The anime artwork featuring the Starter Pokémon from Kanto through Sinnoh.

Starter Pokémon, or Starters, are the Pokémon a trainer chooses at the beginning of their Pokémon journey and the main protagonists of the Pokémon series of games. In each generation of Pokémon games, a set of Starter Pokémon are available for new trainers to choose from in sets of three; the types that make up these sets are Fire, Grass, and Water. Each starter Pokémon has three evolutionary forms. Pokémon Yellow , Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go Eevee are currently the only exceptions to the above, with Pikachu as the only starter available to the player in Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu, and Eevee as the only starter available to the player in Pokémon Let's Go Eevee.

Starter Pokémon

Core series

In the core series games (with two exceptions), the player can choose a firewater, or grass-type starter Pokémon at level 5. At least one of the player's rivals will also always choose or have a starter Pokémon, typically the one that has a type advantage over the player's while the other choose the one that has a type disadvantage over the player's. it is also said that the starter Pokémon are extremely rare in the wild, giving the player a good reason why the Pokémon not chosen can't be found in the wild.

Kanto Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Red, GreenBlueFireRed, and LeafGreenProfessor Oak will bring Trainers to his lab to give them the choice between Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle to begin their journey.

Bulbasaur Charmander Squirtle
001Bulbasaur.png 004CharmanderFRLG.png 007Squirtle.png
Type Grass.gif Type Poison.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Yellow Version and Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu/Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!

In Pokémon Yellow, due to being based on the anime, Oak instead gives out Pikachu to the player while the player's rival will receive an Eevee.

Pikachu
 
Eevee
 Rival only
025Pikachu.png 133Eevee.png
Type Electric.gif Type Normal.gif
Main article: Partner Pokémon

In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, players will start with Pikachu or Eevee, depending on which version of the game they are playing. These Pikachu and Eevee are considered special, separate forms commonly referred to by the game as Partner Pokémon because they follow you. The Partner Pikachu and Eevee can be either gender, have higher base stats, learn Secret Techniques and have access to exclusive moves that normal Pikachu and Eevee do not.

Partner Pikachu
  Let's Go, Pikachu! only
Partner Eevee
 Let's Go, Eevee! only
Char-pikachu.png Char-Eevee.png
Type Electric.gif Type Normal.gif

Johto Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Gold, SilverCrystalHeartGold, and SoulSilverProfessor Elm will have an errand for the player to run, and will give them the choice between Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or Totodile for protection on this errand, which they will then keep after completion.

Chikorita Cyndaquil Totodile
152Chikorita.png 155Cyndaquil.png 158Totodile.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Pseudo-rival Ethan/Lyra only (HG/SS only)

Marill
183Marill.png
Type Water.gif


Hoenn Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Ruby and SapphireEmeraldOmega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, after Professor Birch is rescued from a PoochyenaRSORAS or ZigzagoonE, he allows the player to keep the Pokémon they chose to rescue him with the choice between Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip.

Treecko Torchic Mudkip
252Treecko.png 255Torchic.png 258Mudkip.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Rival Wally only

Ralts
280Ralts.png
Type Psychic.gif

Sinnoh Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, when two Starly attack the player and rival at Lake Verity, to which they travel upon hearing reports of a red Gyarados, they will choose between Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup from Professor Rowan's briefcase, which he left at the lake.

Turtwig Chimchar Piplup
387Turtwig O.png 390Chimchar O.png 393Piplup.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Unova Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Black and White, Professor Juniper leaves a gift with the player's Mom in Nuvema Town to give to them, containing Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott for the player to choose.

Snivy Tepig Oshawott
495Snivy.png 498Tepig.png 501Oshawott.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Kalos Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon X and Y, the player, Shauna, and Serena/Calem receive their starter Pokémon: Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie in Aquacorde Town from Tierno, who was asked by Professor Sycamore to deliver them.

