Roaming Pokémon

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A roaming Pokémon (Japanese: 移動してるポケモン migrating Pokémon) is a Legendary Pokémon that, instead of remaining in one place as a special event, runs around the region it appears in, seemingly at random. Roaming Pokémon have appeared in every core series game from Generations II through VI except Black 2 and White 2 and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Mechanics

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Reason: When are IVs, natures, and personality determined? Double-check whether roaming Pokémon in Generation III will attempt to flee if they are able to after the first turn.

In addition to changing routes (something that happens every time the player moves to a new area), roaming Pokémon will also attempt to flee from battle.

Generation II

When encountering a roaming Pokémon for the first time, their HP and DVs are initialized. Those stats remain static once generated. This means that Shiny Pokémon will remain Shiny, and any damage that has been inflicted to them will remain across battles. However, their Power Points and status conditions are reset each time they flee.

In addition to moving around each time the player changes map, all currently roaming Pokémon will also move after each battle with a 1/16 chance (always, if the player just encountered a roaming Pokémon, not merely the one they have just encountered).

There is a 1/8N chance that a roaming Pokémon will move to a completely random map other than the one the player is on, where N is the amount of possible connections to where the roaming Pokémon is at the moment. Otherwise, a roaming Pokémon will move to an adjacant route. A roaming Pokémon will never move past Olivine, meaning that if it is currently on Route 39, it will always move to Route 38.

A roaming Pokémon will flee on any turn it is able to, immediately before it would use its move; if it is unable to flee, it will instead use its prepared move. Since the roaming Pokémon in Generation II all know moves with different priorities, depending on the move they are prepared to use, the player's Pokémon may sometimes act before it flees and sometimes not.

The player can stop a roaming Pokémon from fleeing by using trapping moves (such as Mean Look or Wrap). Sleep and freeze also prevent the Pokémon from fleeing.

If a roaming Pokémon is defeated, it will not reappear under any conditions.

Generation III

From Generation III onward, if a roaming Pokémon is afflicted by a non-volatile status condition, it will retain those effects in subsequent encounters.

If a roaming Pokémon is not already trapped, each turn it will attempt to flee at an effective priority of 0 instead of using a move. If it becomes trapped in the battle during the turn, it will attempt to flee but fail. If it is already trapped at the start of a turn, it will use a move instead of attempting to flee.

A roaming Pokémon can become trapped if it is hit by a trapping move before it is able to act. Trapping Abilities (such as Shadow Tag) can only prevent the Pokémon from attempting to flee if in place at the start of the turn; if a Pokémon with a trapping Ability is switched in, its Ability will not prevent the roaming Pokémon from fleeing on that turn if it is able. Status conditions do not prevent a roaming Pokémon from fleeing.

Generation IV

Starting in Platinum, if the player defeats a roaming Pokémon, it will reappear when the player next enters the Hall of Fame, but the player must retrigger its roaming. For example, if the player defeats Mesprit and then enters the Hall of Fame, Mesprit will only begin roaming again once the player visits Verity Cavern.

Generation V

If a roaming Pokémon is not already trapped, each turn it will attempt to flee at an effective priority of -7 instead of using a move. If it becomes trapped (either by a trapping move or Ability) before it is able to act, it will attempt to flee but fail.

If the player defeats a roaming Pokémon, it will reappear when the player next enters the Hall of Fame.

Generation VI

A roaming Pokémon will flee unconditionally after the player sends out their Pokémon. It will become stationary in a specific area after the player encounters it 11 times.

If a roaming Pokémon is defeated, it will reappear in its stationary position the next time the player enters the Hall of Fame.

Generation VIII

Unlike in previous generations, roaming Pokémon no longer flee once encountered. They appear in the overworld and must be caught up to in order to be encountered.

Tracking

In Generations II, III and VI, players can use their Pokédex to check the current location of a roaming Pokémon (after they have seen it). In Generation IV, the Pokétch's Marking MapDPPt application and the Pokégear's map cardHGSS serve this purpose. 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

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

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Raikou Raikou
G S C
Grass Grass
40 Event
Entei Entei
G S C
Grass Grass
40 Event
Suicune 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 Mom was on the TV; red will result in Latias roaming, while blue will result in Latios roaming. These are the only two roaming Pokémon that can be encountered while Surfing. In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the roaming Pokémon will have low individual values due to the Roaming Pokémon IV bug.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Latias Latias
R S E
Grass Grass
40 Event
Latios Latios
R S E
Grass Grass
40 Event
Surfing
Latias Latias
R S E
Surfing Surfing
40 Event
Latios 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

