Image of the Pokemon GO map with a phone showing Armored Mewtwo. In the background we also see Pikachu Libre and Celebi
Image via The Pokemon Company

The 20 Rarest Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Some Pokemon are incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to find in Pokemon GO

Players know that wild spawns change with the seasons in Pokemon GO, but many creatures are easy enough to catch when they’re around. However, certain Pokemon over the years have appeared only in special events or limited research, making them incredibly rare. Here are some of the rarest Pokemon in Pokemon GO at the moment and how to get them – if you can.

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1. Clone Pokemon: Blaistoise, Charizard, Pikachu, and Venasaur

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Clone Venusaur
Clone Blaistoise, Charizard, Pikachu, and Venusaur
Pokemon Day 2020No

During a special Pokemon Day celebration back in 2020, players could encounter Clone versions of Blaistoise, Charizard, Venusaur, and Pikachu. These Pokemon, based on the clones from the first Pokemon movie, were available in Raids for only a limited time.

Since their first appearance in 2020, the Clone Pokemon have never been available through any means other than trading.

2. Armored Mewtwo

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Armored Mewtwo
Armored MewTwo
Pokemon Day Celebration in 2020No

Mewtwo itself is rare enough, but the special Armored Mewtwo made a limited Raid appearance back in 2019. It reappeared in 2020 to celebrate the remake of the Pokemon Movie and has not been available since.

3. Celebi

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Celebi
Celebi
September 2021

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it)
Yes

Like many Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon GO, Celebi was available as part of a Special Research Story. While these questlines never expire once you get them, they are limited in that only players who log into the game during a certain window have access to the quest.

Celebi appeared in A Ripple in Time Special Research Story back in 2021. If you weren’t playing at the time, there’s currently no way to get Celebi in Pokemon GO.

4. Hoopa

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?

Hoopa
Hoopa
December 2021

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it)
No

The Mythical Pokemon Hoopa was only available for a short time in late 2021 as part of a Special Research Story. Only players who logged into the game in time to get the Misunderstood Mischief Special Research Story have the chance to encounter Hoopa.

Since its debut, there hasn’t been any other way to catch Hoopa in Pokemon GO.

5. Keldeo

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Keldeo
Keldeo
December 2022

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it)
No

Keldeo debuted as part of a paywalled Special Research Story in December 2022. Only players who purchased the paid ticket for the Mythical Blades event were able to complete the story and earn an encounter with the mythical Keldeo.

Since its debut, Keldeo has not been available in Pokemon GO, so only those who spent their PokeCoins on a ticket to this event currently have the chance to catch Keldeo.

6. Diancie

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Diancie
Diancie
Go Fest 2023

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it)
No

The mythical Pokemon Diancie made its Pokemon GO debut as part of GO Fest 2023. Only ticketholders for the in-person or Global events got access to its Special Research Story and were able to catch Diancie.

Given how recently it debuted, Diancie has not yet reappeared and is, therefore, pretty uncommon in Pokemon GO.

Meloetta

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
meloetta-aria
Meloetta
September 2021

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it).
No

Like its other Mythical counterparts, Meloetta is only available in Pokemon GO through a Special Research Story. The Finding Your Voice story debuted during GO Fest 2021 and later became available to all players.

This storyline is currently the only way to encounter Meloetta in Pokemon GO.

8. Zarude

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
zarude
Zarude
March 2024

(Players with the Special Research can still complete it)
No

Players recently got another go at nabbing Zarude in Pokemon GO, but considering that questline was locked behind a paywall, the Pokemon is still relatively rare.

Zarude was originally available in 2021 through a Special Research Quest called Search for Zarude and has since re-emerged only once.

9.Jirachi

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Shiny Jirachi

Jirachi
March 2023

(Players with the A Thousand Year Slumber or Wish Granted Special Research Story can still complete it)
Yes

Jirachi is another Mythical Pokemon that debuted at a previous GO Fest, this time back in 2019. Players who attended in person or bought the Global Ticket were able to complete the Special Research Story A Thousand Year Slumber, which led to an encounter with Jirachi.

Since its initial debut, Jirachi has reappeared in the GO Fest 2023 Masterwork Research, making it a bit less rare than some other Mythical Pokemon. Even so, players who were unlucky enough not to log in during either window to add Jirachi Special Research to their task list cannot currently get the Pokemon in Pokemon GO.

10. Lake Guardians Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
uxie
Lake Guardians Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie
Currently AvailableYes

Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie are collectively known as the Lake Guardians, and they are region-locked rare spawns. These Legendary Pokemon, unlike most, do spawn in the wild, but with an exceptionally low spawn rate. On top of that, each is locked to a specific region.

Azelf appears only in the Americas and Greenland, while Mesprit spawns in Europe, The Middle East, Africa, and India. Uxie can be encountered in Asia and the Pacific regions. Due to their rarity and region-specificity, the Lake Guardians are among the rarest Pokemon in the game.

