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!.
- 1 Starter Pokémon
- 1.1 Core series
- 1.1.1 Kanto Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.2 Johto Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.3 Hoenn Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.4 Sinnoh Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.5 Hisui Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.6 Unova Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.7 Kalos Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.8 Alola Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.9 Galar Starter Pokémon
- 1.1.10 Other notable in-game starters
- 1.2 Spinoffs
- 1.1 Core series
- 2 Anime
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Gallery
In the core series games (with two exceptions), the player can choose a fire, water, 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 picks 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.
- 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.
Let's Go, Pikachu! only
Let's Go, Eevee! only
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, Professor 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.
In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Emerald, Omega 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.
Rival Wally only
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Brilliant Diamond and Shining 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.
In the Sinnoh Prequel game Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the player is able to choose from three Starter Pokémon found by a Pokémon Professor traveling throughout regions, each originating from a different previous installment in the mainline Pokémon games. These Pokémon are Rowlet from the Alola region, Cyndaquil from the Johto region, and Oshawott from the Unova region.
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.
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 Professor Magnolia 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.
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.
Other notable in-game starters
- The rival of Pokémon Yellow, Blue, starts with an Eevee originally intended for the player. The Eevee will evolve into a Vaporeon if the player loses against the rival at the lab and either loses or skips the battle on Route 22, Jolteon if the player wins against the rival at both locations, and Flareon if the player wins against the rival once at either location, and loses or skips the other battle.
- Wally, with the help of the player and their father, will catch a Ralts.
- The player character not chosen in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Ethan or Lyra, will have a Marill.
- In Pokémon Ultra Sun, the Pokédex identifies the Ultra Beast Poipole as a common choice for a starter Pokémon in its own world.
- In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, the player's rival, Trace, will receive a regular Pikachu or Eevee in those games.
- Hop has a Wooloo that he has owned since before the start of the game, and uses it in his first battle against the player. Over the course of the story, it evolves into Dubwool.
- Bede's starter Pokémon, as revealed in conversations in The Isle of Armor, is his Hatterene, which he received as a Hatenna when he met Chairman Rose.
- Marnie's starter Pokémon is her Morpeko, which she received as a gift when she was five from her brother, Piers.
Mystery Dungeon series
- Main article: Starter Pokémon (Mystery Dungeon)
- In Pokémon Colosseum, Espeon and Umbreon are received together, which are Psychic and Dark-type Pokémon.
- In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Eevee is received, which is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- In Pokétopia, if the player is a male, they will receive:
- In Pokétopia, if the player is a female, they will receive:
- In Pokémon GO, the player can start of with the Kanto starters, but can secretly obtain Pikachu after running from the 3 Kanto starters 4 times, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- In Pokémon Masters, Pikachu is received, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- In Pokédex 3D, the player can receive:
- The evolutionary-line of all Unova starters.
- Audino, which is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- Scraggy, which is a Dark/Fighting-type Pokémon.
- Minccino, which is a Normal-type .
- Emolga, which is an Electric/ -type Pokémon.
- Foongus, which is a Grass/Poison-type Pokémon.
- Axew, which is a Dragon-type Pokémon.
- Hydreigon, which is a Dark/Dragon-type Pokémon.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Team, the player can be:
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explores Of Time and Darkness, the player can be:
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explores Of Sky, the player can be:
- The Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh Starters.
- Pikachu, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Vulpix, which is a Fire-type Pokémon.
- Eevee, which is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- Phanpy, which is a Ground-type Pokémon.
- Skitty, which is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- Shinx, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Riolu, which is a Fighting-type Pokémon.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blazing Adventure Squad, the player can be:
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Stormy Adventure Squad, the player can be:
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Light Adventure Squad, the player can be:
- Pikachu, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Meowth, which is a Normal-type Pokémon.
- Psyduck, which is a Water-type Pokémon.
- Pichu, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Togepi, which is a Normal-type Pokémon. (Fairy in Generation VI)
- Mareep, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Elekid, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Shinx, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- Pachirisu, which is an Electric-type Pokémon.
- In Magikarp Jump, the player starts off with a Magikarp, a Water-type Pokémon.
