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How to get Pikachu as your starter in Pokémon Go

Pikachu, we choose you

This may be the coolest, and most annoying, thing we’ve learned about Pokémon Go thus far. The game sets you up with a choice between one of three starter Pokémon: Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. This is in keeping with the original Game Boy games, which also have players take their pick of the trio.

But there is another game in that first generation of Pokémon titles, and in that one, players had a fourth option: Pikachu. In fact, Pokémon Yellow required players to set off across the Kanto region with Pikachu right alongside them the entire time.

It turns out that Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs took this game into account when designing the iOS and Android experience. Here’s how you can recreate your days of playing Pokémon Yellow in Pokémon Go.

When Professor Willow tells you to go choose your starter, the initial trio will spawn on the in-game map. Typically, clicking on one initiates a battle, resulting in you obtaining your first Pokémon. If you don’t select a Pokémon, however — if you just keep walking away instead — the three will disappear, then respawn in front of you.

This is a little tricky to work out, since the game’s camera keeps the trio on screen with you for most of the time, and its GPS still isn’t the most accurate. But if you manage to ignore Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur four times, they’ll come back with another friend in tow.

pokemon go

Once Pikachu shows up, you can engage it in battle as normal. It’s your call on whether going through the trouble to catch this guy is worth it. It took us 40 minutes of pacing around our office to get it to successfully spawn, and once we caught Pikachu, Pokémon Go’s servers crashed.

Considering our love for the electric mouse, though, it’s not the worst way to spend a lunch break. To figure out how to spend the rest of your Pokémon Go experience after catching your starter, check out our FAQ.

For even more Pokémon Go tips, find out where to find PokéStops and gyms, learn more about how to make new friends while playing the game and discover the worst places to go during your adventure.

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