The Poké Radar (Japanese: ポケモントレーサー Pokémon Tracer, ポケトレ Poké Trace for short) is a key item in Generation IV and Generation VI that is used to seek out wild Pokémon hiding in tall grass. Its most notable use is to increase the probability of encountering the normally extremely rare Shiny Pokémon.
In the games
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In all games that it appears in, the Poké Radar is obtained after receiving the National Pokédex.
It can only be used in tall grass, while on foot. When used, a tune will begin to play, and up to four patches of grass will shake briefly. Upon entering one of these patches of grass, a battle with a wild Pokémon will begin immediately, even if the player is using a Repel. Depending on the game, different patches may shake in a different way, corresponding to rarer species of wild Pokémon. However, all games feature a very rare and distinct type of shaking grass that glows white twice; such a grass patch will always contain a Shiny Pokémon.
Like the Vs. Seeker, the Radar's battery must be charged after use by walking around. It takes 50 steps to fully charge the Poké Radar.
If the wild Pokémon is knocked out or captured in a Poké Ball, a chain will begin; this is the principle mechanic of the Poké Radar and crucial to increasing the probability of encountering a Shiny Pokémon. When a chain is in progress, the Poké Radar will automatically activate again at the end of the battle, causing up to four more grass patches to shake. Depending on various circumstances, one of these patches may be more likely to contain the same species of Pokémon as the one just encountered; defeating or catching such a Pokémon will continue to increase the chain by 1. If a wild Pokémon of a different species is encountered, or if a battle ends without defeating or capturing the wild Pokémon, or if a wild Pokémon is encountered outside of the Poké Radar, then the chain will break and the Poké Radar will not activate again at the end of the battle. A chain can also automatically break if the player uses the Bicycle or Roller Skates, if the player scrolls all shaking grass patches off-screen by moving too far away from them, or an Egg hatches.
Activating the Poké Radar manually in the middle of a chain will not break the chain, and will simply generate up to four new patches of shaking grass, replacing the old ones. This action is known as "resetting" the Radar. It is commonly used when none of the four patches is deemed likely to continue the chain; this determination varies between games.
As the chain length increases, the probability of finding a Shiny patch also increases, up to a certain maximum. After reaching this maximum, the player no longer needs to attempt to increase the chain, and can simply recharge and reset the Radar over and over until a Shiny patch appears.
In Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
The Poké Radar is obtained from Professor Rowan in his lab immediately after receiving the National Pokédex from Professor Oak; however, he will not explain how it works very thoroughly. In Pokémon Platinum, once the player receives an Eevee from Bebe in Hearthome City, the player character of the opposite gender of the player (Dawn or Lucas) will give a more practical demonstration on Route 202.
In these games only, the player can encounter certain Pokémon with the Poké Radar that would not be normally found on that route; these Pokémon are often not native to the Sinnoh regional Pokédex. For example, the Poké Radar is the only way to encounter a Nidoran♀ on Route 201.
When the Poké Radar is used, the game generates four "rings" around the player, with the first ring consisting of the eight squares surrounding the player, the second ring consisting of the 16 squares surrounding the first ring, and so on for the third and fourth rings. One random square in each ring will be selected, and if that square is a patch of grass, that patch will shake. Therefore, the maximum number of patches that can shake with each use of the Poké Radar is four; if fewer than four patches shake, then one or more of the randomly selected squares were not patches of grass. If all four squares did not contain grass, then the game will display the message "The grassy patch remained silent..." and the chain will automatically break.
The patch in the farthest "ring" is the most likely to continue a chain. Different formations of grass patches indicate different likelihoods of continuing a chain.
If a swarm ends while a chain is in progress, or a Pokémon otherwise ceases to become available, then that Pokémon will continue to be available until the chain is broken.
The probability of encountering a Shiny Pokémon becomes maximized at a chain length of 40, at approximately 1/200. This is a substantial increase from the usual probability of 1/8192. Since up to four patches of grass appear each time the Poké Radar is used, and each has an independent 1/200 chance, the overall probability of finding at least one Shiny patch for each reset of the Poké Radar is about 1/50. It is possible, although very unlikely, for multiple Shiny patches to appear on one reset. Entering a Shiny patch will never break a chain.
