The Dowsing Machine (Japanese: ダウジングマシン Dowsing Machine), referred to as the Itemfinder prior to Generation IV and as the Dowsing MCHN in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver and the Generation V games, is a Key Item used to detect hidden items in the vicinity of the user. The way in which it detects items and provides feedback greatly varies between games.
In Generation VII, the role of locating hidden items is given to the Poké Ride Stoutland Search in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon; and the partner Pokémon and walking Pokémon in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, hidden items appear as sparkles and do not require a specific location method.
In the core series
A form of the Itemfinder has been present in all core series games since Generation I.
The Itemfinder is used to find items. When used when the player is not near a tile with a hidden item, text will appear stating that there are no items nearby: "Nope! ITEMFINDER isn't responding." If the Itemfinder is used while a tile with a hidden item is "on-screen", the item will give out four musical chimes, with text stating: "Yes! ITEMFINDER indicates there's an item nearby."
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, the Itemfinder works exactly as it did in Generation I. However, the Itemfinder is now classified as a Key Item and can be registered to the Select Button, allowing for easy access.
Generation III marks the first time that the Itemfinder shows the direction and closeness of an item.
Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, the Itemfinder retains its previous mechanics from Generation I and II, requiring the hidden item to be "on-screen". However, the player will turn towards the direction of the hidden item after the chimes. The text when an item is near reads: "Huh? The ITEMFINDER's responding! There's an item buried around here!"
When operating the Itemfinder under normal circumstances, text will appear stating that there is no item around which reads: "... ... ... ...Nope! There's no response."
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, the Itemfinder receives an upgrade in the form of arrows that point towards the hidden item. The amount of arrows is based on how close the player is to the hidden item: Two arrows when the player is five to eight tiles away from the hidden item and four arrows when the player is within four tiles of the item. A musical chime will sound for each arrow that appears. The text used when operating the Itemfinder remains untouched from Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.
There are also some items which require the Itemfinder to be used to obtain them, rather than simply being easier to find using it. These items can only be detected by the Itemfinder if the player is standing on top of them, at which point the item will be automatically obtained. When the Itemfinder is used on these tiles, three stars will appear above the player. In total, there are six items that can be found using this method:
- The Soothe Bell in the Pokémon Tower after having rescued Mr. Fuji
- The Leftovers on Routes 12 and 16 after having fought against each route's respective Snorlax
- The Macho Brace in the Viridian Gym after Giovanni disappears
- The PP Max on Cape Brink, located on a single patch of ground surrounded by the lake
- The Sacred Ash on Navel Rock after having fought against Ho-Oh
The text that appears when operating the Itemfinder over these spots is, as follows:"Oh! The ITEMFINDER's shaking wildly! There's an item buried underfoot!"
The Dowsing Machines in Generation IV are slightly different to those of previous generations; they make use of the Nintendo DS's touch screen.
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the Pokétch's Dowsing Machine app replaces the functions of the Itemfinder. The layout of the Dowsing Machine app is that of a Cartesian plane with the player at the center. The app functions similar to a radar. When the touch screen is pressed, a circle will radiate from the point where the stylus hits and give out a "ping". When an item is nearby, a dilating radar circle will repeatedly appear. If the hidden item is within the radius of the circle, a dot will continuously blink while the radar circle repeatedly appears from the touched area. The app will reset its display upon the player performing any action.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Dowsing MCHN is a Key Item. It uses the touch screen to locate items, with each grid tile representing a tile on the overworld. Unlike Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the Dowsing Machine is a circular grid and can be operated while moving. There are four lines around the central grid that will move around when the touched area moves in relation to the hidden item and will light up when an item is near. When touching the grid under normal circumstances, the radius of dots and lines will be dark red and will let out a slow series of lower-frequency beeping. If the player moves near a hidden item while touching the grid, the dots and lines will gradually light up from red to white until the player touches the grid tile representing the tile containing the item, in which a blinking dot will appear; the beeping will also speed up and become higher in frequency in relation to the closeness of the area the player is touching.
