Bug Catcher’s Guide to Galar: Practical Pokémon Hunting!

With Pokémon Sword & Shield’s release two days away, you might be itching to start catching ’em all! Now that the PC is accessible anywhere, you can swap Pokémon in and out on the fly! This flexibility makes using it easier to use of Pokémon abilities to capture and collect!

This post may contain names of a few undiscovered Pokémon and their abilities.

In this article, I will emphasize which Pokémon available in Galar can optimize your new adventure. I will be focusing on Pokémon whose abilities will help you to encounter more Pokémon, influence their natures, and acquire items and in-game currency.

Increase Encounter Rate

Some Pokémon abilities serve a secondary purpose. With these Pokémon at the front of your party, you’ll double your encounter rate!

  • Diglett or Dugtrio with ability Arena Trap
  • Chinchou or Lanturn with ability Illuminate
  • Trapinch with ability Arena Trap
  • Morelull or Shiinotic with ability Illuminate

Synchronize to Choose Wild Pokémon’s Natures

The Synchronize ability has in-battle merit, but also shines for Pokémon collectors. If your lead Pokémon has the Synchronize ability, wild Pokémon have a 50% chance of having the same nature as your lead Pokémon! Also, gift Pokémon have 100% chance of having the same nature!
To best choose, catch a variety of natures for the following Synchronize Pokémon available in Galar:

  • Mew* (via Pokéball Plus)
  • Espeon
  • Umbreon
  • Natu or Xatu
  • Ralts or Kirlia or Garvedoir
  • Munna or Musharna
  • Elgyem or Beheeyem
  • Indeedee

    *Not the best option for a variety of natures, as you generally can’t get more than one.

Play Ball Fetch!

Keep your Pokéball count high with Yamper‘s unique ability Ball Fetch! The first failed Pokéball thrown while Yamper is in battle will be retrieved. Don’t forget to remove this Pokéball from Yamper after the battle!

Pickup Items Along the Way

Pokémon with the Pickup ability randomly find and hold new items as you travel together. In Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, the higher the Pokémon’s level, the better the item! Pickup can earn you rare items such as Leftovers, evolution stones, and Nuggets!

Still waiting to fill a spot on your team? Why not bring one of the these available Pokémon along as a Pickup placeholder?

  • Meowth (All)
  • Galarian Zigzagoon or Galarian Linoone
  • Munchlax
  • Bunnelby or Diggersby
  • Pumpkaboo or Gourgeist

Acquire Rare Items from Wild Pokémon

Several Bug Pokémon have access to Compound Eyes. A Pokémon at the head of your party with this ability increases the chances that wild Pokémon will be holding an item.

If a Pokémon’s chances of holding an item is 50% or 5%, Compound Eyes increases those chances to 60% or 20% respectively!

Consider enlisting the help of one of these Bug Pokémon in Galar:

  • Butterfree
  • Nincada
  • Joltik or Galvantula
  • Blipbug or Dottler

We’ve now added a great guide detailing what items can be found on what wild Pokémon! Check it out here!

Check for Items with Frisk

So, you could capture every Pokémon you encounter with hopes you’ll get the item… Or you could Frisk them to check for an item! These Pokémon in Galar will help you identify if the wild Pokémon has a hold item:

  • Duskull or Dusclops or Dusknoir (Hidden Ability)
  • Gothita or Gothorita or Gothitelle
  • Phantump or Trevenant
  • Pumpkaboo or Gourgeist
  • Noibat or Noivern
  • Orbeetle
  • Impidimp, Morgrem, or Grimmsnarl

Take what you want with moves Covet and Thief!

Some Pokémon learn attacks which steal hold items: Covet and Thief. Just make sure your Pokémon does not already have a hold item before attempting to steal!
Consider the following available Pokémon:

  • Eevee has access to Covet at level 1
  • Muchlax learns Covet at level 12
  • Espurr learns Covet at level 18
  • Rimbombee has access to Covet at level 1
  • Greedent has access to Covet at level 1
  • Thievul learns Thief upon evolving from Nickit at level 18.
  • And many more learn Thief via TM 23!

Steal Items in Battle with Pickpocket!

Rather than dedicating a move slot to Thief or Covet, you can make contact with a Pokémon with the abilities Pickpocket or Magician–not available in Galar. As long as the attacking Pokémon has no hold item, they will steal the opponent’s hold item. Keep an eye out for yellow auras, because Pickpocket is exclusively a hidden ability in Galar! Consider recruiting one of the following:

  • Sneasel or Weavile (Hidden Ability)
  • Seedot, Nuzleaf, or Shiftry (Hidden Ability)
  • Binacle or Barbaracle (Hidden Ability)
  • Impidimp, Morgrem, or Grimmsnarl (Hidden Ability)

Get Rich or Die Trying!

Pokémon trainers who play Pokémon Sword & Shield before January 15th, 2020 will have access to an event-based Gigantamax Meowth. In this form, G-Meowth’s Normal type moves become G-Max Gold Rush. Although formal details are not revealed at this time, the move deals damage, confuses all targets, and gives an in-game cash bonus! Needing more in-game money? Craving more clothing options? Bring G-Meowth on some Max Raids with your friends and/or other trainers from our Discord!

Which practical Pokémon will be assisting you in your journey through Galar?You can join our Discord for constant Pokémon chat and give us a follow on Twitter for more Pokémon news and fun!