Silver's first appearance in the Pokémon video games took place during Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver, and he is also to appear in the remake of such versions. He was first seen lurking near a window to the Elm Pokémon Laboratory; he later broke in, stealing a Pokémon (the Pokémon that is strongest against the player's chosen starter). He later used this Pokémon to battle Gold/Kris, doing this many times as they journeyed through Johto. This is not the only Pokémon he has stolen, as he also stole a Sneasel from a man in Cianwood City, and uses it in battle for the rest of the game.
Throughout his travels, Silver showed a strong hate for Team Rocket. He strongly interfered with the revived Team Rocket's plans at least twice, including their experiments with radio signals at the Lake of Rage. His stated reason for this dislike was that they are "weak" when cornered, and that he only cares about strong opponents. During one of his missions against Team Rocket, Silver apparently fought against Lance, who utterly decimated him. Silver is soon frustrated, as he claims that Lance told him he doesn't love his Pokémon enough. Lance's words are Silver's catalyst, as he begins to metamorphisize into a more kind hearted person. Before a battle at Indigo Plateau, Silver claims that he has reached his peak, finally understanding what Lance told him in Mahogany Town. During this battle, he uses a Crobat, which is only obtained when it loves its trainer, displaying that he now truly does care for his Pokémon.
Shortly after Gold/Kris defeated the Pokémon League, Silver took up training in the Dragon's Den. His personality has been likened by the Dragon Master to be similar to Clair's. He can be seen there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and can be challenged at the Pokémon League on Mondays and Wednesdays. His activities on the weekend are unknown, but now that he is a kinder person, it can be assumed that he does not train on these days. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, he and the player may occasionally encounter Clair and Lance, and will fight against them in a tag battle.
Giovanni and Silver's relationship is revealed in HeartGold and SoulSilver if the player brings a promotional Celebi to the Ilex Shrine in Ilex Forest. Celebi takes the player back in time three years to witness Giovanni abandoning Silver to go into seclusion because of his defeat at the hands of Red/Leaf). Silver's hate for Team Rocket apparently stems from them failing his father.
The starter Pokémon that Silver has will depend on which Pokémon the player chose to bring on Professor Elm's errand at the beginning of the game. As with all rivals, it will be the Pokémon whose type weakens that of the player's starter.
Like Brendan, he played no role in the anime, despite being a main character in the games. Similarly, his only appearance in the anime is a brief cameo, in the original Japanese opening of The Legend of Thunder! (A New Oath), where he was shown with his Nidoking defeating Jimmy.
Paul seems to be based on Silver, in appearance and personality. He also has most of the Pokémon as Silver's manga counterpart. It is unknown if Paul has ever met him.
As a possible reference to Silver's training schedule, Pearl also can be battled again (on Saturdays and Sundays) after the player becomes champion. He can also be found training at Stark Mountain during the week in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
If Silver's stolen starter is Totodile, he uses Croconaw at level 16 in his second battle, despite Totodile only being able to evolve from level 18 onwards. This error is corrected in Generation IV.
Additionally, if Silver's stolen starter is Cyndaquil, he uses Quilava at level 32 in his fourth battle, while the other two are their final forms (which is normal).
In his anime cameo, his only known Pokémon is a Nidoking. All other game rivals that have made anime appearances have been seen with the Template:Type2 starter from their home region, indicating another possible Pokémon for Silver to have (which would also fit in weakening Jimmy's Typhlosion).
Two of Silver's Pokémon in his final team received evolutions in Generation IV. The same two Pokémon are also the only members of his team that did not evolve twice.
Perhaps coincidentally, neither of these Pokémon's new evolutions are available in HeartGold and SoulSilver until after the National Dex is obtained, as their evolution methods require certain forces external to the Pokémon (rather than knowing a move, as the five new Johto Dex additions do).
In terms of personality, Silver is the darkest of the rivals in the series. While most other rivals are generally good-natured, or at least zestful enough to crack a joke at the player, Silver is (at first) cruel, hateful, power-obsessed and even physically abusive, pushing the player character around several times. And even after he starts to become kinder, he remains a rather serious individual.