Pokemon Go DittoSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Ditto is a Pokémon who can transform into other Pokémon. It can take on the appearance, attributes, and attacks of any other Pokémon it sees. Although Ditto was missing from the original release of Pokémon Go Gen I, Ditto eventually found its way into the world, hiding as Pidgy, Rattata, Zubat, and Magikarp. With each subsequent generation, Ditto has learned to transform into new species and sometimes, it will stop showing up as certain species. Fortunately, we know every species Ditto can currently transform into.

Which Pokémon can be Ditto?

As of August 2020:

  • Paras
  • Hoothoot
  • Ledyba
  • Spinarak
  • Hoppip
  • Remoraid
  • Whismur
  • Gulpin
  • Nummel
  • Bidoof
  • Foongus

What's Ditto, and why do you want it?

Ditto is one of the first generation Pokémon that wasn't available at the launch of the Pokémon Go game. It took a while for that to change. You want Ditto because the hiding mechanic isn't just cool; you need it to complete your Pokédex. Here's the official announcement:

Professor Willow has finally discovered Ditto! Trainers all over the world have been reporting its appearance.

Ditto has been known to disguise itself as other Pokémon, so keep an eye out, some Pokémon may actually be Ditto, and when you capture them, there's a chance that Ditto will reveal itself. If you do encounter a Pokémon that is Ditto in disguise, the Pokémon in that specific encounter will also reveal itself as Ditto for other Trainers.

Ditto is also a unique Pokémon when you interact with Gyms. When training or battling at a Gym, Ditto will copy the appearance, types, and moves of the first Pokémon it sees, and it will stay that way through the remainder of those Gym battles.

And now you also need Ditto to find Mew?

Yes, as part of the spring 2018 research update, Pokémon Go added a Mythical Discovery quest. One of the tasks of the 5th part is catching a Ditto. You need to do that before you can advance on and find — and try to catch — Mew.

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So Ditto hides as other Pokémon?

Yup! Ditto can transform into other Pokémon, and, so far, he's only being encountered in the wild in his transformed state. That means you can't see Ditto on Nearby or Sightings, and you won't know if he's spawned right next to you until you catch him.

It's only then you'll be greeted with an "Oh?" instead of a "Gotcha!" and he'll be revealed as Ditto. So, you gotta catch 'em all. Literally. Because anyone of them could be Ditto.

In terms of game mechanics, how that seems to work is anytime you catch what could be a Ditto in disguise, the Pokémon Go servers randomly determine if it's secretly a Ditto or not.

So, until it's caught, it's not a Ditto and can't be detected as a Ditto at all. Once it's caught and is determined to be a Ditto, anyone who catches the same Pokémon will also have it revealed to be a Ditto.

Schrödinger's Pokémon, to be sure!

Wait, no more Ditto hiding as Magikarp, Pidgey, or Rattata?

No, not since Shiny Magikarp came out, and the reaction to losing a Shiny Karp to a non-Shiny Ditto was... extreme. Pokémon Go fixed it in days by telling Ditto it could no longer hide as Magikarp. The same has now happened to Pidgey, Rattata and every other Pokémon Ditto used to be able to transform into that now has a Shiny variant.

Ugh, so you really have to catch a bunch of commons?

Yeah, but remember, you can use many of them to grind out XP even if they aren't Ditto. So, it's not time/effort completely wasted. Plus, the more of any Pokémon you catch, the more Stardust!

Is there any way to speed up the Ditto catching process?

Yes. Crowd-source it. If you're already part of a local Pokémon Go community on Discord, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, or a similar service, for example, for organizing Raids, ask everyone to post their Ditto encounters so you can try to get to one live. You may want to make a separate group or room for Ditto hunting, so you don't spam players who already have Ditto, but as long as it's local, it should increase your chances.

How do I catch Ditto when I find it?

Since Ditto hides as common Pokémon, you catch it in the same way. Some common Pokémon are harder to catch than you'd expect — thanks, Pokémon Go! — especially if they're low stat (IV) and high level. That's where the CP looks low, but they're a huge pain to catch. Ditto tends to fall into that category as well.

The usual rules apply, though. Always go for curveballs, and stack as many bonuses as you can and have at them!

How to stack bonuses to catch tough Pokémon in Pokémon Go!

Can I get Ditto with Incense and Lures?

The second Ditto I caught was from Incense, and so were the next four or so as well. Lures also work. That means you can drop one or the other and, instead of focusing on a rare, focus on the four to six commons that appear. Catch those and hope for the best.

So, if you have a favorite route or favorite place to hang, drop some Incense or a Lure and, fingers crossed, let Ditto come to you.

Is Ditto random, or can everyone catch him?

If you catch a Gulpin and it turns out to be Ditto, anyone else who catches that Gulpin will also see it transform into Ditto. In other words, once a Pokémon is revealed as Ditto, it's consistently Ditto for everyone.

So, if you're playing as a family or are out in a group and one of you catches Ditto, let everyone else know, and you'll all get Ditto. Dividing and conquering is a great way to churn through a lot of low-level spawns at once as well.

Can I catch Ditto with the Pokémon Go Plus?

Yes, absolutely! It'll try to catch Ditto just like it would the Pokémon Ditto's pretending to be. Catch that Pokémon, and you've caught Ditto. But remember, Pokémon Go Plus only throws standard Poké Balls, so there's also a chance the Pokémon will run, and you'll never know whether or not it was a Ditto.

How does Ditto work in Gyms and Raids?

Pokemon Go Ditto screenshotsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Ditto only has one moveset: Transform and Struggle. Transform does zero damage but, instead, immediately changes Ditto in the same Pokémon he's fighting. That's true whether he's defending a Gym or attacking it, for training or for taking down.

He also takes on the attributes of the Pokémon he's mimicking, though there are some reports that his exact CP will vary based on his level rather than the level of the Pokémon he's copying. And, of course, a Ditto transforming into another Ditto stays the same.

Any Ditto catching questions?

Have any questions about Ditto? Tips for fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex and our many Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

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