The best Pokémon Go hack: How to start the game with Pikachu

In true Nintendo tradition, Niantic Labs has provided intrepid Pokémon fans with a fun little hack at the beginning of the game: Instead of starting out with Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Squirtle, you can choose Pikachu — if you're willing to walk.

First discovered by Polygon, you can pick everyone's favorite starter electric Pokémon by repeatedly ignoring the trio of starter Pokémon in front of you. Here's how to go about doing it.

How to get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon

  1. Sign up for a Pokémon Go account.
  2. Make your avatar.
  3. When the Professor prompts you to "Catch a Pokémon," walk away from Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.
  4. If you walk far enough away, the trio will respawn and your phone will vibrate. (We recommend walking along a sidewalk in your neighborhood to trigger this.)

  1. Repeat step 4 3-5 more times, and a fourth Pokémon will appear: Pikachu!

NOTE: Polygon managed to make Pikachu appear after just 4 respawns, but it took me 5 to make this happen. Your mileage may vary.

Even if you already have an active Pokémon Go account and missed out on this hack, you're not out of luck on catching Pikachu — all of the starter Pokémon, even the hidden ones, are available for capture around the world.


Which Pokémon did you start with? Any other questions about getting Pikachu? Let us know below.

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.