Pokémon Legends Arceus: How to Catch Alpha Pokémon

Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Alpha Pokémon are bigger and stronger than normal Pokémon, but they can still be caught. Here’s how.

Pokemon Legends Alpha
Photo: Nintendo

Pokémon Legends: Arceus might be a potential new direction for the series, but at its heart, it’s still a Pokémon game. Even though players can explore a semi-open world, the main gameplay loop still revolves around catching and training a veritable zoo of superpowered animals. That includes Arceus’ new Alpha Pokémon.

Almost everyone who played Pokémon Sword and Shield has a horror story about exploring the Wild Area and encountering a Pokémon 20 levels higher than their team. Alpha Pokémon are the next evolution in that concept. You can always identify an Alpha by its towering height and glowing red eyes, which means you can avoid them if you feel like it. Actually, you probably should avoid them as much as possible since Alpha Pokémon are some of the powerful creatures in the game. Yes, some are possibly stronger than the final bosses.

Since Alpha Pokémon are still Pokémon, though, you can catch them, but without a guide, doing so might seem like a Sisyphean task. If you want to catch an Alpha Pokémon without tearing out your hair, here’s what you need to know.

How Do You Know if You Can Catch an Alpha Pokémon?

If you see an Alpha Pokémon when you’re first starting out, resist the urge to chuck a Poke Ball at it. You can’t catch it no matter what you do because you need to increase your in-game rank by several stars. Just be patient, fill out those Pokédex entries, rank up, and come back later. You will know you can start trying when the red “X” that hovers above it changes into a Poké Ball icon.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus – How to Catch Alpha Pokémon Through Battling (The Hard Way)

Since Alpha Pokémon are extremely aggressive, they will attack players on sight. Even the Alphas of normally docile species, such as Blissey, are predisposed to violence. If you want to catch an Alpha the old-fashioned way, you will need to answer its challenge with a fight.

At its core, an Alpha Pokémon fight is like any other battle in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Despite an Alpha’s size and strength, it is still vulnerable and resistant to the same kinds of attacks as its smaller kin. However, even when taking type advantages into account, Alpha Pokémon are still extremely powerful since they are overleveled to the extreme.

To catch an Alpha Pokémon through combat, you should try to match its level (which will take a while), weaken it with super-effective moves, and start lobbing whatever Poké Ball you have on hand. Debilitating the Alpha through status effects such as Sleep and Paralysis also helps since their catch rates are lower than normal. Remember, the unskippable Kricketune battle is NOT a good metric for the average Alpha battle.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus – How to Catch Alpha Pokémon Through Stealth (The Slightly Easier Way)

Since Pokemon Legends: Arceus lets players catch Pokémon without battling them, you might be tempted to try and sneak up on an Alpha Pokémon. That’s easier said than done unless you have the proper tools.

Since Alpha Pokémon are always on patrol, it’s difficult to catch them unawares. However, Arceus has several items to help players sneak around like a Greninja. Stealth Spray acts like Repel from previous games and makes it harder for wild Pokémon to notice Trainers (but not impossible). If an Alpha Pokémon prowls around an area without tall grass, players should also create a temporary cover with a Smoke Bomb (even with Stealth Spray). Once sufficiently hidden, Phase 2 of this process can begin.

Even when the player character is invisible, Alpha Pokémon are still difficult to catch, but like other Pokémon, they lower their guard while eating. While you can toss out a regular berry, your best bet is to lure them with their favorite food. Of course, you need to research what foods they like (i.e., complete Pokédex entries until the game tells you), but once you do, one whiff is all it takes to increase your odds of catching an Alpha. Even better, if you happen to have any hand-made cakes made out of their favorite foods, using them increases the odds in your favor even more.

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Admittedly, catching Alpha Pokémon is more art than science, so while these tips should help you, they aren’t foolproof. Try to use these as guidelines instead of steadfast rules, and always be adaptable.