From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Walking Pokémon are Pokémon that walk alongside their Trainer when they normally would be inside their Poké Balls outside of battle.
A walking Pokémon will follow behind its Trainer much like partner Trainers do, and can be interacted with if the player turns back and talks to them. The first game that this appeared in was Pokémon Yellow on the Game Boy. This feature also appears in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, and to a greater extent Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS. Walking and ridable Pokémon appear in Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! for the Nintendo Switch. Pokémon walking alongside Trainers has appeared many times in the anime series as well as the Pokémon Adventures manga.
In the core series games
- Main article: Red's Pikachu (game)
In Pokémon Yellow, when the player runs into Professor Oak at the entrance of Pallet Town, a wild Pikachu appears and attacks Oak, and Oak is forced to capture it to keep the player out of danger. Back in the lab, Blue will obtain an Eevee, the Pokémon originally intended for the player. Professor Oak will then give the player the Pikachu he caught. Pikachu refuses to stay in its Poké Ball and insists on following the player around.
By turning around and talking to the Pikachu, the player can learn how it feels and thinks about the player. At the beginning of the game, Pikachu is unhappy to be stuck with the player as a Trainer. By using it in lots of battles and keeping it healthy, however, it will change its attitude towards the player. Pikachu displays a variety of expressions, from anger to shock to fear to love, as it reacts to the player and its surroundings. If Pikachu is traded to another game, evolved, and traded back, it will no longer follow the player.
Pikachu's status screen
Pikachu has many expressions, and some events will trigger certain expressions. For example, when it first meets the player, Pikachu is not happy to see the player, and will sometimes turn its back towards them. If the player decides to speak to Pikachu, a small image of Pikachu's current emotion will pop up. The image also shows how much the Pikachu likes the player. Further on in the game, Pikachu will begin to like the player, and smile at them. When Pikachu enters the Pokémon Fan Club, it will fall in love with a Clefairy, changing its expression again. When first going into the Sea Cottage, Bill was experimenting with his cellular teleportation device when he was accidentally turned into a Clefairy. Pikachu will run to him and exchange confused looks. After he is rescued, and transported back to his original self, Pikachu will have a look of shock. Pikachu will also change its expression when it is inflicted with a status condition, such as poison, where Pikachu will feel sick, or under sleep conditions, where Pikachu will be asleep. In Pewter City's Pokémon Center, there is a Jigglypuff that will sing a lullaby if talked to, and Pikachu will fall asleep and not move unless awakened by the player. The center's nurse will also comment on Pikachu's sleep if talked to. When entering the Pokémon Tower, Pikachu will feel scared and shudder fearfully. If the player uses a fishing rod, then checks Pikachu, it will appear with a bucket over its head. Besides showing Pikachu's emotions and friendship, the image can also show several other 'events' such as when Pikachu learns Thunderbolt, where it will shock the player. Also, if the player tries to use a Thunder Stone on it, it will shake its head in refusal.
If the player character jumps over a ledge and leaves Pikachu above it for a short while, Pikachu will start to dance.
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
- Main article: Amity Square
Amity Square, located on the north side of Hearthome City in Sinnoh, allows several select Pokémon to follow the player around within its borders. An expansion on the concept introduced in Yellow, Amity Square allows the player's Pokémon to pick up Accessories for Super Contests and Berries, which vary depending on which Pokémon is allowed in.
Only 11 of the 493 Pokémon are allowed into Amity Square in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Pikachu, Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Psyduck, Torchic, Shroomish, Skitty, Pachirisu, Drifloon, Buneary, and Happiny. These Pokémon typically have some appearance elsewhere in Sinnoh, or are regarded as popular Pokémon in the franchise; most have somewhat of a mascot status due to appearing under the ownership of a main character of the anime.
In Pokémon Platinum, nine additional Pokémon are allowed into Amity Square: the Sinnoh region's starter Pokémon and their evolutions. In addition, Amity Square itself has been redesigned and expanded.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
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Reason: List of accessories by location.
is maintained in the overworld sprites.
Walking Pokémon return to their former prominence in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, being able to walk with players throughout the entire game.
Though the fact that the starter Pokémon is the first Pokémon that this is allowed for mimics Pokémon Yellow in a way, unlike Yellow, the starter is not the only one able to follow, and any Pokémon obtained by the player can be in this position provided it is the first in the party.
If a walking Pokémon knows a move that can be used on the field, such as Cut or Headbutt, and the correct Badge has been earned (for HM moves), it will be shown to use the move in the overworld when the player comes upon its respective obstacle. When sent into battle, like Red's Pikachu, it will appear from the side rather than from a Poké Ball. Also, when the walking Pokémon faints, the next Pokémon in the party takes its place as the walking Pokémon.
