Mobile GamesFirst Person ShootersAction-Adventure GamesRPGsSimulation GamesConsolesMMORPGsSports GamesFighting GamesStrategy GamesHorror GamesClassic GamesPuzzle GameseSports

How to Catch Legendary Pokémon in the Pokémon Games

Updated on July 30, 2016
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has been playing Pokemon since 1999. She favorites include SoulSilver, X, and AlphaSapphire. She enjoys breeding Pokemon.

What Are Legendary Pokémon?

In the Pokémon games, Legendary Pokémon are unique, hard to locate and hard to catch. Only one of each Legendary Pokémon exists in the game, meaning that defeating one removes it from the game forever. Legendary Pokémon cannot be duplicated through breeding (except for Legendary Pokémon Phione and Manaphy); once you have caught a Legendary Pokémon, you do not get another chance.

Legendary Pokémon are more powerful than other Pokémon you can catch in the wild, and tend to have better stats and resistances. The storyline of Pokémon games usually leads to the player finding and catching the starring Legendary Pokémon. Each generation of Pokémon tends to feature a trio of Pokémon of different types. A full list of Legendary Pokémon and their corresponding generations can be found throughout the hub. But how do you catch a Legendary Pokémon?

How to Catch Legendary Pokemon

Learn how the right Pokeballs, moves and types can help you catch Legendaries!
Learn how the right Pokeballs, moves and types can help you catch Legendaries! | Source

First Generation (I)

Legendary
Type
Articuno
Ice/Flying
Zapdos
Electric/Flying
Moltres
Fire/Flying
Mewtwo
Psychic
Mew
Psychic
Generation I Legendary Pokemon.

As you might have guessed, Legendary Pokémon are more difficult to capture than your standard wild Pokémon. Because they are more rare and have better movesets, catching Legendary Pokémon requires more than a simple Pokeball and crossing your fingers; you need to start by using more expensive and powerful Pokeballs. There are different types of Pokeballs available in the Pokémon games depending on which version you are playing. Those especially useful for catching Legendary Pokémon include:

  • Ultra Balls
  • Master Balls
  • Net Balls
  • Dusk Balls

Ultra Balls have a 100% higher chance to catch a Pokémon than a regular Pokeball, along with a 33% higher chance than a Great Ball. Ultra Balls are sold in most Poke Mart for 1200 Pokedollars. Master Balls, on the other hand, are extremely rare and the best for catching Pokémon in the game. A Master Ball has a 100% chance to catch any Pokémon, including Legendary Pokémon. Players are able to find one Master Ball in each game, though in later games there is a chance to win Master Balls via the in-game Lottery. Ideally, you should have at least thirty Ultra Balls on you when trying to catch a Legendary Pokémon - it may just take that many!

Ultra Balls are available at all Poke Marts and help when catching Legendary Pokemon.
Ultra Balls are available at all Poke Marts and help when catching Legendary Pokemon. | Source

Second Generation (II)

Legendary
Type
Raikou
Electric
Entei
Fire
Suicune
Water
Lugia
Psychic/Flying
Ho-Oh
Fire/Flying
Celebi
Psychic/Grass
Generation II Legendary Pokemon.

Net Balls excel in catching Bug and Water Pokémon with a 75% higher chance than a normal Pokeball. Players can buy Net Balls from a Poke Mart for 1000 Pokedollars. Don’t waste Net Balls on any other type of Pokémon; when used on a Pokémon not of Bug or Water type, Net Balls are only as effective as a normal Pokeball. Dusk Balls, on the other hand, have a 50% higher chance of catching Pokémon when used at night (8 PM to 4 AM) or when used in a cave. Also available for 1000 Pokedollars, Dusk Balls can be very effective when catching Legendary Pokémon at night. If you’re hunting Legendary Pokémon at nighttime, try using your Dusk Balls to catch it first - if you run out, revert to your Ultra Balls!

