Mass outbreak

My Pokémon Ranch explaining the general mechanics of a mass outbreak

Mass outbreaks (Japanese: 大量発生 mass outbreak), also known as swarms, Pokémon outbreaks, or wild outbreaks, are a feature introduced in Generation II that allows the player to catch Pokémon that are usually rare or otherwise unobtainable. They appear from Generations II to V, in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

In the games

Generation II

In Generation II, if the player registered a certain Trainer in the Pokégear, that Trainer occasionally calls to tell the player that they saw or heard about a large number of Pokémon in a certain area. Until midnight (in-game time), the swarming Pokémon appear in the given area with much greater frequency than the usual 1%. Only one swarm can appear per day. The player can force a particular swarm to appear if a swarm has not already appeared that day by first deleting all possible phone numbers except the swarm Trainer's and then repeatedly toggling Daylight Savings Time by speaking with the player's Mom in New Bark Town. There is a 50% chance of triggering a phone call every time DST is changed.

Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal

# Pokémon Location Levels Notifier Game
183   Marill Mt. Mortar 13-15 Hiker Parry (Route 45) G S C
193   Yanma Route 35 12-14 Bug Catcher Arnie (Route 35) G S C
206   Dunsparce Dark Cave 2-4 Hiker Anthony (Route 33) G S C
209   Snubbull Route 38 16 Schoolboy Chad (Route 38) G S C
211   Qwilfish Route 32
Fishing
5/20/40
Old/Good/Super Rod
Fisher Ralph (Route 32) G S C
223   Remoraid Route 44
Fishing
10/20/40
Old/Good/Super Rod
Fisher Wilton (Route 44) G S C

Generation III

In Generation III, in addition to making rare Pokémon temporarily more common, this feature can be combined with record mixing to allow the player to catch Pokémon that cannot be caught at all normally. Pokémon encountered through mass outbreaks will also have a predefined set of moves.

After entering the Hall of Fame, every time the player wins a battle, there is a ~0.5% (328/65536) chance that the game will generate an outbreak; this does not apply to link battles, e-Reader battles, the Safari Zone, or the Battle Tower/Frontier. After an outbreak is generated, the television program announcing it will appear the next day. Once the television program has been watched, the outbreak becomes active.[1] Once outbreak has been activated, it will last until the end of the next day - during this time there's a 50% chance the game will generate the swarming Pokémon instead of using the usual encounter table (effectively halving the encounter rate for non-swarming Pokémon). However, seemingly due to an oversight, once a particular savefile generates an outbreak, it will never generate another one outside of record mixing.[2]

The record mixing feature of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald allows players to give an outbreak they've seen to other players, regardless of whether that outbreak would naturally occur in the player's game. The traded outbreaks will be announced on television in the following days after mixing records.

Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald

# Pokémon Location Levels Game Moves
283   Surskit Route 102 3 R S E
Bubble Quick Attack
Route 114 15 R S E
Bubble Quick Attack
Route 117 15 R S E
Bubble Quick Attack
Route 120 28 R S E
Bubble Quick Attack
300   Skitty Route 116 15 R S E
Growl Tackle
8 R S E
Growl Tackle
Tail Whip Attract
273   Seedot Route 102 3 R S E
Bide Harden
Leech Seed
Route 117 13 R S E
Harden Growth
Nature Power Leech Seed
Route 120 25 R S E
Giga Drain Frustration
SolarBeam Leech Seed
274   Nuzleaf Route 114 15 R S E
Harden Growth
Nature Power Leech Seed

Generation IV

Mass outbreaks were largely expanded in Generation IV. Once the player attains the National Pokédex and has entered the Hall of Fame, a "swarm of Pokémon" will appear every day in a particular location, which changes the probability of finding the given Pokémon from 0% to 40%. Outbreaks last only one day and are random events. Information about mass outbreaks can be found in Sandgem Town by talking to Lucas/Dawn's sister or by watching the Sinnoh television DPPt, or by listening to Professor Oak's Pokémon Talk HGSS.

When players all join the same group, they will all experience the same outbreak on any given day.

