Pokemon Go DragoniteSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

"Nests" are spawn points where the same Pokémon pop up regularly and in number. While spawn points can be anywhere, nests tend to be around PokéStops or Gyms — or several PokéStops and Gyms within a park or similar natural reserve. Also, while things like water spawns tend to stay the same, month after month, nest migrate every two weeks. Here's what you need to know!

Why should you care about Pokémon nests?

Nests are great for several reasons:

  1. If you need specific Pokémon or type of Pokémon to complete a Field Research task, like Ghost-types for the Mew quest or Grass- or Psychic-types for Celebi, it's much more efficient to find a nest than to rely on random chance.

  2. If you're trying to find the latest Shiny, like Houndour or Growlith, it's far easier to Shiny-check at far higher volume at a nest than at random spawn-points.

  3. If you need a specific Pokémon to add to your Pokédex or fight Raid Bosses, going to a place that Pokémon nests vastly increases your odds of finding one (or more).

  4. If you need candy from a specific Pokémon to evolve it or power it up, going to a nest gives you the chance to regularly catch them in greater quantities than random spawns would ever allow.

  5. If you're trying to catch enough of a specific type of Pokémon to get your medals, be it Hiker or Fairytale Girl, nests can help you get closer to your goal — and gold!

In other words, if you need Pokémon, finding a nest with the Pokémon you need is your best shot at getting them.

Which Pokémon currently show up in nests?

While the species of Pokémon that show up in nests does change, we try to keep on top of all the species currently available. As of January 2020, these are the current nesting Pokémon:

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  • Bulbasaur
  • Charmander
  • Squirtle
  • Pikachu
  • Clefairy
  • Vulpix
  • Oddish
  • Psyduck
  • Growlithe
  • Poliwag
  • Abra
  • Machop
  • Tentacool
  • Ponyta
  • Magnemite
  • Doduo
  • Seel
  • Shelder
  • Gastly
  • Onix
  • Voltorb
  • Exeggcute
  • Cubone
  • Rhyhorn
  • Horsea
  • Scyther
  • Jynx
  • Electabuzz
  • Magmar
  • Pinsir
  • Magikarp
  • Eevee
  • Omanyte
  • Kabuto
  • Chikorita
  • Cyndaquil
  • Totodile
  • Chinchou
  • Sudowoodo
  • Aipom
  • Yanma
  • Misdreavous
  • Wobuffet
  • Girafarig
  • Dunsparce
  • Snubull
  • Qwuilfish
  • Shuckle
  • Sneasal
  • Teddiursa
  • Swinub
  • Mantine
  • Skarmory
  • Phanphy
  • Stantler
  • Treeko
  • Torchic
  • Mudkip
  • Poochyena
  • Wingull
  • Surskit
  • Shroomish
  • Makuhita
  • Nosepass
  • Skitty
  • Sableye
  • Meditite
  • Electrike
  • Plusle
  • Minun
  • Carvanha
  • Wailmer
  • Nummel
  • Spoink
  • Swablu
  • Corphish
  • Baltoy
  • Lileep
  • Anorith
  • Shuppet
  • Duskull
  • Luvdusc
  • Turtwig
  • Chimchar
  • Piplup
  • Bidoof
  • Kricketot
  • Buneary
  • Stunky
  • Hippopotas
  • Croagunk
  • Snivy
  • Tepig
  • Oshawatt
  • Patrat
  • Lillipup
  • Purloin
  • Blitzle
  • Foongus

Which are the most important nests to find?

There are a few Pokémon that stand above the rest when it comes to fighting in Gyms, in Raid battles, or simply getting enough candy for next-generation evolutions.

For attackers, you want:

  • Machop to get 125 candies and evolve to Machoke and then Machamp — counters all the Normal- and Dark-types, including Blissey, Chansey, Snorlax, Slacking, Tyranitar, and many of the Raid Bosses, including Legendaries.
  • Exeggcute to get 50 candies and evolve Exeggutor — counters Water- and Ground-types.
  • Geodude to get 125 candies to evolve Graveler and then Golem — counters all the Fire-types. (Especially if you don't have Smack Down Tyranitar.)

For Gen 4 evolutions, you want:

  • Rhyhorn to evolve into Rhyperior.
  • Electabuzz to evolve into Electivire.
  • Magmar to evolve into Magmortar.
  • Aipom to evolve into Ambipom.
  • Yanma to evolve into Yanmega.
  • Misdreavus to evolve into Mismagius.
  • Sneasel to evolve into Weavile.
  • Swinub to evolve Piloswine into Mamoswine.
  • Ralts to evolve into Galade (split)
  • Nosepass to evolve into Probopass.
  • Duskull to evolve into Dusknoir.

