At the beginning of their quest, Trainers are given a starter Pokémon or first partner Pokémon (Japanese: はじめてのポケモン Beginning Pokémon or 最初のポケモン first Pokémon; known as 御三家 the big three among Japanese fans). This Pokémon will be used to battle the first wild Pokémon that the Trainer encounters.
Once another Pokémon is caught, the starter Pokémon may be retired, but it is often with this Pokémon that Trainers learn friendship and trust. As such, even advanced Trainers may still use their starter Pokémon, and they will often be the most powerful Pokémon on their respective teams.
In the core series games, it is said that the starter Pokémon are extremely rare in the wild, giving the player a reason why the Pokémon not chosen can't be found in the wild in most of the games.
In the games
In the core series games (with two exceptions), the player can choose a Fire-, Water-, or Grass-type starter Pokémon at level 5. At least one of the player's rivals will also always choose or have a starter Pokémon, typically the one that has a type advantage over the player's.
In Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, FireRed, and LeafGreen, Professor Oak will bring Trainers to his lab to give them one of the following to begin their journey:
The player's rival will then pick the type-advantageous starter Pokémon, and the remaining Pokémon will sit in its Poké Ball on Oak's desk for the rest of the game.
In FireRed and LeafGreen, the choice of starter Pokémon also determines which of the Legendary beasts will roam the Kanto region after defeating Team Rocket in the Sevii Islands—if the player chooses Bulbasaur, Entei will appear, Suicune will appear to those who chose Charmander, and Raikou will appear to those that went with Squirtle.
Professor Oak offers one of this trio of Pokémon to the player in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver after the player has defeated Red, making reference to the fact that he gives them out as starter Pokémon in Kanto-based games, suggesting the player will be able to make it to the next town with one of these Pokémon by their side.
Professor Sycamore will let the player choose one of these three Pokémon after meeting him in person and beating his team of Kanto starters in battle. After making their choice, Professor Sycamore will give the player a Mega Stone corresponding to the chosen starter's final evolution; Venusaurite for Bulbasaur, Charizardite XX/Charizardite YY for Charmander, and Blastoisinite for Squirtle. The middle stages of the starters can be found in the Friend Safari.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the Kanto starters can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Melemele Island.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the player receives a Charmander as a gift from Leon in Postwick after surpassing him as Champion, which will be capable of Gigantamaxing when fully evolved.
In The Isle of Armor, Honey will let the player choose either Bulbasaur or Squirtle after completing the Master Dojo's first trial. Once fully evolved, these Pokémon will be capable of Gigantamaxing. Honey will keep the Pokémon not chosen by the player, and use it on her team.
In The Crown Tundra, Ivysaur, Charmeleon, and Wartortle can be found in Dynamax Adventures.
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Kanto starters can be caught in the Grand Underground after obtaining the National Pokédex.
In Pokémon Yellow, due to being based on the anime, Oak instead gives out:
In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, players will start with Pikachu or Eevee, depending on which version of the game they are playing. These Pikachu and Eevee are considered special, separate forms commonly referred to by the game as Partner Pokémon.
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, Professor Elm will have an errand for the player to run, and will give them one of the following for protection on this errand, which they will then keep after completion:
After the player meets with Mr. Pokémon and receives a Pokédex from Professor Oak, Professor Elm will call the player to tell them that a thief has taken a Pokémon. As the player returns to New Bark Town, they will encounter the thief, who will have the stolen Pokémon with the type advantage over the player's own. From this point onward, the thief will be the player's rival, while Professor Elm keeps the Pokémon that was left behind by the thief on his desk for the remainder of the game (in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the last Pokémon mysteriously disappears at some point).
In Generation II, the Pokémon will be holding a Berry when received from Elm, though the rival's stolen starter Pokémon will not.
In Pokémon Emerald, after the player has caught all Pokémon in the Hoenn Pokédex with the exception of Jirachi and Deoxys, Professor Birch will offer one of these Pokémon as a reward.
In Pokémon Colosseum, the middle stages of the Johto starters are caught as Shadow Pokémon from a Mystery Troop member. Only one is available for the player to obtain during the main game, while the other two are only available during the post-game. The color of the outfit for the corresponding Mystery Troop member is the same as the type for the Johto starter they have.
In Pokémon XD, after the player has cleared the entirety of Mt. Battle without touching a PC or retiring, Battlus will offer one of these Pokémon as a reward. The player can obtain all three Pokémon with consecutive challenges.
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after the player first enters the Hall of Fame and meets Zinnia, Professor Birch can be found being chased by a Shroomish on Route 101 and the player will be allowed to choose one of the Johto starters.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the Johto starters can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Melemele Island.
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Johto starters can be caught in the Grand Underground after obtaining the National Pokédex.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after Professor Birch is rescued from a PoochyenaRSORAS or ZigzagoonE, he allows the player to keep the Pokémon they chose to rescue him with, either:
The player's neighbor, Brendan or May, already has their starter Pokémon, which is always the one with the type advantage. What happens to the starter not selected is unknown. By the end of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, it seems that the player's nominal rival, the son/daughter of Professor Birch, has stopped being a Trainer, and Wally is actually the true rival, facing the player before they can leave Victory Road and staying there to have rematches with the player later. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Brendan or May's role as an NPC is slightly expanded, acting as a post-credits battle in which they gain access to Mega Evolution for their starter Pokémon.
