Volbeat Pokemon Guide: The Male Firefly

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

A Volbeat Pokémon guide is what I needed when I got Volbeat and Illumise mixed up. When I first saw them, I thought they were different genders of the same Pokémon.

In a way, they are similar to Nidoqueen and Nidoking. What got me thinking about Volbeat lately is a song. I’ve had the Volbeat song “Lola Montez” stuck in my head all week. Perhaps writing about the Pokémon that shares a name with the band will release me.

The Quick Buzz on Volbeat

Volbeat is the 313th Pokémon. He is an all-male Bug-type Pokémon that was introduced in Ruby and Sapphire and has appeared in nearly every game since then. In Pokémon GO, Volbeat can only be found in Europe, Asia, and Australia unless during an event.

Volbeat doesn’t evolve, and in most games, his special is Illuminate. His tail glows like a lightning bug as he uses it to draw pictures in the sky to attract his female counterpart Illumise.

Who is Volbeat from Pokémon?

  • No. – 313
  • Type – Bug
  • Species – Firefly
  • Average Height – 2’04”
  • Average Weight – 39lbs
  • Abilities (in base games) – Illuminate, Swarm, and Prankster
  • Catch Rate – 29.5%

Volbeat is a Bug Pokémon that made its debut in Generation III. The Pokémon also appeared in a few episodes of the anime, including Love at First Flight, where the Volbeat and Illumise show off their light and dance shows. The name Volbeat is likely a merging of two words. The first word is “volt,” and the second word is “beat.” The shiny Volbeat has coloring similar to Illumise. It is purple and blue rather than grey and red.

Volbeat in Each Pokémon Game

Volbeat in Pokemon

Volbeat appears in most Pokémon games from Generation III on. His description is slightly different in each game – sometimes even between two games in the same set – and his location is different in each set of games.

Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

Description: With arrival of night, Volbeat emits light from its tail, communicating with others by adjusting the intensity – and flashing – of its light. The Pokémon is attracted by the sweet aroma of Illumise.

In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Volbeat is located on Route 117. and nowhere else. There’s an 18% chance that Volbeat will spawn on Route 117 in Sapphire, but only a 1% chance of spawning in Ruby and Emerald. The Volbeat is generally level 13 or 14.

Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Official Description: It communicates with others by lighting up its rear at night. It loves Illumise’s sweet aroma.

In the first Gen 4 games, Volbeat resides on Route 229. Depending on the game, Volbeat has a 5% to 10% chance of appearing. He is half as likely to appear in Diamond than in the other games.

HeartGold and SoulSilver

Description: Volbeat emits light from its tail to communicate with others. It loves the sweet aroma Illumise gives off.

You can catch Volbeat during Thursday’s Bug-Catching Contest at the National Park or in the Safari Zone’s Mountain with 10 Plains points. There’s only a 10% chance he will appear in the grass at the Park, and he will be between levels 26 and 36.

Black and White (1 and 2)

Official Description: It communicates with others by lighting up its rear at night. It loves Illumise’s sweet aroma.

In White (and White 2), you must breed an Illumise and hatch their egg to have a chance at Volbeat. But in Black (and Black 2), you can visit Route 3 and check the Swarm grass for a 40% chance of running into Volbeat.

X and Y

X Description: It communicates with others by lighting up its rear at night. It loves Illumise’s sweet aroma.

Y Description: Volbeat lives around clean ponds. At night, its bottom lights up, and it converses with others by flashing its light.

X and Y give a lot of opportunities to catch Volbeat (level 30.) Visit Route 7 for a 10% chance of encountering a Volbeat (level 13.) Or check out the Bug Friend Safari for a 25% chance. Finally, the Berry fields’ Blue Berry Tree will give you a 100% chance of encountering Volbeat (level 14-15.)

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

Omega Ruby Description: With the arrival of night, Volbeat emits light from its tail, communicating with others by adjusting the intensity – and flashing – of its light. The Pokémon is attracted by the sweet aroma of Illumise.

