User:TrainerSplash/Partner Pokémon

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This article is about the the relationship with a Trainer and their Pokémon. For the Partner Pikachu and Eevee forms, see Partner Pokémon (game).
This article is about the the relationship with a Trainer and their Pokémon. For the form of Pikachu with a hat know as Partner Cap, see Pikachu in a cap.

Pikachu is Ash's trusted partner and best friend

A partner Pokémon (Japanese: パートナーポケモン partner Pokémon) is a Pokémon who a Pokémon Trainer or person takes highest trust in, being usually considered their companion, or one of their best friends.[1] In many cases, a Trainer's most trusted partner will be the first Pokémon they have had access to. In particular, partner Pokémon given out to Trainers at the start of their journey by either a Pokémon Professor or related character, who can be either Grass-type, Fire-type or Water-type, are called first partner Pokémon.


Occasionally, the name will be simplified to just partner (Japanese: パートナー partner), partners, or have an alternative such as trusted partner. A group between a Trainer and their partner Pokémon can be described as a partnership.[2] The term can be used towards a Trainer from the Pokémon's perspective, such as Pikachu in a cap having its Pokédex entries describing him as wearing the cap of his partner.[3][4]

Branched terminology:

Common fan terms with slightly differing definitions include:

  • Ace: A Pokémon on a Trainer's team that is considered to be his strongest
  • Signature Pokémon or main Pokémon: A term used to define what a Trainer's most iconic Pokémon is, not necessarily related to strength

In the core series games

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: More examples unrelated to Sun and Moon or Ogerpon
Leon's Charizard in the TCG
Illustrated by GIDORA for Lost Origin

In the core series, the term "partner Pokémon" didn't see common usage until Generation V; however, minimal usage of Trainers calling their Pokémon a partner had existed before prior. Some Pokémon have been explicitly described as partner Pokémon, such as the case for Gladion and his Silvally[5] and Irida with her Glaceon.[6]

Due to their loyalty and trust, partner Pokémon are often the strongest or highest leveled Pokémon in a Trainer's team. A Trainer may consider more than one Pokémon as their partner, depending on the game and generation, even when typically only one Pokémon is their highest leveled Pokémon at any given battle. The term can also be used to describe any Pokémon the Trainer owns, if that set is particularly small.[7] Many characters from the core series will frequently appear with their partner Pokémon in most if not all battles, such as Cynthia's Garchomp, who has appeared along side her in every game and every potential battle (excluding battle facilities) as her highest level Pokémon. Many of these Pokémon will appear alongside their trainer in related media such as the TCG, in merchandise or in companion material such as Pokémon Masters EX or Pokémon Evolutions (where characters are more directly based on their core series appearance).

According to Olivia, a Pokémon can be the partner of a non-Trainer, or without being held in a Poké Ball, describing Nebby as Lillie's partner.[8] Rotom Pokédex will call the player their partner frequently. Most members of the Diamond and Pearl Clans keep their partners outside, due to their distaste of Poké Balls. When not used for battle, a partner Pokémon may be used for help or support in other ways. Many Trainers will partner with their Pokémon in other activities such as Pokémon Contests, as in the case with Lisia and her Altaria, Ali.[9] During the Looker episode of Pokémon X and Y, Looker was known to have a partner that had previous passed away, that helped him with work as part of the International Police.[10]

Pokémon Legends: Arceus focuses on the past of the Sinnoh region, back to a time where people and Pokémon did not see each other as equals. The plot focuses on befriending Pokémon, and teaching other characters about partnership with Pokémon.

Partner Pokémon are not often shared between multiples Trainers; however, some Trainers will occasionally trade their partner Pokémon, such as invited characters to the League Club Room. These traded Pokémon will have the Partner Ribbon, indicating their previous partnership. The player and Kieran also have a competition in the form of a Pokémon Battle, to see who could claim Ogerpon as their partner. Despite this, partner Pokémon may also be given away in the form of gift Pokémon if a person feels that their partner is better handled with another. In the case of Pokémon like Nebby or Ogerpon, who previously had another partner and were never officially caught, they may also choose to go with the player forming a new partnership. Silver, Gladion and Lillie were all previously known to have stolen their partner Pokémon at one point in time.

In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, the player's first partner Pokémon, being either a Partner Pikachu or a Partner Eevee will be referred to as their partner. These two Pokémon are are visually indistinct from other Pikachu and Eevee but are functionally different forms. As a group, they are described as Partner Pokémon. These Pokémon will always remain with the player and cannot be traded or leave their game.

Predating the usage of terminology in commonality, Alder has suggested that his first partner, a Larvesta, had passed away.

In the spin-off games

Paulo and his partner, Rockruff, in Pokémon Masters EX

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

Main article: Partner Pokémon (Mystery Dungeon)

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, the player is a human who has been turned into a Pokémon, and they befriend another Pokémon who accompanies them for their whole adventure. This Pokémon is referred to as the player's partner.

Pokémon Ranger series

Main article: Partner Pokémon (Ranger)

In the Pokémon Ranger series, some Pokémon Rangers have a partner Pokémon. Unlike other wild Pokémon, who assist the Ranger temporarily, a Pokémon Ranger's partner Pokémon stays with them permanently to assist in the Ranger's missions. In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, the player can have up to seventeen partner Pokémon, but only one partner Pokémon can travel with them at a time.