In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Steven Stone offers one of these Pokémon to the player after they have defeated Red.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the middle stages of the Hoenn starters can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Akala Island.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, both the middle and final stages can be caught in Dynamax Adventures in the Crown Tundra.
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Hoenn starters can be caught in the Grand Underground after obtaining the National Pokédex.
In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl when two Starly attack the player and rival at Lake Verity, to which they travel upon hearing reports of a red Gyarados, they will choose one of the following from Professor Rowan's briefcase, which he left at the lake:
The player's friend and rival Barry will choose the starter Pokémon that has a type advantage against the player's choice, and the NPC who is the other-gender choice (Lucas/Dawn) will have the Pokémon weak to the player's choice, and therefore strong against Barry's. After fighting off the two Starly at the lake and returning the briefcase to Rowan, the professor will allow the player and Barry to keep the Pokémon they used.
In Pokémon Platinum, the player and the rival are stopped by Professor Rowan just as they are about to run through tall grass to get to Sandgem Town to ask the Professor for Pokémon. After some questions about the player and the rival's love for Pokémon, he decides to entrust them with one starter Pokémon each.
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after the player enters the Hall of Fame for the second time, Professor Birch can be found being chased by his wife on Route 101 and the player will be allowed to choose one of the Sinnoh starters.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the middle stages of the Sinnoh starters can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Ula'ula Island.
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Sinnoh starters are not only offered at the beginning of the game, but can also be caught in the Grand Underground after obtaining the National Pokédex.
In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which takes place in Hisui, the land the Sinnoh region was once known as, the player is given a starter Pokémon from another region by Professor Laventon, being Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott.
In Pokémon Black and White, Professor Juniper leaves a gift with the player's Mom in Nuvema Town to give to them, containing the following three Pokémon:
The player's friend Cheren will choose the Pokémon that is strong against the player's choice, while the player's other friend Bianca will choose the one weak to the player's choice. The choice of starter Pokémon affects which of the Gym Leaders of Striaton City will be battled; players who chose Snivy will face Chili, a Fire-type specialist, players who chose Tepig will face Cress, a Water-type specialist, and players who chose Oshawott will face Cilan, a Grass-type specialist. Also, the choice affects the Pokémon given to the player in the Dreamyard. Choosing Snivy gives the player a Panpour, Tepig a Pansage, and Oshawott a Pansear.
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Bianca takes three starter Pokémon to Aspertia City on Professor Juniper's behalf and offers one of them to the player. The player's friend, Hugh, will have the Pokémon that is strong against the player's choice, having raised it from an Egg. The player character not chosen will have the starter that is weak to the player's choice, but only seen in its second form.
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after the Delta Episode is completed, Professor Birch can be found being chased by a Machoke on Route 101 and the player will be allowed to choose one of the Unova starters.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the Unova starters' final forms can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Poni Island.
In Pokémon X and Y, the player, Shauna, and Serena/Calem receive their starter Pokémon in Aquacorde Town from Tierno, who was asked by Professor Sycamore to deliver them.
The player's friend Shauna will choose the Pokémon with a type disadvantage to the player's choice, while the player's other friend Serena/Calem will choose the one with a type advantage to the player's choice. The choice of starter Pokémon affects which Pokémon Shauna will trade with the player after the player enters in the Hall of Fame. Shauna will trade the unevolved form of her starter Pokémon, having received it as an Egg. The choice of starter Pokémon also determines which of the Legendary birds will roam the Kalos region after defeating the Pokémon League—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. The middle stages of the starters can be found in the Friend Safari.
In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the Kalos starters' final forms can be caught in the wild via Island Scan on Poni Island.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the player receives their starter Pokémon in Iki Town from Hala and Professor Kukui. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the player receives one from the Professor on Route 1. The player's friend Hau will choose the Pokémon with a type disadvantage to the player's choice. Teacher Emily in the Trainer's School will use the starter that has a type advantage over the player's choice.
During the player's battles first battle against Ilima, his Smeargle will know a basic move with a type advantage against their starter; Ember, Water Gun, or Leafage. During the player's ChampionSM and Title Defense battles, Professor Kukui will use the final evolution of the starter Pokémon with the type advantage to the player's choice. Gladion's Silvally will also be holding the memory of the type the player's starter is weak to. Hau's Eevee will evolve into the Eeveelution whose type has the advantage to the player's choice. Gladion, in his Title Defense battle in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, will have a fully evolved Kanto Starter whose type is the same as the player's starter.
In The Isle of Armor, once the player has found 100 of the Hiker's Alolan Diglett, he will give the player the starter Pokémon that is the same type as the player's starter. This Pokémon has its Hidden Ability.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield the player and Hop receive their starter Pokémon in Postwick from Leon, the Champion of Galar.
