Ten Tips for Catching Legendary Pokémon (2022)

Encountering rare and powerful Legendary Pokémon is one ofthe most exciting parts of any Pokémon adventure—and there are more LegendaryPokémon available in Pokémon Ultra Sunand Pokémon Ultra Moon than in anyother Pokémon video game! Catching them all will be quite a thrillingchallenge, so take some time to prepare.

Here are some important factors that come into play whencapturing Pokémon: the species of the Pokémon you’re trying to capture, howmuch of the Pokémon’s health is remaining, any status condition the Pokémon maybe afflicted with, and the type of Poké Ball you’re using.

We’ll show you some of the best ways to gain advantages fromeach of these factors. Plus, thinking tactically when catching Pokémon can bemore fun than just attacking and lobbing a pile of Ultra Balls. Most of thesetips apply to any Pokémon you try to capture, so keep them in mind throughoutthe game.


Head to the UltraWormhole

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It’s pretty tricky to capture a Pokémon you haven’t found,so the first step is tracking down the Legendary Pokémon. You’ll need tocomplete most of your adventure before you can encounter these incredible beings.The Legendary Pokémon native to Alola can be found all over the islands, sosearch everywhere! Pay close attention to the ruins found on each island.

The Legendary Pokémon that aren’t native to the Alola regioncan only be found through the Ultra Wormhole. You’ll gain the ability to travelinto the Ultra Wormhole with Solgaleo or Lunala using the Ultra Warp Ridefeature, which is unlocked once you’ve progressed far enough in your adventure.

Your quest will start at the Altar of the Sunne (in Pokémon Ultra Sun) or the Altar of theMoone (in Pokémon Ultra Moon), whereyou’ll find a shining fissure. You can then choose to enter the Ultra Wormhole,where you’ll have to help guide Solgaleo or Lunala. As you travel, you’ll discoverwarp holes that lead to different worlds. You’ll be able to discover Pokémonthat aren’t found in the Alola region by entering these warp holes, includingLegendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts!

Warp holes vary in color and brilliance. Warp holes ofdifferent colors lead to different worlds, while flashier warp holes are morelikely to lead to Legendary Pokémon. Each color of warp hole leads to adifferent area, and each Legendary Pokémon will appear in only one of theseareas. Even if you don’t find a Legendary Pokémon, you’re much more likely toencounter Shiny Pokémon in flashier warp holes. You’ll need to travel far toreach the most interesting warp holes, so try to collect speed-increasingorange balls of energy while avoiding electrifying obstacles.

Get Your Pokémon inSync

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You can only capture one of each Legendary Pokémon, so wesuggest taking extra care to make sure it will suit your intended strategies. Fortunately,you won’t need to worry about the Abilities of Legendary Pokémon, and you’ll beable to improve their potential later with some Hyper Training. The one thingthat can’t be changed later is your Pokémon’s Nature.

There’s no way to guarantee the Nature of the LegendaryPokémon you encounter, but having a Pokémon with the Synchronize Ability (suchas Abra, found in Hau’oli City) in the first slot of your party will tilt theodds in your favor. This Pokémon should have both the Synchronize Ability andthe same Nature you’d like the Legendary Pokémon to have (don’tworry—Synchronize will work even if that Pokémon has fainted). If you can’tcatch a Pokémon with the Nature you want, try hatching Pokémon with Synchronizeuntil you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Carefully Weaken YourFoe

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Once the battle begins, your next goal is reducing the foe’sHP as much as possible. As Pokémon lose more HP, they gradually become easierto catch. Be careful about using moves that could knock out the foe with acritical hit or inflict an unwanted status condition.

For the safest results, it’s best to use moves that deal apredictable amount of damage. Super Fang and Nature’s Madness are great optionsto start battles because they deal half of the target’s current HP in damage.You can even take down 75% of the target’s health using the tapus’ exclusiveZ-Move, Guardian of Alola! The moves Night Shade and Seismic Toss deal damageequal to the user’s level, making for another great way to deal predictabledamage.

But be careful—all those attacks can eventually cause yourquarry to faint. The best way to whittle down the last bit of the target’s HPis with False Swipe or Hold Back. Neither of these moves will ever knock thetarget out, allowing you to reduce their HP to 1 safely. TM54, which you get asa reward early in your adventure, conveniently allows you to teach many PokémonFalse Swipe, so make sure one of your Pokémon knows it before you enter battle.

Put `Em to Sleep

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Inflicting status conditions is another great way toincrease the odds of capturing a Pokémon. Not all status conditions contributeequally, though, so be choosy about which you inflict. Pokémon that are asleepor frozen are easier to capture than those that are poisoned, paralyzed, orburned. There’s no easy way to freeze wild Pokémon, so you’ll probably want tofocus on the sleep status condition.