Net Balls can be very useful when used on a Bug or Water-type Legendary Pokemon.
Net Balls can be very useful when used on a Bug or Water-type Legendary Pokemon. | Source

Third Generation (III)

Legendary
Type
Regirock
Rock
Regice
Ice
Registeel
Steel
Latias
Dragon/Psychic
Latios
Dragon/Psychic
Kyogre
Water
Groudon
Ground
Rayquaza
Dragon/Flying
Jirachi
Steel/Psychic
Deoxys
Psychic
Generation III Legendary Pokemon.

When it comes to battling Legendary Pokémon, certain moves will be more helpful in catching it than others. If you’ve tried catching a Legendary Pokémon previously, you’ll know that simply weakening it’s HP and throwing Pokeballs at it won’t be enough; Legendary Pokémon are known for breaking out of Pokeballs even when their HP is close to 1 and it seems like they are defeated. Some moves to simplify capturing a Legendary Pokémon include:

  • False Swipe
  • Hypnosis
  • Mean Look

False Swipe is a fantastic move to use on a Legendary Pokémon - if the move deals more damage than the wild Pokémon’s HP, it is guaranteed to leave it with 1 HP. This means your Pokémon can afford to be many levels higher than the Legendary Pokémon and not defeat it by accident. There are many Pokémon that can learn False Swipe by leveling (such as Cubone or Zangoose), as well as by being taught the TM (such as Sneasel or Gligar). If you can, it is advised that you obtain a Pokémon with the ability to learn this move.

Ghastly is a Pokémon that can learn Hypnosis, and can be found in the Pokedex!
Ghastly is a Pokémon that can learn Hypnosis, and can be found in the Pokedex! | Source

Fourth Generation (IV)

Legendary
Type
Uxie
Psychic
Mesprit
Psychic
Azelf
Psychic
Dialga
Steel/Dragon
Palkia
Water/Dragon
Heatran
Fire/Steel
Regigigas
Normal
Giratina
Ghost/Dragon
Cresselia
Psychic
Phione
Water
Manaphy
Water
Darkrai
Dark
Shaymin
Grass
Arceus
Normal
Generation IV Legendary Pokemon.

Hypnosis is a move that puts the target Pokémon to sleep; however, the move only has 60% accuracy and doesn’t affect a wild Pokémon that already has a major status ailment. Hypnosis is useful against Legendary Pokémon in that it keeps them from defeating your Pokémon and buys you time. A Legendary Pokémon that is asleep stands a better chance of being caught than one that is wide awake with no status ailments. Other moves that affect status can be used as well, such as Thunder Wave or Stun Spore.

Mean Look is a move that you’ll need if you are hunting Legendary Pokémon that like to run away. This move does not cause any damage, but it prevents the target Pokémon from running away from battle (as well as switching with another Pokémon). This only remains true if the party Pokémon that used the move remains in battle, however; if the player switches to another Pokémon, the Legendary Pokémon will be able to escape. Some Psychic, Ghost and Poison Pokémon can learn this move via leveling (such as Haunter, Golbat or Jynx) but it cannot be taught as a TM.

Mean Look is a great move to keep roaming Pokémon, like Raikou, from running away.
Mean Look is a great move to keep roaming Pokémon, like Raikou, from running away. | Source

Which generation has your favorite Legendaries?

See results

Finally, you need to keep in mind the levels of your party Pokémon when facing a Legendary Pokémon, as well as your Pokémon’s stats and types. If your Pokémon is half the level of the Legendary you are trying to catch, as well as weak against the Legendary Pokémon’s type, chances are your attempt at capturing it won’t go so well. When you are out hunting a Legendary Pokémon, be sure that:

  • your Pokémon’s levels match the Legendary Pokémon’s level
  • the Legendary Pokémon’s moves aren’t effective against your Pokémon
  • the Legendary Pokémon’s type is weak against your Pokémon

Approaching a Legendary Pokémon that is level 60 with Pokémon that are level 50 and lower is a sure way to get defeated quickly. While your Pokémon shouldn’t be too many levels higher than the Legendary Pokémon (for fear of defeating it by accident), your party Pokémon should at least match its level. This way, your Pokémon’s stats (such as HP, Speed and Accuracy) are up to par. It is possible to battle the Legendary Pokémon with a party Pokémon much higher in level, but not always the best idea; players run the risk of defeating the Legendary Pokémon with even the weakest move, unless they have a Pokémon with False Swipe.

