.

It changes into a Krokorok when it eats 25 candies, and its final form is a Krookodile.

This Pokemon comes from an egg called the red egg because of the color of its shell.

10. Meltan and Melmetal

These two Pokemon are two of the most unusual ones in the whole series.

They’re the first Mythicals that can evolve (Meltan turns into Melmetal), the only Pokemon to ever appear in Pokemon GO, and the only ones that can evolve there, too.

You’d think they’d be easy to find in the mobile game since they have a clear link to it.

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Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get a Meltan, and it’s even harder to get Melmetal.

You can catch a Meltan in one of two ways.

First, you can catch one as part of the “Let’s GO, Meltan!”

Special Research questline (more on why this is disappointing later).

You can do this after you’ve caught 100 Pokemon from Kanto.

The second way gives you a lot more Meltan, but it is harder to use.

You must turn on a Mystery Box.

This can only be done by moving a Pokemon from Pokemon GO to either Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Eevee.

Then, you can use the Mystery Box-like incense to bring Meltan to you for a while.

Of course, you can’t use this option if you don’t have these games or a Nintendo Switch.

You can use someone else’s game, though, if you have a friend who has one of the Let’s Go games, ask them to be nice to you.

Melmetal can only be made by evolving from Meltan.

This requires a huge 400 candies, so if you don’t have Let’s Go to keep opening Mystery Boxes and you’ve already caught your one Meltan from the Special Research, you’ll have to get Meltan candies in other ways:

  1. Use Rare Candies
  2. Make it your buddy
  3. Place it in a gym and feed it berries

9. Noibat

Noibat, which is a Flying/Dragon type, was one of the first Kalos Pokemon to be added to the game.

It is also one of the rarest new Pokemon in a long time.

If you want to catch a Noibat, keep an eye on your radar when it’s windy, which makes them more likely to show up.

They can also come from eggs called “10km.”

Worst of all, you need 400 candies to evolve it.

In this way, it might be more accurate to say that Noivern is the real problem.

8. Goomy

“Good luck with Goomy” was said by many players even during the most recent XY event.

Niantic made sure that the slimy little guy was a big prize, so you can imagine how rare the species is in general.

Your best bet is to, speak, and wait for the wheel.

Sometimes, “10km Eggs” will have Goomy in their lineup, but you’ll have to check back every month to see when that happens.

And, of course, that’s a long way to walk if you want to play the game naturally.

7. Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie

The fact that these three Legendary Pokemon are the only ones that can appear in the wild makes them pretty interesting.

Most legendary items come and go from raids, but these three always stay there.

So why should they be on our list?

They are, of course, very rare.

On top of being rare, they are also locked to a certain region.

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Since you can now raid remotely, many people were able to get them by finding someone in another region who was in a raid.

It’s probably best to wait until that’s possible again.

They have come back into the raid pool more than once, so if you don’t have them yet, just wait!

6. Unown

This Gen 2 Psychic-type Pokemon is unusual since it is hard to find in the wild and has different looks that each represents a letter of the Latin alphabet (or one of two punctuation points).

It’s almost impossible to even find them, let alone catch them.

You can’t get them through evolution, you can’t hatch them, and there doesn’t seem to be a place where they are more common.

Even if you catch one, it won’t increase your chances of catching another because their medal doesn’t give you any catch bonuses.

They do exist out there, but they are some of the hardest things to catch.

Some events will bring them out, but only certain letters.

The best way to catch one is to go to an event or patrol areas with a lot of people while you have extra Lures on hand.

5. Pikachu Libre

Another Pokemon that is always available is Pikachu Libre, but that doesn’t mean that many people have one.

You can only get this costumed wrestler if you reach the top of the GO Battle League.

You’ll have to fight against the best players to get there, which will take a lot of time.

Before it was easier, but now that there have been so many changes to the GO Battle League?

Not really.

4. Time-Locked Pokemon

There are a lot of Pokemon that you can’t just go out and catch on any given day because they’re locked behind a time-sensitive event, season, rapid rotation, or some other equally difficult problem.

Almost all of these will require you to either wait for the events to come back or trade someone. Some, like certain costumed Pokemon, may not come back at all, so you may have to trade for them.

Some of the most popular choices among these Pokemon that can only be caught for a limited time are:

  1. Delibird (locked to the holiday season)
  2. Yamask (locked to the Halloween season)
  3. Most legendaries (raids rotate, and they’re sometimes obtainable in other ways, but are always available for a short time before leaving again)
  4. Costumed Pokemon
  5. Clone Pokemon
  6. Armored Mewtwo
  7. EX Raid Pokemon, like Regigigas and Genesect
  8. Some mythical, like Genesect, Darkrai, and Deoxys,
  9. Spiritomb (locked to Special Research and event-exclusive Field Research tasks)
  10. Wash Rotom (only appeared at GO Fest 2020, hasn’t been seen since)
  11. Galatian Mr. Mime and Mr. Rime (locked to ticketed special research)
  12. Skwovet, Falinks, Wooloo, Zacian, and Zamazenta (These Sword and Shield Pokemon appeared for one event in the summer of 2021 but are seemingly no longer available)
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3. Pancham

Unlike some other entries, this one doesn’t have much to say.

Pancham is just plain rare, without any extra bells or whistles.

It made its big debut in 2018, and it’s been in a few events since then, but it’s almost impossible to find it in the wild.

It’s been a while since the scrappy friend was available during a certain event, so keep your Poke Balls ready for when it comes back.

2. Tirtouga and Archen

Each new group of Fossil Pokemon seems to be hard to find at first, but then they become more common.

At first, it was hard to find Kabuto, Omanyte, and Aerodactyl.

Cranidos and Shieldon were even harder to find, and now Tirtouga and Archen seem nowhere to be found.

Lileep and Anorith were the only ones who didn’t fit this pattern since they’d never been very rare.

This makes sense since Fossil Pokemon are extinct and come back to life from fossils, but it’s still frustrating when you’re trying to finish your Pokedex and can’t find these rare Pokemon.

Both can be found in nature, but you probably won’t see them very often.

Both of them have been in eggs before, but they don’t always stay there.

Archen is luckily part of the Legacy 40 Special Research, so you can get him.

Before they raised the level cap, though, this Special Research was only available to people who had reached level 40.

1. Special Research Mythicals

Some Mythicals, like Genesect, Darkrai, and Deoxys, have shown up in raids or been found in other ways.

But special research is the main way that new Mythicals come out.

Mew was the first, then Celebi, Jirachi, Victini, Meloetta, Zarude, and Hoopa’s Confined Form.

Since you can only do special research once and most Mythicals can’t be traded, most people can only have one of each of these Pokemon.

Some people can get shiny Mew and shiny Celebi, though.

The shiny version of Mew was unlocked through the All-in-One 151 questline, which can only be done by people who bought a Kanto Tour ticket.

Those who started the “Distracted by Something Shiny” questline in 2020 are the only ones who can get the shiny version of Celebi right now.

They might be made available again someday.

Zapruder is especially hard to get because the special research that led to a fight with it was only available for a short time.

Trainers who didn’t get Zarude can still get him, but when that will be up in the air.


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