The player's friend Hop will choose the Pokémon with a type disadvantage to the player's choice. Leon takes the remaining Pokémon into his care, eventually using its final form in the Championship Match against the player.
In the Isle of Armor, the player has the option of giving their final form starter Pokémon Max Soup, giving them a Gigantamax Factor and allowing them to enter their Gigantamax form in battle. Hop will use his starter's Gigantamax form in the Galarian Star Tournament.
Other notable in-game starters
- The rival of Pokémon Yellow, Blue, starts with an Eevee originally intended for the player. The Eevee will evolve into a Vaporeon if the player loses against the rival at the lab and either loses or skips the battle on Route 22, Jolteon if the player wins against the rival at both locations, and Flareon if the player wins against the rival once at either location, and loses or skips the other battle.
- Wally, with the help of the player and their father, will catch a Ralts.
- The player character not chosen in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Ethan or Lyra, will have a Marill.
- In Pokémon Ultra Sun, the Pokédex identifies the Ultra Beast Poipole as a common choice for a starter Pokémon in its own world.
- Hop has a Wooloo that he has owned since before the start of the game, and uses it in his first battle against the player. Over the course of the story, it evolves into Dubwool.
- Bede's starter Pokémon, as revealed in conversations in The Isle of Armor, is his Hatterene, which he received as a Hatenna when he met Chairman Rose.
- Marnie's starter Pokémon is her Morpeko, which she received as a gift when she was five from her brother, Piers.
Base stat comparison
Base stat comparison when fully evolved
Base stat comparison when Mega Evolved
In Pokémon Colosseum:
A first for the Pokémon games, these starter Pokémon come as a pair as to represent the Double Battle system, and are also different in that they are in the player's possession right at the start of play. Umbreon is at level 26, knowing the TM moves Taunt and Snatch, as well as Bite which is otherwise only available through breeding at such a level. Espeon is at level 25, knowing the TM moves Return (while also starting with maximum friendship) and Reflect. Both are always male.
In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness:
This starter Pokémon is in the player's possession right at the beginning of the game. It is at level 10 and knows Bite, which Eevee does not normally know at this level without breeding. At an early point in the game, the player is offered one of five evolutionary items—Water Stone, Thunderstone, Fire Stone, Sun Shard, and Moon Shard—to allow the Eevee to evolve into any of its evolutions that existed in Generation III.
In Pokémon XD, if the player completes the Mt. Battle challenge and defeats all 100 Trainers without quitting or switching Pokémon, Battlus will give one of the Johto starter Pokémon as a reward.
In Pokémon Battle Revolution, the player's starter Pokémon are determined by the gender specified on their Rental Pass or Custom Pass. They are all at level 50.
Male players start out with the following Pokémon:
Female players start out with the following Pokémon:
In Pokémon Masters EX, the player themselves starts with a Pikachu. Upon starting the game, Brock and Misty join the player's roster with their sync partners, Onix and Starmie, to form a team of three.
In Pokémon GO, when the player starts the game, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle will appear nearby. If the player battles and captures one of them, the others will disappear.
If the player walks away from them, they will reappear near their new location. If they do this four times, Pikachu will appear in addition to the Kanto starter Pokémon.
While not actually starter Pokémon, these are the first Pokémon available in each of these games.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series
- Main article: Player character → Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series
Pokémon Ranger series
- Main article: Partner Pokémon (Ranger)
Pokémon Rumble series
- Main article: Player character → Pokémon Rumble series
- Main article: Player character → PokéPark series
In Pokédex 3D, all players begin with these Pokémon.
In the anime
Upon their tenth birthday, youths can register for a Pokédex and pick up a starter Pokémon from the local Pokémon Professor or Pokémon Center free of charge. Starter Pokémon are usually raised specifically to be easy to train.
Like in the games, the specific starter Pokémon available vary from region to region but are the same in each region as the games. That is, Kanto Trainers can only choose Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle; Johto Trainers can only choose Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile; and so on.
In A Mudkip Mission, it was shown where starter Pokémon come from. Each region has special, secret breeding grounds run by a Pokémon Breeder for starter Pokémon. The Pokémon League sends these Breeders the Pokémon Eggs for them to hatch at the breeding grounds. The breeders then hatch, care for, and raise the young Pokémon until they are ready to be proper starter Pokémon for new Trainers. As these young ones are virtually defenseless, the locations of breeding grounds (or even the knowledge of their existence) is a secret unknown to most in the Pokémon world. This is likely to guard against unscrupulous individuals or groups (such as Team Rocket) from poaching the young Pokémon.
However, not all starter Pokémon are raised at these special breeding grounds, with Professor Birch said to catch and raise his own starter Pokémon for Trainers.
Other rookie Trainers may receive their first Pokémon from a friend or relative instead. Others, on the other hand, may befriend a Pokémon in the wild. These mean that Trainers can, in fact, start with any Pokémon.
