Pikachu Guide: Everything You Need To Know About The Pokemon Franchise Mascot

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, or even how much you know about the Pokemon series, the first monster that usually comes to people’s minds is Pikachu. The loveable electric mouse is, without a doubt, the face of the franchise.

Pikachu is as known as Mickey Mouse around the world and if there happens to be a Pokemon-related event taking place, Pikachu’s face is sure to be all over it.  Despite how familiar Pokemon fans are with this adorable creature, they might not be as familiar with the finer details of Pikachu.

Which games feature Pikachu as a catchable monster? What are its most powerful skills? How do I evolve my Pikachu? These are questions that can be easily answered with more knowledge of this Pokemon. You came here to learn more about Pikachu, so let’s dive in and learn all about Ash Ketchum’s series-long companion and best friend.

What is Pikachu?

Pikachu

Pikachu is an electric-type mouse Pokemon. It is a Generation I Pokemon that has made an appearance in every form of media within the Pokemon franchise. Pikachu is yellow with red circles on its cheeks and black tips on its long ears. It also has brown stripes on its back. 

You can get a Pikachu either by catching one in the wild or evolving it from a Pichu with a high level of Friendship. In Pokemon Yellow for the Game Boy, Pikachu is the starter Pokemon.

According to the official Pokedex, two Pikachus will touch their tails together when they meet and exchange electricity, kind of like a super-charged handshake. Their red cheek sacks are also soft and stretchy if they have the ability to generate extremely powerful electricity.   

Pikachu is a smaller Pokemon, coming in at a height of 1 foot 4 inches and a weight of 13.2 pounds. The yellow mouse also has the Static ability, allowing it to have a chance of paralyzing the enemy with any attack that draws contact like Tackle or Body Slam. 

Pikachu Stats

Starting with Generation VI, Pikachu received a ten-point boost to its Defense and Special Defense, which also increased the ranges for those stats at Level 100. 

Generation I ~ V

stat Base Min (Lvl 100) Max (Lvl 100)
HP 35 180 274
attack 55 103 229
defense 30 58 174
Special Attack 50 94 218
Special Defense 40 76 196
speed 90 166 306

Generation VI ~ VIII

stat Base Min (Lvl 100) Max (Lvl 100)
HP 35 180 274
attack 55 103 229
defense 40 76 196
Special Attack 50 94 218
Special Defense 50 94 218
speed 90 166 306

Partner Pikachu

stat Base Min (Lvl 100) Max (Lvl 100)
HP 45 200 294
attack 80 148 284
defense 50 94 218
Special Attack 75 139 273
Special Defense 60 112 240
speed 120 220 372

Pikachu in the Games

pokemon adventures

Pokemon Red and Blue

Pikachu learns the following skills through leveling:

  • Growl (Level 1)
  • Thunder Shock (Level 1)
  • Thunderwave (Level 9)
  • Quick Attack (Level 16)
  • Swift (Level 26)
  • Agility (Level 33)
  • Thunder (Level 43)

Pikachu also has the ability to learn a wide range of skills from TMs:

  • TM 01: Mega Punch 
  • TM 05: Mega Kick
  • TM 06: Toxic
  • TM 08: Body Slam
  • TM 09: Take Down
  • TM 10: Double Edge
  • TM 16: Pay Day
  • TM 17: Submission
  • TM 19: Seismic Toss
  • TM 20: Rage
  • TM 24: Thunder Bolt
  • TM 25: Thunder
  • TM 31: Mimic
  • TM 32: Double Team
  • TM 33: Reflect
  • TM 34: Bide
  • TM 39: Swift
  • TM 40: Skull Bash
  • TM 44: Rest
  • TM 45: Thunder Wave
  • TM 50: Substitute

Pikachu can also learn Flash by using HM 05. 

Pikachu can be found in the original Game Boy games in one of two places: Viridian Forest or the Power Plant. Catching a Pikachu in Viridian Forest is a good idea to prepare for Misty’s water-type Pokemon Gym in Cerulean City.

