Trying to Complete the Pokédex in Quarantine

Gotta catch ’em all (indoors)

Seeing as this quarantine is going to last a long while, I thought to myself, how was I going to pass the time? I wanted to give myself a challenge that will keep me sane in these troubling times, so I tasked myself with the daunting challenge of completing my Pokédex.

Now is about the time I would start digging up all my old Pokémon cartridges and consoles and go through the tedious effort of gathering them together onto one game, but with Pokémon Home, I can now see my entire collecting in one place using just my phone. In fact, I can even trade online using the GTS (Global Trade System) option, and with Home to soon be compatible with Pokémon Go, I can now catch and trade without the use of any mainline series Pokémon game. So throw away your consoles, put your running shoes on and join me in my adventure to catch ‘em all while in quarantine using only my phone!

Day 1

Here in the UK we are limited to leaving the house once per day, and boy do I make the most of it. During my daily outing, I jog, I make sure to appreciate the sun that’s now coming out, breathe in some fresh air, and now, I play Pokémon Go as well. I was one of those Pokémon Go folks who played the game during its initial release but soon fell out of the habit of it… until now.

Knowing what Pokémon I have across Go and Home is the hard part. In order to keep track of them, I decided I was going to need the aid of lists. As the two apps are not working in tandem yet, I wrote down my entire collection as of date. This made me unable to spell any real life word from the English language for a few hours, but in return, making these lists now allows me to see which Pokémon I’m missing in a simple manner, which makes the hunt more streamlined.

Armed with my lists, I’m now ready to take on the Pokédex! Before I go on my precious walk of the day, I make sure I’ve got some Pokémon up for trade on the GTS, and then I’m off! Accompanying playlists include classic hits such as ‘Viridian City’ & ‘I Play Pokémon Go Everyday’. As it’s near impossible to keep track of the hundreds of creatures I don’t have yet, taking screenshots of the “nearby” section helps a lot. After a day of catching Pokémon, I’ve decided Pokerus is the only virus I want, and decide to head home. Cross checking these screenshots with my lists proves really useful at first, as I now know which ones I should prioritize during tomorrow’s expedition.

Day 2

Lucky for me, I’ve always kept all my Pokémon from mainline series titles on a cloud service, whether that was Pokémon Bank or now with the Home app. So admittedly (excluding the ones from Pokémon Go) I do have a 460 Pokémon head start in catching 890, the current updated number, excluding gigantamax, mega evolutions, and any other alternate forms.

My Pokémon Go storage is rather scarce, so today’s plan is not only to catch a few new ones, but to take down a few gyms as well in order to earn coins and hopefully buy more storage room. scarce. This is the first hiccup I’ve bumped into so far, and in times like this I like to remember all the hard work and struggles Ash Ketchum went through in order to become 16th place in the Pokémon League as inspiration.

Day 3

As well as catching Pokémon on Go, I quickly realize trading through the Home app is really going to help me in my mission to catch ‘em all. The process is simple enough: You offer a Pokémon up to the GTS and select the one you would like to receive in return. You can have up to 3 Pokémon up for trade at any given time, and also search through offers on the GTS from other trainers around the world, but good luck finding any offer that’s not a level 1 Caterpie for a Rayquaza. My advice on how to do this quickly and effectively is to never have a Pokémon stay on the GTS for more than a few days, if people aren’t biting on the offer before then, it’s time to change it!

Completing the Pokédex is now seeming more like a Poké Mile than a Pokémon Dash.

With my most recent trade, which was my Alakazam for another trainer’s Dragonair (thanks, Aidan!) I have now completed the Kanto Pokédex. In other news, my Snorlax currently looms over a gym which will soon aid me to expanding my storage. For the next trip, I plan on catching more Patrat and Taillow as these are Pokémon I don’t have and require their respective evolutions. Completing the Pokédex is now seeming more like a Poké Mile than a Pokémon Dash.

Day 4

Today I realised I should have been catching more Mareep than I did. My Pokédex tells me I do have Mareep and its final evolution, Ampharos. What I am missing is its middle evolution, Flaffy, so now I am making an effort to catch every Mareep I can in order to evolve it and finish the trifecta. As the weather is not so great today I am making the use of all the incense that has been given to us from the Pokémon gods during lockdown so we shall remain indoors, yet still be playing Go. Praise Arceus for this deed (in case you are wondering, yes, Arceus is already on my list.)

This week isn’t the best for me thanks to an in-game event that increases the likehood of finding Pokémon from the Kanton region. The one I have just completed. This has made every spawn mostly generation 1 Pokémon, which I can now say I am sick of seeing. I decide to focus my efforts on trading through the GTS on the Home app instead, and earning more coins to finally expand my storage on Go.

Day 5

Mistakes have been made. I started out so optimistic but now my whole Pokémon world is crashing on top of me. With 10 slots left in my storage I really need to take on more gym, but as I have not always been keeping up with Pokémon Go, my collection is under leveled. With every gym I fail to take down as I’m standing outside in public after furiously tapping at my phone, it’s as if I can feel the stare of all the pro Pokémon Go kids and their accompanying legal guardians staring at me, wearing their official merch and having their phones obnoxiously connected to a power bank in their pockets, laughing at my social decline!

As if that wasn’t bad enough, today is the day I realised I have not had my Adventure Sync turned on, which means while I’m not on the app the game does not count my steps, and in return none of my eggs have been hatching, and my partner Pokémon hasn’t been collecting any candies. A rookie mistake that’s easily made. Oh the shame, but that’s not it either. My lists have now confused me. Looking back at them, I can see how messy they are and how much I rushed them. I can’t remember if some parts are Pokémon I do or don’t have. It’s all such a mess I’ve decided to make a new definitive spreadsheet. The list to end all lists! This took me most of my day and I’m now back to square one. Coming up with ingenious plans to catch Pokémon really isn’t an easy task. I now have a newly found respect for Team Rocket.

In conclusion, I’ve realised that “catch ‘em all” is a pretty harsh slogan to ingrain into children’s minds, and at this point even as an adult seems near possible. This challenge I’ve set myself looks like it will take a lot longer than I anticipated, but it’s proving to be easier than I first thought, all things considered. Believe it or not, this is a task I would still recommend to people as it is so easy to fit into your day-to-day schedule.

With all that out of the way I can now reveal that at the start of my journey I had 536 different Pokémon in my Pokédex. Now, after a week of trying to catch everything except corona, I have 552. Let’s just hope Generation 9 is not coming anytime soon.

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