Latest posts by Emily Medlock, Resident Pokémon Go Expert (see all)

A panda Pokémon guide can clarify some confusion regarding our favorite bamboo-eating pals. These Pokémon are in my top favorites list primarily because Pandas are one of my favorite animals. I remember when X and Y came out. I received Pokémon X as a gift and got more into it than I had any game since Pokémon Platinum. I thoroughly enjoyed the game – and the panda Pokémon was one of my favorites. 

Who Are the Panda Pokémon?

There are only two canon panda Pokémon – Pancham and Pangoro. Pancham evolves into Pangoro. The two debuted in X and Y – granting wishes to all of the panda-lovers out there.

While Pangoro isn’t the best fighter in any game, as long as he is similar in level and IVs to his opponents, he can fight with them without dying too fast. However, I wouldn’t rely on him as your trump card. 

Both of these Pokémon are available in the following base games (available in side games too as a guest):


Image from Wiki Fandom
  • Number – 674
  • Type – Fighting
  • Base Catch Rate – 39.3%
  • Abilities – Iron Fist, Mold Breaker, Scrappy

Pancham is a small Pokémon who averages 2ft tall. Unlike other Pokémon with props, there is no practical use for Pancham’s leaf. He is attached to it and wants to look cool. However, Pancham has a massive weakness for getting head pats – his favorite form of affection. In short, Pancham loves to act tough, but he’s a softie who can’t resist human affection. 


Image from Wiki Fandom
  • Number – 675
  • Type – Fighting/Dark
  • Base Catch Rate – 15.7%
  • Abilities – Iron Fist, Mold Breaker, Scrappy

To get Pangoro – in most games – you have to evolve Pancham at level 32 while you have a Dark-type Pokémon in your party. Whenever he evolves, the cute little bear turns into a seven-foot-tall beast. He keeps the leaf and now uses it to sense the movements of others. Although he is intimidating, Pangoro is a swell friend who is the first to stand up against bullying. The only way to train a Pangoro is to fight one yourself.

Panda Pokémon in the Anime

Pancham and Pangoro both appear in the anime. Serena’s Pancham is by far the most famous, but there have been a few wild Pokémon that you may not be ab,e to keep off of your mind. 

The Bamboozling Forest! – XY011

The Bamboozling Forest Episode
Image from Wiki Fandom

Two Pancham are seen spying on Ash and his friends first thing in The Bamboozling Forest. Also watching from the bushes is Team Rocket, who identifies Pancham with James’ Pokedex. The entire episode follows the two Pancham and their Pangoro leader. In the end, Ash apologizes for intruding upon them and leading Team Rocket to their territory. They wave goodbye and happily leave the wild Pokémon.

Heroes – Friends and Faux Alike! – XY029

Pancham appears in the episode with a little boy playing in the park. He meets Team Rocket, who are disguised as Ash, Bonnie, and Serena. When “Pikachu” – Inkay – uses Psybeam on Pancham, the boy calls Officer Jenny.

This gets Ash and the gang caught up in trouble, but we don’t see Pancham again after he is taken down by Inkay.

Dreaming a Performer’s Dream! – XY047

Dreaming a Performer's Dream Episode
Image from Wiki Fandom

This episode revolves around Pancham. The Pancham crashes a performance on stage at Lagoon Town’s Pokémon Showcase. The Pancham causes a bit of trouble, crashing the party and taunting the other participants. After a wild goose chase, Serena catches Pancham as she is impressed with his performance. Pancham fights Fennekin willingly and then agrees to become one of Serena’s Pokémon.

So You’re Having a Bad Day! – XY071

So You're Having a Bad Day
Image from Wiki Fandom

The episode introduces Team Rocket’s ruse to capture Pancham and Chespin early on. As they are released from Team Rocket’s net, three wild Pangoro appear – angered that their dinner was interrupted.

When the gang is separated due to the attack of the Pangoro, Ash ends up with Serena’s Pancham by his side. Whenever they run into the Pangoro again, Pancham is the one to save the day by talking them down.

