Sure, the main goal of Pokémon: Let’s Go is to beat the Elite Four and become the Pokémon League Champion, but capturing legendary Pokémon offers a unique thrill. Like Pokémon Yellow, the three legendary birds — Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres — and the supremely powerful Mewtwo can be caught in their respective hideouts.
Unlike most encounters in Let’s Go, you have to actually battle and defeat legendary Pokémon before you can attempt to catch them. For that reason, you need to to have Pokémon in your party that are around level 50 to have a good chance at catching the legendary birds. For Mewtwo, you need to be closer to level 70.
In this guide, we’ll detail where to find and how to catch each of the four legendary Pokémon.
For more on Pokémon: Let’s Go, check out our beginner’s guide for all the tips and tricks you need to become a Pokémon League Champion.
This awesome flying, electric-type Pokémon can be found in the Power Plant. The Power Plant is located east of Route 10. Just north of the entrance to the Rock Tunnel, you’ll see a stream. You can use the Sea Skim secret technique to get to the Power Plant. You can also fly to the Power Plant on a flying Pokémon. The Power Plant itself isn’t all that different from other large buildings and caves in Kanto. Simply make your way through its labyrinth of connected rooms until you encounter Zapdos in a large open area surrounded by sparking generators.
Zapdos is level 50. As a flying and electric Pokémon, Zapdos doesn’t fare well against rock and ice Pokémon, so if you have a strong Graveler, Golem ,or Jynx, those would be preferable. Starter Eevee also works well, but if you started with Pikachu, you’re best using a different Pokémon. Generally, if you have six Pokémon around level 50, you should be able to take it out with a solid team effort. You only have five minutes to defeat Zapdos, though.
After you defeat Zapdos, the normal catch sequence commences. We suggest lobbing a berry or two at it before trying to use an Ultra Ball. It only took us two Ultra Balls to secure Zapdos.
Chances are you’ll run across Moltres in the main adventure. The fire bird is located in Victory Road, which takes you to the Elite Four. In Victory Road, look for Officer Jenny, the same nice woman who gave you Squirtle early on. Near her is a large stone that must be pushed out of the way to get to a ladder. Go down the ladder and on the right side of the room is the platform where you’ll find Moltres.
Like Zapdos, Moltres is level 50. If you have a rock type Pokémon, you can take down Moltres in a hurry. Or you could make use of the Squirtle Officer Jenny gave you earlier (hopefully it’s a Blastoise now). Again, you have five minutes to defeat Moltres. After you knock it out, you’ll want to feed it a berry or two, then start flinging Ultra Balls at it.
Articuno is located on Seafoam Islands in the southeast. You can get there by using Sea Skim from either below Fushsia City or on the right edge of Cinnabar Island. Or you can fly there on the back of a flying Pokémon. The cave on Seafoam Islands has multiple entrances, but it doesn’t matter which one you go in first. To reach Articuno, you have to first slow the water current that flows through the cavern. To do this, go up ladders and push each of the large stones into the holes. Follow the stones down the holes and push them yet again until they land in the water below. Once you’ve sealed off the high current, you’re free to use Sea Skim to reach Articuno’s platform.
Like its legendary bird cousins, Articuno is level 50. As a flying ice Pokémon, Articuno has a few weaknesses that you can exploit. Your best bet is to use a fire, steel, or rock Pokémon. Once again, you have five minutes to defeat Articuno and kick off the catch sequence. You should be able to catch Articuno by giving it a couple of berries and tossing an Ultra Ball or two its way.
Unlike the other legendary Pokémon, you have to beat the Elite Four before you can nab Mewtwo. Once you beat the game, your rival will tell you about a cave near Cerulean City. To get to Cerulean Cave, go up the bridge on the north side of the city and then Sea Skim in the water to the left. A Coach trainer is standing outside of it who you can battle if you’d like.
Cerulean Cave is fairly straightforward. Go up the ladder in the northeastern corner of the room. You’ll arrive in a room filled with ladders going down. Go down the one in the northwestern corner of the room. Follow the path in the next area down to the little stream of water. Use Sea Skim to reach the platform with Mewtwo. You can’t miss the creepy looking Pokémon.
Beware, though, Mewtwo is level 70. We first tried to fight him with Pokémon who were in the high 50s and were quickly destroyed. Since Mewtwo is a psychic-type, its weak to ghost, bug, and dark-type Pokémon. If you have starter Eevee with a dark-type move, that will work great. Otherwise, you may want to use a Scyther or Pinsir (if you’ve been lucky enough to find one), or a ghost-type like Haunter or Gengar. You should have plenty of those thanks to your time spent in the Pokémon Tower. Since you only have five minutes to battle Mewtwo, you have to make sure you choose Pokémon who dole out solid damage.
If you want, you can use your lone Master Ball to catch Mewtwo, since it’s the hardest Pokémon to catch in the game. Or you can try your luck with several Ultra Balls. It’s not too hard to catch Mewtwo with Ultra Balls if you use a few high-powered berries first.
Catching legendary birds in the wild
While your first and perhaps only encounter with each of the four legendary Pokémon has to happen in their set locations, it is possible to see the legendary birds in the wild and score two or more of the same legendary bird. This is a change from Pokémon Yellow.
As Kotaku UK news editor Laura Kate Dale noted out on Twitter, it’s very rare to see legendaries in the wild.
Here is my proof, 100 hours in a wild Zapdos. I already caught that one you know where to find. I guess that means more than one Zapdos in the world? pic.twitter.com/QIifWSmZlU
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) November 19, 2018
For a chance to see one of the legendary birds in the wild, you need to be riding on a flying Pokémon like Charizard. You also have to have a high catch chain going, so you must catch a lot of Pokémon in a row. A lure, which attracts rare Pokémon, must be active. Even then, the chances of you seeing a legendary bird are very low. We have yet to come across a legendary bird in our time with Let’s Go, but if you play long enough, perhaps you will get lucky.
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