A poster on Ash Ketchum's bedroom wall, depicting the Kanto starter Pokémon
The Hoenn starter Pokémon; owned by Brock, Ash, and May from left to right
A postcard from Professor Rowan, depicting the Sinnoh starter Pokémon
The Alola region starter Pokémon owned by Ash and Lana
The Galar region starter Pokémon in the anime
List of starter Pokémon in the main series
- Ash started with a Pikachu, which he received from Professor Oak. In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, he was revealed to be able to Gigantamax into a Gigantamax Pikachu.
- Brock started with an Onix, which he received from his father and who now stays with his brother, Forrest, with whom it evolved into a Steelix. In Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon, it was revealed to be able Mega Evolve into a Mega Steelix.
- Misty started with Goldeen, Staryu, and Starmie; however, it's unknown how she got them or which one she acquired first.
- Gary started with a Squirtle, which he received from Professor Oak and who later evolved into a Blastoise.
- James started with his pet Growlithe, Growlie; however, he left it at home when he ran away.
- Jessie started with an Ekans, which she received for chūgen (a birthday present in the dub), and who later evolved into an Arbok, the one that she had later formally released back into the wild.
- Sakura started with an Eevee, which later evolved into an Espeon.
- Casey started with a Chikorita, which she received from Professor Elm and who later evolved into a Meganium.
- Zackie (A Bout With Sprout) started with a Bellsprout, which he accidentally caught in Violet City when trying to catch Ash's Pikachu, which he thought was a wild Pokémon.
- Jimmy (The Legend of Thunder!) started with a Cyndaquil, which he received from Professor Elm and who later evolved into a Typhlosion.
- Marina started with a Totodile, which she received from Professor Elm and nicknamed Wani-Wani, and which later evolved into a Feraligatr.
- Vincent started with a Chikorita, which he received from Professor Elm and who later evolved into a Meganium.
- Harrison started with a Torchic, which he received from Professor Birch and who later evolved into a Blaziken.
- May started with a Torchic, which she received from Professor Birch and who later evolved into a Blaziken.
- Nicholai started with a Mudkip, which later evolved into a Marshtomp.
- Tommy started with a Mudkip, which later evolved into a Swampert.
- Stephanie (Having a Wailord of a Time) started with a Mudkip, which she received from Nurse Joy at the Slateport City Pokémon Center.
- Jimmy (Judgment Day!) started with a Squirtle, which later evolved into a Blastoise.
- Zander's (Caterpie's Big Dilemma) Caterpie was implied to be his starter Pokémon in the episode, as he mentioned that his Caterpie was his first Pokémon, albeit it was "not caught".
- Gilbert (Journey to the Starting Line!) started with a Bulbasaur, which he received from Professor Oak.
Dawn choosing Piplup as her starter
- Dawn started with a Piplup, which she received from Professor Rowan.
- Yuzo said that he started his Pokémon journey with a Starly.
- Paul started with a Turtwig, which later evolved into Torterra.
- Kenny started with a Piplup, which later evolved into an Empoleon.
- Tyler (The Thief That Keeps on Thieving!) started with a Piplup, which he nicknamed "Pippy", who he received from an unknown location in eastern Sinnoh.
- Zoey started with a Glameow, which she raised after it was abandoned.
- Max intends to begin his journey with the Ralts, which he met in Do I Hear a Ralts?.
- Lyra started with a Chikorita.
- Khoury started with a Totodile, which later evolved into a Croconaw.
- Barry's first Pokémon is currently unknown, but it was hinted in Stopped in the Name of Love! that his first Pokémon might be his Empoleon, which he received as a Piplup.
- Volkner started with a Pikachu, which later evolved into a Raichu.
- Trip started with a Snivy, which he received from Professor Juniper, who later evolved into a Serperior.
- Iris started with a Drilbur, which she saved from falling off a cliff when she was a little girl, who later evolved into an Excadrill.
- Cilan started with a Pansage, which he has had since childhood.
- Burgundy started with an Oshawott, which later evolved into a Dewott.
- Bianca started with a Tepig, which later evolved into an Emboar.
- Emmy started with her Druddigon, which she received from her father when she started her journey.
- Virgil started with an Eevee, which later evolved into an Umbreon.
- Nanette started with a Tepig, which she received from Professor Juniper.
- Serena started with a Fennekin, which she received from Professor Sycamore, which has since evolved into Braixen.
- Mairin started with a Chespin, which she received from Professor Sycamore. She nicknamed it Chespie.
- Shauna started with a Bulbasaur, which she received from Professor Sycamore, which evolved into Ivysaur.
- Tierno started with a Squirtle, which he received from Professor Sycamore and later evolved into Blastoise.
- Trevor started with a Charmander, which he received from Professor Sycamore, which evolved into Charizard. It can Mega Evolve into a Mega Charizard Y.
- Sawyer started with a Treecko, which he received from Professor Birch and later evolved into Sceptile. It can Mega Evolve into a Mega Sceptile.
- Alain started with a Charmander, which he received from Professor Sycamore, and which evolved into Charizard. It can Mega Evolve into a Mega Charizard X.
- Kiawe started with a Charizard, which he received from his grandfather.
- Lillie started with an Alolan Vulpix that hatched from an Egg. She nicknamed it Snowy.