Alpha Sapphire Description: Volbeat’s tail glows like a lightbulb. With other Volbeat, the Pokémon uses its tail to draw geometric shapes in the night sky. Volbeat loves the sweet aroma given off by Illumise.

As in the original games, Volbeat is back at Route 117 (easy to remember if you’re a Halo fan.) This time, though, Volbeat has a 4% chance of appearing in Omega Ruby and a 20% chance in Omegay Sapphire.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Official Description: It communicates with others by lighting up its rear at night. It loves Illumise’s sweet aroma.

In these games, Volbeat is originally found on Route 229. But after you get the National Pokédex, you can find him in the Grand Underground. He appears in the Grassland Caves, Sunlit Cavern, Dazzling Caves, and Stargleam Cavern.

Pokémon GO

Volbeat Pokémon GO

Official Description:  With the arrival of night, Volbeat emits light from its tail, communicating with others by adjusting the intensity – and flashing – of its light. The Pokémon is attracted by the sweet aroma of Illumise.

In Pokémon GO, Volbeat is only available in Europe, Asia, and Australia. You can get your own otherwise by having friends on those continents and having them send you gifts every day. Once you get eggs from them, remember which ones they are so you can incubate them. Hopefully, the egg will contain a Volbeat. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for an event to get Volbeat. 

Games Volbeat Isn’t Found in the Wild

  • FireRed (Trade)
  • LeafGreen (Trade)
  • XD (Trade)
  • Colosseum (Trade)
  • Let’s Go Pikachu (Unobtainable)
  • Let’s Go Eevee (Unobtainable)
  • Sword (Unobtainable)
  • Shield (Unobtainable)
  • Legends: Arceus (Unobtainable)
  • Sun (Pokémon Bank)
  • Moon (Pokémon Bank)
  • Ultra Sun (Pokémon Bank)
  • Ultra Moon (Pokémon Bank)

Volbeat Stat Changes

Between Generation IV and Generation V, Volbeat gets a stat change. I’m not sure why this happened, but it likely had to do with balancing the Pokémon with the new Pokémon that were added.

In Gen II and IV, Volbeat had 400 stat total. In Gen V and beyond, the stat total increased to 430. His HP, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stayed the same. But his Defense increased by 20 points, and his Special Defense increased by ten.

Pokémon of the Same Strength (400 Stat Total)

  • Ariados
  • Charjabug
  • Cosmoem
  • Delcatty
  • Illumise
  • Kadabra
  • Roselia
  • Wailmer

Pokémon of the Same Strength (430 Stat Total)

  • Gligar
  • Illumise
  • Lairon
  • Magcargo
  • Pelipper
  • Pikachu
  • Quagsire
  • Qwilfish
  • Sneasel
  • Swellow

Volbeat’s Special Moves

Volbeat's Special Moves

Volbeat has three abilities that it can unlock – depending on the version – as it levels. Other moves unlock too, but these three are special Bug-type moves that not many can learn.

Struggle Bug

Struggle Bug does damage to all adjacent opponents and lowers their Special Attack by one stage. The damage is medium as the primary purpose is to do AoE and lower the Sp. Att. stat.

Bug Buzz

Bug Buzz does damage to the target and has a 10% chance of lowering the target’s Special Defense by one stage. The base power is significant, but in newer games, it has been nerfed.


Infestation does damage equal to 12.5% of the target’s maximum HP each turn. This happens for four to five turns or until the target has fainted. The target is also incapable of escaping or switching out.

Volbeat’s Special Abilities

These passive abilities are always active. They aren’t moves learned by TM but innate abilities that Volbeat has. Not all Volbeat will have a Hidden Ability, so many players breed them with Ditto or others in order to unlock it.


Illuminate doesn’t matter in battle. But outside of battle, Illuminate will increase the wild Pokémon encounter rate by 100% as long as the Pokémon with Illuminate is in the first spot in the party.