Chespin Fennekin Froakie
650Chespin.png 653Fennekin.png 656Froakie.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Alola Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the player receives their starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio in Iki Town from Hala and Professor Kukui. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the player receives one from the Professor on Route 1. The player's friend Hau will choose the Pokémon with a type disadvantage to the player's choice. Teacher Emily in the Trainer's School will use the starter that has a type advantage over the player's choice.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield The Isle of Armor Expansion Pass, after collecting 100 Alolan Diglett, Diglett's trainer will give the player the Alolan starter that corresponds to the same type of the Galar starter the player chose.

Rowlet Litten Popplio
722Rowlet.png 725Litten.png 728Popplio.png
Type Grass.gif Type Flying.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Galar Starter Pokémon

In Pokémon Sword and Shield the player and Hop receive their starter Pokémon: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in Postwick from Leon, the Pokémon Champion of Galar. The player's friend Hop will choose the Pokémon with a type disadvantage to the player's choice. Leon takes the remaining Pokémon into his care, eventually using its final form in the Championship Match against the player.

Grookey Scorbunny Sobble
810Grookey.png 813Scorbunny.png 816Sobble.png
Type Grass.gif Type Fire.gif Type Water.gif

Spinoffs

Mystery Dungeon series

Main article: Starter Pokémon (Mystery Dungeon)

Pokémon Conquest

Eevee
Rival only
133Eevee.png
Type Normal.gif

Game Exceptions

In certain games, the player can receive certain Starter Pokémon that aren't of the standard Grass, Fire and Water combo.

Anime

Ash Ketchum receiving Pikachu as his Starter Pokémon.

Certain characters in the anime have different Pokémon as their starter instead of the normal Grass/Fire/Water-mix. Most of them were given as gifts to them when they were young.

  • Ash's starter Pokémon is Pikachu, which he received from Professor Oak.
  • Brock's starter Pokémon is Onix, which he later evolved into Steelix.
  • Misty's starter Pokémon were Goldeen, Staryu and Starmie; however, it is not known which one she had first.
  • Tracey's starter Pokémon were Venonat and Marill; however, it is not known which one he had first.
  • James' starter Pokémon was Growlithe which he nicknamed Growlie. However, he does not own it, and left at his home when he ran away.
  • Jessie's starter Pokémon was Ekans which she received for her birthday. She later evolved it into Arbok and released it.
  • Zackie's starter Pokémon was Bellsprout, which he accidentally caught after trying to catch Ash's Pikachu.
  • Xander's starter Pokémon was Caterpie which he later evolved into a Butterfree. He has stated it was his "first Pokémon".
  • Yuzo's starter Pokémon was stated to be Starly. However, it is never seen or mentioned in the anime.
  • Zoey's starter Pokémon was Glameow, which she stated that she caught after it was abandoned.
  • Max stated that he wanted to start off with a Ralts, but eventually, it had left to be in the wild.
  • Iris' starter Pokémon was Drilbur, which she saved from a cliff-side when she was young. She later evolved it into an Excadrill.
  • Cilan's starter Pokémon was Pansage, which he has had since we was young.
  • Emmy's starter Pokémon was Druddigon which she received from her father before her journey.
  • Bonnie stated that she wants to start off with Dedenne, which is currently in the possession of her brother, Clemont, due to her being too young.
  • Lillie's starter Pokémon was an Alolan Vulpix, which she hatched from an egg and nicknamed Snowy.
  • Sophocles' starter Pokémon was a Togedemaru.
  • Mallow's starter Pokémon was Bounsweet in which she met in a forest behind the Pokémon School, as a present caught by her late-mother prior to her mother's death from an unknown illness.
  • Gladion's starter Pokémon was Eevee, which he later evolved into Umbreon.
  • Goh initially wanted his starter Pokémon to be a Mew like the one he met when he was six, but he changed his mind after befriending a wild Scorbunny in Galar, choosing it as his partner instead.

Caught in the wild instead

A wild Scorbunny being caught by Goh

Certain characters in the anime have caught a regional Starter Pokémon in the wild instead of having them as their first Pokémon.