- Sophocles started with a Togedemaru.
- Mallow started with a Bounsweet, which she received in the forest behind the Pokémon School from her late mother. She has since evolved into a Tsareena.
- Gladion started with an Eevee, which later evolved into an Umbreon.
- Professor Kukui started with a Litten that he received from his parents. It has since evolved into an Incineroar.
- Goh initially wanted his starter Pokémon to be a Mew like the one he met when he was six, but he changed his mind after befriending a wild Scorbunny in Galar, choosing it as his partner instead. It has since evolved into a Cinderace.
- Chloe caught an Eevee that can't evolve as her very first Pokémon and partner.
Caught in the wild instead
- Ash caught a Bulbasaur, a Charmander, and a Squirtle in quick succession in the Kanto region. Of the three, only Charmander evolved, becoming a Charmeleon, and later a Charizard, being very disobedient to Ash in both forms until an incident in the Orange Archipelago, after which he served Ash as he had when he was a Charmander. Bulbasaur was also going to evolve, but decided itself against becoming an Ivysaur in Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden.
- In the alternate continuity of I Choose You!, Ash only caught a Charmander, which also went on to evolve.
- Ash also caught the three Johto region starter Pokémon, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile, of which Chikorita and Cyndaquil evolved into Bayleef and Quilava, respectively.
- Ash caught a Treecko in Hoenn, while Brock captured a Mudkip. Treecko evolved twice, becoming Sceptile before Ash left it at Professor Oak's lab, while Brock's Mudkip evolved into Marshtomp. Along with May's Torchic, the traveling trio had the three starter Pokémon of Hoenn.
- May caught a Bulbasaur midway through her journey in Hoenn, and was given a Squirtle by Professor Oak when she journeyed to Kanto. Bulbasaur evolved all the way into Venusaur and Squirtle evolved into Wartortle during May's travels through Johto.
- In Sinnoh, Ash repeated himself by catching Turtwig, who has since evolved into a Torterra. His rival, Paul, owned a Chimchar that was confirmed to be caught in the wild. He was released, recaught by Ash, and is now an Infernape.
- Dawn hatched a Cyndaquil during her journey in Sinnoh. It later evolved into Quilava.
- Like in the original series, Ash caught all of Unova's starter Pokémon, Oshawott, Tepig, and Snivy. However, this time around, he caught them in reverse of the Pokédex order, and Oshawott was a starter Pokémon that Professor Juniper allowed Ash to have after he ran away to be with him. Of the three, only Tepig has evolved, becoming a Pignite.
- Gary Oak had an Eevee at least since Ash was traveling in the Orange Archipelago. As it was revealed to be under his ownership before his Blastoise, it caused many to hearken back to Pokémon Yellow, where the player starts with Pikachu, like Ash, and the rival starts with Eevee. Either way, it was disproven that this was the case when Gary finally revealed his Blastoise to Ash. His Eevee eventually evolved into Umbreon.
- Ash caught a Froakie in Kalos, which used to belong to several other Trainers before being abandoned or abandoning the Trainer. It has since evolved into a Greninja.
- Clemont obtained a Chespin in Kalos. It originally belonged to Professor Sycamore as a starting Pokémon for new Trainers.
- Lana is revealed to have caught a Popplio in Alola. Popplio was rescued from being abused by members of Team Skull. It has since then evolved into Primarina.
- While Ash was in Alola, he caught a Rowlet who was living in a flock of Pikipek, a Trumbeak, and a Toucannon. Ash also encountered a Litten a few times before finally earning its trust and capturing it. Litten has since evolved into an Incineroar.
- During his second visit to Wyndon, Goh caught a Sobble.
- A Grookey belonging to Team Rocket decided to release itself while in Vermilion City in order to join Goh.
Alternate movie continuity
I Choose You!, a movie that started a continutity separate from the main anime series, focused on the developing friendship between Ash and the Pikachu he received from Professor Oak. In this continuity, Gary also started with a Squirtle, while the Oak's Bulbasaur and Charmander were revealed to have been picked by alternate versions of Marina and Tierno, respectively.
In The Power of Us, Ash and Pikachu helped Risa catch a wild Eevee that eventually became her starter Pokémon.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 Animated Trailer
In the Black 2 and White 2 Animated Trailer, Nate is shown to have picked a Tepig, which appears as an Emboar throughout the trailer. Following the game's logic, Hugh is seen with a Samurott, which has a type advantage over Emboar. In the extended version of the trailer, Rosa is also seen using Serperior to battle Cheren's Stoutland.
In Pokémon Origins, Red's main Pokémon is his starter, a Charmander he received from Professor Oak. It eventually evolves into Charizard and becomes able to Mega Evolve into Mega Charizard X through a Key Stone and Charizardite X Red received as a thank-you gift from Mr. Fuji.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Animated Trailer
In the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Animated Trailer, Brendan is shown to have picked a Treecko, while May has both a Torchic and Mudkip. All three Pokémon are seen in their middle, final, and Mega Evolved forms.
