Writing a definitive list of the rarest catches in Pokémon GO is tough. With Niantic upping its game and running more special events where you can catch scarce creatures, any rundown of the rarest Pokémon can change overnight.
Also, if you’re a hardcore collector who never leaves the house without Pokémon GO in hand, Pokémon that are rare to occasional players may be old news to veterans like you. And as there are no official stats on the rarity of Pokémon, naming the scarcest catches can only be based on personal experience and feedback from the Pokémon GO community.
With this in mind, our list of the rarest Pokémon in August 2021 will:
- help casual players know what elusive creatures are out there
- give experts a checklist of collectable creatures they need to find in trades
Ready to plug those gaps in your Pokédex? Let’s GO!
Rare Pokémon you can get right now (August 2021)
We’ll update this guide as things change, but in August 2021 the rarest Pokémon you can potentially get your hands on are:
When a strange egg snatched in battle from a Team GO Rocket leader wobbles and cracks, this is the Pokémon you want to see.
You need to walk 12k to hatch a red-dotted egg, but even after that the chances of getting Sandile are low. To make things more complicated, Sandile evolves twice – so you’ll need at least 125 candies to get both evolutions in your Pokédex.
If you’re a hardcore collector, you’ll need to do this twice to get a full family with both genders. If you need tips on getting extra candy, check out our guide.
As with Deino, which was widely available during the Pokémon GO Fest 2021, Sandile could quickly become passé if Niantic switches things around. But, for now, Sandile is one of the rarest Pokémon around, and we’re always excited to see its dark, lifeless eyes.
If you live in a busy city or are near to gyms and PokéStops, you’ll see more Noibat than trainers in more isolated places.
But, no matter where you are, Noibat is one of the rarest wild spawns and your heart will skip a beat when you see one on your radar. Noibat are most common in windy conditions, so it’s worth braving a gale to see if any are fluttering around near you.
You can also hatch Noibat right now from 10k eggs. But as it takes 400 candy to evolve Noibat into Noivern, it will take all trainers a long time to collect the set (unless you have a bag of rare candy to burn, of course).
Azelf, Mespirit and Uxie
Yes, it’s true: this legendary trio spawns in the wild. We’ve seen it. But the chances of witnessing this miraculous event are minuscule.
Azelf, Mespirit and Uxie are the only legendary Pokémon that appear in the wild, and they also swoop into gyms to star in raids from time to time.
But collecting the full set is a pain as the tricky threesome are region locked. So you’ll have to wait until they’re in raids, then hope for a remote invite from a far-flung friend — you can make lots of new friends around the world by sharing your friend code.
The regions where you’ll find the 3 legendaries are:
- Uxie: Asia-Pacific
- Mespirit: Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India
- Azelf: The Americas and Greenland
Collecting a full set of Unown could be your life’s work. The enigmatic Pokémon do appear in the wild from time to time, but unless it’s part of a special event such as the Pokémon GO Fest 2021, the chances of encountering one are outrageously low.
To make things harder, there are 26 different Unown to catch, each representing a letter of the alphabet. Right now you can take part in Unown (U) raids, which are easy to win as they're all 1 star.
Add to that the stylish blue Unown shinies and you could be hunting them for decades to come.
Axew is currently one of the rarest wild spawns. If you spot one, don’t miss your chance to use a silver pinap berry to rake in that sweet, sweet Axew candy.
Axew are also currently the rarest hatch from 10k eggs, so it will take a long time to collect all the candy and genders you need for a full family. Use a super incubator to hatch 10k eggs quicker.
But who knows? A couple of months ago Gible had a similar reputation to Axew, and was a rare treat when hunting or hatching. But after the recent Gible Community Day and Pokémon GO Fest 2021, they aren’t as hot as they used to be. Maybe Axew will be next to jump the Sharpedo?
When Tirtouga was first introduced to Pokémon GO in January 2020, it was an uncommon wild spawn. Tirtouga was hard to find, but it wasn’t impossible to get enough candy for an evolution into Carracosta.
But these days Tirtouga are as rare as Combusken teeth, and you’ll be lucky if you ever spot one when you’re on a hunt. Hardcore collectors have extra frustration as female Tirtouga are much rarer than their male counterparts, making it hard to build a full family of half-shells.
At the moment Archen is not found in 10k eggs, and wild spawns are incredibly rare. Some players claim they’ve encountered Archen when walking along beaches, but we have no evidence to prove if this is true.