  • Ash caught a Bulbasaur, a Charmander, and a Squirtle in quick succession in the Kanto region. Of the three, only Charmander evolved, becoming a Charmeleon, and later a Charizard, both of which were very disobedient to Ash until an incident in the Orange Archipelago, after which it served Ash as it had when it was a Charmander. Bulbasaur was also going to evolve, but decided to stay as itself than becoming an Ivysaur in Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden.
  • Ash also caught the three Johto region starter Pokémon, ChikoritaCyndaquil, and Totodile, of which Chikorita and Cyndaquil evolved into Bayleef and Quilava, respectively.
  • Ash caught a Treecko in Hoenn, while Brock captured a Mudkip. Treecko evolved twice, becoming Sceptile before Ash left it at Professor Oak's lab, while Brock's Mudkip evolved into Marshtomp. Along with May's Torchic, the traveling trio had the three starter Pokémon of Hoenn.
  • May caught a Bulbasaur midway through her journey in Hoenn, and was given a Squirtle by Professor Oak when she journeyed to Kanto. Bulbasaur evolved all the way into Venusaur and Squirtle evolved into Wartortle during May's travels through Johto.
  • In Sinnoh, Ash repeated himself by catching Turtwig, which has since evolved into a Torterra. His rival, Paul, owned a Chimchar that was confirmed to be caught in the wild. It was released, recaught by Ash, and is now an Infernape.
  • Dawn hatched a  Cyndaquil during her journey in Sinnoh. It later evolved into Quilava.
  • Ash reused his pattern from the original series of catching all starter Pokémon in Unova: OshawottTepig, and Snivy. However, this time around, he caught them in reverse of the Pokédex order rather than following it as he did in the original series, and Oshawott was in fact a starter Pokémon that Professor Juniper allowed Ash to have after it ran away to be with him. Of the three, only Tepig has evolved, becoming a Pignite.
  • Gary Oak had an Eevee at least since Ash was traveling in the Orange Archipelago. As it was revealed to be under his ownership before his Blastoise, it caused many to hearken back to Pokémon Yellow, where the player starts with Pikachu, like Ash, and the rival starts with Eevee. Either way, it was disproven that this was the case when Gary finally revealed his Blastoise to Ash. His Eevee eventually evolved into Umbreon.
  • Ash caught a Froakie in Kalos, which used to belong to several other Trainers before being abandoned or abandoning the Trainer. It has since evolved into a Greninja.
  • Clemont obtained a Chespin in Kalos. It originally belonged to Professor Sycamore as a starting Pokémon for new Trainers.
  • Lana is revealed to have caught a Popplio in Alola. Popplio was rescued from being abused by members of Team Skull. It has since then evolved into Primarina.
  • While Ash was in Alola, he caught a Rowlet who was living in a flock of Pikipek, a Trumbeak, and a Toucannon. Ash also encountered a Litten a few times before finally earning its trust and capturing it. Litten has since fully evolved into a Incineroar.
  • Goh caught a Scorbunny in Galar, which started out as a common thief who stole people’s foods to feed its fellow thieves, the three packs of Nickit. Scorbunny officially joined Goh in "Mind-Boggling Dynamax!," where it became his first Pokémon. It has since evolved into a Raboot.
  • Goh caught a Sobble during his third trip to Galar and his second starter overall.