Pokemon Yellow

While Pikachu makes an appearance in most, if not all, Pokemon games, it truly is the star of Pokemon Yellow, gracing the cover and joining the trainer as the starter Pokemon.  The trainer’s relationship with Pikachu in Pokemon Yellow is a key gameplay element, as the player is able to speak to Pikachu and gauge the Pokemon’s mood and Friendship level. 

The Pikachu featured in Yellow has the ability to learn a few more skills than in Red and Blue. It also learn its skills at different levels:

  • Growl (Level 1)
  • Thunder Shock (Level 1)
  • Tail Whip (Level 6)
  • Thunderwave (Level 8)
  • Quick Attack (Level 11)
  • Double Team (Level 15)
  • Slam (Level 20)
  • Thunderbolt (Level 26)
  • Agility (Level 33)
  • Thunder (Level 41)
  • Light Screen (Level 50)

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! It is actually a remake of Pokemon Yellow, aimed at accessibility for newer fans and younger audiences.

In this game, instead of Pikachu following behind you, it sits on your shoulder as you travel around the world map. Pikachu will also wag its tail if it happens to be near a hidden item. This version of Pikachu is known as Partner Pikachu.

Pikachu’s moveset differs slightly in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! from its predecessors in older games, mostly in the levels at which skills are learned:

  • Growl (Level 1)
  • Thunder Shock (Level 1)
  • Tail Whip (Level 3)
  • Quick Attack (Level 6)
  • Double Kick (Level 9)
  • Double Team (Level 12)
  • Thunder Wave (Level 15)
  • Light Screen (Level 18)
  • Thunderbolt (Level 21)
  • Slam (Level 24)
  • Agility (Level 27)
  • Thunder (Level 30)

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Trainers in Pokemon Sword and Shield have access to the Dynamax and Gigantamax forms of Pikachu. In addition to this, Pikachu has access to a wider range of skills from leveling up:

  • Charm (Level 1)
  • Growl (Level 1)
  • Nasty Plot (Level 1)
  • Nuzzle (Level 1)
  • Play Nice (Level 1)
  • Quick Attack (Level 1)
  • Sweet Kiss (Level 1)
  • Tail Whip (Level 1)
  • Thunder Shock (Level 1)
  • Thunder Wave (Level 4)
  • Double Team (Level 8)
  • Electro Ball (Level 12)
  • Feint (Level 16)
  • Spark (Level 20)
  • Agility (Level 24)
  • Slam (Level 28)
  • Discharge (Level 32)
  • Thunderbolt (Level 36)
  • Light Screen (Level 40)
  • Thunder (Level 44)

Pikachu can also learn Rising Voltage through a move tutor. 

Pokemon Go

The Pikachu in Pokemon Go is similar to its handheld and console counterparts. It’s weak against Ground-type attacks, resistant to Electric, Steel, and Flying attacks, and receives a boost in rainy weather.

Its best skills are Quick Attack and Wild Charge. Pikachu comes with many different costumes in Pokemon Go, including Santa hat and Ash Ketchum’s signature cap.

Pikachu in the Anime and Movies

pikachu in movie

Indigo League

The Indigo League portion of the anime is the beginning of a long, seemingly never-ending journey for Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu.

The relationship between the two is one of the most important aspects for these episodes of the anime as Ash grows from novice trainer to Indigo League participant and Pikachu grows stronger with every battle.

Pikachu had many iconic battles during this arc, including battles against Brock’s Geodude and Onix, Lieutenant Surge’s Raichu and Richie’s own Pikachu, Sparky.

XY

The XY portion of the anime series features some great battles. Among those is Ash’s showdown with Alain in the Kalos League finals. In this six-on-six battle, Alain begins with his Tyranitar and Ash sends out Pikachu. We are treated to some of Pikachu’s best moves: Iron Tail and Electro Ball.  

