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How To Catch The Rarest Pokémon In Pokémon Go


Jul 12, 2024 • Filed to: Virtual Location Solutions • Proven solutions

a guide to catching rare pokemon

Fueled by nostalgia, Pokemon GO, Niantic’s game from 2016, has brought our favorite tiny creatures into our world with the help of AR gaming, and today, many childhood dreams of becoming the ultimate Pokemon trainers can come true.

However, things are easier said than done. With each update, the game keeps introducing newer and rare Pokemon, making the dream of scratching everything off the Pokemon GO rarity list and completing your Pokedex more challenging than ever.

That’s why today, we’ll explore the rarest Pokemon to catch in Pokemon GO, detailing their characteristics and habitats and providing some of the most vital tips for completing your Pokedex.

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Part 1. Defining the Rarest Pokemon in Pokemon Go

Rare Pokemon are unique in-game creatures that are far more challenging to catch than regular ones. Niantic has been adding such Pokemon since 2016, and today’s Pokemon GO rarity list contains dozens of creatures exclusive to specific regions, catchable during particular time-limited events, or only obtainable through hatching.

Part 2. What Makes Pokemon Rare?

Most rare Pokemon GO creatures are elusive and can only be encountered if a player meets all the necessary conditions. These rare critters are far more challenging to obtain than regular main-game Pokemon. That’s often due to their location, climate, time needed to acquire them, and trainer’s level. Depending on these factors, the rarest legendaries in Pokemon GO come in different rarity tiers.

Pokemon Rarity Tiers

Usually, critters from Pokemon GO’s rarity list can be divided into three tiers, which tell a lot about the Pokemon’s rarity. These rarity tiers include the following:

  • Costume Pokemon– Spawning only during special events, costume Pokemon are also known as event Pokemon and are among rare collectibles, especially if you come across one in its shiny version. They can be captured wearing various costumes, from Santa hats to rock star costumes to Halloween garments.
  • Legendary Pokemon– The rarest legendary Pokemon GO critters are a group of highly elusive Pokemon that are often quite powerful. They can’t hatch from eggs and rarely spawn in the Pokemon GO world, making raid battles and bonus challenges the only way to obtain these pesky creatures.
  • Mythical Pokemon– While legendaries in Pokemon GO are among the rarest creatures in the game, mythical Pokemon take things a step further, making them even more rare in the game’s universe. They can only be obtained through EX raid battles, elite raid battles, and special research quests.

Depending on their tier list, most rare Pokemon GO creatures can only be captured during special events, whose difficulty increases with increased rarity tiers.

Part 3. Pokemon Go Rarity List

Now that we know more about the types of rare Pokemon, we’ll also dive into the actual rarest in-game creatures and show you where to find them and how to catch them. Without further ado, these are the rarest Pokemon in 2024:

  • Unown– As one of the rarest Pokemon with low spawn rates, Unown is tough to catch. It has 28 different forms, and the only way to obtain them is through special events that increase Unown’s spawn rates. Golden Razz Berries and Ultraballs are often required to catch this creature.
  • Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres– Requiring a massive amount of luck due to their 0.3% catch rates, these Galarian Pokemon are complicated to obtain as you can only find them in the 15 minutes after using a Daily Adventure Incense, so get ready to cover a lot of ground once you use the item.
  • Sinnoh’s Lake Guardians– Consisting of Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie, these legendary Pokemon have low spawn rates and can rarely be seen in the wild. Each of the Lake Guardians is also restricted by region, and players must use special raid events or trade with players from specific areas to get these rare critters.
  • Armored Mewtwo– As the particular costume variant of Mewtwo, a Gen 1 legendary Pokemon, was only available in five-star raids in 2019 and Pokemon Day celebrations in 2020, the only way to get one now is to trade with players who already have it. That makes this rare Pokemon one of the rarest in the world.
  • Salazzle– Getting a Salazzle requires 50 Salandit candies, and players will also need to hatch a Salandit first, a rare Pokemon only available from a 12km egg. Players first need Mysterious Components and must defeat a Team Go Rocket Leader to get these eggs.
  • Volcarona– Finding Volcarona is remarkably difficult as you need to hatch Larvesta, its pre-evolution variant. From there, you’ll need to set Larvesta as your buddy and obtain at least 400 Larvesta candies to evolve your Larvesta into a Volcarona.
  • Noivern– This rare Pokemon follows a similar strategy to Salazzle and Volcarona, where players must first obtain Noibat in the wild, a rare spawn Pokemon. Then they need 400 Noibat candy by equipping the creature as their companion, and only then can they evolve a Noibat into a Noivern, making these pretty rare.
  • Ultra Beasts– As a collection of 11 Pokemon from Gen 7, Ultra Beasts are only obtainable through five-star raids that rotate. Missing one of the raids means waiting until a specific Ultra Beast returns the next time. Worse, some of these 11 Ultra Beasts are also regional exclusives, making them incredibly challenging.

