How to get Pikachu in Scarlet and Violet
Image: Nintendo Life

How to get Pikachu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is something you can figure out quite early in your adventure. If the elusive mascot is playing hide and seek a bit too effectively, though, you can always find their pre-evolved form and forge a bond of friendship without spending time tracking the grown-up version down.

This guide explains where to find Pikachu and what you can expect from them.

How to get Pikachu in Scarlet and Violet

Pikachu lives in a handful of areas around Paldea, including:

They seem rarer in West Province, where you’re more likely to find Toedschool and Deerling, instead of Pikachu, and South Province Area Four, which Riolu and Charcadet call home.

Pikachu habitat Scarlet and Violet
Image: Nintendo Life

The easiest places to find them are South Province Area Two and East Province Area One. East Province Area One technically starts right outside Artazon’s east exit, so you can take a walk along the hillside, see if Pikachu happens to be about, then head back to the city and exit again to reset the available Pokémon.

You can do the same around Cortondo in South Province Area Two. Keep an eye out for Eevee while you’re there as well!

The Pikachu in these two areas are roughly level 10 in South Province and level 19 or so in East Province. Pikachu is weak to Ground-type moves, but your best bet is using False Swipe or a Pokémon who knows Sing. Pikachu have weak defense and are easy to KO if you aren’t careful.

If you can’t seem to find a Pikachu, you can also find Pichu in South Province Area One. They’re relatively common in this area, and you can probably even catch one using a Great or Ultra Ball without lowering their HP. Stick Pichu in your party for a while and level up their friendship, and you’ll soon have a Pikachu of your own.

Bear in mind as well that if you breed Pikachu, either with another Pikachu or a Ditto, you’ll get Pichu – not a level 1 Pikachu.

Pikachu location Scarlet and Violet
Image: Nintendo Life

How to evolve Pikachu

Pikachu evolves when you use a Thunder Stone on them, and while you can evolve them at any level, waiting until at least level 28 is a good idea. Raichu learns no moves from leveling up, and at level 32, Pikachu learns Discharge. This is a strong Electric move that may paralyze the target, and you can’t obtain that move via TM.

Can you get Alolan Raichu in Scarlet and Violet?

So far, there’s no way to obtain Alolan Raichu in Scarlet and Violet. Only a small handful of regional variants exist, and these include Johtonian Wooper and Galarian Meowth.

Check out our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet walkthrough for more tips and tricks!