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What are alpha Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Every new Pokémon game has introduced us to tons of new creatures to battle, capture, train, and evolve. Part of the appeal of these RPGs is exploring the new region and building a roster of Pokémon to overcome any challenge ahead of you. With Pokémon Legends: Arceus, that feeling is brought to new levels thanks to the more open-world design and revamped battle systems. While this title does have plenty of new Pokémon, plus new forms of existing ones, it also introduces a new special type called Alpha Pokémon that are different from any that came before.

Despite being set in the past, Pokémon Legends: Arceus still has plenty of fresh and surprising tricks up its sleeve. One that was teased and shown off prior to release were the new Alpha Pokémon, but we were left wondering exactly what made these special versions of known Pokémon so … well, special. We’ve gone out on multiple expeditions and learned everything there is to know about what Alpha Pokémon are in Pokémon Legends: Arceus so you can complete your Pokédex.

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What are Alpha Pokémon?

A trainer sneaking up on an alpha Pokémon.

Let’s start with the basics and cover what exactly an Alpha Pokémon is. In short, Alpha Pokémon are special types of Pokémon found in Pokémon Legends: Arceus that are powered up forms of their normal Pokémon counterparts. They’re far bigger, have higher stats, and will attack you on sight in almost every circumstance. Aside from their larger size, you can spot an Alpha variant by their evil-looking glowing red eyes.

While Alpha Pokémon tend to be either the same Pokémon as you would normally find in that region, or an evolution of what you’d find there, they tend to be close to 20 levels higher than anything else in the area. This makes them a very tough encounter early on, but you do get additional rewards if you manage to beat one in battle. Aside from a hefty XP gain for toppling such a tough foe, they also can drop decent loot. This includes items like Grit Dust, Pebbles, and Rocks.

Do all Pokémon have Alpha forms?

No, not every Pokémon has an Alpha form in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. There are way more Alpha forms than Nobel, however, and you can reliably search for specific ones in certain map locations. Looking through multiple sources, there appear to be a total of 70 Alpha Pokémon spread between the 5 major locations discovered so far at least. Some appear in multiple locations, as well. Here’s a breakdown of which ones can spawn where:

Obsidian Fieldlands:

  • Luxio
  • Rapidash
  • Heracross
  • Graveler
  • Stantler
  • Snorlax
  • Staravia
  • Bibarel
  • Lopunny
  • Alakazam
  • Infernape
  • Floatzdel
  • Scyther
  • Gyarados
  • Parasect

Crimson Mirelands:

  • Ursaring
  • Hisuian Sliggoo
  • Torterra
  • Toxicroak
  • Pachirisu
  • Ursaring
  • Hippodown
  • Vespiquen
  • Onyx
  • Tangrowth
  • Roserade
  • Honchkrow
  • Lickilicky
  • Rhyhorn
  • Carnivine
  • Yanmega
  • Sligoo
  • Skuntank
  • Raichu

Cobalt Coastlands

  • Ninetales
  • Gastrodon
  • Empoleon
  • Mothim
  • Lumineon
  • Purugly
  • Octillery
  • Machoke
  • Drapion
  • Mantine
  • Gyarados
  • Walrein
  • Golduck
  • Ambipom
  • Tentacruel
  • Drapion
  • Gyarados
  • Chansey
  • Dusknoir

Coronet Highlands

  • Electivire
  • Gligar
  • Luxray
  • Gabite
  • Gliscor
  • Rhyperior
  • Steelix
  • Probopass
  • Golem
  • Hisuian Goodra
  • Mothim
  • Crobat
  • Basculin
  • Cleffable

Alabaster Icelands

  • Gallade
  • Gardevoir
  • Machamp
  • Glalie
  • Lucario
  • Garchomp
  • Froslass
  • Sneasel
  • Swinub
  • Mamoswine

Can you catch Alpha Pokémon?

Pokémon Legends: Arceus promo imaage featuring two trainers and their parties looking out towards a mountain.

Yes! In fact, some Research Tasks will specifically ask you to go out and catch Alpha Pokémon, but the ability to even try won’t be available right away. You will first need to have a high enough Star Rank. You will know if you have a high enough Star Rank if, when aiming a Pokéball at one, you see a yellow or green icon and not a red X. You can catch them just like any traditional Pokémon, only it will obviously be a much tougher encounter. Since they’re so aggressive, you will almost always have to battle them first to lower their HP before you will have a chance to capture one, and even then the capture rates are much lower than normal Pokémon. If your team is too low of a level, this can be rather hard, but the reward is absolutely worth it.

If you already have a very strong team, you can eventually stealth catch Alpha Pokémon if you’re careful enough. Using food as bait is a good tactic when going for this method, especially if you figure out that Pokémon’s specific favorite food.

Alpha Pokémon are great to add to your team since they come with plenty of stat bonuses above their normal counterparts. They will also have a unique Alpha symbol beside their gender in your menu to differentiate them easily. On the field, their increased size will be an easy enough way to tell you’ve got the big guns out.

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