Wild Pokémon

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A wild Pikachu appears in Pokémon X and Y

Wild Pokémon (Japanese: 野生ポケモン wild Pokémon) are any Pokémon that are not currently owned by a Pokémon Trainer. They are encountered in most parts of the Pokémon world, most commonly outside of cities and towns, often in tall grass, in caves, or on water. A Trainer may choose to battle a wild Pokémon or run from it. If a Trainer chooses to battle, they may either attempt to catch the Pokémon with a Poké Ball or to defeat it outright. There are many instances of wild Pokémon being used for assistance without being caught, such as Pokémon Rangers using them to perform a task by directing them with a Capture Styler.

In the games

In the core series

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Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Any missing variants of the message.
A battle against a wild Pokémon (Alolan Meowth) in Pokémon Sun and Moon
A Double Battle against wild Pokémon (Blitzle & Pidove) in Pokémon Black and White

In the games, wild Pokémon will appear to the player in a variety of locations, most often when the player is walking through or near tall grass. The species and level of the Pokémon both depend on both the location and encounter method. Other methods of encountering wild Pokémon include the following:

There are several ways to alter the wild Pokémon encounter rate. One of these ways, introduced in Generation I, is the use of Repels, which will avoid encounters with any Pokémon of a lower level than the party's lead Pokémon. The Cleanse Tag was introduced in Generation II, which lowers the encounter rate. Pokémon March and Pokémon Lullaby in Generation II, played on the Pokégear, will raise or lower the encounter rate, respectively, while certain Abilities do the same since Generation III—many only gaining this effect in Emerald. The White and Black Flutes can be used for this in Generation III and Generation IV. In Generation V, two types of Pass Powers (Encounter Power ↑ and Encounter Power ↓ ) take over this function, while in Generation VI, two O-Powers (Encounter Power and Stealth Power) inherit the same properties. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, encounters can be prevented by Roto Stealth.

In some instances, multiple wild Pokémon will appear at once. From Generation IV onward, if the player is accompanied by another Pokémon Trainer they can encounter Double Battles in the wild. In Generation V, there is the chance of two Pokémon appearing at once in dark grass. In Generation VI, hordes of five Pokémon may appear. In Generation VII, a wild Pokémon can call for an ally, turning the battle into a 2-on-1 scenario. In all instances, all but one of the Pokémon will have to be defeated before that one can be caught.

When encountered, a wild Pokémon's moveset will generally consist of the most recent four moves its species would know by leveling-up; for example, a level 8 Yanma will know Tackle, Foresight, and Quick Attack when encountered in the wild in Pokémon Platinum, while one encountered at level 19 will have Quick Attack, Double Team, Sonic Boom, and Detect. This is true even for evolved species, such as Raichu, which, if it were encounterable in the wild in Pokémon Platinum, would always know Thunder Shock, Tail Whip, Quick Attack, and Thunderbolt. Additionally, wild Pokémon can hold items, which can be obtained by catching the Pokémon or using a move like Thief. Wild Pokémon can steal the player's Pokémon's item in every generation except III and IV.

At the beginning of every turn, wild Pokémon have an equal chance of selecting each move that it can use. If all the Pokémon in the player's party faint while battling a wild Pokémon, the player will drop some money in panic.

Encounter messages

There are times when the usual A wild <Pokémon> appeared! will be replaced by another message:

Game Situation Message
All Generation I and II games when a wild Pokémon is fished out The hooked <Pokémon> attacked!
All Generation II games when a wild Pokémon is encountered using Headbutt <Pokémon> fell out of the tree!
XD: Gale of Darkness Pokémon in Battle Bingo Oh! <Pokémon> appeared!
All Generation IV games wild Double Battle when with a Stat Trainer A wild <Pokémon> and <Pokémon> appeared!
All Generation IV games encountering a Pokémon in Pal Park Wow! <Pokémon's OT>'s <Pokémon's nickname> is drawing close!
Diamond and Pearl battle against Starly immediately after picking the starter Pokémon Whoa! A wild <Pokémon> came charging!
Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum when checking out a shaking Honey Tree A wild <Pokémon> appeared from the tree you slathered with Honey!
Platinum battle against Giratina in the Distortion World The Distortion World's <Pokémon> appeared!
All Generation V games wild Double Battle initiated by dark grass or with a partner NPC Oh! A wild <Pokémon> and <Pokémon> appeared!
All Generation V, VI, VII, and VIII games battle against a non-roaming Legendary or Mythical Pokémon, Volcarona in Relic Castle, disguised Zoroark in Lostlorn Forest, an Ultra Beast that is registered in the Pokédex, or Max Raid Battle Pokémon <Pokémon> appeared!
Black 2 and White 2 encountering one of N's Pokémon A wild <Pokémon> appeared?!
X and Y Routes 9 and 17 Whoa! The <Pokémon> you stepped on attacked!
X and Y walking into a shadow in caves Whoa! A wild <Pokémon> swooped down from above!
X and Y walking into a shadow next to a tree in the outdoor part of Victory Road Whoa! A wild <Pokémon> dived out of the sky!
X and Y encountering a Pokémon by interacting with a trash can Whoa! A wild <Pokémon> leaped out of the trash can!
X and Y bushes on Routes 6 and 18 Whoa! A wild <Pokémon> leaped out of the tall grass!
All Generation VI and VII games during the catching demonstration Oh! A wild <Pokémon> appeared!
X and Y roaming Articuno, Zapdos or Moltres Oh! A wild <Pokémon> appeared!
All Generation VI games Horde Encounters Whoa! A horde of <Pokémon> appeared!
Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon Totem Pokémon You are challenged by Totem <Pokémon>!
Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon encountering an Ultra Beast (before registering it in the Pokédex) ??? appeared!
Sword and Shield encountering a Pokémon whose level is too high for the player to catch You encountered a very strong-looking <Pokémon>!

