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Roaming Pokémon

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Reason: Japanese name (the name is mentioned by Cedric Juniper in Black and White in one of the evaluation quotes).

Roaming Pokémon are a type of Legendary Pokémon that, instead of remaining in one place as a special event, run around the region they appear in, seemingly at random. Roaming Pokémon have appeared in every core series game since Generation II except Black 2 and White 2.

Mechanics

In addition to their changing of routes (something that happens every time the player moves to a new area), they will also, on the first turn of battle, attempt to flee. The only way to prevent this is to either use a trapping move such as Mean Look or Wrap, or send out a Pokémon with a trapping Ability such as Shadow Tag or Arena Trap (several roaming Pokémon are Flying-type or have the Ability Levitate, rendering Arena Trap ineffective against them).

If the roaming Pokémon is damaged or afflicted by a non-volatile status condition, it will retain this when it is next encountered. Status conditions that prevent the Pokémon from using moves like sleep, paralysis, and infatuation only prevent the Pokémon from fleeing in Generation II.

In Generations II and V, roaming Pokémon fleeing has a priority of -7. In Generations III and IV, it has a priority of 0. In Generation VI, they flee directly after the player sends out a Pokémon.

Starting from Platinum, if the player defeats the roaming Pokémon, it will re-spawn once the player beats the Elite Four again. However, the trigger that caused them to start roaming must be reactivated. For example, for Mesprit to roam again, the player must visit Verity Cavern again.

Tracking

In Generations II, III and VI, players can use their Pokédex to check the ever-changing location of their target after they have seen the target. In Generation IV, the Pokétch's Marking MapDPPt application and the Pokégear's map cardHGSS serve this purpose, relieving the player from having to change through a multitude of screens, as was the case in other generations. In Generation V, the player can track their locations using the notifications of stormy weather on electric bulletin boards in gates.

List of roaming Pokémon

Generation II

These Pokémon are found roaming Johto in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal; however, Suicune is found at the Tin Tower in Crystal, and will not be found roaming in the wild. They can be captured at any point after they are disturbed by the player in Ecruteak City's Brass Tower.

Unlike in later generations, when a roaming Pokémon is asleep, it will not flee until it wakes up again.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
243 Raikou
G S C
Grass Grass
40 Event
244 Entei
G S C
Grass Grass
40 Event
245 Suicune
G S C
Grass Grass
40 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Generation III

Hoenn

The Eon Pokémon can be caught in Hoenn after defeating the Elite Four for the first time. Only one will roam Hoenn; the other can be obtained on Southern Island with the Eon Ticket. In Emerald, the roaming Pokémon will depend on the color of Pokémon that the player tells their mother was on the TV; blue will result in Latios roaming, while red will result in Latias roaming. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the roaming Pokémon will have low individual values due to the roaming IV glitch.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
380 Latias
R S E
Grass Grass
40 Event
381 Latios
R S E
Grass Grass
40 Event
Surfing
380 Latias
R S E
Surfing Surfing
40 Event
381 Latios
R S E
Surfing Surfing
40 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Kanto

These Pokémon are only present in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Only one of the three legendary beasts will appear dependent on the type weakness of the player's chosen starter Pokémon (Raikou for Squirtle, Entei for Bulbasaur, Suicune for Charmander). The legendary beast will commence roaming the Kanto mainland upon Lorelei's return to the Elite Four after Team Rocket is defeated in the Sevii Islands. They will have low IVs due to the Roaming IV glitch and if they use Roar to flee, they will disappear permanently due to the roaming Roar glitch.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
243 Raikou
FR LG
Grass Grass
50 Event
244 Entei
FR LG
Grass Grass
50 Event
245 Suicune
FR LG
Grass Grass
50 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Generation IV

Sinnoh

Sinnoh has five roaming Pokémon, each of which is available in the wild after certain events have taken place. Mesprit will roam after the player goes to Lake Verity after defeating Team Galactic at Mt. Coronet, Cresselia will appear after the player helps cure Eldritch's son's nightmares, and the legendary birds will appear in Platinum after the player first talks to Professor Oak in Eterna City.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
144 Articuno
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
145 Zapdos
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
146 Moltres
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
481 Mesprit
D P Pt
Grass Grass
50 Event
488 Cresselia
D P Pt
Grass Grass
50 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Johto and Kanto