The species of an outbreak seems to be determined using a formula, because it is not chosen randomly when the player starts the game that day. Even if the date is edited, the next swarm will always be the same. It is also possible that the species is determined the day before, though there is no additional evidence to support this. If the DS clock is changed or a different DS is used, then the game will detect this and will not change the species swarming until 12:00 AM.

Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Many of the Pokémon obtained through mass outbreaks are outside of the Sinnoh Pokédex, and are usually otherwise exclusive to other regions.

Due to the high encounter chances for Pokémon that appear during outbreaks, they make for longer and better chains when using the Poké Radar.

# Pokémon Location Levels Game
016   Pidgey Route 229 51 D P Pt
081   Magnemite Fuego Ironworks 28-29 D P Pt
083   Farfetch'd Route 221 28, 29Pt D P Pt
084   Doduo Route 201 2 D P Pt
096   Drowzee Route 215 19Pt, 20, 21DP D P Pt
098   Krabby Route 226 52 D P Pt
48-49 D P Pt
100   Voltorb Route 218 28, 29Pt D P Pt
104   Cubone Route 203 4 D P Pt
108   Lickitung Lake Valor 34, 36 D P Pt
127   Pinsir Route 229 48-49 D P Pt
177   Natu Route 224 53 D P Pt
50 D P Pt
206   Dunsparce Route 208 16 D P Pt
18 D P Pt
209   Snubbull Route 209 16 D P Pt
18-19 D P Pt
220   Swinub Route 217 34 D P Pt
222   Corsola Route 230 50 D P Pt
48 D P Pt
225   Delibird Route 216 32 D P Pt
Route 217 32-33 D P Pt
231   Phanpy Route 207 5, 7Pt D P Pt
238   Smoochum Lake Acuity 35 D P Pt
246   Larvitar Route 206 16 D P Pt
263   Zigzagoon Route 202 3 D P Pt
283   Surskit Lake Verity 2 D P Pt
287   Slakoth Eterna Forest 10, 11Pt D P Pt
296   Makuhita Route 225 50-51 D P Pt
48-49 D P Pt
299   Nosepass Route 206 14 D P Pt
300   Skitty Route 222 39Pt, 40 D P Pt
309   Electrike Valley Windworks 7 D P Pt
9-10 D P Pt
325   Spoink Route 214 21Pt, 22, 23DP D P Pt
327   Spinda Route 227 55 D P Pt
53-54 D P Pt
359   Absol Route 213 20 D P Pt
374   Beldum Route 228 53 D P Pt
51-52 D P Pt

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver

The feature continues to appear in HeartGold and SoulSilver, where the wild Pokémon available include all those in original Generation II games, plus Ditto, Chansey, and Pokémon from Hoenn and Sinnoh. Information on swarms can now be found by listening to Professor Oak's Pokémon Talk on the Pokégear radio.

# Pokémon Location Levels Game
113   Chansey Route 13 23 HG SS
132   Ditto Route 47 34 HG SS
183   Marill Mt. Mortar 15 HG SS
193   Yanma Route 35 12 HG SS
206   Dunsparce Dark Cave 2-3 HG SS
209   Snubbull Route 38 16 HG SS
211   Qwilfish Route 32 40 HG SS
223   Remoraid Route 44 20 HG SS
261   Poochyena Route 1 2 HG SS
278   Wingull Vermilion City
Surfing
35 HG SS
280   Ralts Route 34 10-11 HG SS
302   Sableye Route 9 13-15 HG SS
303   Mawile Route 9 13-15 HG SS
316   Gulpin Route 3 5 HG SS
333   Swablu Route 45 23 HG SS
340   Whiscash Violet City
Fishing
10/20/40
Old/Good/Super Rod
HG SS
343   Baltoy Route 3 5 HG SS
366   Clamperl Route 19
Surfing
35 HG SS
369   Relicanth Route 12
Fishing
40
Super Rod
HG SS
370   Luvdisc Route 27
Surfing
20 HG SS
401   Kricketot Viridian Forest 3 HG SS
427   Buneary Route 25 8-10 HG SS

Generation V

The gates in Unova have a monitor inside that will alert the player to where an outbreak is taking place.