If you don’t already have Archen, be patient. Most rare Pokémon emerge from the shadows one day, and Archen is likely to appear in 10k eggs at least once more before the end of 2021.
When Goomy first appeared in Pokémon GO earlier this year, it wasn’t hard to find.
Most wild spawns were pretty rubbish, but you could still catch enough to evolve the full family.
But then it all but disappeared.
Goomy still pop up in the wild, but they’re much rarer than they were during the glory days of May 2021.
They’re also a rare catch from 10k eggs, but the chances of getting one are slim. You’re more likely to get another bloody Klink!
Uncommon Pokémon you can get right now
Although these Pokémon aren’t rare, they’re uncommon in August 2021 and you should be pleased if you spot one.
If you meet an uncommon Pokémon, don’t be stingy with your pinap berries. Feed Pokémon yellow fruit to collect the candy you need for evolutions and powering up:
Depending on where you live, some Pokémon are either frustratingly unobtainable or a wild spawn irritant.
If you live in Europe, chances are that you hate Mr Mime. But anywhere else in the world this whimsical Pokémon is collectible as it’s never spotted in the wild.
You can read our guide to regional Pokémon to see what you’re missing, then make friends with trainers in far away places in case a regional becomes available in a raid you can join remotely.
Other regional Pokémon that are currently available include:
Northern USA, during special events only.
Egypt and Greece, in the wild and 10k eggs found in those regions.
New York City in the USA.
When a new costumed Pokémon appears in the wild, it’s often met by a groan from the Pokémon hardcore, who are tired of catching underpowered Pikachu in natty hats.
But as new players are joining Pokémon GO all the time, novice trainers may have missed their chance to snag a costumed Pokémon in the wild.
If you have enough storage space, you should always keep a handful of costumed Pokémon for future trades.
It may take years, but one of the 70,000 Pikachu in a party hat you caught in 2017 or 2020 may eventually become a rare trade!
Our pick of the rarest costumed Pokémon are:
Of all the costumed Pikachu, this fighter based on the masked outfits worn by Mexican wrestlers kicks the most ass.
But unless you’re a Pokémon pro, getting one is arduous.
You need to reach the top rank in the GO Battle League to earn this collectible Pikachu, which is no mean feat as you’ll be up against the world’s best players.
The GO Battle League has become harder in recent updates, making it more challenging to get this costumed Pokémon for your collection.
Costumes created by Niantic sometimes appear again. For example, you could catch Pikachu in a Santa hat during the holiday season in 2016 to 2017, and 2018 to 2019.
But if a Pokémon costume is licensed, and has been created to tie in with a movie release or as part of a commercial deal, the chances of seeing it again are slim.
What was once a pest in the wild could be a future collectible. Our pick of the rarest licensed Pokémon are:
Fragment Hat Pikachu
This Pikachu in a black baseball cap was part of a deal with Japanese streetwear designer, Hiroshi Fujiwara. It has not been seen in the wild since October 2018. It can also evolve into Raichu.
Detective Hat Pikachu
This cheeky Pikachu photobombed snaps in May 2019 to celebrate the launch of the movie, Detective Pikachu. It can evolve into Raichu, but only male versions were available.
Straw Hat Pikachu
Released in July 2019 as part of a campaign supporting the reconstruction of the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, which was hit by earthquakes in 2016. The hat is based on a character from the Japanese anime TV series, One Piece.
Safari hat Pikachu
Pikachu wearing a safari hat was only available at Safari Zone events in 2020, which took place in St. Louis and Philadelphia in the USA, and Liverpool in the UK.
Bow Smoochum, Top hat Kirlia, Bowler hat Shinx, Backwards cap Croagunk
These 4 costumed Pokémon were unleashed as part of a collaboration with Longchamp Paris, a fashion company based in France. The stylish foursome also tied in with the start of Paris Fashion Week in 2020.
Other costumed Pokémon that could be future rarities:
Squirtle wearing shades appeared during the Community Day on 8 July 2018, and has not appeared since.
But we wouldn’t be surprised if Squirtle in sunglasses comes back another time.
New Year Slowpoke
The Slowpoke available as part of the New Year event that ran from 2020 to 2021 wore novelty 2020 glasses. These shades tie the Pokémon to a particular point in time, and mean it’s unlikely to appear again.