Pokémon: Twilight Wings
Buddy focuses on Hop and his starter Pokémon, Wooloo, before the events of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
The third episode of Pokétoon A Budding Dream focuses on Tsubomi, who tries to find her Starter Pokémon, at the end of the episode she ends up starting her journey with a Nidoran♂.
In the manga
Be the Best! Pokémon B+W
The fully evolved Unova starter Pokémon in Be the Best! Pokémon B+W
Monta, Bianca, and Cheren received a Snivy, Oshawott, and Tepig respectively as their first Pokémon. They ended up evolving into their final stages later on.
The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu, unlike the anime from which the manga was based on, new Pokémon Trainers do not appear to be given any sort of starter Pokémon. Professor Oak is not shown residing at his laboratory handing out starter Pokémon to new Trainers, as in the anime, rather, he travels the Kanto region conducting research, often accompanied by Bill. Trainers in The Electric Tale of Pikachu must obtain a license before they can purchase Poké Balls or otherwise capture and train Pokémon. Ash found Pikachu under the floorboards of his home, keeping it as his first Pokémon. It is not currently known what Gary Oak's first Pokémon was in the manga.
In Pokémon Adventures, the starter Pokémon featured in the games are reserved for the few people who hold a Pokédex. Professor Oak produces three Pokédexes for each region, and gives out the three starter Pokémon in each region along with the Pokédex to Trainers he thinks are talented. He has colleagues and friends like Professor Birch do this for him in regions in which he isn't present. In the Unova region, two sets of starter Pokémon are given out to six Trainers, but still with only three Pokédexes. Professor Oak also gave Red's Pikachu as a special starter to Yellow.
Most characters in the manga do not start out with one of the Pokédex-related starter Pokémon. Instead, they usually have a Pokémon they were given by their parents when they were infants that they use as their starter Pokémon. Occasionally, it is not directly stated which Pokémon was their starter Pokémon in the manga, but in profiles of their teams, their starter Pokémon is marked with a star and is among the highest level in the party, even if they acquired more than one Pokémon at first.
List of starter Pokémon in Pokémon Adventures
- Red's first Pokémon was a Poliwag he had since his childhood, which has evolved into a Poliwrath. His "starter Pokémon" was a Bulbasaur given to him by Professor Oak, which he nicknamed "Saur". He became a Venusaur in his travels.
- Blue's first Pokémon was a Scyther, now a Scizor, he took to the training with Chuck. His "starter Pokémon" was a Charmander given to him by his grandfather, which evolved twice into a Charizard.
- Green's first Pokémon was a Jigglypuff, now a Wigglytuff, she received from the Masked Man. Her "starter Pokémon" was a Squirtle she stole from Professor Oak, which she nicknamed "Blasty". He later evolved into a Blastoise.
- Yellow's first Pokémon was a Rattata that Red taught her to catch, which has evolved into a Raticate. Later, she borrowed Red's Pikachu, and after Red took him back, caught her "starter Pokémon", a female Pikachu for herself which she nicknamed "Chuchu". Like the Pikachu in Yellow, neither evolved.
- Gold's first Pokémon was his Aipom, now an Ambipom, that his mother gave him. He borrowed his "starter Pokémon", a Cyndaquil, from Professor Elm, and was later allowed to keep the Cyndaquil which he nicknamed "Exbo". He later becomes a Typhlosion alongside the other two Johto starter Pokémon.
- Silver's first Pokémon was the Sneasel, now a Weavile, that Giovanni gave to him as a child. He later stole his "starter Pokémon", a Totodile from Professor Elm, as well as the first Pokédex of Johto. His starter Pokémon evolved twice into a Feraligatr.
- Crystal's first Pokémon is officially her Smoochum, although she acquired many wild Pokémon that lived as a family while she was in the wild. Chikorita later ran away from Professor Elm to go with her, and became her "starter Pokémon" nicknamed "Megaree". He became a Meganium midway into their journey.
- Ruby's first Pokémon were the Poochyena, Skitty and Ralts that he received from his father, all of them having evolved into Mightyena, Delcatty and Gardevoir respectively. Later, he got his "starter Pokémon" from Professor Birch; a Mudkip which he nicknamed "Mumu". He evolved into a Swampert from the battles he underwent.
- Sapphire's first Pokémon was the Aron, now an Aggron her father gave her. Later, he gave her her "starter Pokémon", a Torchic, which she nicknamed "Chic". She has since evolved twice under her Trainer's care into a Blaziken.
- When Emerald arrived in the Battle Frontier, he had no Pokémon on hand. Then he challenged the Battle Factory using only rental Pokémon, nearly at the end of the challenge, he noticed something suspicious about a Sceptile so he decided to steal him from the facility and kept him afterward, it is later is revealed that the Sceptile was supposed to be his in the first place, making him his "starter Pokémon". He evolved from his Grovyle stage in the wild, after evolving once in Wally's care. Except for Sceptile, the first Pokémon he captured were Sudowoodo and Dusclops.
- Diamond's first was his Munchlax, and later he received his "starter Pokémon", a Turtwig from Platinum because of a misunderstanding. He has since evolved to Torterra alongside the others.