Journeys

More recently in the Pokemon Journeys arc of the anime, we were able to get some more insight into Ash’s Pikachu’s backstory.

We learn from the first episode of the series that it was cared for as a Pichu by a Khangastan after falling off a cliff. It eventually evolves into Pikachu and winds up in Professor Oak’s lab, where it meets Ash in the very first episode of the anime.

Later on in Journeys, we are treated to Ash’s Pikachu’s first ever form change. In episode 1093, “The Climb to Be the Very Best!,” Pikachu changes into its Gigantamax form. While it moves around a bit awkwardly at first because of the size, Gigantamax Pikachu is eventually able to defeat Gigantamax Drednaw.  

The Movies

pokemon the first movie

Pokemon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back

This movie features some of the most powerful scenes of the entire Pokemon anime, TV show or movie. For example, Ash’s Pikachu refuses to fight, taking a literal beating from his clone.Ash is also turned into stone in this movie and is only restored by the tears of Pikachu, his best friend. 

Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You!

In what essentially serves as a rewind for the Pokemon series as whole, I Choose You focuses on the relationship between Ash and Pikachu from the very beginning.

In this feel-good adventure, the duo goes looking for the legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh and Pikachu even ends up in a brief battle with it. This movie can be viewed on Netflix. 

Detective Pikachu

In this live action movie, Pikachu is played by Ryan Reynolds. This movie is much different than any of the anime Pokemon movies.

The main character, Tim, searches for his missing father with the assistance of a talking Pikachu that only he can understand. Despite the strange premise (or perhaps because of it), Detective Pikachu set box office records for a video game film at the time and did well with critics.

When Does Pikachu Evolve?

Pikachu Evolve

Evolving Pikachu is fairly easy compared to other Pokemon. There is no set level at which it evolves. If you want to evolve your Pikachu, simply use the Thunder Stone on it.

Using a Thunder Stone outside the Alola Region will evolve it into a normal Raichu, while conversely using a Thunder Stone inside the Alola Region will produce an Alolan Raichu with a double type of Electric/Psychic. It is important to note that in Pokemon Yellow, your companion Pikachu will refuse to evolve if you try to use the Thunder Stone on it.

You can trade this Pikachu to another game (Red or Blue) and evolve it with a Thunder Stone there. After that, you can trade it back to your version of Yellow. By doing this, Pikachu (now Raichu) will no longer follow behind your character sprite.

Pikachu Strengths

As a pure Electric-type Pokemon, Pikachu is resistant to Flying, Steel, and other Electric attacks. Pikachu’s own Electric attacks are super effective against Flying and Water types.

Pikachu Weaknesses

Pikachu is particularly susceptible to Ground-type Pokemon and Ground-type attacks. It will receive double damage from any Ground-type attack. Pikachu’s Electric-type attacks won’t affect Ground-type Pokemon at all. Given that Ground is the only major weakness facing Pikachu, it is defensively a solid choice for your team. 

Pikachu Best Moveset

There are a few candidates for best moveset for Pikachu in the latest Pokemon game, Sword & Shield. Going with a Gigantamax Pikachu that can use G-Max Volt Crash is a good start. Shane Foley of Sportskeeda suggests this moveset:

  • thunderbolt
  • Rising Voltage
  • surf
  • nasty plot

According to Shane Foley of Sportskeeda, “A physical set is viable with Volt Tackle, but that requires breeding Pikachu with a Light Ball, which might take a while. This is a good moveset that can work on any Pikachu right away, even though it really works better with the Light Ball.”

Another moveset called Physical #1: All Out, suggested by a user on the Pokemon Database , is packed with moves that involve contact to make the most out of the paralyzing capabilities of the Static ability:

  • Volt Tackle
  • Iron Tail
  • Brick Break
  • Dig

This is an interesting moveset to be sure, as it allows Pikachu to do better against Ice, Rock, and Fairy-types (Iron Tail) than it normally would.

