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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.

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters such as Pokemon Go, gaming hardware, and genres like RPGs, fighters, and strategy games. Outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated website RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whisky buff.

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