Detective Pikachu series

In the Detective Pikachu series, Detective Pikachu is initially Harry Goodman's partner. After Harry's disappearance, he meets Harry's son Tim, and he becomes Tim's partner.

Pokémon Masters EX

In Pokémon Masters EX, Trainers refer to any Pokémon that they have formed a sync pair with as their partner Pokémon, and the act of forming a sync pair with a Pokémon is sometimes referred to as partnering up.[11] As a result, most Trainers on Pasio have multiple partner Pokémon, even applying the term to Pokémon that they have only recently met.[12] Some Trainers even attempt to catch a Pokémon with the explicit goal of making it their partner Pokémon.[13] Conversely, a Trainer may have a strong bond with a Pokémon without forming a sync pair with it, in which case they do not consider it their partner Pokémon.[14]

Sygna suits are said to help Trainers feel more connected to their partner Pokémon.[15]

In movies and animation

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: what exactly is a partner Pokémon in the main series? is it exclusive to Ash and Pikachu?
Do other anime actively show a partnership between person and Pokémon?

Pokémon the Series

Partner Pokémon are typically more visually distinct and known to important characters, especially the main cast where a Pokémon of theirs is the most common in usage or seen following them around as following Pokémon. Ash in particular frequently introduces his Pikachu as his partner when greeting.

Pokémon the Movie

I Choose You!, The Power of Us, and Secrets of the Jungle

I Choose You focuses on the relationship between Ash and his Pikachu in the alternate story continuity. Pikachu is Ash's first partner Pokémon, and appears in I Choose You!, The Power of Us, Secrets of the Jungle and Distant Blue Sky!.

This version of Pikachu also debuted in the core series video games owning Ash's hat from the continuity, dubbing a new form called Partner Cap Pikachu, named after its position as Ash's partner.

Pokémon: Twilight Wings

Buddy focuses on Hop and his relationship with his Wooloo, who he considers to be his partner. Hop compares himself to his older brother, Leon. In the process, Hop also compares Wooloo to Leon's partner Pokémon, Charizard, causing Wooloo to become jealous of Charizard. The episode is named 相棒 (Partner) in Japanese.

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu

At the beginning of the POKÉMON Detective Pikachu movie, Tim Goodman attempts to become a Pokémon Trainer, looking for a Pokémon to be his partner, but ends up being discouraged and says that he doesn't need one. Like in the video game of the same name, Detective Pikachu was the partner Pokémon of Tim's father, Harry Goodman. Pikachu forms a partnership with Tim, to find out what had happened to his father. The duo are met with another human-Pokémon partnership, Lucy Stevens and her Psyduck.

The setting of the movie takes place in Ryme City, a place known for its harmony between people and Pokémon. Pokémon are not often held inside Poké Balls and are seen as equals among people. Many characters in the movie are paired with a Pokémon partner that helps provide with normal every day tasks.


  • "Partner" is also a term used for other players or NPCs when trading or battling. It is also used by certain characters towards the player as a form of affection or nickname. The usage of these terms in these instances is different when compared to its use with Pokémon.

Related articles

See also


  1. The player can ask Lillie if Nebby is a partner, to which she responds with:"Yes! And one of my best friends!" (Pokémon Masters EX, Sync Pair Story - A Day with Lillie (Anniversary 2021))
  2. Ingo: "Most people there caught Pokémon, lived with them, formed supportive partnerships with them..." (Pokémon Legends: Arceus)
  3. Pokémon Sword and Shield: "This Pikachu wears its partner's cap, which is brimming with memories of traveling through many different regions."
  4. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: "This Pikachu wears its partner's cap—proof of the strong bond Pikachu and its partner formed during adventures across the world."
  5. Gladion:"My partner Null was born to be a beast killer!" (Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon)
  6. Pokémon Legends: Arceus official website:"Irida serves as the leader of the Pearl Clan, and her partner Pokémon is Glaceon[...]"
  7. NPC:"A Pokémon battle it is, then! I’ve got two partners with me!" (Pokémon Sword and Shield)
  8. Olivia:"I’ll take you back to town, Lillie. You’re doing everything you can for your partner, even though you’re not a Trainer." (Pokémon Sun and Moon)
  9. Lisia:"When it comes to contests, Ali really shines![...] I hope we’ll be partners forever!" (Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire)
  10. Emma: "A long time ago, he had a Pokémon. A partner that was always with him...[...] his partner didn't make it..."(Pokémon X and Y)
  11. Steven: "Now that I've partnered up with this Rayquaza here on Pasio..." (Pokémon Masters EX, Hearts United)
  12. Lisia: "Oh, are you having problems dealing with your new partner?" Wallace: "Not at all! Blacephalon is a wonderful partner Pokémon!" (Pokémon Masters EX, Rising New Year's Resolutions)
  13. Silver: "Although...finding Suicune and making it my partner Pokémon wouldn't be so bad." (Pokémon Masters EX, Chase the Northern Wind)
  14. Emma: "Partner Pokémon? Me and Mimi?" Shauna: "Oh, are you not? I assumed because you're always together..." Emma: "Nope! My partner Pokémon is Crobat! Mimi is my very special friend!" (Pokémon Masters EX, Villain Arc)
  15. Cynthia: "Sygna suits help you feel more connected to your partner Pokémon, don't they?" (Pokémon Masters EX, Villain Arc)