- Main article: Pokéwalker → Dowsing Machine
On the Pokéwalker, the Dowsing Machine is a mini game that can be used to find items. It costs 3 Watts to play. In this mini game, the player gets two guesses. If the player gets the first guess wrong, the game gives a message regarding whether the item is adjacent to the selected spot or not.
In Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, it is once again known as the Dowsing MCHN. While it still appears on the touch screen when in use, it no longer takes any input from stylus touches and uses the screen for display purposes only. The bars and an arrow will face in the direction of a hidden item when the player is close. If the player is standing on a tile containing an item, the bars will cross and a square with four small arrows will appear.
In Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the Dowsing Machine works entirely differently from previous titles. In both pairs of games, the Dowsing Machine cannot be used underwater nor in most buildings, and the player cannot ride a Bicycle or Surf and use the Dowsing Machine simultaneously.
Pokémon X and Y
In Pokémon X and Y, the Dowsing Machine takes the form of two rods that the player character holds in each hand that project the current forward. Once used, the rods project two streams of electric current in the air ahead as the character walks around. This current changes color depending on if the player is facing the direction of a hidden item and how close they are to it. The color cycles through blue, to green, to orange, with a musical chime playing when the color changes to let the player know they are getting close. When the player is directly in front of a hidden item, the electric currents cross each other and turn red, and a different musical chime plays.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the Dowsing Machine is worn on the head with two electrodes protruding from the top. The electrodes change color as in X and Y as the player approaches a hidden item, and the electrodes turn red and vibrate when the player is directly in front of a hidden item. While wearing the Dowsing Machine, the player cannot sneak.
In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the Dowsing Machine Pokétch app operates the same way as it did in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
Sprites and models
|Bag sprite from
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HeartGold and SoulSilver
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X and Y
|Overworld models from|
X and Y
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Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
In the spin-off games
Pokémon Trading Card Game series
The Item Finder card is available in Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR!.
|Item Finder (GB1)||Item Finder (GB2)|
In the anime
In A Ghost of a Chance, a Firebreather named Infernando tried to sell Ash and his friends an Itemfinder, referred to in the English dub as a "Treasure Detector". While the group refused the offer, the machine was soon after bought by James. He used it in an attempt to find treasures around Ecruteak City, although he ended up just finding bottle caps.
In From Ghost to Ghost, the Treasure Detector led Team Rocket to a storage full of valuable antiques. However, while looting the place, the group was ambushed and hypnotized by a group of Gastly, scaring them away.
In Sky High Gym Battle!, Team Rocket used a pair of golden dowsing rods, referred to as Itemfinders, in an attempt to lead them to a treasure supposedly buried underneath the Fortree Gym.
In Try for the Family Stone!, James used a pair of dowsing rods in an attempt to find a Dusk Stone.
In A Team-on-Team Tussle!, James used a modified Dowsing Machine to locate a Z-Crystal for Team Rocket. However, soon after leading the Rocket trio to a Darkinium Z, the machine was destroyed by the Totem Raticate guarding the Z-Crystal.
The Itemfinder from the original series
The dowsing rods from Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
The dowsing rods from Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
In the manga
Red, Green & Blue chapter
In A Hollow Victreebel, an Itemfinder was one of the many items seen in Red's Bag. In What a Dragonite, he used the Itemfinder to locate the hidden HM for Surf on Route 19, coming across and being attacked by a wild Dragonite in the process.
Diamond & Pearl chapter
In Luring in a Lickilicky, Diamond used the Dowsing Machine app on his Pokétch to track down an item-stealing wild Lickilicky's hiding place.
In the TCG
The following is a list of cards named either Item Finder or Dowsing Machine.
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
|Item Finder||T||Base Set||74/102||Expansion Pack|
|Base Set 2||103/130|
|Dowsing Machine||I||Plasma Storm||128/135||Plasma Gale||069/070|
In other languages
- List of Key Items (Generation I)
- List of Key Items (Generation II)
- List of Key Items (Generation III)
- List of Key Items (Generation IV)
- List of Key Items (Generation V)
- List of Key Items (Generation VI)
|This item article is part of Project ItemDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on all items.|