Symbol encounter

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554Darumaka.png The subject of this article has no official English name.
The name currently in use is the official English translation of the Japanese name.

A symbol encounter (Japanese: シンボルエンカウント symbol encounter)[1] is a type of wild Pokémon encounter introduced in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. 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.

Differences between games

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.

In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, all regular wild encounters are symbol encounters.

Shiny symbol encounter Pokémon are visibly Shiny in the overworld.

Pokémon Sword and Shield

In Pokémon 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.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, if the player knocks out a Pokémon, there is a 50% chance[2] that the next symbol encounter the game generates will be of the same species and form as that defeated Pokémon, as long as it is possible for that species and form to appear as a symbol encounter.[3][4]

Depending on the number of encounters the player has with a particular species, it has a chance of appearing in the overworld as a Brilliant Pokémon. Brilliant Pokémon visibly have a golden aura in the overworld, with only one Brilliant Pokémon being able to appear at a time. Brilliant Pokémon are the highest possible level in the possible level range, know an Egg Move (if possible), have at least two perfect IVs, and are more likely to be Shiny.

Shiny symbol encounter Pokémon are not visibly Shiny in the overworld—the player can only tell if a Pokémon is Shiny after they encounter it.

Due to a bug, all overworld symbol encounters are forced to have a 1:1 gender ratio, excluding species that are 100% male, 100% female, or gender unknown.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, symbol encounters exclusively occur in the Grand Underground. Whenever the player enters a Pokémon Hideaway, several symbol encounter Pokémon will be present, roaming the hideaway. New Pokémon will only spawn when the player leaves and re-enters the area—they do not spawn while the player is inside the hideaway.

If the player crosses a symbol encounter Pokémon's line of sight, it will notice the player (indicated by an "!" above it) and chase the player down, until the player leaves its line of sight and it resumes wandering.

Shiny symbol encounter Pokémon are not visibly Shiny in the overworld—the player can only tell if a Pokémon is Shiny after they encounter it.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, all regular wild encounters are replaced with symbol encounters. Unlike other games with symbol encounters, walking into a wild Pokémon will not start an encounter. Instead, players can choose to start a battle with the wild Pokémon by throwing one of their Pokémon at the wild Pokémon, or players can choose to avoid battle entirely and catch the Pokémon without entering a wild encounter. When wild Pokémon spot the player, it is likely that they will either attack the player or attempt to flee. The specific behavior of the wild Pokémon depends on its species. If a wild Pokémon that will attack the player spots the player, they will almost always become immune to Poké Balls until they are either stunned by items such as Spoiled Apricorns or the player starts a battle with the wild Pokémon.

Alpha Pokémon have glowing red eyes while still wild, and have special music for when the player is nearby. Wild Alpha Pokémon will always attack the player instead of running away. Some Alpha Pokémon are pre-determined and will periodically respawn in the same place, though all wild Pokémon have a low chance of becoming Alpha Pokémon after calming the Noble Pokémon in the map's section. When the player starts a battle with a wild Alpha Pokémon, they have special music and are "filled with wild might", which increases their stats and reduces damage from effects such as status conditions and moves such as Stealth Rock.

Shiny Pokémon appear in the overworld in their Shiny coloring. A sound effect plays when one spawns, along with the Shiny effect. When a battle starts, the effect plays again, and the Shiny icon is displayed next to the name of the wild Pokémon.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

050Diglett.png This article is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Add more information about the Let's Go mechanic, including Experience rates, and if the drop rates for TM Materials differ depending on if the Let's Go mechanic is used.

In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, all regular wild encounters continue to be symbol encounters. Much like Pokémon Sword and Shield, walking into a wild Pokémon will start an encounter, though it will take place within the overworld environment that the Pokémon was encountered in. While Shiny Pokémon continue to appear in the overworld in their Shiny coloring, a sound effect and accompanying visual effect does not play when a Pokémon appears, instead only occurring when it is encountered.

Using the ZR button, a player can throw the Poké Ball of their leading Pokémon in their party at a symbol encounter to begin a battle. Hitting a Pokémon from behind with this method will stun the Pokémon, which prevents them from doing any action in the first turn of the battle. A player can press the ZL button to lock the camera onto a symbol encounter, allowing them to see the name, level and gender of the Pokémon. All of these details will be obscured if the player has not seen the targeted Pokémon in their Pokédex. This is sometimes necessary to encounter specific Pokémon that may appear underwater, or at great heights that the player cannot reach.

If the player is riding Koraidon or Miraidon and falls onto a symbol encounter from above, the player will repelled away a short distance, and an encounter will not begin.

050Diglett.png This article is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Add more information about what dictates whether a Pokémon will defeat a symbol encounter in an Auto Battle, as well as if different Pokémon have a different radius for Auto Battles.

With the R button, the player's leading Pokémon will rush forward in a direction, which will result in an Auto Battle between it and the targeted Pokémon. Following this action, the leading Pokémon will automatically hone in on any Pokémon within a set radius, attempting to defeat them in a single attack until it either gives up, or there are no symbol encounters within it's immediate vicinity. Pokémon that cannot naturally swim will be unable to target Pokémon that float on or beneath the water. Likewise, Pokémon that cannot fly will be unable to begin an Auto Battle against an airborne Pokémon.

See also

References


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.