Based on the formula depicted at right, the probability of encountering a Shiny Pokémon can be approximated as 1/8000 for a chain of 1, 1/7800 for a chain of 2, 1/7600 for a chain of 3, and so on up to 1/200 for a chain of 40. Note that it takes a while for a chain to start paying off - the probability does not exceed that of the Masuda method until a chain length of 33. After that point, the probabilities start to increase very strongly, with a chain of 40 having double the probability (1/200) compared to a chain of 39 (1/400).
As all Pokémon games prior to Generation V perform calculations strictly with integers, there exist some roundoff errors in the probability determination (as noted by the ceiling function in the formula). A game-accurate list of probabilities for each chain is as follows:
|Chain length||Shiny Probability|
*A Shiny patch cannot appear on a chain length of 0, but all non-Shiny patches still have the usual 1/8192 chance of encountering a Shiny Pokémon.
List of Radar-exclusive Pokémon
In HeartGold and SoulSilver
- Main article: Pokéwalker
The Poké Radar is not normally obtainable in the main game; however, a primitive version of the Poké Radar exists on the bundled Pokéwalker.
The Pokéwalker's Poké Radar costs 10 Watts to use, and is the only way to encounter any wild Pokémon at all on the device. Similar to Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, these Pokémon are often difficult or impossible to otherwise find in the main game.
When used, four patches of grass will appear on-screen, one of which will randomly display a '!' symbol for a short period of time. If the player successfully selects that grass patch before the '!' disappears, then either a battle with a wild Pokémon will begin or there will be a delay and another random grass patch will display a second '!'. Again, if the player successfully selects the '!' patch before it disappears, a battle may begin or a third patch may display '!!'. Yet again, if the player successfully selects the '!!' patch, a battle may begin or a fourth patch may display '!!!'; the fourth patch will always start a battle should the player reach that point. Patches with greater numbers of exclamation points indicate rarer wild Pokémon; the mechanics and precise timing required may be considered a primitive form of chaining.
In X and Y
After being absent in Generation V, the Poké Radar returns in Pokémon X and Y. It is received by the player once he or she has defeated the Elite Four, by talking to the scientist on the top right of the second floor of Professor Sycamore's Lab.
The Poké Radar cannot be used while using the Bicycle or Roller Skates. If the player uses either while chaining (including using the circle pad instead of the D-pad), the chain is reset, and the Poké Radar must be recharged. It also cannot be used in the Friend Safari. However, it can be used in flower beds the same way as in tall grass.
Unlike in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, there are no Pokémon species exclusive to the Radar. All wild Pokémon encountered will be the same as those encountered normally in the area.
Once per day, the player can speak to the scientist who gave the Poké Radar, and he will assign a species of Pokémon for the player to study. If the player successfully makes a chain of that Pokémon and returns, the scientist will reward the player with an item.
In these games, when a Shiny patch appears, the game will play a unique sound effect in addition to the patch glowing.
Chains and other specific mechanics are believed to be similar to that of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum; differences include the possibility of more than 4 patches of grass shaking at once, as well as the possibility of a grass patch failing to contain any wild Pokémon at all (thus automatically breaking the chain). It has also been verified that the Poké Radar music can change to a more upbeat tune; this is believed but not proven to increase the Shiny encounter rate. More exact details are currently unknown.
In the TCG
- Main article: Poké Radar (Legends Awakened 133)
The Poké Radar was introduced as a Trainer card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game during the English Diamond & Pearl Series (the Japanese DP Era). First released in the Cry from the Mysterious expansion, the Poké Radar later debuted in English in the Legends Awakened expansion, with both prints featuring an illustration by Kazuaki Aihara. This Trainer card allows the player to look at the top five cards of their deck and keep any Pokémon after showing them to their opponent; the remaining cards are then shuffled back into the deck.
In other languages
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|This item article is part of Project ItemDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on all items.|