One of the three Legendary beasts will roam Kanto in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, depending on the type weakness of the player's chosen starter Pokémon (Raikou for Squirtle, Entei for Bulbasaur, Suicune for Charmander). It will commence roaming the Kanto mainland after the player defeats Team Rocket in the Rocket Warehouse on Five Island and delivers the Sapphire to Celio. It will have low IVs due to the Roaming Pokémon IV bug, and if it uses Roar to flee, it will disappear permanently due to the roaming Roar bug.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Raikou Raikou
FR LG
Grass Grass
50 Event
Entei Entei
FR LG
Grass Grass
50 Event
Suicune 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

In all Generation IV games, entering a gate does not cause roaming Pokémon to change routes, even if the player's location changes as a result.

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 only after the player first talks to Professor Oak in Eterna City.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Articuno Articuno
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
Zapdos Zapdos
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
Moltres Moltres
D P Pt
Grass Grass
60 Event
Mesprit Mesprit
D P Pt
Grass Grass
50 Event
Cresselia 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. After leaving the Vermilion City Pokémon Fan Club house with Copycat's doll, Latios or Latias will start roaming Kanto.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Raikou Raikou
HG SS
Grass Grass
40 Event
Entei Entei
HG SS
Grass Grass
40 Event
Latias Latias
HG SS
Grass Grass
35 Event
Latios 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 manifests as rain in-battle), so they can be tracked down using the bulletin boards.

Unlike other 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.

Bulletin boards can be considered somewhat inferior to the tracking methods of previous generations, as, unlike Generation IV, Tornadus or Thundurus's location changes when the player exits the gate. However, as they simply cycle between three or four routes, one may continuously re-enter and exit the same gate until the route displays stormy weather.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Tornadus Tornadus
Incarnate Forme
B W
Grass Grass
40 Event
Thundurus Thundurus
Incarnate Forme
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, one of the Legendary birds roams the Kalos region, depending on the chosen starter Pokémon: Articuno if the chosen starter Pokémon was Chespin, Zapdos if it was Fennekin, and Moltres if it was Froakie. It will begin to roam after the player has defeated the Pokémon League, and it will always be the first wild Pokémon encountered in tall grass after the Pokémon League has been defeated.

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.

As the bird will automatically flee upon encounter, it cannot be caught until after it has been encountered an additional 10 times (not counting the first encounter), and has subsequently retreated to the Sea Spirit's Den in Azure Bay, where it remains as a stationary Legendary Pokémon. However, if the battle in the Sea Spirit's Den is fled from, the bird will begin roaming Kalos again as before.

  Pokémon     Games     Location     Levels     Rate  
Articuno Articuno
X Y
Grass Grass
70 Event
Zapdos Zapdos
X Y
Grass Grass
70 Event
Moltres 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.

Generation VIII

In Pokémon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra, the Galarian Forms of the Legendary birds appear. Once the player has encountered them at the Dyna Tree Hill, they will become roaming Pokémon in the overworld. Articuno roams around the Crown Tundra, Zapdos roams around the Wild Area, and Moltres will roam around the Isle of Armor.

Pokémon Games Location Levels Rate
Sw Sh
Wanderer
Wanderer
70 Event
Sw Sh
Wanderer
Wanderer
70 Event
Sw Sh
Wanderer
Wanderer
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.

In other languages

Language Title
France Flag.png French Pokémon mouvant
Germany Flag.png German Umherziehende Pokémon
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon che si spostano da un luogo all'altro
South Korea Flag.png Korean 이동하는 포켓몬 migrating Pokémon
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon Errante


Game locations of Legendary and Mythical 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 IslandSea MauvilleScorched Slab
Pathless PlainNameless CavernFabled CaveGnarled Den
Trackless ForestCrescent IsleSkyRoaming 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 Cave
Unknown DungeonRoaming Pokémon
Alola Route 16Altar of the SunneAltar of the MooneMount LanakilaMahalo Trail
Ruins of ConflictRuins of LifeRuins of AbundanceRuins of Hope
Aether ParadiseAncient Poni PathLake of the SunneLake of the Moone
Ten Carat HillResolution Cave
Galar Tower SummitBattle TowerMaster DojoCrown ShrineMax Lair
Rock Peak RuinsIceberg RuinsIron RuinsSplit-Decision RuinsGiant's Bed
Frigid SeaLakeside CaveBallimere LakeFreezingtonRoaming Pokémon
Other Faraway IslandDistortion WorldSinjoh RuinsUltra Space Wilds

Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.
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