Catching all 649 Pokemon isn’t exactly going to bring you a lot of success in life, but it certainly is a great bragging right among your gamer friends, one which some of you may hold proud.
Whether you are a closet, casual, or a hardcore player of the series, it’s still an impressive achievement – and a nerdy one at that – to have caught every Pokemon in current existence (not counting the officially released ones for Pokemon X and Y).
Simply seeing all 649 Pokemon isn’t the same as actually catching all 649 Pokemon and officially receiving the in-game certificates of completing the National Pokédex and Regional Pokédex, as well as all the other goodies that were implemented in Pokémon Black/White 2.
So, without further ado, let’s look over the top five ways to catch all 649 Pokemon.
> Own at Least One Game From the Third Generation Onwards
While this is not exactly sound on your pocket, it is certainly worth having at least one game from each generation. Having one game from the third generation through to the fifth generation is a definite plus for catching the vast majority of – if not all – Pokemon, with the exception of a few (such as event Pokemon).
Trading Pokemon straight from the first generation to the fifth generation is actually impossible due to the major technical differences between the first/second and third generations. Don’t let that get you down, however, as it is still a possible task from the third generation onwards.
The drawback to it is that you will also need a selection of platforms to pull it off, such as at least two Game Boy Advance SPs and/or a Nintendo DS/DS Lite, at minimum.
Not only that, but you’ll also need to complete some of the games (by beating the Elite Four) in order to unlock the ability to migrate Pokemon from previous titles in the series. If you have a lot of time on your hands, and don’t mind playing the same game twice, this is one way to getting nearly all the Pokemon.
> Keep an Eye Out for Pokemon Giveaway Events
There are some Pokemon that just aren’t able to be caught conventionally. In order to obtain these Pokemon, you will have to have a lot of patience. Certain rarer legendary Pokemon, such as Genesect, Arceus, or Meloetta, can only be available during special events or giveaways, and these are usually few and far between.
In order to obtain these Pokemon during these events, you’ll need to be able to connect to a Wi-Fi connection.
Keeping an eye out for certain events can potentially bag you that one legendary Pokemon you’ve been needing to complete your Pokédex if you’re willing to wait for that one event/giveaway to happen in your country or region.
Keeping tabs on Pokemon event/giveaway news will certainly help you in this venture. Bulbapedia and Serebii.net are both helpful for finding out when an event/giveaway is coming. Serebii.net in particular keeps track of current and upcoming events.
> Ask Your Friends to Help
Knowing that one friend that has already completed the Pokédex is a very useful card to have in your Pokemon-catching arsenal. Don’t expect them to hand over their prized Pokemon easily, however, especially if they’re specific or event Pokemon that they might not be able to replace easily or will be willing to part with.
The best you might be able to get out of them is all the other Pokemon that aren’t minor-legendaries or game-specific legendaries.
If they happen to have more than one game, however, or another copy of a certain Pokemon and can easily replenish their lost assets, they might be willing to trade legendary Pokemon with you – unless you’re lucky and they don’t particularly care for their Pokemon and just give you all of them regardless.
> Use Wi-Fi Trading Tools to Your Advantage
Using any Nintendo DS in connection with Wi-Fi is one of the best ways to catch all of the Pokemon you’ll need to earn you your certificates, and you might even be lucky enough to get some rare/event Pokemon too.
In order to take advantage of this, you will first need to have Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, HeartGold/SoulSilver, Black/White, or Black 2/White 2.
These games are the only ones in the main series of the Pokemon franchise that can connect to Wi-Fi, and they each have a utility which allows you to trade Pokemon across Nintendo Wi-Fi. Using this utility allows you to place down a Pokemon you want to trade in exchange for one you need, or to find a Pokemon you need and trade it for one you already have. It’s like a Pokemon auction, in some respects.
Despite how simple that sounds, it is not always that easy. Other traders using these utilities might have a Pokemon you need, but are wanting a Pokemon in return that you may not have or you’re not willing to part with. Sometimes you get troll traders who make trading conditions actually impossible, meaning they might have a Pokemon you need, but what they’re wanting in exchange is literally impossible to fulfill.
The drawback to using this utility is that you need to have seen the Pokemon you need in order to search for it or select it.
However, in Black/White or Black 2/White 2 there is a Wi-Fi utility which allows you to trade with others in real time. In this utility, you and the other you’re trading with can select up to three Pokemon you want to trade and barter, haggle, and negotiate which Pokemon you want vs. the ones they want. Your only means of communicating in this utility are three emotes: a smiley, a love heart, and an exclamation mark.
> Join an Online Forum That’s Willing to Help
The most effective way to catch all 649 Pokemon – that has been tried and tested – is to register to a forum that supports Pokemon trades. In these forums, you need only ask to trade and someone will come to oblige.
Though you’re just as likely to get an event Pokemon on forums as with a friend or using the Wi-Fi utility, you will sometimes find that one gem of a person who will be willing to trade such Pokemon with you.
All you will need to do to make a trade is simply make a post in the appropriate thread, state what pokemon you need, leave your friend-code, and wait for a response. There are a lot of willing members who actively look through any trading threads just to fulfill such requests.
Unfortunately, the legitimacy of some certain rare Pokemon (or any Pokemon in general) can be sketchy sometimes as certain giveaways, such as starter Pokemon in Master Balls, suggest mass produced, hacked Pokemon to be traded. If you’re perfectly fine with having the odd hacked pokemon in order to complete your Pokédex, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for. If you’re wanting to legitimately obtain all 649 Pokemon, you’ll just have to be extra patient.
SerebiiForums’ Trade Forum is a great place to start finding the Pokemon you need to complete your Pokédex and receive both certificates of completion, and some friends along the way too.