Dream a Little Dream From Me! – XY098

In this unique episode, the gang all has dreams after making wishes while watching a meteor shower. In the dream, Pancham evolves into Pangoro after getting angered when Chespin eats some of his food.

Pangoro then teams up with the evolved Chespin as they fight off a flame monster. But before the battle ends, the gang wakes up, and the dream comes to an end.

Guest Appearances

Solitary and Menacing Guest Appearance
Image from Wiki Fandom
  • Diancie – Princess of the Diamond Domain – Pancham and Pangoro get stuck in a log. After being freed, they help Diancie fight off Ariados.
  • Alola to New Adventure! – Pancham appears in a small cameo as a trainer’s Pokémon
  • I Choose Paradise! – they appear as trainers’ Pokémon at the Pokémon Paradise Resort.
  • A Recipe for Success! – A Pancham appears as one of the customers at Oranguru’s place.
  • Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin! – Pangoro’s first appearance
  • A Conspiracy to Conquer! – one of the Pokémon under mind-control by Malamar
  • Rotom’s Wish! – where it was defeated by Mantle’s Krookodile.
  • A Mission of Ultra Urgency! – Pangoro appears in a video, battling a Buzzwole
  • Dewpider Ascending! – a Pangoro is sleeping while Dewpider snuck by
  • A Young Royal Flame Ignites! – Pangoro appears in a small cameo as a trainer’s Pokémon
  • Turning the Other Mask! – Pangoro appears in a small cameo as a trainer’s Pokémon
  • Solitary and Menacing! – Pangoro appears in a fantasy with trainer Bea
  • Rocking Clawmark Hill! – Pangoro challenges a Magmar to battle

Panda Pokémon in the Games

Image from Wiki Fandom

Pancham and Pangoro make their first appearance in X and Y. They don’t appear in Brilliant Diamond /Shining Pearl or Legends: Arceus. There is no news as to whether they will be available in future games.

X and Y

  • Pancham Location – Route 5, Friend Safari (Fighting)
  • Pangoro Location – Evolve Pancham

In X and Y, Pancham can be found on Route 5 or via Fighting the Friend Safari. All of his signature moves are Fighting-type, though he does learn Dark and Normal moves by leveling up.

To evolve Pancham, you have to get Pancham to level 32. Then you level him while you have a Dark-type Pokemon in your party. Don’t forget to keep one there, and it will happen passively as he levels. 

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

  • Pancham Location – Trade, Event
  • Pangoro Location – Trade

You can’t get Pancham in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire unless you trade from X/Y or another game. His abilities when you do receive him are the same as they are in X and Y.

There are software and Facebook groups you can join to find someone to trade you. However, if you have the other games, then you can trade yourself. That’s what I always do!

Sun and Moon (Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon)

  • Pancham Location – Routes 10, 11, and 17
  • Pangoro Location – Routes 10, 11, and 17 (SOS Battle)

In Sun and Moon, Pangoro is also available to catch in the wild. Although you can also evolve Pancham, you can make things easier by catching him on the same routes as you do Pancham.

This is the only game – both Ultra Sun and Moon and the original – in which you can catch Pangoro in the wild the same way that you catch Pancham. However, the rate is much lower. 

Sword and Shield

  • Pancham Location – Route 3, Rolling Fields, West Lake Axewell, East Lake Axewell
  • Dusty Bowl, North Lake Miloch (Max Raid Battle)
  • Pangoro Location – Lake of Outrage, Dusty Bowl, Bridge Field, Giant’s Mirror, North Lake Miloch, Stony Wilderness, West Lake Axewell (Max Raid Battle)

Getting Pancham is easy in Sword and Shield. You visit Route 3 and walk in the grass. Getting a good Pangoro involves waiting for the right weather or farming hard to avoid low levels.