Trivia

  • All of the core series starter Pokémon have the gender ratio of 7 males to 1 female, with the exception of Pikachu.
    • This gender ratio was chosen to make the starters harder to obtain.
  • All Grass-type starters up until Generation VI were reptilian.
  • Bulbasaur and Rowlet are currently the only Starters to be dual-types in their basic forms, as aside from both of them being Grass-types, Bulbasaur's also a Poison-type while Rowlet's also a Flying-type.
    • However, Rowlet loses its Flying type and becomes a Ghost type.
  • All the second and third evolutions of the Fire-type starter Pokémon from Generation III to V have the Fighting-type as their secondary type. They are also the only Fire/Fighting-type Pokémon.
  • Typhlosion and Cinderace are currently the only final evolutions of a Fire-type starter to not be a dual-type.
  • In Unova, the Starters also gain signature attacks unique to them: Snivy gained Leaf Tornado, Oshawott gained Razor Shell and Tepig gained Heat Crash. Leaf Tornado and Razor Shell were given to other Pokémon in later generations.
  • In Johto and Galar, the starters stay pure Grass, Fire and Water types throughout their evolutions.
  • In Kalos, the Starters gain a greater type advantage over the disadvantage type: Chesnaught is part Fighting-type, Delphox is part Psychic-type, and Greninja is part Dark-type.
    • Greninja has a type advantage because Dark is immune to Psychic, while the other two starters are only resistant to the other type.
  • In Alola, the Starters gain a signature attack: Decidueye is part Ghost and possesses Spirit Shackle, Incineroar is part Dark and possesses Darkest Lariat and Primarina is part Fairy and possesses Sparkling Aria.
    • Each one of their final evolutions have an immunity: Decidueye, a Ghost type, is immune to the Normal and Fighting types, Incineroar, a Dark type, is immune to the Psychic, and Primarina, a Fairy type, is immune to the Dragon type.
  • Starter Pokémon have unique special abilities: all Grass Starters possess the ability Overgrow, all Fire Starters possess the ability Blaze, and all Water Starters possess the ability Torrent.
  • Except for Pikachu and Eevee, all the Starters' final evolutions can learn the ultimate attacks by move tutor upon reaching maximum happiness. Grass-type starters can learn the ultimate Grass attack Frenzy Plant; Fire-type starters can learn the ultimate Fire attack Blast Burn; Water-type starters can learn the ultimate Water attack Hydro Cannon.
  • Most of the rival trainers will choose the starter that has the type advantage over the starter selected by the player. Bianca, Shauna, Hau and Hop all instead choose the starter that has the type disadvantage.
  • Sceptile gains Dragon-type as a secondary type on Mega Evolving, making it the only Mega Evolved starter to gain a new type (Charizard was already dual when the Mega X version replaces Flying with Dragon).
  • In Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Professor Birch will give Treecko/Torchic/Mudkip (Hoenn starters) to save him from the wild Pokémon. After beating the Elite Four and the Delta Episode, he will give the player the choice of Chikorita/Cyndaquil/Totodile (Johto starters) to rescue him again. After beating the Elite Four a second time, he will give the player the choice Snivy/Tepig/Oshawott (Unova starters). After beating the Elite Four for the third time, he will give the player the choice of Turtwig/Chimchar/Piplup (Sinnoh starters). Thus, the player can receive one of the three regional Pokémon for Hoenn, Johto, Unova and Sinnoh before beating the Elite Four four times.
  • In Pokémon X/Y, two starters can be obtained. At the beginning of the game, the player can choose among Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, then, a little while later, among the Kanto starters Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle.
    • The player can later catch the first evolved forms of both the Kanto and Kalos starters in some Grass, Fire, and Water Friend Safaris. This marks the first time any Pokemon related to starters have been available to catch in the wild.
  • In Pokémon Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, some starters and their evolutions can be found through Island Scan. In Sun/Moon, the Generation II starters first forms and the Generation V starters final forms are present. In Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, the Generation I starters first forms, the Generation III and Generation IV starters middle forms and the Generation VI final forms are present.
  • In Pokémon Yellow, and Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!, Pikachu and Eevee are the only Starters that cannot evolve in the games in which they are starter Pokémon.
    • Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!'s respective starters are also the only ones that cannot be traded to other games.
  • Every starter has a similar color scheme. The Grass starters are mostly green or brown, the Fire starters are warm colors, and the Water starters are blue.
  • There is one avian starter for each type, each introduced in different generations. Torchic was introduced in Generation III, Piplup was introduced in Generation IV, and Rowlet was introduced in Generation VII.
    • They are a chicken, a penguin, and an owl, respectively.
  • Pikachu and Eevee are the only Starters in the canon RPG games that deviates from the usual Grass, Fire, and Water typings.
  • The rule of creating Starters, according to Ken Sugimori, is that their first stages should not look too strong from the very beginning; instead, they should start to look powerful after evolving.

Gallery

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