If you approach the Legendary Pokémon Moltres with a bug or grass Pokémon of the same level, you run the risk of defeat: Moltres is a dual type Fire/Flying Legendary Pokémon, and is resistant to Bug and Grass Pokémon (as well as Fighting, Steel and Fire Pokémon). To buy the most time and survive the longest, try battling Moltres with a Pokémon type that the Legendary Pokémon is weak to, such as Rock, Water or Electric. A party Pokémon of these types will be more resistant to Moltres, and more powerful against this Legendary bird Pokémon. It is also more likely that these Pokémon will have moves that are effective against Moltres (such as Thunderbolt or Water Pulse).

Try to look up a Legendary Pokemon's type and skills to be prepared.
Try to look up a Legendary Pokemon's type and skills to be prepared. | Source

Fifth Generation (V)

Legendary
Type
Victini
Psychic/Fire
Cobalion
Steel/Fighting
Terrakion
Rock/Fighting
Virizion
Grass/Fighting
Tornadus
Flying
Thundurus
Electric/Flying
Reshiram
Dragon/Fire
Zekrom
Dragon/Electric
Landorus
Ground/Flying
Kyurem
Dragon/Ice
Keldeo
Water/Fighting
Meloetta
Normal/Psychic
Genesect
Bug/Steel
Generation V Legendary Pokemon.

Where to Find Legendary Pokémon

Each generation of Pokémon games features different and newer Legendary Pokémon, as well as new regions to explore. Unless you manage to collect Legendary Pokémon trough trading, you will need each Pokémon game to capture all of the Legendary Pokémon available; Legendary Pokémon are native to specific regions, and each new game version presents a new playable region (and generation):

  • First Generation: Kanto Region
  • Second Generation: Johto Region
  • Third Generation: Hoenn Region
  • Fourth Generation: Sinnoh Region
  • Fifth Generation: Unova Region

The first generation of Pokémon games featured Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Yellow amd Pokemon Green (in Japan). This generation of games featured the least amount of Legendary Pokemon to date, and include the original 151 Pokemon that most fans are familiar with. The second generation of games featured Pokemon Gold, Pokemon Silver and Pokemon Crystal. The ability of daytime and nighttime to influence events began in this generation, as well as Pokemon breeding and the ability for the player to explore the old region of Kanto after making it through all of the Johto region.

Sixth Generation (VI)

Legendary
Type
Xerneas
Fairy
Yveltal
Dark/Flying
Zygarde
Dragon/Ground
Diancie
Rock/Fairy
Generation VI Legendary Pokemon.

The third generation introduced two new games, Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, as well as two game remakes, Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen; later, Pokemon Emerald was released as a remake of the first two of the third generation games. The fourth generation of Pokemon resulted inPokemon Diamond, Pokemon Pearl and Pokemon Platinum; the remakesPokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver were later made. The fourth generation features the most Legendary Pokemon.

The fifth generation of Pokemon games introduced Pokemon Black, Pokemon White, Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2. Now, the sixth generation of Pokemon games includes Pokemon X, Pokemon Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire. Between the released Pokemon games to date, there are fifty-two Legendary Pokemon available (though some are only available through events) to capture. Unless you get your Legendary Pokemon through trades with other players, you will need to play games from each Pokemon generation to truly catch them all. Good luck!

© 2013 Jessica Marello

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    Click to Rate This Article