When a Pokémon that has Swarm uses a Bug-type move, the power is increased by 50% if the Pokémon has 33% or less health. So if your Volbeat has Swarm, his special moves can do significantly more damage.

Prankster – Hidden Ability

Prankster increases the priority of status moves by one. The range for priorities is -7 to +5 – with most moves having a priority of 0 – so the one point can change when something triggers and what it overrides.

Volbeat in the Anime

volbeat pokemon in anime

Volbeat appears in five episodes of the Pokémon anime. If you haven’t watched episodes 318 through 366, then beware that there are spoilers head regarding these episodes. He is mentioned in a couple of other episodes but does not appear. 

Love At First Flight! – Episode 318

In Love At First Flight! Ash and his friends are on their way to Fallarbor Town. They stop by Lake May and spot an Illumise and some Volbeat practicing their dance for the May Festival. The Volbeat Trainer, Romeo, clumsily falls into the water along with the Volbeat, causing Ash and Brock to send out Water Pokémon to save them. 

Romeo soon admits that he is in love with the Illumise Trainer, Juliet. May feels bad for Romeo and helps him practice. During this time, Meowth disguises himself as a Volbeat to lure in Illumise. 

Whenever Team Rocket captures the Illumise and others, Volbeat uses his abilities to free them and send Team Rocket blasting off again. After the exciting experience, Romeo confesses his love for Juliet, which ends in an engagement. 

That’s Just Swellow – Episode 356

In That’s Just Swellow, the gang is in Crossgate Town, where they meet a Trainer named Shane and his Swablu. Shane is training for a PokéRinger competition, a contest where flying Pokémon battle in the sky in a Quidditch-type game.

Ash and May sign up with Taillow and Beautifly. We soon find out that James enters the contest because he was trained as a child by a champion PokéRinger. In the episode, one of the previous winners – who Ash defeats – uses a Volbeat. 

The entire episode follows the game, which ends in Ash becoming a champion. However, Volbeat doesn’t have a huge appearance after he is defeated by Ash in the early stages of the game.

Minor Appearances

  • A Double Dilemma – Episode 344 – living in North Petalburg
  • Pokéblock, Stock & Berry! – Episode 366 – small cameo
  • Lessons in Lilycove! – Episode 367 – competed in the Lilycove City Contest.

Volbeat’s Special Place

Each Pokémon has a special place in the world, in my opinion. Volbeat is the light of the Pokémon world. I’ve always been fascinated with lightning bugs as I grew up in an area where they overtook the outdoors during the summer.

There’s something so peaceful and magical about them. Volbeat is the lightning bug of the Pokémon world. He’s a social creature that lights up the world for others and is known to have a mischievous streak considering he has the Prankster ability.

That said, Volbeat and Illumise both spread joy wherever they go. I’m glad that Pokémon creators took one of my favorite insects and made Pokémon inspired by them. Cue Owl City’s “Firefly.”

Volbeat Pokemon: FAQs

Question: How Do You Evolve Volbeat?

Answer: Volbeat cannot evolve, and it doesn’t evolve from any other Pokémon. It is a standalone Pokémon. I don’t expect it to get any evolution in the future either, as others have.

Question: Why Aren’t There Any Female Volbeat?

Answer: I’m not sure what the concept behind having all Volbeat male and all Illumise female is. Gender-locked Pokémon are nothing new, but it is interesting to see that the two can breed together.

Question: Is Volbeat Good?

Answer: Volbeat is good in his class. However, he isn’t a Pokémon that you want to take to the competitive field. He’s a much better Pokémon to keep at home and admire than fight with competitively.

Question: Does Volbeat Have a Collar?

Answer: You may have noticed that Volbeat has a slight resemblance to Danny from Grease. This is because his look is based on the greasers – like Danny Zuko – from the 1950s.

Question: Does Volbeat Breed with Illumise?

Answer: Volbeat can breed with Illumise or Ditto. Special abilities can be gained in different ways, depending on the game. But the same rules follow for Volbeat as anyone else, except that the Illumise is treated like the female Volbeat.

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