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Pokémon Sword and Shield: Where to catch Pikachu

Pikachu only spawns in two areas in Sword and Shield

Pikachu in the Pokedex Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Pikachu has been the face of the Pokémon franchise for decades — one of the most popular, if not the most popular Pokémon Game Freak has created. If you’re eager to add one to your Pokémon Sword and Shield roster, there are a few ways to get one. If you played Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and have the save file on your Switch, you’ll be able to grab one from a character in the game.

Otherwise, you’ll have to catch one in the wild. The only way to get Gigantamax Pikachu, however, is through your Let’s Go, Pikachu! save. Any Pikachu you catch in the wild won’t have a special Gigantamax form, but it can still Dynamax. Here’s where to find one in the wild:

A map of where to find Pikachu in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Look for Pikachu in Route 4 and the Stony Wilderness
Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

Pikachu will spawn in two locations, designated above with a Pokémon marker on the map — Route 4 and Stony Wilderness in the Wild Area. Hovering over each habitat will show what sorts of weather needs to happen for the Pokémon to appear. In Route 4, Pikachu will spawn in any weather, but in the Stony Wilderness, Pikachu only spawns in rain and thunder.

Like we mentioned earlier, the Pikachu caught in the wild can’t Gigantamax, which changes its form. It does however use a full “Pikachu” cry rather than its “Pika pika” sounds.

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