Bug-Catching Contest

The Bug-Catching Contest (Japanese: むしとりたいかい Bug-Catching Contest) is a competition held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Johto's National Park. The Bug-Catching Contest was introduced in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and makes a return in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Bug-Catching Contest judging in Generation IV

In the games

Rules

There is no entry fee for the Bug-Catching Contest. Anyone may enter once per day, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

To compete, Trainers must catch the single best Bug-type Pokémon they can find. To do this, Trainers are given twenty Sport Balls (similar to Safari Balls; called "Park Balls" in Generation II), and they are only allowed to use a single Pokémon from their party. The rest of a Trainer's Pokémon remain with the contest officials until the competition is over. The player cannot save the game in the middle of the contest, nor can they use any items from the Bag, except for the limited purpose of giving their chosen Pokémon a held item.

Any Pokémon caught will be recorded in the Pokédex, but only one Pokémon can be kept to be judged. The Pokémon that is judged may be kept after the competition.

The competition ends when all the Sport Balls are used, the Trainer blacks out, the Trainer leaves the park, the Trainer chooses to quit the competition from the menu, or 20 minutes have passed. After that, the judging will occur, in which Trainers are scored on their skills of capturing rare and powerful Pokémon. In Generation II, judging takes place inside the gate to/from Route 36, while in Generation IV, judging takes place in front of the fountain in the middle of the National Park.

Pokémon available

Generation II

Pokémon Games Location Levels Rate
  Caterpie
G S C
  Grass
7-18 20%
  Metapod
G S C
  Grass
9-18 10%
  Butterfree
G S C
  Grass
12-15 5%
  Weedle
G S C
  Grass
7-18 20%
  Kakuna
G S C
  Grass
9-18 10%
  Beedrill
G S C
  Grass
12-15 5%
  Paras
G S C
  Grass
10-17 10%
  Venonat
G S C
  Grass
10-16 10%
  Scyther
G S C
  Grass
13-14 5%
  Pinsir
G S C
  Grass
13-14 5%
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.


  • Scyther, Pinsir, and one family of Bug-type Pokémon (Caterpie, Metapod and Butterfree in Silver, Weedle, Kakuna and Beedrill in Gold) can only be caught during the Bug-Catching Contest. All the others can be caught in the wild outside the contest.

Generation IV

When generating Pokémon's IVs, the game will reroll the numbers up to 4 times if none of the IVs are at 31.

Pre-National Pokédex

These Pokémon are available in Contests held every day pre-National Pokédex, and on Tuesdays post-National Pokédex (denoted by the levels indicated in the parentheses).

Pokémon Games Location Levels Rate
  Caterpie
HG SS
  Grass
7-18
(24-36)
20%
  Metapod
HG SS
  Grass
9-18
(26-36)
10%
  Butterfree
HG SS
  Grass
12-15
(27-30)
5%
  Weedle
HG SS
  Grass
7-18
(24-36)
20%
  Kakuna
HG SS
  Grass
9-18
(26-36)
10%
  Beedrill
HG SS
  Grass
12-15
(27-30)
5%
  Paras
HG SS
  Grass
10-17
(27-34)
10%
  Venonat
HG SS
  Grass
10-16
(25-32)
10%
  Scyther
HG SS
  Grass
13-14
(27-28)
5%
  Pinsir
HG SS
  Grass
13-14
(27-28)
5%
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.


Post-National Pokédex

These Pokémon are only available in Contests held on Thursday and Saturday post-National Pokédex.

Pokémon Games Location Levels Rate
  Scyther
HG SS
  Grass
27-28 5%
  Pinsir
HG SS
  Grass
27-28 5%
  Wurmple
HG SS
  Grass
24-36 20%
  Silcoon
HG SS
  Grass
24-36 10%Th
  Beautifly
HG SS
  Grass
25-32 5%Sa
  Cascoon
HG SS
  Grass
24-36 10%Sa
  Dustox
HG SS
  Grass
25-32 5%Th
  Nincada
HG SS
  Grass
26-36 20%
  Volbeat
HG SS
  Grass
26-36 10%Th
  Illumise
HG SS
  Grass
26-36 10%Sa
  Kricketot
HG SS
  Grass
27-30 10%
  Kricketune
HG SS
  Grass
27-30 10%
  Combee
HG SS
  Grass
27-34 5%
A colored background means that the Pokémon can be found in this location in the specified game. A white background with a colored letter means that the Pokémon cannot be found here.


Scoring

Generation II

The score earned for a given Pokémon in Generation II is the sum of the following:

  • 4 times the max HP of the Pokémon
  • The sum of the Pokémon's other stats
  • Up to 29 points based on the Pokémon's individual values:
    • 16 points if half of the Defense IV (rounded down) results in an odd number, 0 otherwise
    • 8 points if half of the Attack IV (rounded down) is odd, 0 otherwise
    • 4 points if half of the Special IV (rounded down) is odd, 0 otherwise
    • 1 point if half of the Speed IV (rounded down) is odd, 0 otherwise
      • If the player manages to find a Shiny Pokémon during the contest, it will be assured of earning all 29 of these points.
  • 1/8 of the current HP of the Pokémon, rounded down
  • 1 point if the Pokémon is holding an item, 0 otherwise

The maximum possible score in this version of the contest is 386, achieved by catching a level 14 Scyther with maximum IVs in every stat and without dealing more than 7 damage to it.