New Year Slowbro
Like the New Year Slowpoke, Slowbro wearing 2021 glasses only appeared in the game from December 2020 to January 2021. If you have one, you could be the envy of new players in a few years.
The rarest shiny Pokémon
Even if they’re a common wild spawn on a Community Day, everyone loves a shiny Pokémon. But identifying the rarest shinies is pretty easy.
The rarest shiny Pokémon are those wearing hats, costumes, holiday trinkets or flower crowns.
This is because the Pokémon were only available for a short period of time – and, in some cases, they’ll never appear again and your chances of getting one are limited to trades.
The 2 rarest costumed shines are Pikachu Libre and Detective Hat Pikachu. If you have one of these, we tip our Ash baseball cap to you.
Aside from costumed Pokémon, the rarest wild shiny Pokémon in our experience – and based on feedback from the Pokémon community – are:
If you’re a wild shiny hunter, keep an eye on upcoming Pokémon GO spotlight hours to see what’s available. Your chances of catching a shiny are slightly higher when a spotlight Pokémon is spawning.
Shiny raid bosses are also rare as you need to use raid passes to fight them, and not everyone can afford to keep trying until they get a shiny.
In our experience, the rarest boss shinies are:
If you encounter a shiny raid boss, you’re guaranteed to catch it on your first throw. So make sure to use a pinap berry to get extra candy.
Special research mythical Pokémon
Aside from Darkrai, Deoxys and Genesect, which can be encountered in raids, many mythicals in Pokémon GO can only be collected as part of special research tasks.
So while you may only get one chance to nab a mythical Pokémon such as Jirachi, you’re guaranteed to get it if you follow the task guidelines.
Some mythical Pokémon were first made available to trainers who bought a ticket for a special event.
But as ticket-only Pokémon such as Celebi and Jirachi were eventually made available to everyone, don’t panic if you haven’t got one. You’ll catch it eventually.
The rarest mythical Pokémon:
So far Meloette is only available to ticket holders for the Pokémon GO Fest 2021, as part of the Melody Pokémon special research challenge.
Unlocked in the All-In-One #151 challenge, which is only available to people who bought a ticket for the Kanto Tour event in February 2021.
Most available Pokémon from the different in-game regions are easy to get, even if you have to wait for them to appear as part of an event.
Shiny versions are also much sought after, particularly the Alolan Vulpix which is a favourite with many members of the Pokémon community.
We’ve found that Galarian Darumaka and Darmanitan are the hardest to get, and it’s an elusive variant that we still haven’t caught. Anyone wanna trade?
Other rare Pokémon you should not miss
These Pokémon were mostly available as part of an event, or are limited to a certain time of year.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that these Pokémon will appear again. But if you know trainers who suffer from FOMO and can’t contemplate the idea there’s a rare Pokémon they don’t have, you may get a decent trade before they return.
You can currently get Meinfoo if you reach level 5 in the GO Battle League. It evolves into Meinshao.
Normally appear during the holiday season only. Shiny versions and Delibird wearing bows have also made an appearance.
Yamask are most common around Halloween, and are fun to chase as there are 2 regional variations, both with an evolution… and shinies!
The legendary Pokémon in raids are always rotating, and it could be a long time before they appear again. So always catch a handful, which you can keep to trade for any shinies you’re missing.
Mewtwo in futuristic armour has appeared in the game a few times. But, as Mewtwo is such a popular Pokémon, you won’t find it hard to get a good trade for this rare legendary that’s best used as a defender.
Spiritomb most recently appeared as a reward in Halloween 2020 timed research and field research tasks. It’s sure to appear again, which will give collectors another chance to grab a shiny.
The washing machine version of Rotom was only available to Pokémon Go Fest 2020 ticket holders. There are 5 other Rotom variations that will appear at some point in the future, and Wash Rotom is sure to make a comeback.
Galarian Mr Mime and Mr Rime
Galarian Mr Mime was a reward in the Tap… Tap… Tappity-Tap ticketed special research event in December 2020, where you could also earn enough candy to evolve it into Mr Rime. Right now these 2 Pokémon are rare, but they’ll be back one day.
Clone Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise and Pikachu appeared in March 2020, and were only available for a short time in raids and when taking photos. The clones are collectable as they have moves that were unique to that Pokémon’s Community Day and look (slightly) different to their regular counterparts.
So that’s it. If there’s a rare Pokémon we’ve missed, or you’re having trouble finding a particularly rare beast, add a comment and let us know.