Are there any lists of all the spawn points and nests?

Pokemon Go Silph Road nestsSource: The Silph Road

Yup! The Sliph Road maintains the most popular crowd-sourced nest atlas on the web.

If you consider crowdsourcing to be outside the bounds of fair play, you can find most of your local nests on your own simply by checking out your local parks and keeping track of any out-of-the-ordinary spawns. Most people consider it perfectly within the spirit of the game, simply more efficient than yelling about new nests from a variety of different places.

Any cluster spawns of 2 or more Pokémon of the same kind at the same time and any repeated spawns of the same Pokémon over a few days are indicators you've found a nest. Just keep notes if you need to.

Are the Pokémon at spawn points and nests always the same?

Pokemon Go Clefairy NestSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

They're the same for two weeks, then they change. Known and "migrations," the changes occur on alternate Thursdays at 12 a.m. UTC. (4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST or 5 p.m. PDT / 8 p.m. PDT). So, over a few months, your Charmander nest might become Slowpoke, Charmander again, Diglett, Drowzee, Paras, then Growlithe, and so on.

Nest migrations are seemingly random, so if you get one you need, hit it as often as you can in those two weeks. Conversely, if a close-by nest is useless, just wait a couple of weeks, and it'll change.

Can more than one type of Pokémon spawn from the same point?

While particular nests only spawn one Pokémon type, things that can normally spawn will also show up. So, you may stumble across a Pikachu nest, and you'll see several Pikachu there, but this has no bearing on the things that might normally spawn there.

That's different from something like a water spawn, where Staryu, Slowpoke, Polywag, Psyduck, and Magikarp often all spawn all together.

Do all Pokémon have nests?

Sadly, no. Typically Pokémon that hatch from 10 KM eggs and those that are otherwise ultra rare do not have nests. That includes babies, evolved forms, regionals, and Legendary Pokémon. However, as new Pokémon are added into the game and existing Pokémon are rebalanced, nests can change as well.

What about water-spawns for Dratini, Feebas, and the like?

Pokemon Go water spawnsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Dratini haven't nested since the very first weeks of the game. Feebas have never nested. But, they can be found, albeit rarely, at water spawns.

If you have a local water spawn or several that gets frequent and multiple Magikarp, odds are you'll get infrequent Dratini as well. Same with Feebas. That includes PokéStops and cluster spawns near docks, piers, along rivers and lakes, etc.

Larvitar, Beldum, and Bagon?

To get the candidates and candies for Tyranitar, Salamence, and Metagross is even more difficult right now. Larvitar are incredibly rare, but you can get Tyranitar from Tier 4 Raid battles. Just grab some friends, some fighter-type Pokémom, and go beat and catch them.

For Beldum and Bagon, watch for the right weather. Beldum will get boosted in the snow, Bagon in the wind.

Ditto — a little help?

Pokemon Go DittoSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

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 — you'll just see a Rattata, Pidgey, Magikarp, or Zubat with no visual or audible clue that they're anything other than they seem... until you catch them.

It's only then you'll be greeted with an "Oh?" instead of a "Gotcha!" and he'll be revealed as Ditto.

See how to find and catch Ditto in Pokémon Go

Unown — do you know?!

Pokemon Go UnownSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Unown is one of the rarest and hardest to find Pokémon in Pokémon Go Gen 2. Scratch that. Unown is one of TWENTY SIX of the rarest and hardest to find Pokémon in Pokémon Go — period. That's because it doesn't spawn very often in most areas, and when it does, it can manifest as any one of the 26 forms, stylized after the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z. So, how do you catch 'em all?

There's no good answer at the moment. They don't spawn in nests and, outside of special events, there is nothing consistent about their spawns, but we're collecting everything we can find right here:

How to catch Unown in Pokémon Go

Can nests ever go away?

It's hard to tell. Some PokéStops and Gyms don't seem ever to spawn at all. Other times nests just get taken over by incredibly common Pokémon for two weeks, like Caterpie or Krabby, and can seem like they went away.

The best thing to do is to wait a couple of weeks and check again.

Okay, once you find the nest you need, how do you catch the stubborn Pokémon that spawn there?

Pokemon Go Dratini berrySource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Some Pokémon are considerably harder to catch than others. Sometimes it's because they've got a low catch rate or high flee rate. Sometimes it's their level. Sometimes it's because you're not stacking all the bonuses you could be. And sometimes it's because they're so rare you freak out and forget how to maximize your chances.

How to stack bonuses and catch almost any Pokémon

Your Pokémon Go nest tips and questions?

If you have any tips on finding and using nests, let me know! If you have any questions on nests and spawns, drop them in the comments below!

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