While our list only contains X, there are numerous other rare critters in the game, but they’ve proved they’re a bit easier to catch than the Pokemon mentioned above.

Part 4. Tips for Catching Rare Pokemon in Pokemon Go

While a certain dose of luck undoubtedly goes into catching the rarest Pokemon GO critters, some Pokemon captures also require player skill and knowledge. Building these up can be pretty challenging, but we’ve also compiled a list of tips you can follow that might make the entire thing a bit easier.

Build Your Level

Your trainer level plays a pivotal role in catching rare Pokemon. The higher your in-game level, the higher your chances of encountering rare creatures and adding them to your Pokedex. That’s why your primary focus should be leveling up your character by completing research quests and even using Lucky Eggs for their highly appreciated XP boost.

Use Lure Modules and Incense

Deploying a Lure Module on a PokeStop benefits every player and helps you attract more Pokemon, some of which might end up being the rarest legendary Pokemon GO critters. Similarly, using Incense, especially in more rural areas where Pokemon don’t often appear, is a fantastic item for attracting Pokemon to your location. If you’re lucky, you’ll attract exactly the one you’re searching for.

Regularly Use Daily Adventure Incense

Another item that massively boosts your chances of encountering rare Pokemon GO creatures is the Daily Adventure Incense. Using the item gives you a 15-minute window with significantly better chances for discovering and capturing some of the rarest legendaries in Pokemon GO, including critters like Jangmo-o and Tirtouga or Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres.

Trade Pokemon

While trading was introduced two years after the game’s initial release in 2016, today, it represents one of the top strategies for obtaining the rarest legendary Pokemon GO creatures. As long as you’re in range of a person you’re trading with, you can trade even the rarest critters like legendary Pokemon or regionally exclusive ones, which makes trading perfect for completing your Pokedex.

Hatch Eggs

Eggs in Pokemon GO are another fantastic strategy for obtaining elusive Pokemon and the only way to catch creatures that don’t spawn in your specific area. While costly, most Pokemon GO enthusiasts prioritize 12 km eggs, with 10km ones following closely behind.

7 km eggs are in the middle of the road, where it’s worth checking the egg pool before you decide to hatch one, and most players agree that 5km and 2km eggs aren’t worth your time and effort, as they don’t offer the most rare Pokemon GO creatures.

Use In-Game Events

Special in-game events represent a perfect opportunity to find rare Pokemon. During these, players can discover countless costume Pokemon with unique costumes that vary from event to event. Examples include party-hat Raichu, armored Mewtwo, flying Pikachu, New Year’s Hoothoot, etc.

At the same time, special events are excellent for finding legendary Pokemon like Unown or finding special research quests that are only available during these events. With these in their inventories, players can work on finally catching mythical Pokemon, especially if they live in an area with fewer raids.

Explore Using Location Spoofer

As certain types of rare Pokemon have specific habitats, finding and capturing these in the Pokemon GO world requires a lot of traveling. Yet, not everyone can or wants to travel to France to catch Klefki, Mexico to get Hawlucha, or Hawaii for Comfey, and that’s where virtual location-changing apps come in.

Wondershare Dr.Fone is a prime example of a location-changing tool, and you can use it to your advantage when hunting down rare Pokemon. It’s an exceptionally better alternative to traveling worldwide searching for legendary Pokemon, and it lets players change their virtual location to any place in the world in just a few simple steps.