Generation IV

The score earned for a given Pokémon in Generation IV is the sum of the following:

  • The level of the Pokémon relative to the maximum that can be found in the contest (e.g. before the National Pokédex, the maximum value for Paras would be 17, but after the National Pokédex, this would be 34), as a percentage
  • The Pokémon's IVs relative to the maximum (186), as a percentage
  • The Pokémon's HP relative to its maximum, as a percentage
  • A rarity factor, either 60 (Caterpie, Metapod, Weedle, Kakuna, Wurmple, Silcoon, Cascoon, or Kricketot), 80 (all Pokémon not mentioned), or 100 (Scyther or Pinsir)

Therefore, the maximum possible score in this version of the contest is 400, achieved by catching Scyther or Pinsir at either level 14 or 28 (whichever is available), with maximum IVs in every stat, and without dealing any damage to it.

Competitors

These are the competitors found in the Contest.

Scores

Generation II

In the Generation II games, each NPC contestant has three possible base scores. Five of the ten NPCs are randomly chosen to appear in the contest, and each of them randomly receives one of their three base scores, plus a random bonus of up to 7 points.

The lowest score that can possibly take first place in this version of the contest is 264, which requires the randomly chosen NPCs to be Don, Ed, Samuel, Kipp, and Cindy and for them to receive their low-value scores.

Contestant Pokémon Score
Bug Catcher Don   Kakuna 300
  Metapod 285
  Caterpie 226
Bug Catcher Ed   Butterfree 286
  Butterfree 251
  Caterpie 237
Cooltrainer Nick   Scyther 357
  Butterfree 349
  Pinsir 368
Pokéfan William   Pinsir 332
  Butterfree 324
  Venonat 321
Bug Catcher Benny   Butterfree 318
  Weedle 295
  Caterpie 285
Camper Barry   Pinsir 366
  Venonat 329
  Kakuna 314
Picnicker Cindy   Butterfree 341
  Metapod 301
  Caterpie 264
Bug Catcher Josh   Scyther 326
  Butterfree 292
  Metapod 282
Youngster Samuel   Weedle 270
  Pinsir 282
  Caterpie 251
Schoolboy Kipp   Venonat 267
  Paras 254
  Kakuna 259

Prizes

Place Version
Gold Silver Crystal HeartGold SoulSilver
1st   Sun Stone   Sun Stone
(pre-National Pokédex)
     
     
Random Evolution stone
(post-National Pokédex)
2nd   Everstone   Everstone
3rd Gold Berry   Sitrus Berry
Consolation
Prize
Berry   Shed Shell

In the anime

 
The Bug-Catching Contest audience in the anime

In The Bug Stops Here, Ash and Casey competed in the Bug-Catching Contest. During the competition, Casey caught a Weedle, and her Chikorita evolved into a Bayleef. Ash won the competition with a Beedrill, earning himself a Sun Stone. After the competition, he gave the Beedrill to Casey, being aware of her love for Pokémon with yellow and black stripes.

In the anime, the Contest can be followed from a giant screen outside of the park. It also has several other notable differences from the games.

  • Only the winner is allowed to keep the Pokémon they caught.
  • No consolation prize is available, neither are there any sort of rewards for anybody other than the champion, whereas such prizes can be earned in the games.
  • The contest implements strict age-limits: only children under 18 (16 in the dub) are allowed to participate.


Trivia

  • The music used during the contest is a remix of the Kanto-based games' Bicycle music.
  • In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the contest encounter data table has an unused 11th entry, for Venomoth ranging from level 30 to 40.
  • If Youngster Samuel catches a Pinsir in Generation II, it will receive a score between 282 and 289 points, but no Pinsir available during the contest can evaluate to a score lower than 293.
  • After the player obtains the National Pokédex and enters the contest on Thursdays and Saturdays in Generation IV, some of the other competitors may be announced as having caught a Pokémon in the Caterpie or Weedle lines, despite those Pokémon not being available to the player on those days.
  • In Generation IV, if at the end of the contest the player has a full party and their newly captured Pokémon is sent to the PC, it is referred to as "Bill's PC" (as opposed to "Someone's PC") even if the player has not yet met Bill.

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 捕蟲大賽 Bouhchùhng Daaihchoi
Mandarin 捕蟲大賽 / 捕虫大赛 Bǔchóng Dàsài
  Czech Soutěž v chytání hmyzích Pokémonů
  Finnish Ötökänpyydystyskisa
  French Concours de Capture d'insecte
  German Käferturnier
  Italian Gara Pigliamosche
  Korean 곤충채집 대회 Gonchungchaejip Daehoe
  Polish Zawody w Łapaniu Pokémonów Robaków
  Spanish Concurso de Captura de Bichos
  Swedish Fånga Kryp-Pokémontävlingen
  Vietnamese Đại hội bắt côn trùng