Pokémon Legends: Arceus — How to catch Giratina

Pokemon Legends Arceus Giratina
Pokemon Legends Arceus Giratina (Image credit: iMore)

Four colossal Pokémon are associated with the Sinnoh region: Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Arceus. You have to defeat the first two to beat Legends: Arceus, but that leaves Giratina and Arceus still waiting for you. These two require a whole lot of work to unlock and capture, but it is doable.

What you'll need

To catch Giratina in Legends Arceus you'll need access to a copy of the game and a Nintendo Switch. In our opinion, the Nintendo Switch OLED is the best version of the hybrid console to buy right now.

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is awesome and one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. If you're looking for a modern take on the Pokémon franchise then this is the game for you.

Buy from: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Nintendo Switch OLED

Nintendo Switch OLED $337 at Amazon

Visuals from your favorite games can be enjoyed even more on this bigger 7-inch screen. The colors come through more vibrantly, and the details are crisper than previous Switch iterations. 

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite $189 at Amazon

A lighter console that is perfect for smaller hands. If you're only looking for a handheld experience and want a Switch you can throw in your bag without much hassle, then look no further than the Lite.

How to unlock Giratina

As with most Pokémon games, after you've beaten the main storyline, some awesome Mythical and Legendary Pokémon are still waiting to be captured. Within Pokémon Legends: Arceus, one of the last big Pokémon you can catch is Giratina, as long as you do three things:

  1. Beat the main story. You'll know you've accomplished this after seeing the credits roll.
  2. Catch Azelf, Mesprit, Uxie, Heatran, Cresselia, and Regigigas and collect all of the Plates.
  3. Head back to the Ancient Retreat and talk to Cogita.
  4. She will mention that she needs three pieces of Wood for some reason. If you don't have three pieces in your satchel or storage, you can find some in the following locations:
    • Obsidian Fieldlands: Find it by going to the northern side of the Deertrack Path.
    • Crimson Minelands: Look just south of Brava Arena.
    • Cobalt Coastlands: Make your way to the shore between Windbreak Stand and Castaway Shore and you should see some.
    • Coronet Highlands: Head to the northern side of Heavenward Lookout.
    • Alabaster Icelands: Climb up to the Glacial Terrace and you should see some lying about.
  5. After giving her the wood, she'll give you a Pixie Plate.
  6. Go to Jubilife Village and stock up on the best Potions and Revives you can buy if you don't have them already.
  7. Head to Coronet Highlands and make your way to the Celestica Ruins.
  8. I highly recommend manually saving at this point.
  9. Now head up to the top of Mt. Coronet where you previously saw Dialga and Palkia.
  10. Surprise! Volo is obsessed with Giratina and Arceus and has a crazy hairdo to prove it. You're going to have to battle Volo. This will be a really tough fight. Bring your best Pokémon to the table, and use his Pokémon's weaknesses against him.
    • Spiritomb (Lv 68) Weakness: Fairy
    • Roserade (Lv 68 ) Weakness: Psychic, Fire, Flying, Ice
    • Hisuian Arcanine (Lv 68) Weakness: Rock, Fighting
    • Lucario (Lv 68) Weakness: Fighting, Fire, Ground
    • Garchomp (Lv 68) Weakness: Fairy, Ice, Dragon
    • Togekiss (Lv 68) Weakness: Steel, Ice, Poison, Rock, Electric
  11. Make sure to use Max Revives and Max Potions as often as you need to throughout the course of this battle. This is by far the toughest stretch in the game.
  12. Once you have beaten Volo, Giratina will appear and you'll have to battle Giratina without your Pokémon getting healed.

Battle Giratina

(Image credit: iMore)

Giratina Altered Forme will be level 70 when you fight it. You cannot catch it here, so just work on beating it. You'll be able to catch it later. I highly recommend your team be level 65 or higher for this battle.

  1. Use Giratina's weakness against it to defeat it faster.
    • Giratina Altered Forme (Lv 70) Weakness: Dark, Fairy, Ghost, Ice, Dragon
  2. Don't get too excited when you get its health down the first time. Now it changes to its Origin Forme and has full health again. Its weaknesses are the same so continue to fight it as you did before.
  3. Make sure to use Potions and Revives to keep your team afloat.
  4. Once you defeat Giratina Origin Forme, it will disappear and your Flute will turn into the Azure Flute so you can battle and catch Arceus.

Capture Giratina Request 91: On the Trail of Giratina

(Image credit: iMore)

Don't worry, you haven't been cheated out of catching Giratina. But you will need to battle it once more in order to sync it in a Poké Ball.

  1. Talk to Professor Laventon near the gate to Jubilife Village. He'll tell you he's "seen a huge shadow" that he thinks is Giratina.
  2. Travel to the Cobalt Coastlands and head to the Spring Path in the northwest corner of the map.
  3. Enter Turnback Cave, and you'll be confronted by Giratina.
  4. I highly recommend you switch to manual saves if you haven't done so yet and save before starting the battle. That way, if something goes wrong, you can restart the game and attempt to catch it again.
  5. Now it's time to battle Giratina, which is level 70. It is a Ghost/Dragon-type, so it is weak to Dark, Fairy, Ghost, Ice, and Dragon moves.
  6. Once you whittle its health down into the red, start throwing the best Poké Balls you have at your disposal until you catch it.

Note that Giratina has two forms: Origin Forme and Altered Forme. For it to change forms, you need to talk to Professor Laventon and get the Griseous Core from him. Then give it to Giratina.

How to get all Plates

You're going to want to collect all of the Plates if you plan to go after Arceus next.

  • Blank Plate: Catch Regigigas in Snowpoint Temple.
  • Draco Plate: Catch Azelf at Lake Valor, Mesprit at Lake Verity, and Uxie at Lake Acuity.
  • Dread Plate: Catch Cresselia in Moonview Arena.
  • Earth Plate: Main story point, given after earning Ursaluna's respect in Crimson Mirelands' Sludge Mound.
  • Fist Plate: Defeat Commander Kamado.
  • Flame Plate: Defeat noble Pokémon Hisuian Arcanine at Cobalt Coastlands.
  • Icicle Plate: Defeat noble Pokémon Hisuian Avalugg at Alabaster Icelands.
  • Insect Plate: Defeat noble Pokémon Kleavor at Obsidian Fieldlands.
  • Iron Plate: Catch Heatran in Lava Dome Sanctum, located in Cobalt Coastlands.
  • Legend Plate: Defeat Arceus at Mt. Coronet.
  • Meadow Plate: Defeat noble Pokémon Hisuian Lilligant in Crimson Mirelands.
  • Mind Plate: Main story point, received after earning Wyrdeer's respect.
  • Pixie Plate: Give Cogita three pieces of wood.
  • Sky Plate: Main story plot, received after unlocking rideable Braviary.
  • Splash Plate: Main story plot, received after unlocking rideable Basculegion.
  • Spooky Plate: Defeat Volo and Giratina.
  • Stone Plate: Defeat Alpha Vespiquen in Crimson Mirelands.
  • Toxic Plate: Main story plot, received after unlocking rideable Pokémon Sneasler.
  • Zap Plate: Defeat noble Pokémon Hisuian Electrode.

Distorted origins

Now that Giratina is in your party, you can make it transform between its Altered Forme and Origin Forme whenever you'd like. Have fun showing it off or using it to take on various creatures around the Hisui region! Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an exciting addition to the collection of Pokémon games because of its open-world feel, so take advantage now that you've unlocked Giratina. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.