Unlike in previous games, mass outbreaks can be manipulated by soft resetting the game, but only if the player has not saved their game at all that day. When the game is restarted, there will be a different Pokémon swarming.

Black and White

During winter, the monitor may occasionally not report on outbreaks, which is due to parts of Route 8, where Croagunk can be found, becoming frozen during winter and not allowing the Pokémon to be found there. All outbreaks in these games have a level range of 15-55.

# Pokémon Location Levels Game
046   Paras Route 11 15-55 B W
056   Mankey Route 15 15-55 B W
083   Farfetch'd Route 1 15-55 B W
084   Doduo Route 12 15-55 B W
102   Exeggcute Route 18 15-55 B W
161   Sentret Route 7 15-55 B W
193   Yanma Route 14 15-55 B W
204   Pineco Route 16 15-55 B W
228   Houndour Route 9 15-55 B W
235   Smeargle Route 5 15-55 B W
236   Tyrogue Route 10 15-55 B W
261   Poochyena Route 9 15-55 B W
285   Shroomish Route 11 15-55 B W
311   Plusle Route 6 15-55 B W
312   Minun Route 6 15-55 B W
313   Volbeat Route 3 15-55 B W
314   Illumise Route 3 15-55 B W
353   Shuppet Route 13 15-55 B W
360   Wynaut Route 2 15-55 B W
449   Hippopotas Route 4 15-55 B W
453   Croagunk* Route 8 15-55 B W

Black 2 and White 2

All outbreaks in these games have a level range of 40-55 and an encounter rate of 40%.

# Pokémon Location Levels Game
022   Fearow Route 15 40-55 B2 W2
079   Slowpoke Abundant Shrine 40-55 B2 W2
083   Farfetch'd Route 1 40-55 B2 W2
084   Doduo Route 12 40-55 B2 W2
097   Hypno Dreamyard 40-55 B2 W2
122   Mr. Mime Route 20 40-55 B2 W2
162   Furret Route 7 40-55 B2 W2
166   Ledian Route 22 40-55 B2 W2
168   Ariados Route 22 40-55 B2 W2
177   Natu Route 5 40-55 B2 W2
185   Sudowoodo Route 20 40-55 B2 W2
187   Hoppip Route 18 40-55 B2 W2
195   Quagsire Route 8 40-55 B2 W2
204   Pineco Route 16 40-55 B2 W2
277   Swellow Route 13 40-55 B2 W2
284   Masquerain Route 11 40-55 B2 W2
311   Plusle Route 6 40-55 B2 W2
312   Minun Route 6 40-55 B2 W2
313   Volbeat Route 3 40-55 B2 W2
314   Illumise Route 3 40-55 B2 W2
317   Swalot Route 9 40-55 B2 W2
332   Cacturne Reversal Mountain 40-55 B2 W2
450   Hippowdon Desert Resort 40-55 B2 W2

Generation VIII

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

 
A mass outbreak in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Of note is the Corsola appearing in the tall grass.

Pokémon outbreaks return for the first time since Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, featuring the same encounters as in Diamond and Pearl.

Unlike in Generation IV, the Pokémon featured in the mass outbreaks appear in the top grass, popping in and out en masse. These Pokémon cannot be interacted with, however, and the means of encountering them remains the same as in the original games.

# Pokémon Location Levels
016   Pidgey Route 229 51
081   Magnemite Fuego Ironworks 28-29
083   Farfetch'd Route 221 28
084   Doduo Route 201 2
096   Drowzee Route 215 20-21
098   Krabby Route 226 52
100   Voltorb Route 218 28
104   Cubone Route 203 4
108   Lickitung Lake Valor 34, 36
177   Natu Route 224 53
206   Dunsparce Route 208 16
209   Snubbull Route 209 16
220   Swinub Route 217 34
222   Corsola Route 230 50
225   Delibird Route 216 32
231   Phanpy Route 207 5
238   Smoochum Lake Acuity 35
263   Zigzagoon Route 202 3
283   Surskit Lake Verity 2
287   Slakoth Eterna Forest 10
296   Makuhita Route 225 50-51
299   Nosepass Route 206 14
300   Skitty Route 222 40
309   Electrike Valley Windworks 7
325   Spoink Route 214 22-23
327   Spinda Route 227 55
359   Absol Route 213 20
374   Beldum Route 228 53