- Pearl's first was his Chatot, and later he received his "starter Pokémon", a Chimchar from Platinum. The Chimchar has since evolved twice into an Infernape.
- Platinum's first Pokémon was her Ponyta, now a Rapidash, and later she received her "starter Pokémon", a Piplup from Professor Rowan. She has since become an Empoleon under her care.
- Black started with a Rufflet that he captured with the help of a wild Munna he had befriended, and later acquired his "starter Pokémon", a Tepig from Professor Juniper which later evolved into an Emboar. Initially, he was nicknamed "Tep", but the nickname was changed to "Nite" and eventually "Bo", making Black the only main character so far to change his Pokémon's nickname.
- White's first Pokémon was a Tepig named Gigi. She later acquires her "starter Pokémon", a Servine, which later evolved into a Serperior. This Servine, which White nicknamed "Amanda", was with N until Gigi decided to leave White to follow N. It was later revealed that Amanda was a Snivy that was going to be given out to new Trainers by Professor Cedric Juniper but was liberated by N. Except for Gigi and Amanda, her first Pokémon she captured was Deerling.
- Blake's first known Pokémon is a Dewott, given to him by the International Police Headquarters so he would have a partner Pokémon.
- Whitley's first known Pokémon is a Foongus, given to her by Team Plasma's Anthea and Concordia, who allowed Whitley to pick the Pokémon she felt closest to.
- X's first known Pokémon is a Kangaskhan. He later got a Chespin, nicknamed "Marisso", as his "starter Pokémon" after he accepted him as a member of his team. He has since become a Chesnaught under his care.
- Y's first known Pokémon is a Fletchling. She later got a Froakie, nicknamed "Croaky", as her "starter Pokémon" after she accepted him as a member of her team. He has since become a Greninja under her care.
- Sun's first known Pokémon is an Alolan Meowth, previously owned by his great-grandfather. He is immediately shown as well with a Litten named Dollar as his "starter Pokémon" that he got from Professor Kukui. He has since become an Incineroar.
- Moon's first Pokémon is unknown, as she caught a Grubbin, Alolan Grimer, and Mareanie around the same time. She is later given a Rowlet as her "starter Pokémon" from Professor Kukui. He has since become a Decidueye.
- Henry's first Pokémon is a Galarian Farfetch'd. He is immediately shown as well with a Grookey named Twiggy as his "starter Pokémon" that he got from Professor Magnolia. He has since become a Thwackey.
- Casey's first Pokémon is unknown, as she was shown owning an Arrokuda, Toxtricity, Falinks, Galarian Stunfisk, and Eiscue prior to her introduction. She is immediately shown as well with a Scorbunny as her "starter Pokémon". It has since become a Raboot.
Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys
In Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys, much like Pokémon Gold and Silver, Gold is offered the choice of one of the three Johto starter Pokémon – Chikorita, Cyndaquil or Totodile – to borrow so that he may run an errand for Professor Elm. Gold chooses Totodile, which Elm allows him to keep after the errand is completed. Also, like in the games, Black, who is based on Silver, steals a Chikorita from Elm's lab while Gold is away on his errand.
Pokémon Pocket Monsters
In Pokémon Pocket Monsters, Professor Oak is depicted distributing the choice of one out of three starter Pokémon - Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle - to Pokémon Trainers as they begin their journeys, much like in other media. Green chooses Charmander as his starter Pokémon, and while Red was offered the choice as well, he decided to keep a Clefairy that he met on his way to Professor Oak's lab as his starter instead.
In Pokémon Zensho, much like in the Pokémon Red and Green games on which the manga was based, Professor Oak offers Satoshi and Shigeru their choice of one out of three starter Pokémon - Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. Satoshi chooses Charmander, while Shigeru chooses Squirtle, leaving Bulbasaur with Professor Oak.
- In interviews with Junichi Masuda during 2009, he stated that starter Pokémon are the Pokémon from each game that the most work goes into, and usually take significantly more time than other Pokémon in each generation.
- The only two Starter Pokémon that are dual-type in their initial form, Bulbasaur and Rowlet, are both Grass-type.
In the games
- All starter Pokémon in the core series besides Pikachu have a gender ratio of seven males to one female.
- Due to this, as well as the way in which gender and Shininess were determined, it was impossible to have a Shiny female starter Pokémon in Generation II, as the lowest Attack IV a Shiny Pokémon could have was 2, while the highest Attack IV a female Pokémon in that gender group could have was 1.
- Kanto's starter Pokémon are the only ones to appear in more than one regional Pokédex: Kanto's, Johto's, and Kalos's.
- In the core series, when a starter Pokémon is first obtained, all are at level 5. Each knows one Normal-type physical move (either Tackle, Scratch, or Pound) and a stat-altering status move at this level, except for Pikachu, which has Thunder Shock instead of a Normal-type move. In Generation VI and VII, the starters also have an attacking move of their type at level 5.
