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The Rarest Pokemon in Pokemon GO And How To Find Them


  • In Pokemon Go, there are several rare and difficult-to-obtain Pokemon that can challenge even the most dedicated players. Here are some of the hardest-to-find Pokemon in the game:
  • Unown: These Psychic-type Pokemon are extremely rare and can only be found during special events. They cannot be hatched, evolved, or found in the wild, making them incredibly difficult to catch.
  • Larvesta: This Pokemon doesn’t spawn in the wild and can only be found in 5km eggs, which are given out by spinning stops. It also requires 400 candies to evolve, adding another layer of challenge.

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, it seems to be even tougher to nab certain Pokemon, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the rarest, most coveted ones.


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So let’s get our Poke Balls 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, that this will not include shiny variants.

Updated on July 6th, 2024 by Jupiter Hadley: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Pokemon GO continues to evolve (pun intended), but certain species are still difficult to obtain. We’ve added a few new names to our list and switched out some Pokemon that are not so rare anymore.

Meltan and Melmetal

These two Pokemon are some of the strangest in series history, as they’re the first Mythicals capable of evolution (Meltan evolves into Melmetal), they are the only Pokemon 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, but 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 as part of the ‘Let’s GO, Meltan!’ Special Research questline, which becomes available after you’ve caught 100 Kanto Pokemon. The second method gives you many more Meltan, but it is also more restrictive; you’ll need to activate a Mystery Box, which can only be done by transferring a Pokemon from GO to either Let’s Go games and then must activate the Mystery Box like an Incense, which it’ll attract Meltan for a while.

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


noibat pokemon go

One of the first Kalos Pokemon introduced to the game was Noibat, a Flying/Dragon-type that 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, and the most difficult part is that you’ll need 400 candies to evolve it. In that sense, perhaps it’s better to say that Noivern is the real problem here.

Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie

uxie mesprit azelf pokemon go

These three Legendary Pokemon are rather fascinating, as they’re the only Legendaries that can spawn in the wild. Most Legendaries rotate in and out of raids, but these three are always available so, why would we put them on our list?

They’re incredibly rare, of course, but 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!


gimmighoul index page

Gimmighoul was introduced similarly to Meltan, requiring another game on Nintendo Switch to actually get this Pokemon; there are two ways to unlock them, with one being much more guaranteed than the other, but no matter what, if you want to ensure you get yourself a Gimmighoul, you are going to need to get Pokemon Scarlet or Violet for your Nintendo Switch.

In Pokemon Go, you need to save a postcard to your postcard book, connect it to your Nintendo Switch game, and then send a saved postcard into the game; doing this once a day will grant you a Coin Bag, which can be used in Pokemon Go to make Gimmighoul spawn. These Pokemon are extremely small, so you need to pay close attention to get one, but if you do this for 5 days, you will get a Golden Lure, which you can use to turn a pokestop into a Golden Pokestop; even though it’s very rare, you could get a Roaming Form Gimmighoul off of a Golden Lure spawn.

Evolving a Gimmighoul, much like evolving a Meltan, is extremely challenging, as you will need 999 Coins. These coins are only obtainable after defeating Gimmighoul in Pokemon Scarlet or Violet or given out in small amounts from spinning Golden Lure Stops.


unown pokemon go

This Gen 2 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 (or one of two punctuation points). They are ridiculously tough to even find, let alone catch, and 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, and during some events, they’ll spawn, but only certain letters, so 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.


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Image of Shiny Larvesta with the Pokemon Go battlefield as the background

Larvesta doesn’t spawn in the wild, and instead, can only be found in Eggs. You can find them in 5km eggs, which are in the rarest Egg Hatching tier; 5km Eggs are given out by spinning stops, as long as you have a free space in your Egg Inventory.

However, you can also get 2km eggs and 10km eggs from stops, so even getting the correct egg is a gamble. Once you do get a Larvesta, you do need to get 400 candies to evolve it, which adds another layer of challenge, making it’s evolved form challenging to obtain as well.

Pikachu Libre

pikachu libre pokemon go
via Tech Times

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 so many updates to the GO Battle League? Not so much.

Time-Locked Pokemon

a collage showing pokemon that are time locked in pokemon go, including legendaries that get rotated out of raids, holiday pokemon, and costumed pokemon

There are a ton of Pokemon that you can’t just go out and catch on an average day because they’re locked behind some type of time-sensitive event, season, raid rotation, or some other, equally daunting, dilemma. For almost all of these, you’ll need to either wait for the events to come back or trade someone, and these time-limited Pokemon include (but are not limited to) the following particularly popular picks:

  • 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)
  • 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)


Pancham With Goggles And Leaf In Mouth

Unlike some other entries, there isn’t a lot to say about this one; Pancham is just plain rare, with no bells or whistles attached. Its grand debut dates back to 2018, and it’s appeared in several events since, but finding it in the wild is next to impossible.

It’s been quite some time since the scrappy pal has been on tap during a specified event, so keep your Poke Balls at the ready for its return.


Image of Charcadet, Ceruledge, Armarouge, and Pikachu wearing Cap's hat

Charcadet is another Pokemon trapped in 10km eggs, and like Larvesta, you can get it from spinning stops, but you might get 2km eggs or 5km eggs, it’s all down to luck. They are within the second most likely tier to hatch, but there are still a lot of Pokemon ahead of them that do have a better chance of hatching out of that specific egg.

Charcadet has two different forms that they can evolve into and both are quite involved. You’ll need to make the Charcadet your buddy and either defeat 30 Psychic Pokemon or defeat 30 Ghost Pokemon depending on what form you are aiming for. This can be done either through battling Gyms, the Battle league, or Battling against Team Rocket, and of course providing 50 candies.

Tirtouga and Archen

tirtouga and archen pokemon go

Each new set of Fossil Pokemon seems to start with a rare spawn rate, before becoming more common later. In the beginning, it was hard to find Kabuto, Omanyte, and Aerodactyl, then 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.


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Kecleon does spawn in the wild, but unlike other Pokemon, you won’t be able to see them on your map; instead, you will need to tap on PokeStops and hope that a Kecleon is on them. From there, you need to attempt to knock it off to make the Pokemon appear on the map and then you can tap it to attempt to capture it.

As there are far fewer PokeStops in the game than places on the map where Pokemon can spawn and Kecleon is a rare spawn on a stop anyway, it’s quite uncommon to find them about. Pokemon Go has done a few events where Kecleon are meant to have spawned more often, but they are still a rarity with a shiny being even more sought after.

Professor Pikachu

Professor Pikachu index page

Professor Pikachu can be unlocked by anyone who is playing Pokemon Go, and you get one shot at obtaining this Pokemon as it’s a reward for maxing out a medal. Showcases in Pokemon Go have players entering in the largest of specific types of Pokemon, and you can only be in three showcases at one time, but once they end and a new one starts, you can find yourself entering more.

Showcases show up only on some PokeStops, not all of them, and as they are a contest between all of the players entering, it’s a challenge to hit first!

Once you have won first place in 100 of them, you will then get to capture your Professor Pikachu. This does take time and dedication – along with saving all of the XXL Pokemon you happen to stumble upon.

Special Research Mythicals

Pokemon Go 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, and Celebi’s shiny variant is currently only available to those who activated the Distracted by Something Shiny questline in 2020.

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 who missed out can grab Zarude, but that remains to be seen.


Pokemon GO: A Beginner’s Guide To Field Research

Field Research is an important feature in POGO, but what exactly does it entail? Check out our full guide right here.

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