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The name currently in use is the official English translation of the Japanese name.
A (Japanese: シンボルエンカウント symbol encounter) is a type of wild Pokémon encounter in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! and Pokémon Sword and Shield. It is when a wild Pokémon can be seen walking around in the overworld.
Unlike most wild encounters in previous core series games, a battle can be avoided by not making contact with the Pokémon in the overworld, similarly to phenomena and ambush encounters.
In Sword and Shield, symbol encounters can have different responses to the player's presence. Upon noticing the player, a Pokémon may do one of the following depending on its species:
- Flee from the player, disappearing if it evades the player for long enough. This behavior is denoted by sweat drops emerging from the Pokémon.
- Ignore the player and resume its regular activity.
- Approach the player and greet them repeatedly with its cry and a species-specific animation. If ignored for long enough, it will return to its regular activity. This behavior is denoted by a speech bubble with a question mark "?" appearing above the Pokémon before it approaches.
- Pursue the player and attempt to force them into a battle. This behavior is denoted by a speech bubble with an exclamation mark "!" appearing above the Pokémon before it approaches.