Upon their tenth birthday, young Trainer can register for a Pokédex and pick up a starter Pokémon from the local Pokémon Professor or Pokémon Center free of charge. Starter Pokémon are usually raised specifically to be easy to train. Like in the games, the specific starter Pokémon available vary from region to region but are the same in each region as the games.
- May received her Torchic from Professor Birch as her starter, which evolved into a Combusken then into Blaziken.
- Dawn received her Piplup from Professor Rowan as her first Pokémon.
- Serena got her Fennekin from Professor Sycamore as her starter, which has since evolved into Braixen.
- Lana caught a Popplio in Alola as her first Pokémon after rescuing her from Team Skull. She evolved into a Brionne and then later into a Primarina.
- Goh caught a Scorbunny as his starter in the wild, which has since evolved into a Raboot then into Cinderace.
- Gary started his journey with a Squirtle as it evolved into Wartortle then into Blastoise.
- He also stared with a Squirtle in an alternate community in MS020: Pokémon The Movie - I Choose You!.
- Ritchie started off with a Charmander, which he nicknamed Zippo, but has since evolved into Charmeleon.
- Casey started out with a Chikorita but it eventually evolved into a Bayleef then into Meganium.
- Harrison stared with a Torchic as it evolved into Combusken then into Blaziken.
- Paul started out with a Turtwig but it eventually evolved into a Grotle then into Torterra.
- Kenny started out with a Piplup as it evolved into Prinplup then into Empoleon.
- Khoury started out with a Totodile but has since evolved into Croconaw.
- Lyra started out with a Chikorita.
- Trip started out with a Snivy as he evolved into Servine then into Serperior.
- Bianca started with a Tepig as he evolved into Pignite then into Emboar.
- Burgundy started with a Oshawott but has since evolved into Dewott.
- Sanpei started with a Froakie as it evolved into Frogadier then into Greninja.
- Aria started with a Fennekin as she evolved into Braixen then into Delphox.
- Mairin started out with a Chespin, which was nicknamed Chespie.
- Alain began his journey to search for a Mega Stone with a Charmander as it evolved into Charmeleon then into Charizard.
- Tierno started with a Squirtle as it evolved into Wartortle then into Blastoise
- Shauna started out with a Bulbasaur but has since evolved into Ivysaur.
- Trevor started with a Charmander as it evolved into Charmeleon then into Charizard.
- Sawyer started out with a Treecko as it evolved into Grovyle then into Sceptile.
- Professor Kukui had his Litten since he was little as it evolve into Torracat then into Incineroar.
- Verity started with a Piplup.
- Harriet had a Totodile follow her but she let it and various other Pokémon stay with her permanently.
Caught in the wild instead
Certain characters in the anime have caught a regional Starter Pokémon in the wild instead of having them as their first Pokémon.
- Ash caught:
- Three of the Kanto region starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, in quick succession. However, one out of the three evolved, as Charmander was the only that has 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 then become an Ivysaur.
- Three of the Johto region starter Pokémon, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. However, unlike the Kanto starters, two out of three evolved as Chikorita and Cyndaquil evolved into Bayleef and Quilava, respectively.
- One of the Hoenn starter Pokémon, Treecko as it evolved into a Grovyle then into a Sceptile.
- Brock caught a Mudkip, which has since evolved into a Marshtomp.
- 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 a Venusaur and Squirtle evolved into Wartortle during May's travels through Johto.
- Ash caught two out of three of the Sinnoh starter Pokémon, Turtwig and Chimchar, who was owned by his rival, Paul, until he released it. They both evolved as Turtwig evolved into a Grotle then into a Torterra and Chimchar evolved into a Monferno then into Infernape, respectively.
- Dawn hatched a Cyndaquil during her journey in Sinnoh. It later evolved into Quilva.
- Reused his pattern like he did for Kanto and Johto of catching all the starter Pokémon in Unova, Oshawott, Tepig, and Snivy. However, this time around, he caught them in reverse of the Pokédex order rather than following it as he did with his Kanto and Johto starters, and Oshawott was in fact a starter Pokémon that Professor Juniper allowed Ash to have after it ran away to be with him. However, like the Kanto starters, one out of the three evolved as Tepig was the only one in the group to evolve by becoming a Pignite.
