Listen, we know the song too. We’ve all heard the song, ok?
It’s not your fault for thinking that was the goal of the massively popular new mobile game, “Pokémon GO,” but there is, in fact, no way to “catch ’em all” in it.
There are 151 so-called “first generation” Pokémon. But as of this writing, it’s only possible to find and capture 142. There are a few reasons for this. Let’s talk!
First things first: One of the 151 original Pokémon is straight up missing.
Ditto is the elusive #132 in the Official Pokémon Pokédex — the encyclopedia of all official Pokémon, and the backbone of “Pokémon GO.” His number slot is there in your in-game “Pokémon GO” Pokédex, and folks have even dug into the game’s code and found plenty of evidence that he’s in the game.
Excluding Legendary Pokémon — which are said to be coming at some point, likely in a bigger way than simply being capturable — Ditto is the only Pokémon of the original 151 represented in the game that’s yet to be found. No one has any idea how to get him, and they have begun testing all sorts of theories to try and track him down.
Second of all: No, there are no Legendary Pokémon in the game. Not yet, anyway.
Don’t believe everything you see on the internet! The guy who supposedly “hacked” the game to unlock Legendary Pokémon revealed that he faked it in a subsequent video. Ugh indeed.
The game’s developer, Niantic Labs, has outright said that Legendary Pokémon aren’t in the game yet. The Pokémon in question are Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mew, and Mewtwo. Many believe that they will appear in the game during some form of date-/time-based group event.
For example, a battle between in-game teams (GO TEAM VALOR!) over a specific location in the real world. Maybe whoever holds that location the longest gets to battle a Legendary Pokémon?
In the image you see above, the game’s developer imagines just such a battle with a huge group of people collectively battling Mewtwo!
Third: A handful of the Pokémon in “Pokémon GO” are seemingly only available on certain continents, meaning you can only catch them by flying all over the planet.
Here’s the skinny from this larger piece by Tech Insider’s Alex Heath:
There are four Pokémon out of the total 151 creatures in the game’s code that appear to be confined to certain continents:
- Tauros: North America
- Mr. Mime: Europe
- Farfetch’d: Asia
- Kangaskhan: Australia
It’s important to note that Niantic has not confirmed region exlusivity for any Pokémon in the game, though the head of the studio has indicated that the concept would exist within “Pokémon GO.” This theory, otherwise, is entirely based on what people have been finding and sharing on sites like Reddit.
We do know that Tauros sightings are plentiful in North America (they’re consistently seen around Tech Insider’s headquarters in New York City), but so far there has yet to be a reported sighting outside of the continent.
Fourth point: That’s not the point of the game, my dudes! Catching Pokémon is fun, but the game’s really about getting outside with friends and family, exploring the real world, and putting a game to that.
Please don’t worry too much about catching every single Pokémon. Don’t just take it from me — here’s the head of “Pokémon GO” development studio Niantic Labs, John Hanke:
“You do not need to collect all of them.”
That’s what Hanke told Polygon in late June, and it’s an important point to remember. You only need to hit level 5 before you can fight in gyms! And how much fun is it when you and a group of friends are playing together, when someone shouts, “HOLY **** THERE’S A PONYTA!!”
That, friends, is magical. Embrace that side of the game, and don’t get too anxious about “catching them all.”