11. Pikachu Libre

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Pikachu Libre Costume Cosplay
Pikachu Libre
Currently AvailableYes

Pickachu wears many costumes in Pokemon GO, but Pikachu Libre is one of the hardest to come by. Players can only encounter this wrestling-style Pikachu by reaching the Legend Rank in the GO Battle League.

This isn’t easy to do, especially as ranks reset at the start of each new season, so fairly few players have ever managed to add this particular Pika costume to their collection.

12. Complete Form Zygarde

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Complete Form Zygarde
Complete Form Zygarde
Currently AvailableNo

Zygarde itself is easy enough to get, so long as you have the From A to Zygarde quest line. However, getting enough Zygarde Cells to reach its final form has proved to be an immense challenge.

Zygarde Cells only spawn along Routes, a notoriously buggy feature in Pokemon GO. Players can only get a limited amount for each Route they complete, and if you live somewhere without nearby Routes, you’re just out of luck.

13. Frigibax

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
frigibax
Frigibax
Currently AvailableNo

In theory, Frigibax shouldn’t be that hard to find. It spawns in the wild and hatches from 10 KM eggs. However, it is on the rarest tier for both occurrences, meaning it’s still tough to catch or hatch.

As such, even though it’s not Legendary or an Ultra Beast, many players cite Frigibax and its evolutions as some of the rarest finds in Pokemon GO.

14. Gholdengo

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Gholdengo
Gholdengo
Currently AvailableNo

I confess I’ve never even seen a screenshot of a Gholdengo in Pokemon GO, and that’s because it’s fairly hard to come by. First, you have to catch a Roaming Form Gimmighoul, which requires linking your account from Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Then, the real fun begins, as players need to track down 999 Gimmighoul Coins by using Golden Lures in the game. These can only be unlocked by sending Postcards, making evolving your Gimmighoul into Gholdengo quite a feat. As such, this Pokemon remains pretty rare, and only the most dedicated players have added it to their collections.

15. Celesteela

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Celesteela
Celesteela
April 2024
Yes

Not only does the Ultra Beast only sometimes appear in Raids, but it’s also a region exclusive. That means that even when Celesteela is featured in Five-Star Raids, you can only encounter one in the Southern Hemisphere.

Celesteela is currently available as a Raid Boss in April 2024, so players in the Southern Hemisphere have a rare chance to snag one.

16. Kartana

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
kartana
Kartana
April 2024
Yes

Similar to Celesteela, Kartana’s rarity comes from the fact that it’s a version-exclusive Pokemon that only appears in Raids. This Ultra Beast can only be encountered in Pokemon GO in the Northern Hemisphere during one of its limited appearances in Five-Star Raids.

Folks in the Northern Hemisphere can currently encounter Kartana in Raids during April 2024.

17. Larvesta and Volcarona

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
larvesta
Larvesta
Currently AvailableNo

You can hatch Larvesta from 2 KM, 5KM, or 10 KM eggs. However, it is in the highest rarity tier for hatches, which means players will need to incubate a lot of eggs before they’ll hatch one.

Larvesta itself is rare enough, but its evolution Volcarona requires 400 Larvesta Candies. This is a tall order, given how unlikely you are to encounter the Pokemon to get more Candies, so it’s a long walk with this guy as your buddy before it evolves.

18. Rotom

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Rotom
Rotom
February 2024 (Regular Form)No

Though Rotom serves as everyone’s phone in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, its forms are difficult to come by in Pokemon GO. Only four of its six forms have ever been released, and all were part of limited-time events.

Rotoms forms typically make an appearance at GO Fest events, where they photobomb players who know how to take Snapshots at these events.

All Rotom’s forms are quite rare since they were only available to players with a ticket to GO Fest. None have reappeared, and the other forms have yet to be released.

19. Sandile

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
Shiny Sandile
Sandile
Currently AvailableYes

Players can only get Sandile via 12 KM eggs, the longest distance currently available in Pokemon GO. These eggs are rare enough, but Sandile has quite a rare hatch rate, so even if you manage to get a 12 KM egg, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll hatch a Sandile.

Even as someone who loves a long walk to hatch a ton of eggs, I’ve yet to get one of these guys.

20. Unown

PokemonLast AvailableCan It Be Shiny?
unown
Unown
Special Events in 2024No

Unown only spawns during special events, so it’s a tricky one to get ahold of. Players can encounter only a few of its forms at any given event, depending on the word that Niantic is trying to spell. For instance, Unown, who spelled out SINNOH and HISSUI, appeared during the recent Sinnoh GO Tour event.

At this point, Unown has spawned often enough that most players probably have at least one so long as they’ve participated in any events, but it’s still a rare sight.


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Author
Amanda Kay Oaks
Amanda Kay Oaks has been a freelancer writer with The Escapist since February 2024. She's a lifelong gamer with an affinity for Pokemon, RPGs, and cozy games, especially The Sims. Amanda has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, with prior work on pop culture and entertainment at Book Riot, Fanfare, and Gamepur.