In the side games

Pokémon GO

In Pokémon GO, wild Pokémon appear on a map of the real world (based on the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap project)[1][2], with the player moving in the game by traveling in the real world. When a Pokémon is nearby, the player's phone vibrates. The player can encounter a nearby Pokémon by tapping it in the Map View. Different kinds of Pokémon will appear in different environments; for example, Water-type Pokémon are more common near water. Weather also affects which Pokémon are common.

In a wild encounter, the player attempts to catch a wild Pokémon in a Poké Ball before it runs away. Unlike in the core series games, these encounters do not involve battle. At higher levels, the player can use various Berries to make wild Pokémon easier to catch or use more powerful Poké Balls like Great Balls and Ultra Balls. While pressing and holding a Poké Ball, a ring will appear around the Pokémon. This ring shrinks over time; once it reaches its smallest size, it immediately returns to full size, and the cycle repeats. If the Poké Ball is thrown while the ring is very small, the capture is more likely to be successful. Throwing the ball while the ring is as far out as it can be, or halfway in the outer circle also provides small bonuses.

Encounter messages

There are times when the usual A wild <Pokémon> appeared! will be replaced by another message: encountering a defeated Raid Boss or a Shadow Pokémon will yield this message: Bonus Challenge! Catch <Pokémon>!

In the anime

A group of wild Bidoof in the anime

Typically, wild Pokémon are not a central feature of the anime, which focuses mostly on the Pokémon belonging to Ash, his friends, and other Trainers he encounters. Most of the Pokémon belonging to the group were shown in the wild at some point, but are usually caught at a later point in the same episode, most often at the end. Despite this, there have been several recurring wild Pokémon who appear over a length of time and are not caught. Of all of these Pokémon, an Aipom, a Gible, a Krokorok, a Froakie, a Dedenne, and a Rockruff went on to be caught several episodes after they appeared. As demonstrated on a number of occasions, Meowth is also a wild Pokémon.

There are, however, numerous examples of wild Pokémon being featured in the anime in debut episodes that introduce their species, such as Clefairy in Clefairy and the Moon Stone and Sudowoodo in Type Casting.

In the first anime episode, Ash's Pokédex states that wild Pokémon tend to be jealous of human-trained Pokémon, this being one of the reasons that the Spearow Ash hit with a rock attacked Pikachu instead.

Pokédex entries

Episode Subject Source Entry
EP001 Wild Pokémon Ash's Pokédex Wild Pokémon tend to be jealous of human-trained Pokémon.

In the manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

As Pokédexes prior to the arcs in Hoenn typically needed the Pokémon to be captured in order for data to be gained, capturing wild Pokémon has been a long-standing point for every Pokédex Holder save Gold and Silver until the Ruby & Sapphire chapter. The first wild Pokémon to be captured was a wild Nidorino by Red, and even legendary Pokémon were seen as soon as the first round, though the one in question (a Mew appearing near Pallet Town) was not captured. Pokémon that have been released, unlike in the games, do sometimes appear in the wild and can be re-caught or controlled by another Trainer, such as Emerald's Sceptile and Mewtwo, and again unlike in the games, where identical Trainer ID means that high-level Pokémon can be controlled by its Trainer, several Pokémon such as Pika and Zeller were disobedient and likely to even attack its Trainer on a whim.


  • In early versions of Pokémon Red and Green, the wild encounter rate was so high that players would encounter wild Pokémon every two steps. Combined with the fact that Trainers would battle the player every time the player walked past them regardless of whether they had already been defeated, it would take players half a day to get through a single cave. Game Freak adjusted the wild encounter rate and changed Trainer battles for a more reasonable experience before the game was released.[3]

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 野生寶可夢 Yéhsāang Pokémon
Mandarin 野生寶可夢 / 野生宝可梦 Yěshēng Pokémon
Denmark Flag.png Danish Vild Pokémon
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Wild Pokémon
Finland Flag.png Finnish Villi Pokémon
France Flag.png French Pokémon sauvage
Germany Flag.png German Wildes Pokémon
Italy Flag.png Italian Pokémon selvatico
South Korea Flag.png Korean 야생 포켓몬 Yasaeng Pokémon
Norway Flag.png Norwegian Vill Pokémon
Poland Flag.png Polish Dziki Pokémon
Portuguese Brazil Flag.png Brazil Pokémon selvagem
Portugal Flag.png Portugal Pokémon selvagem*
Russia Flag.png Russian Дикий покемон Dikiy Pokémon
Spain Flag.png Spanish Pokémon salvaje
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Vild Pokémon
Vietnam Flag.png Vietnamese Pokémon hoang dã