Pokémon games are incredibly fun and one of the reasons why is that there's always plenty to do after you've beaten the main game. For example, Cresselia is a special Legendary Pokémon that you can only catch in the Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl post-game. It's one of the trickier creatures to get since it randomly flits around the map like Mesprit. However, if you're patient, you'll be able to catch it and add it to your Pokédex once you've unlocked it.
How to unlock Cresselia in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
- Beat the Elite Four and return to Twinleaf town after the credits have rolled.
- Fly to Canalave Island.
- Walk into the house next to the pier.
- Talk to the mother and child.
- Now exit the house and talk to the Sailor.
- Agree to go to Fullmoon Island.
- Walk to the right and enter the forest.
- You'll see Cresselia just sitting there chilling in the clearing. Go up to it and press the A button to interact with it.
- Cresselia will flee and leave behind a Luna Feather. Pick up the Luna Feather.
- Return to Canalave City. You can either use Fly or go back to the sailor to do this.
- Enter the Sailor's house and talk to the child.
- The Child will wake up and the sailor will thank you. Leave the house.
- Now open your Pokétch by pressing the R button and use the Marking Map app to locate Cresselia.
- If you don't already have the Marking Map app, you can get it by entering the Pokétch Company Building in Jubilife City and talking with the president on the ground floor. He'll only give it to you if you have at least three gym badges.
Now that Cresselia is unlocked, you have to go through the task of hunting it down and catching it. Continue to the next section for help with that.
How to catch Cresselia in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Cresselia is a levitating Psychic-type and will be level 50 when you encounter it in the wild. So, make sure you have appropriate level Pokémon on your team to take its health down instead of one-shot KOing it.
First off, if you haven't done so yet, make sure to change your saving settings to manual saves. This is important in case you accidentally knock Cresselia out instead of catching it. You switch to manual saves by pressing the X button to open your menu then selecting Options. Then, scroll down to Autosave and select off. Now, save your game before continuing on.
Next, take a moment to stock up on Quick Balls and Ultra Balls if you don't already have enough. I recommend at least 30 of each if you can swing it.
Now that you have all of your resources, you can go and find it. However, Just like Mesprit, Cresselia will move to a new location every time you yourself move to a new location on the Sinnoh map. So to catch it, I find it best to find the border between two routes and go back and forth until it shows up in the route I'm on, as seen in the Marking Map app. I personally prefer to go to Route 212 to do this, just south of Hearthome City. Note that if you have two moving Legendary Pokémon active that both will show up in the app.
When Cresselia appears on the route you're on, head to a patch of grass and run around until you bump into it. Sometimes the first Pokémon you run into will be Cresselia, but other times it might be some other random monster. If the app shows Cresselia is still on your route after leaving the random battle, attempt to find it in the grass again.
Cresselia is much like Abra in that it attempts to run as its first move. However, you're guaranteed to get a turn in before it does this. If you attack it, Cresselia will have the same amount of health the next time you encounter it. So, use a Pokémon to whittle down its health. You want to get it in the red to make capturing easier. It will only be level 50, so use a move that won't knock it out in one hit.
After it flees, you'll want to manually save your game. This ensures that your game remembers that Cresselia's health has gone down and that you can reload if you accidentally knock it out. Continue to track it down and attack it until its health is low. Then, throw Quick Balls or Ultra Balls at it. This might take a long time, so be patient.
After some patience and hard work, you'll eventually add Cresselia to your team and can add it to your party if you wish to.
Shoot for the moon
With some time and dedication, you'll be able to catch Cresselia. Make sure you have plenty of Quick Balls and Ultra Balls handy before chasing it down otherwise you might find yourself in a frustrating situation. Good luck!
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.