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 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.

  • I think one article with all this stuff would suffice. This is crazy.
  • Looking forward to the probing and insightful guest articles by former iMore regulars Peter Cohen and Allyson Kazmucha on the new awesomeness that is Pokemon Go.
    And, who knows, maybe if there's enough interest in the mobile game and it's franchise, a dedicated site could be started under the greater Mobile Nations banner for Pokemon Go.
  • We always do weekend game guides; we have more individual articles this weekend because literally millions of people are searching for information about this game. We'll return back to our regularly scheduled Mac and iOS coverage on Monday.
  • Just seems like one central location for all this information would be easier to digest than going article to article.
  • We do have a central guide (émon-go), but many readers hitting our articles right now aren't regulars — they're coming from Google or Siri and looking for specific phrases. It's a lot easier for them to find information they're looking for in siloed articles than try and shunt them to one mega-guide, if that makes sense!
  • So you're trolling for hits?
  • Trolling, no. If they were vapid articles with 100 words, I could understand that. But we genuinely want to help people (like my mother) understand a confusing-as-heck game, just like we help people understand Apple Music, and iOS apps, and all the rest. Search engines no longer list content under headers like "game guide", because they assume anyone who searches for "how to find Pokémon" wants to just see an article about how to find Pokémon rather than sift through 6000 words about evolving them or starting with Pikachu. As such, we break out certain topics to make them easier to find. It's no different than what we've done for our other ultimate guides on Apple TV, iOS, Snapchat and such — this may just look off to you because it's for a game you're not interested in. NBD: The beauty of the internet is that we'll either have more content you like, or you'll search Google for something else. Regardless, our primary goal has always been to make sure people get the help they need on popular topics in the Apple ecosystem; right now, that includes Pokémon Go (which, if you haven't heard, just became more popular than porn).
  • Fair enough :) These are actually very well crafted articles. I think I needed a Snickers. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • It's called put ur big person pants on and move along. People today are so hard please. I got repeatedly complained at for posting politics now people complain I post to much Pokemon. No offense but I think people just need to move along and keep quiet about it . It's funny so many people " annoyed " yet they take time make complaint on a article. Guarantee u if it was something they liked it b different story. Grow up and stop being whiny children.
  • You failed to make a point here. The page is full of articles. It doesn't take any time to jump in one and question why there are so many. Thanks to Serenity for at least making sense of all of these articles. You provided nothing to the conversation. And don't worry...if it was something I liked I'd have the same things to say. No different than when I go to my hip hop blogs and they are talking about Drake all day.
  • What they aren't going to tell you that you should probably look up for the answer to your question: SEO. A bunch of articles targeting phrases beginners are looking for draw people to their site, and thus their articles. If they had only one article for all these types of things, they wouldn't get as much of an SEO bonus from it. That is why, and before you complain about that, it is a necessary tactic these days, for all websites, to draw in more traffic.
  • Believe it or not just because you don't like the game doesn't mean no websites should show it
  • One of youtubers recommended this website: pokemongo-hack (.top) 95k Pokeballs just added to my account ! :)
  • This game sucks so hard Sent from the iMore App
  • How very insightful. Why?
  • I appreciate these articles because there is like no information in the game itself....
  • Almost time to lock this.
  • What's the exact use of getting Pikachu as a starter Pokémon? What it does exactly than the other starters? I don't see any difference!:/