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Pokemon Sun & Moon guide: where to catch a Pichu to get a Pikachu or Raichu and use their unique Z-Moves

Give Pokemon's most iconic son a very powerful special move. You know you want to.


It's hard not to love Pikachu. Let's be fair: it's the most iconic breed of Pokemon for a damn good reason, and while the little electric mouse does owe a debt of gratitude to whoever decided to pair him off with Ash in the Pokemon cartoon he's still one of the best of the original 151.

In Pokemon Sun & Moon Pikachu and the rest of his evolutionary line are fairly scarce. Your rival, Hau, will have a Pikachu and later an Aloan Raichu and you'll encounter a few others in battles, but they don't actually appear in that many areas of Sun & Moon's world. I was a good two thirds into the game before I realised where one could be caught - and I had to backtrack to the very earliest areas of the game to get one.

So... you want to catch a Pikachu? Here's the specific steps.

How to catch Pichu or Pikachu in Pokemon Sun & Moon

  • The most reliable and easiest way to get a Pikachu is to get your hands on a Pichu. Typically Pikachu and Pichu spawn in the same places, but Pikachu is much, much rarer - you're better off settling for a Pichu and getting it to evolve into Pikachu.
  • Both Pikachu and Pichu actually spawn in the very earliest area of the game, Route 1 on Melemele Island.
  • Pikachu and Pichu can also be found in the long grass that's in the gardens of Hau'oli City also on Melemele Island. They seem to be more common in this area and spawn at a slightly higher level, so this is your best bet.

How to evolve Pichu into Pikachu and Pikachu into Alolan Raichu

  • Okay. You've got your Pichu - great. You need to be careful now if you want a Pikachu as soon as possible - simply levelling Pichu up won't be enough to make it evolve.
  • Pichu evolves into Pikachu based on its happiness. There's a few strategies behind this.
    • First off, make sure you find a Soothe Bell. This item can be held by a Pokemon and increases its happiness across the board, and so is a great help. The Soothe Bell can be found on Route 3.
    • Walk with Pichu in your party. It's that simple.
    • Battle with Pichu, but do not let Pichu faint - that reduces happiness. Use items on Pichu, too - that pleases it.
    • Use Poke Refresh to pet and spoil Pichu. It'll grow in happiness when you do this.
  • When Pichu is happy enough, it'll evolve the next time you level up.
  • Making Pikachu evolve into Raichu is a lot simpler - just expose it to a Thunder Stone item. Thunder Stones can be most easily found at Olivia's jewellery shop in Konikoni city.


How to get Pikachu's Volt Tackle move and Pikanium Z Crystal

Being much-loved and iconic Pokemon both Pikachu and Raichu get access to entirely unique Z-moves via unique Z-crystals - a bonus of having them in your Pokemon team.

Pikachu can use the Z-Move Gigavolt Havoc with an electric Z-crystal, but you can go one better with its custom Pikanium Z Crystal. That opens up the Catastropika Z-Move, which is about as devastating as you'd imagine.

To get this Z-Move, head to Konikoni City and find the girl standing near three different Pikachu. If you have Pikachu in your party she'll teach it Volt Tackle, a requirement for Catastropika, and then hand over the Pikanium Z Crystal. Give that to Pikachu to hold and you can now use this move!

How to get Aloraichium Z and access the Stoked Sparksurfer Z-Move for Raichu

Being much-loved and iconic Pokemon both Pikachu and Raichu get access to entirely unique Z-moves via unique Z-crystals - a bonus of having them in your Pokemon team.

Alolan Raichu's move takes advantage of its new psychic capabilities by using its long, flat tail as a surfboard. Surfing is appropriate for Alola's setting too, of course - it all fits.

To get this Z-Crystal you'll need access to Seafolk Village on Poni Island. Inside the second house boat on the right are two girls sitting on sofas. One of the women will ask to see an Alolan Raichu. Show her yours, once you have one - she'll hand over the Aloraichium Z, Raichu's Z-Crystal, for your trouble.

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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