How to catch the holiday (Santa) Pikachu and Raichu in Pokémon Go!

How do you catch the limited time only holiday — Santa-hat! — Pikachu and Raichu in Pokémon Go? Like this!

Today is the last day to catch a holiday Pikachu. Make sure to get yours before it's too late!

Pokémon Go has a special, limited edition treat for players around the world — a holiday Pikachu you can only catch between December 12 and December 29, 2016 January 3, 2016! In countries where Christmas is popular, that holiday Pikachu is wearing a Santa hat. Cooler still, you can evolve him into Raichu. And. Keep. The. Hat! Here's how!

Note: Thanks to Pokémon Go's holiday event, SANTACHU — the Santa hatted Pikachu! — is currently spawning more than every before, but you still need to know how to catch him!


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Will the holiday Pikachu spawn?

Yup! I've had a few spawn already on street corners. They didn't show up on Sightings but as I walked by, the leaves rustled, my phone vibrated, and Santa Pikachu burst onto the scene. Far as I could tell, it was a common, everyday spawn, just with Pikachu included.

Can you track holiday Pikachu?

Sure can! I've caught one this way already. If holiday Pikachu is hanging out at a PokéStop, you'll see him show up on Nearby.

  1. Tap the Nearby Tab at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Tap the holiday Pokémon you want to track.
  3. Tap the Footprints button to start tracking.

Once you get to the PokéStop, the holiday Pikachu will spawn and you can catch away!

Can you get holiday Pikachu from incense or lures?

Also yes! I've had a holiday Pikachu get drawn out by incense and that should mean lures work as well. Just start your incense as you walk, or drop your Lure on a PokéStop, and cross your fingers for a holiday Pikachu.

Can you get holiday Pikachu from an egg?

I haven't heard about anyone hatching a holiday Pikachu from an egg yet, but since Pichu — the baby version of Pikachu — has just now been released, and is hatching from eggs, it may be a long shot or a non-starter.

How do I increase my odds of catching holiday Pikachu when I find him?

Pikachu can be notoriously hard to catch. Not Abra hard, but certainly not easy. He often has a red target circle, teasing his escape prowess. Still, there are things you can do!

  1. Use a Razz Berry. Unlike other bonuses, it's not dependent on you hitting the target. It'll work when you do.
  2. Throw a Curve Ball. A successfully thrown Curve Ball has a higher catch rate than a Great Ball and almost as good as an Ultra Ball.
  3. If you're going for your first holiday Pikachu, throw Curve Ball with a Great Ball or even Ultra Ball if you have them to spare. The bonuses compound.
  4. Go for a Nice, Great, or Excellent throw by nailing the center of the target circle. Again, the bonuses compound.

How to get a holiday (Santa) Raichu

You can catch holiday Raichu the same way you catch holiday Pikachu, but he's rare and so a lot less likely to spawn. Of course, when you get 50 Pikachu candy, you can also evolve from Pikachu to Raichu. So, if you have 50 Pikachu candy to spare, as soon as you catch a holiday Pikachu, you can evolve it to holiday Raichu. That's right, the Santa hat stays!

  1. Tap on the Pokémon ball icon.
  2. Tap on the Holiday Pikachu you want to evolve.
  3. Tap on Evolve.

Boom! Holiday Raichu!

Any holiday Pikachu and Raichu questions?

If there's anything else you'd like to know about catching a holiday Pikachu or evolving a holiday Raichu, ask away in the comments!