In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Raikou and Entei will roam Johto after meeting them in the Burned Tower, and after leaving the Vermilion City Pokémon Fan Club house with Copycat's doll, Latios or Latias will roam Kanto.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
243 Raikou
HG SS
Grass Grass
40 Event
244 Entei
HG SS
Grass Grass
40 Event
380 Latias
HG SS
Grass Grass
35 Event
381 Latios
HG SS
Grass Grass
35 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Generation V

In Pokémon Black and White, after obtaining the Legend Badge, when entering the gate leading to Route 10, the woman behind the desk will alert the player about the big storm on Route 7. TornadusB or ThundurusW will make the weather more extreme in Route 7 when entering the route. Heading towards the second house on the route will cause an old lady to come out and pull the player in. She will then recite the story of either TornadusB or ThundurusW. Upon exiting the house, the player will be approached by the respective Pokémon, which will then fly off and will roam around Unova until being caught or defeated. Wherever these Pokémon appear will be subject to weather identified as "stormy" by the bulletin boards in gates. Only these two Pokémon can cause stormy weather (which is effectively rain in-battle), so they can be tracked down using the bulletin boards. However, bulletin boards are somewhat inferior to the tracking methods of previous generations, as Tornadus or Thundurus's location changes when the player exits the gate. Unlike previous generations, the Roaming Pokémon's location varies depending on the time of day. At night, between midnight and morning, the Pokémon can only be encountered in Routes 12, 13, 14 and 15, in the morning it can only be encountered in Routes 2, 3 and 18, during the daytime it can only be encountered in Routes 4, 5 and 16, in the evening it can only be encountered in Routes 6, 7 and 8 and at night before midnight it can only be encountered in Routes 9, 10 and 11.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
641 Tornadus
B W
Grass Grass
40 Event
642 Thundurus
B W
Grass Grass
40 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.

Generation VI

In Pokémon X and Y, the Legendary birds roam the Kalos region after defeating the Pokémon League. Only one of the three birds will appear and the one that does depends upon which Kalos starter Pokémon the player picked. If the player chooses Chespin, Articuno will appear, Zapdos will appear to those who chose Fennekin, and Moltres will appear to those that went with Froakie. Unlike previous roaming Pokémon, the birds will automatically flee seconds upon encounter before the player gets a chance to act (Abilities such as Shadow Tag will not prevent this). After encountering them 10 times (11 if you count the mandatory first encounter after beating the Elite Four), they will retreat to the Sea Spirit's Den in Azure Bay and remain there as stationary Legendary Pokémon.

If the player uses Fly, the roaming Pokémon will relocate to a random location. Traveling normally, on the other hand, will only provide a small chance for the roaming Pokémon to change routes, and even then it will move to an adjacent route. Furthermore, entering any of the connecting gates between cities (or Victory Road) may cause the roaming Pokémon to relocate randomly. This appears to be on a timer, however, as immediately pursuing the roaming Pokémon does not seem to cause it to change location.

The roaming Pokémon can be tracked using the Pokédex. One strategy for quickly locating the legendary birds is to fly to Lumiose City (due to its central location there are many routes that can be entered quickly) and continue flying to Lumiose City (despite already being there) until the bird moves to a nearby location.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
144 Articuno
X Y
Grass Grass
70 Event
145 Zapdos
X Y
Grass Grass
70 Event
146 Moltres
X Y
Grass Grass
70 Event
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.



Game locations of legendary Pokémon
Kanto Seafoam IslandsPower PlantVictory RoadCerulean Cave
Route 10Route 25Pewter CityRoaming Pokémon
Sevii Islands Mt. EmberNavel RockBirth Island
Johto Ilex ForestBell TowerWhirl IslandsMt. Silver
Burned TowerEmbedded TowerRoaming Pokémon
Hoenn Desert RuinsIsland CaveAncient TombCave of OriginMarine Cave
Terra CaveSky PillarSouthern IslandRoaming Pokémon
Sinnoh Acuity CavernValor CavernSpear PillarTurnback Cave
Rock Peak RuinsIceberg RuinsIron RuinsSnowpoint TempleStark Mountain
Newmoon IslandFlower ParadiseHall of OriginRoaming Pokémon
Unova Guidance ChamberTrial ChamberRumination FieldN's CastleAbundant Shrine
Giant ChasmDragonspiral TowerLiberty GardenRoute 11Route 13Route 22
Route 23Celestial TowerNacrene CityUnderground RuinsTwist Mountain
DreamyardMarvelous BridgeReversal MountainRoaming Pokémon
Kalos Sea Spirit's DenTeam Flare Secret HQTerminus CaveUnknown DungeonRoaming Pokémon
Other Faraway IslandDistortion WorldSinjoh Ruins

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