Magneton is a robot-like Pokémon, the result of three Magnemite becoming linked together by a strong magnetic force, although a single Magnemite can evolve by itself when there are no other Magnemite in the vicinity. Each individual Magnemite has a gray spherical body with a single eye, and a gray and red-and-blue tipped horseshoe magnet on each side. The topmost Magnemite has three Phillips head screws on its body, while the others appear to have only two. The three Magnemite that Magneton consists of can be linked in several ways. Magneton is most commonly seen as one Magnemite on top, and two Magnemite linked by the screws on the bottom, forming a triangle. In some cases, commonly seen in 3D games such as Pokémon Snap, the Magnemite will not be connected at all, remain in a triangular formation at rest, and are able to freely move within each other's vicinity to form other patterns. In this case, all three Magnemite have three screws. The magnetic forces that hold the three Magnemite together are powerful enough to dry up all moisture and raise the temperature by 3.6°F (2°C) within a radius of 3,300 feet (1,000 meters). It can also be disruptive to electronic devices and induce earaches. It uses powerful radio waves to help it study the surrounding area.
Magneton is capable of flying by repelling the ground with its magnetism. Being composed of three Magnemite, it is about three times as powerful electrically, though not three times as intelligent. Even though Magneton is a mechanical creature, it still has the need to eat. As seen in the anime, food for Magneton consists of electrical currents. It is usually found in rough terrain, often near power plants. When sunspots flare up, Magneton tends to appear more often, presumably due to the changes in the sun's magnetic field. When rain clouds form, it also gathers in high areas prone to lightning strikes. As seen in Pokémon Adventures, it possesses the ability to form its electricity into both platforms and barriers. Despite its modern, artificial appearance, carvings depicting Magneton have been discovered at the Ruins of Alph, and one was shown in a flashback to the great war of Kalos, indicating it has existed for at least 3,000 years. Additionally, Sandy Shocks bears a strong resemblance to Magneton. It is believed to be an ancient Magneton that was alive 10,000 years ago.
Clemont owns a Magneton, which he keeps at the Lumiose Gym so Clembot can use it for Gym Battles while Clemont is away. It first appeared in Clemont's Got a Secret!, where it was revealed to be able to separate itself into three Magnemite in order to dodge attacks.
In Current Events, a Magneton served as a security guard for an electric company's power station. Ash was attacked by the Magnemite assisting Magneton, but when he retaliated with Chikorita, Magneton attacked as well.
Magneton debuted in Danger: High Voltorb, under the ownership of Lt. Surge, who used it, along with his other Pokémon, to attack Red. However, later in Buzz Off, Electabuzz!, some of them tortured Red with Thunderbolt. Lt. Surge uses two on his shoulder pads in Go for the Golbat where they produced sonic booms that act as a defensive barrier. Lt. Surge has a squad of Magneton, capable of using electromagnetism to create a tetrahedral aura. This aura is able to ferry people as well as attack and trap anything within, as seen in Volumes 3, 7, 10, and 12.
Jasmine's two Magneton first appeared in Quilava Quandary. They were seen accompanying Jasmine through Ecruteak City. They, along with their Trainer, were caught in the earthquake the ravaged the entire area.
Although it is said that Magneton is made up of three Magnemite, there is contradictory evidence seen in various forms of media.
In the only anime episode to date showing a Magnemite evolution, Get Along, Little Pokémon, when Ethan's Magnemite #6 evolves into Magneton, it "creates" two Magnemite during evolution, instead of combining with two real Magnemite. Similarly, in the main series games, when Magnemite reaches level 30, it evolves without the aid of two additional Magnemite. This is unlike Mantyke which requires a Remoraid to evolve.
In Pokémon Snap, a Magneton is clearly shown to be created by three Magnemite. Also, when two Magnemite get stuck together halfway through evolution in the original Mystery Dungeon games, they mention how three Magnemite must come together to evolve.
After evolution, Magneton becomes exactly ten times heavier than Magnemite. Logically, it would be three times heavier if it were actually made of three Magnemite. Magnemite weighs 13.2 lbs. (6.0 kg) whereas Magneton weighs 132.3 lbs. (60.0 kg).
Magneton and Magnemite are two of few Pokémon that had their cry changed slightly in Generation III. This was due to Generation III utilizing a better sound effects game engine and newer game system.
Despite most depictions of Magneton showing they are able to float through the air, Magneton does not have the Ability Levitate, so it is still affected by Ground-type moves. However, starting in Generation IV, Magneton can learn Magnet Rise, which simulates Levitate for five turns.
Magneton is a cluster of three Magnemite, which in turn seems to be based on the objectification of electromagnetism, one of the four fundamental interactions of nature, and it also seems to be inspired by an air drone. They are likely linked through strong electromagnetic force.
Magneton may be derived from magneton (various units of magnetic moment) or possibly magnetron (high-power vacuum tube).