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Pokemon Go Detective Pikachu Event: how to catch Detective Pikachu, plus quests, research and shiny Aipom

Detective Pikachu is almost here, and that means it's time for Pokemon Go to go all-in on a cross-over event - and there's even a chance to catch a Detective Pikachu of your very own.

As it turns out the movie is actually quite good, so it feels right to celebrate it in Go. The Pokemon Go Detective Pikachu event has a bunch of different bonuses including changes to Pokemon spawns, special raids, movie-themed research missions, double catch XP, a new shiny Pokemon and, as mentioned, a chance to catch a Detective Hat Pikachu yourself - though through very specific means.

The Detective Pikachu event runs until Friday, May 17 at 1pm Pacific Time. On this page, we're going to list how to catch a Detective Hat Pikachu, the special Field Research Missions, plus list all the other bonuses for this event - just keep scrolling.

How to catch Detective Pikachu in Pokemon Go

In the movie and the original Nintendo 3DS game, two things set Detective Pikachu apart. They're both pretty obvious. For one, Detective Pikachu can talk, which is all part of the unraveling detective mystery in the movie. But also, and perhaps more importantly, Detective Pikachu wears a hat. And we all know how much Pokemon Go developer Niantic loves to put hats on Pikachu.

If you want to catch a Detective Pikachu in Pokemon Go, you now can - but only for a limited time, and only as part of this special event. Furthermore, unlike previous themed hat-clad Pikachu, this one doesn't just randomly spawn in the wild - you'll have to put a little more work into it.

Catching a cute Pikachu in the Detective Hat is pretty simple, all told - the method is the same as the one used to catch rare and mischevious artist Pokemon Smeargle in Pokemon Go. Smeargle only shows up via the game's augmented reality camera - so you need to take photos of other Pokemon you've already caught. If you're lucky, it'll photobomb you, appearing suddenly in a photo you've taken. The same is true of Detective Pikachu.

Here's the instructions broken down:

  • Open the camera snapshot either via the camera in the items menu or pressing the camera button on a Pokemon profile page.
  • Take pictures of Pokemon. Take as many as you like. When you back up to review your photos, you have a chance of encountering Detective Pikachu or Smeargle inside one of your photos, photobombing in a funny pose. The game will make a big deal when this happens; just keep taking photos.
  • If they photobomb your photo, back out to the map - there, on the map, you'll now have a chance to tap and catch them just as with any other wild encounter.
  • There's a limit of one Detective Pikachu per day. There is no shiny form wearing the hat.
  • Er...
  • That's it.

Detective Pikachu Field Research & Rewards

Every month, there's an update to the game that adjusts the slate of Pokemon Go Field Research Missions and rewards. May is no different, and has a huge number of quests and rewards that top out as an ability to capture legendary and mythical Pokemon Latias, Latios, Ho-Oh and Lugia. But Detective Pikachu is a huge event - and that means it has its own slate of Detective Pikachu field research missions and rewards.

These quests and rewards are pretty cool, and they make use of Pokemon from the film. The quest names might confuse you if you haven't seen Detective Pikachu or the trailers, since the quests relate to Pokemon in the movie and ask you to catch a specific Pokemon by using slightly abstract descriptions. This is a little different to other missions. One major reward here is a guaranteed Ditto, which can help you to progress through Special Research Quests for Celebi and Mew. Without this quest, catching a Ditto is down to pure, blind luck, so this is a great time to tick those quest objectives off.

All of the Pokemon it asks you to catch have their spawn rate increased for the duration of this event, through May 17.

Field Research MissionTargetReward
Catch the Seed Pokemon that is seen walking in a riverCatch BulbasaurTreecko encounter
Catch the Fire-type Evolution of EeveeCatch FlareonArcanine encounter
Catch the Water-type Pokemon carried in a backpackCatch PsyduckMagikarp encounter
Catch 10 Jigglypuff, Aipom or SnubbullDitto encounter (disguised as Zubat)

Shiny Aipom and Ambipom, plus increased chance to catch Shiny Snubbull, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Psyduck, Cubone

One extra bonus of the Detective Pikachu event worth talking about is how one of the event bonuses gives you a better chance to catch some shiny Pokemon. Spawns are increased for all Pokemon that are featured in the film, and that includes Pokemon with a shiny form. While the shiny rate is not increased, more Snubbull or Psyduck out there also means more opportunities for one of them to be shiny.

There's also an all-new Shiny, Aipom, which means it and its evolution Ambipom now have Shiny Pokemon Go forms. Aipom is also one of the Pokemon with increased spawn rates.

Detective Pikachu event bonuses and changes

Aside from the two big bonuses above, there are some other rewards and changes to Pokemon Go being made for the duration of the Detective Pikachu event (which, to reiterate, is through May 17th at 1pm Pacific Time). Here's some of the other bonuses you can expect to enjoy:

  • Some Pokemon from the movie will show up in Pokemon Gym Raids. Check out our Pokemon Go Raid Bosses List to see who and their weaknesses.
  • Pokemon from the movie will show up more frequently in the wild. These include Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Psyduck, Cubone and Snubbull, all of whom have shiny variants to catch for filling in your Pokemon Go Shiny checklist, plus Jigglypuff and others.
  • Speaking of Shiny Pokemon, there's a new one - Aipom. Aipom has a big role in the movie, and its shiny form is now spawning with standard rarity (so it's very rare).
  • Catch Experience/XP is doubled for the duration of the event, meaning faster leveling up.
  • There are a selection of special Detective Pikachu items for sale in the store. This includes avatar items like hats and shirts.

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