While using Dr.Fone is remarkably straightforward and requires a few clicks here and there, we’ve also included detailed how-to steps with pictures, which you can follow below. Here’s what you’ll need to do to move without moving with Dr.Fone:

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  1. Get the Wonderhsare Dr.Fone app from the official website, install it, and launch it on your computer.
  2. Select the Toolboxoption in the top left part of the screen and click on Virtual Location.
  3. home page of wondershare dr.fone

  4. Use USB or Wi-Fi to connect your Android or iOS device to the computer and wait for it to get recognized.
  5. Click the first button on the left in the top right of the screen to use the app’s Teleport Mode.
  6. select the teleport mode feature

  7. Add a location you wish to travel to and hit Enter.
  8. add a new virtual location

  9. Modify your virtual location by tapping Move Here.
  10. move to a new virtual location

  11. Once you click it, the app’s location will change to where you’ve moved.
  12. change location on the computer app

  13. You should then check your phone’s location to verify it was successfully changed.
  14. verify location change on mobile device

And that’s all there is to it, and you’re now in a new location where you can encounter exactly the type of Pokemon you want to add to your location. So, move around and hunt for these pesky creatures.

It’s worth noting there’s also a Jump Teleport Mode in Wondershare Dr.Fone, which lets players quickly change between multiple virtual locations and simulate movement along a premade route. Pokemon GO players especially love this feature, and using it is just as straightforward as the method used above, so here’s how you can use it:

  1. Click the second button in the row in the top right corner to use the app’s Jump Teleport Mode.

    Image source: https://images.wondershare.com/drfone/guide/jump-teleport-mode.png
    Alt text: use the app’s jump teleport mode
  2. use the app’s jump teleport mode

  3. Enter multiple virtual locations and create a route you want to move on. When ready, tap the Start Moving
  4. simulate movement along a premade route

  5. Change your virtual location from your first stop to the next and vice versa with the app’s Next Pointand Last Point buttons for moving forward or backward.
  6. move back and forth between locations

When traveling isn’t an option, Wondershare Dr.Fone and its location-changing features like virtual locations, movement simulation, and route creation can come in handy and help you encounter and capture dozens of different and rare Pokemon GO critters. So stop wasting your time and try the app, move around the globe, and catch them all!

Complete Special Research Quests

As mentioned, special research quests, like the ones you get during the game’s special events, are among the only ways to find and capture mythical Pokemon like Mew or Shadow variants of various Pokemon. You’ll need to stay on top of your game and complete these as often as possible if you want to capture these types of Pokemon and add them to your rare Pokedex collection.

Use a Master Ball

If you’re struggling to catch a particular Pokemon, including the rarest legendaries in Pokemon GO, using a Master Ball can immensely help during your fights. These Master Balls are the rarest and most potent types of Poke Balls in the game, and they offer a guarantee when catching these tiny creatures.

However, since Master Balls are pretty rare and only obtainable through long special research quests and custom events, you’ll need to be very selective about using one. Once you throw a Master Ball, you’ll catch the Pokemon, but the ball is gone forever.

Get Catch Bonus Medals

All in-game creatures carry a Catch Bonus medal, which can be remarkably helpful when looking for rare Pokemon of the same type as your medals. Going after low-level Pokemon of a specific type will grant you countless Catch Bonus medals for that type of Pokemon, regardless of their rarity. You can then level up these medals, and they’ll increase your Catch Bonus rating with each level, helping you in future battles against rare Pokemon of that same type.

Utilize Remote Raid Passes

Raids are a fantastic way to obtain rare Pokemon, but many players live in areas where raids are infrequent or there aren’t enough players to create one. However, Pokemon GO has introduced Remote Raid Passes into the game, which lets players join remote five-star raids from across the world and hunt for the rarest legendaries in Pokemon GO.

While these Remote Raid Passes are expensive, you can get them by earning PokeCoin from keeping your Pokemon in Gyms, where you can quickly obtain 100 PokeCoin necessary for a Remote Raid Pass.


The rarest legendaries in Pokemon GO can be incredibly challenging to catch, as some are only obtainable through hatching. In contrast, others require unique in-game events and special research quests, and a third group only spawns in specific locations around the globe. As a result, players’ strategies often depend on whether they’re after costume critters, legendaries, or mythical Pokemon.

However, strategies like leveling up your character, using Incense, Lure Modules, and Daily Adventure Incense, trading, hatching eggs, participating in custom in-game events, obtaining Remote Raid Passes, leveling up your Catch Bonus medals, using Master Balls, and completing special research quests remain the best strategies for hunting these pesky creatures.

At the same time, using location-changing apps like Wondershare Dr.Fone is an even better method of hunting the rarest legendaries, as it allows players to change their location quickly and is an exceptionally better alternative to traveling.

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Alice MJ

staff Editor

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