There are few instances wherein the first Pokémon in the party will not follow players. For example, riding a bicycle will send the Pokémon back to its Poké Ball. This will also cause it to be sent out from its Poké Ball when a battle begins, instead of just appearing from the side. Certain locations, such as Blackthorn Gym and the Global Terminal, also prohibit the walking Pokémon from following players. Large Pokémon, such as Wailord, will be sent back to their Poké Balls as well when entering most buildings, as they are too large.
Much like in other games, it is possible to interact with the Pokémon. Checking the Pokémon will cause a small image of its current mood to pop up, as in Yellow. Unlike in Yellow, however, the mood is restricted to the thought bubble above the Pokémon's head. The walking Pokémon will also sometimes interact with the overworld, such as an event Pichu becoming interested in a wild Pichu from the past in Ilex Forest, or an event Arceus allowing players to obtain a member of the creation trio at level 1. Walking Pokémon will occasionally pick up accessories, depending on the location it found the item. In some cases, the Pokémon will refuse to hand over the item it has picked up, and will remain angry at the player for a while after trying to take it. Certain Pokémon will react in a unique way if spoken to in a certain place. For example, speaking to a Sudowoodo on Route 36 will cause it to imitate a tree. When the player calls Lyra or Ethan, they will give information on which Pokémon will react to the player's current location.
Some Pokémon will react either happily or unhappily depending on the environment they're in. For example, Fire-type Pokémon react unhappily if they are forced to walk in water on a beach. The game then states that the Pokémon doesn't like to get wet feet. The game also states that Fire-type Pokémon will appear unhappy for some reason if they are forced to enter a rainy route. Grass-type Pokémon will react unhappily if they are in icy terrains, such as Ice Path, or hotter places, such as Blackthorn Gym.
Sometimes, the walking Pokémon will find a Shiny Leaf, a very rare item, while they walk on certain routes. When it is found by a Pokémon, it will have no apparent presence other than in that Pokémon's status screen. Once five Shiny Leaves are found, Lyra/Ethan will make a Leaf Crown out of the Shiny Leaves, which adds a star on the player's Trainer card.
Certain non-player characters also let their Pokémon follow them around. Marill follows Ethan/Lyra throughout the character's encounters with the player. Lance is accompanied by his Dragonite during his raid on the Team Rocket HQ. Magnus is followed by his faithful Poliwrath during his tour of the Pokéathlon Dome. As a testament to his changed attitudes towards training his partners, Silver's stolen starter Pokémon is let out of its Poké Ball during their training in the Dragon's Den. Notably, like the player's own walking Pokémon, those that are seen being sent into battle are correctly shown entering from the side of the screen rather than emerging from a Poké Ball.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
- Main article: Humilau City
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, in the northwest of Humilau City, there is a house the player can visit. Inside is a Socialite who has a Mienfoo. She will ask the player to walk her Mienfoo, and if the player accepts, the Mienfoo will follow the player entirely around the building in the manner of a walking Pokémon from the previous generations. If the player walks with Mienfoo until it is satisfied, the Socialite will give the player a Pearl as a reward. However, if they quit before Mienfoo is satisfied, she will not give them an item and they will be unable to walk Mienfoo until the next day.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
While the player themselves cannot walk with their own Pokémon, they are able to interact and play with multiple Pokémon found on the overworld. Hau's Starter Pokémon is often seen outside its Poké Ball, and Hau will lead with it, using a special animation where it appears without being released from its ball, until it reaches its final evolutionary form. According to the Ultra Recon Squad, Trainers from Ultra Space typically do not keep their Pokémon in Poké Balls, as shown by Ultra Sun's Ultra Forest Kartenvoys. The Recon Squad take to using Beast Balls after studying Alolan culture.
Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
The ability for Pokémon from the player's party to follow the player around returned in this title. The player can ride certain larger Pokémon, including Charizard, Arcanine, Onix, Rapidash, Dodrio, and Dragonite. In addition, their partner, PikachuP/EeveeE, can always be seen riding on their shoulder or head regardless of what Pokémon they have selected to follow them. In some cases, certain Pokémon will give distinct reactions to certain objects.
List of Ridable Pokémon
Pokémon Sword and Shield
In Sword and Shield, after completing the third trial in the Master Dojo, the Pokémon in the player’s first party slot will follow them around the Isle of Armor. Some will even follow the player into the water. some will swim, some will fly, others will levitate.
In spin-off games
- Main article: Buddy Pokémon
In Pokémon GO, the player can walk with one of their Pokémon as a Buddy Pokémon in order to earn Candy for that Pokémon's evolutionary family.