Be careful when using Dig – any Pokemon that knows Earthquake can do massive damage to an Electric-type like Pikachu, not to mention the double damage done for being underground. 

Top 10 Biggest Victories of Ash’s Pikachu

FAQs

Question: How can I get Gigantamax Pikachu?

Answer: Getting a Gigantamax Pikachu in Pokemon Sword & Shield involves having a Nintendo Switch with save data from Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!. You don’t have to reach a certain point in Let’s Go, Pikachu! and it doesn’t matter which profile has the save data.
In Sword & Shield, speak to the NPCs in the back left corner of the Wild Area Train Station at the Meetup Spot. You’ll receive a Pikachu with perfect individual values ​​​​(IVs) and the Gigantamax Factor that you can add to your party immediately.

Question: When should I evolve Pikachu into Raichu?

Answer: The short answer would be whenever your Pikachu has learned the skills that you want it to know. If you aren’t sure about which skills those are, the good rule of thumb is to wait until your Pikachu learns Thunderbolt, the powerful Electric-type move with 100 accuracy. 

Question: What is Pikachu’s best move?

Answer: According to Level Skip, Pikachu’s best move is Volt Tackle. This is for a few reasons. Volt Tackle is powerful (it has a 120 rating) and has full accuracy.
It’s also an Electric-type attack, so the Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB) is in full effect when you use it. It’s important to note that this attack does inflict recoil damage to Pikachu, but it also has a 10% chance of paralyzing the enemy Pokemon. 
Volt Tackle can also be upgraded to Catastropika if your Pikachu holds Pikazium Z. This attack preserves the perfect accuracy of Volt Tackle while upping the damage to a 210 rating.

Question: How did Ash catch his Pikachu in the anime?

Answer: Ash didn’t actually catch his Pikachu in the anime. Pikachu was given to him as his starter Pokemon by Professor Oak in the first episode of the original anime. Their relationship was rocky at the start, but they soon became inseparable. 

Question: What’s the most valuable Pikachu Pokemon card?

Answer: The most valuable Pikachu card in the Pokemon Trading Card Game is a Japanese card known as Pikachu Illustrator.
According to The Gamer, there were only 20 to 39 copies made of the card, but now there are only 9 remaining. It’s only increased in value as time has gone on, selling for an astronomical $230,000 in 2020. 

Question: Who is Pikachu’s voice actor?

Answer: Pikachu is voiced by Ikue Ohtani, the Japanese voice actress. Ohtani has also voiced other characters and Pokemon in the series. In the English version of the Pokemon anime, Pikachu was occasionally voiced by Rachel Lillis.

Question: What HMs can Pikachu learn?

Answer: This depends on the generation of Pokemon game you are playing. For example, in Generation I, Pikachu can only learn Flash. Below is a list of Pokemon Generations and the HMs that Pikachu can learn:
Generation I: Flash (HM 05)
Generation II: Strength (HM 04), Flash (HM 05)
Generation III: Strength (HM 04), Flash (HM 05), Rock Smash (HM 06)
Generation IV: Strength (HM 04), Rock Smash (HM 06)
Generation V: Strength (HM 04)
Generation VI: Strength (HM 04)

Question: Where can I watch old episodes of the Pokemon anime?

Answer: If you’re feeling nostalgic, the entire first season of Pokemon (the Indigo League) is available for viewing on Netflix. Netflix is ​​also the home of Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! and Pokemon Journeys TV series.

Sources

Pokemon Database

Pokemon Database – What is a good moveset for Pikachu?

Bulbagarden/Bulbapedia – Ash’s Pikachu

Bulbagarden/Bulbapedia – Ikue Ohtani

The Gamer – Pokemon: The 12 Most Valuable Pikachu Cards (& 12 That Aren’t Worth Much)

Sportskeeda – The Best Moveset for Pikachu in Pokemon Sword and Shield

LevelSkip – Top 10 Attacks to Teach Your Pikachu in Pokemon

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