By now, many of the fervent Pokémon fans are likely close to finishing (or already done with) the new Sun and Moon games. And by "finish" I mean completing the game's main story. But everyone knows that the crux of the game is really catching 'em all — and that includes legendary Pokémon, of which Sun and Moon have many.
As with all Pokémon titles, finding these legendary fighters isn't always as easy as just wandering around in some tall grass and waiting for them to appear. I mean, sometimes it's that easy...but sometimes it's not. And more importantly, catching them is going to be a challenge.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what legendary Pokémon Sun and Moon have to offer, and the best ways to get them on your roster. Oh, and for obvious reasons, some spoilers lie ahead!
For Starters, Don't Forget To Take Basic Preparation Steps
While it's easy to get excited (and a bit nervous) when you start closing in on a legendary Pokémon, you never want to forget a few steps that will save you a lot of time and frustration if things don't go the way you want them to.
Namely, always make sure to do the following before jumping into an important encounter:
- Buy enough of all necessary items. This includes the right type of Poké Balls, a healthy supply of Revives and Potions, and anything else you might need during a fight.
- Save right before you start the encounter. I'm guilty of not doing this often enough and then having to either run from the nearest Pokémon Center back to where I was, or reset and start from my last save point.
- Don't forget you can reset without closing the game. If a battle starts off particularly bad, or you lose an important Pokémon to a critical strike much earlier than you'd hoped, don't be afraid to use "L + R + Start/Select" to restart your game without having to close all the way out.
Some or all of those may sound obvious, but there's nothing worse than starting an encounter under-prepared or losing an important encounter and realizing you haven't saved in several hours. I may be speaking from experience here. But with that out of the way, let's get into the good stuff.
All The Legendary Pokémon And Where To Find Them
Below are all the legendary Pokémon in the game and what you'll want to do to find them. Please note: Most, if not all, of these require you to have beaten the game and become the Champion of Alola. I mean, they're pretty tough, so you probably don't want to try before you beat the game anyways, but it's worth noting.
Solgaleo or Lunala (Exclusive to Sun and Moon, respectively)
Okay, remember when I said legendary Pokémon weren't easy to find? Well, these two are an exception. All you have to do is play through the game normally, and eventually the legendary Pokémon tied to your specific version will challenge you to a battle. Fight it, weaken it, capture it. Boom.
The Island Deities
The island deities are some of the earliest legendary Pokémon you encounter in the game. Well, technically just one of them is. But together, they make up the quartet of island protectors, and because they're so special, it's your job to catch them. Some are easier to find than others, but as you might expect, they're all located somewhere on their respective island.
- Tapu Koko: This is the legendary that helps you in the beginning of the game, and it can be found at its shrine on Melemele Island. You'll head there with Lillie after becoming the Alola Champion and it will challenge you to a fight, during which you can capture it.
- Tapu Lele: Found on Akala Island in the Ruins of Life. The only real hurdle here is that you need the Machamp PokéRide to access the ruins.
- Tapu Bulu: This one requires a little something extra to acquire. It's technically located in the Ruins of Abundance on Ula'ula Island, but to get to it, you need to travel through the Haina Desert in a specific way. If you want to figure it out on your own, skip ahead! If not, you'll need to go Up, Right, Up, Right, Left, Down, and Up again. Sadly, this is not the Konami Code.
- Tapu Fini: Like Tapu Lele, you need the Machamp PokéRide to find this one. It's located on Poni Island in the Ruins of Hope. Fair warning, it will be doing a lot of self-healing. Which is the worst.
Cosmog (A.K.A., Nebby!)
Yes, Cosmog is technically the pre-evolution of the first two legendary Pokémon on this list, but it's also adorable and has a middle stage which can only be obtained (and added to your Pokédex) if you first catch and evolve Cosmog.
To obtain Cosmog, you must complete the game and become the Champion of Alola. Once you've done that, make your way over to the Altar of Sun/Moon (corresponding to the game you're playing) and go through the portal. Then, go to the Lake of the Moon/Sun (corresponding to the game you're not playing) and go to the top of the platform.