The most reliable way to inflict sleep is with the moveSpore. Paras, Parasect, Shroomish, Foongus, Amoonguss, Morelull, and Shiinoticlearn this move naturally, and a Smeargle can be taught Spore through its Sketchmove. If you don’t want to track down a Pokémon that knows Spore, try Yawn,Sleep Powder, Lovely Kiss, Hypnosis, Grass Whistle, Sing, or Dark Void for lessaccurate alternatives. And if you don’t have any means at all of putting aPokémon to sleep, try for paralysis instead with Thunder Wave (TM73, found inMalie Garden).

Once again, there’s a catch—a few Legendary Pokémon won’t beaffected by some of these moves. Grass-type Pokémon like Tapu Bulu and Virizionare immune to powder-like moves like Sleep Powder and Spore. Electric-typePokémon are immune to paralysis completely, and Ground-type Pokémon likeLandorus are immune to Thunder Wave. It’s probably easiest to switch to a movelike Sing or Hypnosis against foes like these, but if you really want to stickto Thunder Wave or Spore, you can remove these immunities by using Soak on yourfoe first.

Train Pokémon for theJob

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Given that there are so many Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, you might find itworthwhile to train a Pokémon or two that specialize in helping you captureother Pokémon. Perhaps the best Pokémon for this role is Smeargle (found onrare occasions on Route 2), which can learn any four moves you desire with Sketch.

Here are some moves to consider:

Stock Up on PokéBalls

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It’s easy to reach for Ultra Balls any time you’re lookingto catch a Pokémon, but other Poké Balls can be more effective in specificsituations. No matter what type of Poké Balls you decide to use, don’t forgetto bring a lot of them.

Net Balls are much more effective than Ultra Balls against Bug-and Water-type Pokémon, so they’re a great choice against Kyogre, Palkia,Suicune, and Tapu Fini. They can even be bought almost as cheaply as UltraBalls in Paniola Town.

Timer Balls can also be purchased for a modest price inPaniola Town. They won’t be effective at the start of battles, but try lobbingthese strange Poké Balls if you’re struggling through a long battle. If you’vebeen staring at a Pokémon for dozens of turns, Timer Balls are a great way to endthings.

The last easily accessible Poké Ball to consider is the DuskBall, which can be purchased on Route 8. They’re especially effective whileyou’re in a cave or if you’re outside at night. Just remember they won’t bevery effective when the sun is out.

Bust Out the GoodStuff

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It can be tough to know when to try your rarer Poké Balls, butif you won’t use them against Legendary Pokémon, what are you saving them for?Some of the rarest Poké Balls can give you the greatest edge against LegendaryPokémon.

Fast Balls will be effective against the many speedy LegendaryPokémon. It isn’t just Tapu Koko and Mewtwo’s blistering Speed that thesefantastic Poké Balls will be especially effective against—Cobalion, Entei,Landorus, Latios, and many others are also prime targets.

The largest Legendary Pokémon are perfect targets for HeavyBalls. Dialga, Giratina, Groudon, Heatran, and Regigigas are the mostvulnerable to Heavy Balls, but you’ll still get better performance from HeavyBalls than Ultra Balls against more than a dozen of the other Legendary Pokémon.

Be Careful with YourMaster Ball

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Master Balls will capture any Pokémon without fail, but they’realso the rarest of all Poké Balls. They aren’t quite unique—you can get an additional Master Ball by registering for the Pokémon Global Link before January 29, 2018,or by getting incredibly lucky at certain lotteries—but you should be carefulnot to use them carelessly.

We especially suggest you refrain from using them onSolgaleo or Lunala. These Pokémon are a little easier to capture than mostother Legendary Pokémon, and the story won’t progress until you make the catch.Even Necrozma is accessible easily enough that it might be better to save yourMaster Ball for more evasive foes like Mewtwo, Giratina, or Xerneas.

Come Prepared

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It isn’t just Poké Balls you should stock up on. Make sureyou purchase plenty of Revives and HP-restoring items before you go hunting forLegendary Pokémon. These Pokémon are powerful—you don’t want to wind up withyour party defeated because you had a hard time just surviving the battle!

PP-restoring items can be more difficult to acquire thanHP-restoring items because you can’t purchase Ethers or Elixirs from PokéMarts. However, growing Leppa Berries at the PokéPelago is an easy way to create a nearly unlimited source of PP.

Consider your Pokémon’s held items, too. Try giving theLeftovers item to the Pokémon that will be on the field while you throw PokéBalls so it stays healthier if your mark keeps breaking free. If you have aPokémon whose only job is using False Swipe or Hold Back, it may benefit from aChoice Band or Silk Scarf to increase its damage.

Get Help from Rotom

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Your Rotom Dex can also be a big help against the mostchallenging Pokémon.

The special items you get from your Roto Loto can have avariety of powerful effects. Against Legendary Pokémon, there’s one incredible itemyou should be on the lookout for—Roto Catch.Make sure to save them for Legendary Pokémon! The impact of the Roto HP Restoreand Roto PP Restore items aren’t as overwhelming, but they can also be a greathelp in longer battles.


Good luck capturing Legendary Pokémon, Trainers! We hopeyou’re enjoying your adventures in the Alola region. Remember to check Pokemon.com/Strategy for more PokémonTCG and video game articles, strategy, and tournament analysis.

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