When you start your journey in Pokmon Go, after creating a Trainer and setting a username – don’t worry, you can change name and appearance later – Professor Willow will offer you one of three Pokemon to choose from.
These three starters are Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle – which long-time players will recognise are the very same as those offered to players by Professor Oak in debut entries Pokmon Red and Blue.
However, in a nod to fans of Pokmon Yellow and the TV show, it’s actually possible to have Pikachu as the starter Pokmon in Pokmon Go instead.
While it’s not the only way to get Pikachu in the game – it can be found in the wild in several real-world locations alongside other Pokmon Types, as well as from certain hatched Eggs – it’s a nice little secret for those that want to bag the electric mouse straight away.
How to get Pikachu as your starter in Pokmon Go
When you start the game, and you’re offered one of the three traditional starters, don’t tap on any of them. Instead, you simply ignore all three, and walk away so they appear further and further away on the map. (This means you’ll have to start playing the game outside, as opposed to indoors – so hope you have your shoes on!)
Eventually, when you’re far enough away, these starters will appear again right in front of you again in a bid to get your attention. Again, literally walk away from them until they spawn close by once more.
Do this enough times – three or four attempts should do it – and when the three starters appear the next time, the original trio will be joined by a fourth – Pikachu – ready for capturing.
If you want to see it in action, then here’s GameExplain showing how it works:
Want to get the most out of Pokmon Go? These guides can help.
Pokmon Go region exclusives – How to catch Tauros, Kangaskhan, Mr Mime and Farfetch’d
Everything we know on the elusive region-locked Pokmon.
Pokmon Go – How to get Stardust easily to strengthen your Pokmon
The best ways to gather Stardust, from Eggs to Gyms.
Pokmon Go – Battery saver mode explained, other ways to save battery
There’s various ways to help your Pok adventure last longer on your phone.
Want more Pokmon Go strategies? Read our Pokmon Go tips, tricks, cheats and guides page for things you didn’t know about the game, and how to find nearby Pokmon, throw the perfect Curveball, when to evolve Pokmon and much more.
How to find Pikachu and other starters out in the wild
Whatever Pokmon you choose initially, you’ll be able to get the other starters – and more of your chosen starter – by finding them nearby out in the wild. While each starter is a rare Pokmon, since their eventual evolutions are among some of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go, it’s well worth the effort. Pikachu in particular is worth hunting down, especially since it has its own Pokmon Go medal.
The trick to finding them is no different to other types of creatures. Make sure you follow the rules of how to identify and track nearby Pokmon to increase your chances of success. They can also be found by hatching one of Pokemon Go’s many 2km, 5km and 10km Eggs, so keep walking with those Incubators active, as well as in Pokmon nests – though this involves living in the right area.
Eventually, when you have caught enough of your chosen starter type, you can then start evolving them into their respective evolutions – and hopefully you’ll have that prized Charizard in no time.