Pokémon Go: How to get a festive (Santa hat) Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu

Pokémon Go has brought back its special, limited edition holiday treat for players around the world — a festive (Santa hat) Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu!

What's new with Santa-hat Pikachu? 250 Stardust?!

250 Stardust! For 2017, Pokémon Go has brought back the original festive hat Pikachu but with a twist — it now has Present as a fast move and awards 250 Stardust when you catch it!

Can you TM Santa-hat Pikachu?

You can currently Fast TM any old Pikachu to get Present but you can't Fast TM to get anything else. You'll get Error 21 instead. This might be a bug and, either way, should only last as long as the event.

How long is Santa-hat Pikachu around for this year?

Pokémon Go hasn't said!

Will the holiday Pikachu spawn?

You bet. They won't always show up on Sightings, especially if there are a lot of PokéStops nearby, but if walk within 40m, Santachu should pop up for you.

Does Santa-hat Pikachu have an increased spawn rate?

So far, so increased. Santa hat Pikachu isn't everywhere the way it was last year, but it's far more places than Party hat Pikachu was initially. Pokémon Go can adjust the spawn rate at any time, though, so get it while you can!

Be a good way to get that Pikachu Fan medal!

Indeed, and the Rocker medal for Electric types.

  • Pikachu Fan: Catch 300 Pikachu for gold.
  • Rocker: Hatch, catch, or evolve 200 electric-types for gold — including Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu.

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?

Pikachu has been replaced in eggs by baby Pichu, and while baby Pichu didn't get a Party Hat or a Santa hat previously, it did get an Ash hat and it is getting a Santa hat now.

Yes, this is the first time you can really get a Santa hat Pichu!

You can only get a festive Pichu from a new 2 KM Egg received after the start of the Holiday Event (December 21, 2017), though. 2K Eggs from prior to the start of the event can only hatch regular Pichu.

So, if you want a baby with b-ball cap, get as many 2 KM Eggs as you can and start walking!

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

Pikachu can be notoriously hard to catch. Not Dragonite hard, but certainly not easy. It often has a red target circle, teasing its low catch rate Still, there are things you can do!

  1. Use a Razz Berry (1.5x). Golden Razz Berry (2.5x) if you have 'em. Unlike other bonuses, it's not dependent on you hitting the target. It'll work when you do.
  2. Throw a Curve Ball (1.7x). 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 Ash-hat Pikachu, throw a Great Ball (1.5x) or even Ultra Ball (2x) too. The bonuses stack.
  4. Go for a Nice, Great, or Excellent throw by nailing the center of the target circle. Again, the bonuses stack.

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

How to get a holiday (Santa) Raichu

Last year, you could catch a holiday Raichu the same way you could a holiday Pikachu, but it was rare and so a lot less likely to spawn. This year, it's uncertain Raichu is spawning with a Santa hat at all. (It hasn't for other recent hat variants.)

So, it's easier to just get 50 Pikachu cand and evolve from Pikachu to 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 Pichu, Pikachu, or 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!

Originally published December 2016. Updated December 2017 with festive hat Pichu and new holiday event information.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.