- Reused the same pattern that he did in Hoenn of catching one starter Pokémon in Kalos, Froakie, who belong to several other Trainers before being abandoned or abandoning the Trainer. Also, like the Hoenn starter, Froakie evolved into a Frogadier then into Greninja. However, Ash has since released Greninja to not only protect Kalos but also to keep it safe from danger, after a villainous organization tried to use an ability they achieved together for their own gain.
- Clemont obtained a Chespin in Kalos. It originally belonged to Professor Sycamore as a starter Pokémon for new Trainers.
- Ash refused the same pattern that he did in Sinnoh by catching two out of three of the Alola starter Pokémon, Rowlet and a Litten. However, unlike the Sinnoh starters, Litten was the only starter to evolved as it became a Torracat then into Incineroar while Rowlet did not as it ends up using an Everstone as one of its move.
- Goh caught the rest of the Galar starter Pokémon, Sobble during this third trip to Galar and Grookey in Kanto that was once a Pokémon that Team Rocket can pick from their prize master. However, Sobble has since evolved into Drizzile then into Inteleon.
Anime Starter Pokémon
- Ash's starter Pokémon is Pikachu, which he received from Professor Oak, after arriving late to get one of the actual Kanto Starter Pokemon. It was later revealed that Pikachu is able to Gigantamax into a Gigantamax Pikachu.
- Misty's starter Pokémon were Goldeen, Staryu and Starmie; however, it is not known which one she 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.
- Brock's starter Pokémon is Onix, which he later evolved into Steelix,. It was later revealed that Steelix was able to Mega Evolve into a Mega Steelix.
- Tracey's starter Pokémon were Venonat and Marill; however, it is not known which one he had first.
- 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 him into an Excadrill.
- Cilan's starter Pokémon was Pansage, which he has had since we was young.
- Clemont's starter Pokémon was Magnemite, Magneton and Heliolisk; however, it is not known which one he had first, although he did mention that he had his Heliolisk since it was a Helioptile.
- 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, which had since evolved into Tsareena.
- Chloe's starter Pokémon was an Eevee, in which she met in her school and develop a bond with and caught it as her very first Pokémon and partner. Chloe's Eevee is a special Eevee that can't evolve.
- Zoey's starter Pokémon was Glameow, which she stated that she caught after it was abandoned.
- Gladion's starter Pokémon was Eevee, which he later evolved into Umbreon.
- 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.
- Emmy's starter Pokémon was Druddigon which she received from her father before her journey.
- 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 -type.
- However, Rowlet loses its Ghost type. type and becomes a
- 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.
- The Galar Starter Pokémon are the only regional Starter Pokémon that Ash Ketchum didn't catch or recieve.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent work the same way except with different types.
- However, Pansage and Simisage have Overgrow as their hidden ability, Pansear and Simisear have Blaze as their hidden ability and Panpour and Simipour have Torrent as their hidden ability. Gluttony is their main ability.
- The Elemental Monkeys are similar to the starters and are given in a similar manner.
- 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.
- Blue (in Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, FireRed, and LeafGreen), Silver, Brendan/May, Barry, Cheren (in Pokémon Black and White), Hugh (in Pokémon Black and White 2), and Calem/Serena choose the starter that has the type advantage over the starter selected by the player, while Lucas/Dawn, Bianca, Shauna, Hau and Hop 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 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.
- 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.
- In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the starter Pokémon from their respective regions are regions that Sinnoh's Champion, Cynthia, has traveled to. (Battle Tree in Alola, Sinjoh Ruins in Johto, and Undella Town in Unova)
- The Fire starters are based on the animals of Chinese zodiac: Charmander is based on dragon, Cyndaquil is based on rat, Torchic is based on rooster, Chimchar is based on monkey, Tepig is based on pig, Fennekin is based on dog (though it is actually a fennec fox, foxes and dogs are closely genetically related), Litten is based on Tiger and Scorbunny is based on rabbit.
- There are currently no snake, ox, goat and horse Fire starters.
- The heaviest starter is Turtwig, and the lightest starter is Rowlet.
- Both the lightest and heaviest starters are Grass type Pokémon.