Even if you do find a low-level one, count yourself lucky. The highest spawn rate I know of is 20%. You’re better off evolving Pancham as he is easier to catch than Pangoro.

Pokémon GO

  • Pancham Location – 12km Eggs, Events
  • Pangoro Location – Evolve Pancham

Although both are available via season Raids and events, the only way to get Pancham any time is to hatch 12km eggs. To get Pangoro, you have to evolve Pancham with 50 candies after catching 32 Dark-type Pokémon.

I am still working on this challenge because I have trouble finding Dark Pokémon. But at least I have Pancham so that it will happen eventually. Perhaps during the Halloween event, I can catch up.

My Favorite Fake Panda Pokémon

Sometimes, fans do such a good job at being fans that they deserve all of our recognition. These are my favorite fake Pokémon that I think should be real Pokémon. Listen up, Nintendo.

Green Giant – Pandoo, Herbear, and Ursorest

Image from DeviantArt

This inevitably Grass-type Pokémon is fierce and adorable. I love the three evolution set – each with a unique look. The baby panda can barely open his eyes, and his fierceness grows from there. If I had to choose one faux Pokémon to exist, I’d choose this set. The artist envisioned them as a starter set, with Pandoo being the Grass starter for his region. This is genius.

Bamboo Fighter – Kaokung

Image from DeviantArt

This Fighting and Grass-type is ready to Cross Chop anyone who crosses its path. There’s something special about him with his stoic eyes and his large bamboo weapon. Is fighting with a weapon fair? If every Pokémon of its kind has the weapon, then it’s part of his identity, and thus, it’s fair. Take Farfetch’d, for instance.

Red Panda God – Volpan

Image from Fur Affinity

This red panda puts black and white pandas to shame. This is my favorite panda Pokémon I’ve seen with a receptacle for a tail and electrically-charged attacks; he means trouble.

I’m a sucker for red pandas anyway, but I believe this is the most well-done of all of the pandas. While many faux Pokémon are wonderful concepts, this is executed so well that I thought it was a teaser for the next gen.

Peace Out Panda – Laurelman

Image from DeviantArt

This is a simple concept but would be a great addition to the anime. I can see the personality in the pure illustrations, and I love it. His name may be Laurelman, but I shall call him Yannyman. While some details are obvious choices, others – such as the different colored ears – are artistic. Add the rice hat, and I’m sold on this set.


Question: What does Shiny Pancham Look Like?

Answer: Shiny Pancham is brown and white. The part that was black is now brown in shiny Pancham. The effect is similar to the special brown bear with the white scarf or to the Qinling panda.

Question: How Many Panda Pokémon Are There?

Answer: There are two panda Pokémon. Pancham evolves into Pangoro. These two were introduced in X and Y and have appeared in nearly every game since then. The world loves pandas.

Question: Why Does Pancham Have a Leaf?

Answer: Pancham has a leaf because he loves to perform. It doesn’t have a practical use until he evolves and can use it to sense other beings nearby. But that doesn’t mean Pangoro doesn’t want to look cool too. 

Question: Is Pangoro Good in Pokémon?

Answer: Pangoro is a strong Fighting-type Pokémon. He isn’t meta in any of the games, but he can stand his own given he is equal level to – or higher than – his opponents.

Question: What is the Koala Pokémon?

Answer: Komala. If you get Pancham and Komala mixed up, don’t worry; it’s common. Komala is a grey koala Pokémon similar in size to Pancham. They are both adorable “bears.” 

The Future of Panda Pokémon

Pancham Duo
Image from Wiki Fandom

Pandas have a future in Pokémon. Since there have only been two panda Pokémon thus far, I can see more pandas in the future. There may be plenty of abstract Pokémon – and that’s cool – but people love to see Pokémon intertwined with what’s real.

Teasers for new Pokémon games are few and far between. Most Pokémon aren’t revealed until the game’s release when the entire Pokedex is available to the public online. Until then, when we see if new pandas will exist, we will enjoy Pancham and Pangoro. 

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