In the anime
Piplup riding on Dawn's head
Several Pokémon walk with their Trainers outside of their Poké Balls in the anime, the most obvious of which is Ash's Pikachu. On Ash's first day as a Trainer, Pikachu adamantly refused to go back into his Poké Ball after being sent out from it in Professor Oak's Laboratory, and afterward revealed to Ash that he did not like being inside the Ball. Although Ash insisted Pikachu to go inside for protection against the angry flock of Spearow, Pikachu still did not. Pikachu has not been inside of his, or any, Poké Ball since then, with the exception of Mewtwo Strikes Back, where he was confined in one of Mewtwo's Mewtwo Balls.
Misty's Togepi is another Pokémon in the anime famous for never being recalled to a Poké Ball, and even more notably, having never been seen to be in a Poké Ball at all. Ash found it as an Egg in Grampa Canyon in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon, and it was cared for by Brock until it was stolen by Team Rocket, subsequently hatching in Misty's arms. It served as a companion to Pikachu throughout the series from its debut until Misty's departure, and was eventually released by Misty in A Togepi Mirage!. Some do not count it as a walking Pokémon due to the fact that it never had any Poké Ball, even though it acted like a caught Pokémon.
Dawn's Piplup is also a walking Pokémon. Though he was seen more often inside his Poké Ball at the beginning of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, since Journey To The Unown!, Dawn often carries him around in her arms. In some episodes, Piplup is shown to ride on either her head or her shoulder. Unlike Pikachu, Piplup has not indicated that he has ever had a problem with staying inside his Poké Ball, and he will be recalled before being used in Pokémon Contests so his entrance can be enhanced with the use of Ball Capsule and Seals.
Axew riding in Iris's hair
Iris's Axew is another walking Pokémon, as instead of staying in a Poké Ball he enjoys staying in Iris's hair. When the elder first presented him to Iris he was seen in a basket without a Poké Ball around it.
Clemont's Dedenne is another walking Pokémon to Ash's group, usually appearing in Bonnie's bag. While Dedenne was officially caught by Clemont, he caught Dedenne on Bonnie's request and allows her to take care of it. Clemont even left Dedenne in Bonnie's possession while he returned to Lumiose Gym to train for his battle with Ash.
In Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, all of Ash's classmates at the Pokémon School have at least one or two walking Pokémon alongside them, including Lana's Popplio, Mallow's Tsareena, Sophocles's Togedemaru, Kiawe's Turtonator, Snowy, Sophocles's Charjabug, Kiawe's Marowak, Sandy, and the Mythical Pokémon Shaymin, although it was still a wild Pokémon as it was being taken care of. Ash himself has most of his Aloan Pokémon outside with him, including Rowlet, who usually sleeps in his backpack, Lycanroc, Torracat, the Ultra Beast Poipole, and the Mythical Pokémon Meltan.
Goh's Raboot and Sobble are another group of walking Pokémon in Pokémon Journeys: The Series as they usually stay out with Goh. Also, Ash himself gets another walking in his Riolu as he usually lets it stay outside its Poké Ball.
Several of Team Rocket's Pokémon travel with them out of their Poké Ball. As a running gag, Jessie's Wobbuffet emerges from his Poké Ball frequently, without his Trainer's asking, and often at inappropriate times. Also, James's Chimecho and Mime Jr. have often been outside of their Poké Balls.
Meowth is the only walking Pokémon in the anime who does not have a Trainer while spending prolonged time with humans; as Jessie and James are his teammates assigned to him by Giovanni rather than officially owning him. As seen several times in Pokémon the Series: Black & White and during A Frenzied Factory Fiasco!, Poké Balls will draw Meowth inside for a capture attempt, showing that he is still a wild Pokémon. In his case, however, he attempts to break out immediately every time.
List of walking Pokémon in the anime
In the manga
|| This section is incomplete.|
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Pokémon Adventures.
In the Ash and Pikachu manga
Ash and Misty have a Pikachu and Togepi who are kept out of their Poké Balls.
List of walking Pokémon in the Ash and Pikachu manga
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
Ash has a Pikachu that he met under the floorboards of his house.
List of walking Pokémon in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
In the movie adaptations
Similar to the anime, several Pokémon have walked with their Trainers.
List of walking Pokémon in the movie adaptations
In the Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl manga
Similar to the anime, Ash and Dawn have owned walking Pokémon.
List of walking Pokémon in the Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl manga
In the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga
Shu has a Pikachu who is kept outside of his Poké Ball.
List of walking Pokémon in the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga
Red has some Pokémon that he kept outside of their Poké Balls.
List of walking Pokémon in the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga
In other media
Since Poké Balls are illegal in Ryme City, most Pokémon in Detective Pikachu are seen walking alongside their Trainers. Most notably, Harry Goodman's Pikachu and Lucy Stevens's Psyduck are never seen in a Poké Ball throughout the movie.