- All Grass-type starter Pokémon have the Ability Overgrow, the Fire-type starters have Blaze, and the Water-type starters have Torrent. Starter Pokémon may have differing Hidden Abilities.
- Fennekin is the only unevolved starter Pokémon with a unique base stat total.
- The lowest base stat of a non-Mega Evolved fully-evolved starter Pokémon is Torterra's Speed, at 56. The highest base stat of a non-Mega Evolved fully-evolved starter Pokémon is Primarina's Special Attack, at 126.
- The Pikachu featured in Pokémon Yellow & Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and the Eevee in Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! are the only starter Pokémon that cannot evolve in the game in which they are starter Pokémon.
- Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!'s respective starters are also the only ones that cannot be traded to other games.
- Charmander is the only Fire-type starter Pokémon that is not a member of the Field Egg Group.
- Oshawott is the only Water-type starter Pokémon that is not a member of the Water 1 Egg Group.
- The Kalos starter Pokémon's secondary types in their final forms (Fighting, Psychic, and Dark) almost form another type-advantage triangle (where one type deals 2× damage to and receives ½× damage from another type), only being broken by the Dark-type being completely immune to rather than resistant to the Psychic-type.
- Both the primary and secondary types, however, fit a more generally defined triangle that only requires one type to be offensively and defensively advantaged against another. For example, just as Water has the offensive and defensive advantage against Fire, so does Dark against Psychic.
- It is stated in its Ultra Sun Pokédex entry that Poipole is a common starter Pokémon in Ultra Megalopolis.
- No fully evolved Grass-type starter Pokémon has a higher base stat total than either of its two counterparts.
- Contrarily, no unevolved Grass-type starter Pokémon besides Chespin has a lower base stat total than either of its two counterparts.
- Similarly, no unevolved Fire-type starter has a higher base stat total than either its counterparts and no fully evolved Fire-type starter besides Blaziken has a lower one.
- Each one of the Alola starters' final evolutions has an immunity. Decidueye, being part Ghost-type, is immune to Normal and Fighting; Incineroar, being part Dark-type, is immune to Psychic; and Primarina, being part Fairy-type, is immune to Dragon.
- As of Generation VIII, the only sets of starters without secondary types in any of their final evolutions are the Johto starters and the Galar starters.
- By contrast, all of the Sinnoh, Kalos, and Alola starters have a secondary type present in their final evolutions.
- All fully-evolved Water-type starters can learn the HM moves Surf, Dive, and Waterfall.
- The Kanto starters and the Hoenn starters are the only set of starters capable of Mega Evolution.
- Additionally, the Kanto starters and the Galar starters are the only set of starters capable of Gigantamaxing.
- This makes the Kanto starters the only set of starters that can both Mega Evolve and Gigantamax.
In the anime
- For DP001, Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Encyclopedia is about the starter Pokémon of Sinnoh. He writes this senryū about them: 「シンオウで たびがはじまる ポケモンと」 "In Sinnoh, a journey begins with Pokémon."
- For BW003, Professor Oak's Pokémon Holo Caster is about the starter Pokémon of Unova. He writes this senryū about them: 「パートナー みず・くさ・ほのお まよっちゃう」 "Partner, Water, Grass, Fire, I can't decide."
- Ash has owned all but two of the Grass-type starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Chikorita, Treecko, Turtwig, Snivy and Rowlet. The Grass-type starter from Kalos, Chespin, is instead owned by Clemont, and the Grass-type starter from Galar, Grookey, is instead owned by Goh.
- Each Water-type starter Pokémon obtained by a main character was not battled: Ash's Squirtle, Oshawott and Froakie chose to join his team, while Ash fought and won against Misty for his Totodile. Brock did not battle Mudkip to obtain it. May received her Squirtle from Professor Oak, Dawn received her Piplup from Professor Rowan, Lana rescued her Popplio from Team Skull, and Goh caught his Sobble without battling it.
- Squirtle and Turtwig are both based on turtles and were the starter Pokémon of two of Ash's rivals, Gary and Paul.
- Torchic and Piplup are both based on birds (chicken, penguin). They were also both owned by the anime's resident Pokémon Coordinators.
- Both May and Dawn have a second starter Pokémon from a previous generation with a type disadvantage to their first. These starter Pokémon are both from two generations prior to their owner's introduction and featured in the anime likely due to the same-generation remakes.
- In the Diamond and Pearl series, there have been two major appearances of each fully-evolved starter introduced in Generation IV: Ash and Paul's Torterra, Ash and Flint's Infernape, and Barry and Kenny's Empoleon.
- Every Fire-type starter obtained by a main character has evolved at least once.
- Froakie is the only Water-type starter that has ever evolved under Ash's ownership.
- The Kanto starters are the only ones to have all been owned by both Ash and one of his friends at some point in their evolutionary lines: May owns a Venusaur and a Wartortle, while Kiawe owns a Charizard.
- The Johto Starter set is the only full starter set that Ash has obtained where none of the members were previously owned by another Trainer or a Pokémon Professor.
- Conversely, the Kanto Starter set is the only full starter set that Ash has obtained where every member was owned by a previous Trainer (excluding Professors).
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