Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Pokemon Go Flying Pikachu: how to catch the 5th anniversary balloon Pikachu

This month marks the fifth anniversary of Pokemon Go, which means there's a slew of new in-game events and bonuses to celebrate - including the return of a new form of Flying Pikachu.

Special versions of Pikachu are of course something of a Pokemon series tradition - from the various party hat variants of everybody's favorite electric mouse in Pokemon Go through to the classic Surfing Pikachu, a variant so cool that many of us nineties kids bought and played the first-gen Pokemon games all over again just to have the novelty of a Pikachu with a water-type move.

For Pokemon Go's 5th birthday, Pikachu hits the game. Pikachu of course can't naturally fly, but instead here floats through the skies on a series of balloons, with the most prominent balloon shaped like a 5, for the fifth birthday. That makes this a rare variant unlikely to return - so you'll want to catch one while you can.

On this page, we explain how to catch a 5th anniversary flying Pikachu, plus remind of the timeline for catching one, as it's a limited-time deal.

How to get a Flying Pikachu for the Pokemon Go 5th Anniversary

First of all, it's important to understand that Flying Pikachu is a limited-time appearance in Pokemon Go, just as with the other 5th anniversary celebrations such as the return of Jump-Start research. Flying Pikachu with the 5th anniversary balloons will only be spawning during the 5th anniversary event - which runs until July 15, 2021 at 8pm local time, where ever you are.

With that noted, there are three different ways you can encounter and catch a Flying Pikachu during the 5th anniversary event. They are as follows:

  • Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon will be appearing in the wild as a frequent, common Pokemon. In addition, Darumaka is also spawning more frequently for the same event.
  • Flying Pikachu will be appearing as a one-star raid battle encounter. You might have to do a few raids, as it's appearing among several other rarer Pokemon. Win the raid for a shot at catching one.
  • If you complete the 5th Anniversary Collection Challenge by catching the featured Pokemon, you'll be rewarded with a guaranteed encounter with a Flying Pikachu, among other things.

Flying Pikachu with the 5-shapred balloon does have a shiny form - so you might get super lucky and encounter a shiny variant.

Read this next