After that, a cutscene plays and Cosmog is yours! Not so bad, huh? Keep in mind, the portal will only appear at the Altar at certain times of day, depending on your version of the game. If you don't see it, try coming back when the game changes from day to night or vise versa.
No one knows! This one is in the game files, but not actually catch-able at the moment. In fact, we really don't know much about this one at all.
It will likely be a future Mystery Gift via promotional event or QR code, but very well be the legendary accompanying the rumored Pokémon Stars for the Nintendo Switch. We'll be sure to post when this one does become available!
Zygarde is one of the more interesting legendary Pokémon out there, and may be my favorite for the fact that obtaining it is so different. Unlike other Pokémon, you don't battle Zygarde to catch it, and it does not evolve like normal.
Instead, he's obtained by collecting Z-Cells around Alola. If you've played through the first bit of the game, you may recall receiving a Zygarde Cube from two NPCs named Dexio and Lina. They don't give you much info except to go collect green sparkly things. And since this is a video game, you likely happily obliged.
If you didn't, you'll probably want to. See, at 10, 50, and 100 Z-Cells, you can take them to Lina and construct a different version of Zygarde. You can see these versions above, but they're pretty cool. I'm not sure how everyone feels about gathering items to assemble a legendary, but I think it's pretty dang cool!
This is another one that sort of flies in the face of my whole "not as easy as wandering in tall grass" thing from earlier, but oh well. It's still a tough fight.
Necrozma is obtained by going back to Ten Carat Hill on the first island and finding the Furthest Hallow area. Then you, well, you wander around in the tall grass. Eventually, the level-75 Psychic legendary will spawn and you'll have to fight it in order to catch it.
There's a reason this one is last. Magearna is by far the toughest, most difficult legendary Pokémon to obtain ever. You may as well not even bother with this Pokémon, for the difficult level leads to nothing but pain and tears. If, however, you still insist on adding this legendary to your roster, here's what you have to do... Ready?
Scan Magearna's QR code.
Whew. Still with me? Traumatized? I know I was when I heard those steps. To find the QR code, you need to go to Pokemon.com starting December 5th, at which point the QR code will be there, just hangin' out and whatnot. You only have until March of 2017, though, so hurry at a respectable pace!
All The Ultra Beasts And Where To Find Them
Ultra Beasts aren't quite the same as legendary Pokémon, but they're pretty close in terms of enigmatic status. They may not actually be Pokémon, for all we know. But after you've beaten the main story, these things have broken through another dimension and are threatening to damage the ecosystems of Alola. Naturally, we want to send them back!
...Er, wait, no. We want to catch them and use them for ourselves. Right.
Anyways, the Ultra Beasts are a bit simpler to find; simply go to their specific location and walk around! What locations, you ask? The ones below! There's a slight catch, however. You must catch these in numerical order and that can only be done after accepting the initial mission from the old man who asks you to head to Akala.
UB01 Symbiont (Nihilego)
- Type: Poison/Rock
- Location: Diglett Cave or Vela Mountain
UB02 Beauty (Pheromosa) (Moon) or UB02 Absorption (Buzzwole) (Sun)
- Type: Bug/Fighting
- Location: Verdant Cavern (Moon) or Melemele Meadow (Sun)
B03 Lighting (Xurkitree)
- Type: Electric
- Location: Lush Jungle and Memorial Hill
UB04 Blaster (Celesteela) (Moon) or UB04 Blade (Kartana) (Sun)
- Type: Steel/Flying
- Location: Haina Desert (Moon), Route 17 (Sun) or Malie Garden (both)
UB05 Glutton (Guzzlord)
- Type: Dark/Dragon
- Location: Resolution Cave
There's a lot more to Sun and Moon than the main story, which is something I absolutely love. Not only does the game inspire you to catch all the Pokémon, it throws in extras like the legendary Pokémon and Ultra Beasts as a special treat (and challenge!).