A flute (Japanese: ビードロvidro) is a hand-blown glass instrument that produces sound when it is blown into. Originating in Germany, these flutes are a common decoration in Japan, and in the Pokémon world, have various effects depending on their color.
In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire, the player can collect volcanic ash in the Soot Sack and have it turned into flutes at the Glass Workshop on Route 113. In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, the player collects ash by walking through the ash-covered grass on Route 113 and in the Jagged Pass, with the amount required for each item measured in steps. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the player collects ash by walking through piles of soot, and the amount collected is measured in grams rather than steps. In addition, ash cannot be collected from the Jagged Pass in these games.
The flutes can be reused indefinitely, meaning that a player will only ever need to obtain one of each, though multiple copies can be obtained for trading to other games when held by a Pokémon.
If the Black Flute or White Flute is traded into Pokémon Colosseum or XD, although wild Pokémon do not appear except in Poké Spots, they still have the "use" option. If the player attempts to use one, the message "This item's use is forbidden in the OrreRegion." will be displayed instead.
These items are the only normal items that can be used multiple times without having multiple copies in the Bag.
Due to the Bag having more pockets in Generation IV than in Generations III and VI, the five flutes are the only set of similar items that cannot all be placed in the same pocket: the Black and White Flutes are in the items pocket, while the Red, Blue, and Yellow Flutes are in the battle items pocket.
Therefore, whereas in Generation III and VI the Blue Flute can be used both inside and outside of battle to awaken a sleeping Pokémon, due to its Generation IV placement, it cannot be used outside battle at all. While the Red and Yellow Flutes could be selected for use outside of battle in Generation III, they remove effects on a Pokémon which it automatically recovers from as soon as it leaves the battlefield anyway, giving them no out-of-battle purpose whatsoever. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, both the Red and Yellow Flutes can only be used in battle.
In Generation V and X and Y, the battle items pocket and items pocket were merged, thus reuniting the items. However, their individual uses have been removed, turning them into ordinary valuable items.
The Blue, Red and Yellow Flutes were moved to the medicine pocket in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, meaning that they have been in three different bag pockets over three generations.