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has two types of outbreaks: mass outbreaks and massive mass outbreaks (Japanese: 大大大発生). Prior to v1.1.0, only mass outbreaks were available. Outbreaks can be seen on the Hisui map when choosing where to travel. They are indicated by a circle with the headshot of a Pokémon (for a mass outbreak) or a question mark (for a massive mass outbreak) over an area.

De/activation% Outbreaks per area Spawns per outbreak
Mass outbreak 20% 1 10-15
Massive mass outbreak 25% 11-15 Wave 1: 8-10 Wave 2: 6-7

In a mass outbreak, many Pokémon—from the same evolutionary line—spawn in a single location. Only a single mass outbreak can be active in an area at a time, but multiple areas can have a mass outbreak. In total, a mass outbreak will spawn 10 to 15 Pokémon before ending, with 4 Pokémon being spawned at any given time. A new mass outbreak may activate any time the player returns to Jubilife Village, at a 20% chance per area; when leaving the village, there is also a 20% chance an outbreak will deactivate per area, except for the area the player is traveling to.[3]

In a massive mass outbreak, many mass outbreaks (11 to 15) occur in an area. Massive mass outbreaks draw on their own set of mass outbreaks that has some overlap with species seen in normal mass outbreaks, but also many unique species. Initially, each outbreak location is only visible as a question mark; they can be revealed by visiting each location or by giving 5 Aguav Berries to Mai's Munchlax (near the area's exit). When revealed, some locations may be highlighted by a yellow circle, with either a Berry or a star marking it. A star indicates that that location has extra waves to its outbreak. A Berry indicates that each time a Pokémon from that outbreak is defeated or caught, the player will receive one Aguav Berry. There may be zero or multiple locations with a Berry or a star (but never with both). Each outbreak location has a 10% chance to be a Berry location, but only if it is not a starred location.

If a location in a massive mass outbreak initially has a star, then it will spawn Pokémon in two waves. After clearing all Pokémon in the first wave, a second wave will spawn with Pokémon that are either evolved versions of the original wave (with a small chance for any to be an alpha Pokémon), one of the species from the first wave but always as alpha Pokémon, or both (i.e. evolved versions of the original wave, all of which are alpha Pokémon). If the second wave consists of evolved versions, the map icon for the location will change to reflect this; either way, however, the star will remain present on the map during the second wave. A cleared location that does not have a Berry or star has a chance to nonetheless produce a second wave as though it did have a star.

All Pokémon found in massive mass outbreaks will be at least level 60, unless the Pokémon's species is one that evolves starting at some specific level, in which case non-alphas of that species will be found 1-3 levels under the level required for evolution.

Massive mass outbreaks last for a limited time after the player arrives at the containing area. They may start with 7, 9, or 11 minutes of time. As the time wanes, the game will display a warning at certain intervals.

Time remaining Message Start point chance
0 minutes The rainstorm seems to have ended. --
1 minute The rainstorm seems like it’s about to clear up. --
2 minutes, 30 seconds The rainstorm may go on a bit longer. --
5 minutes The rainstorm shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. --
7 minutes 75%
9 minutes 15%
11 minutes 10%

Pokémon in outbreaks have increased chances of being Shiny. For example, with the Shiny Charm (and therefore all research task bonuses), wild Pokémon have a Shiny rate of approximately 0.17%, Pokémon in a mass outbreak have a rate of 0.78%, and Pokémon in a massive mass outbreak have a rate of 0.46%. For full details, see Shiny Pokémon → Legends: Arceus.

The Pokémon that can appear in each area in outbreaks are as follows (mass outbreak and massive mass outbreak are abbreviated as M.O. and M.M.O., respectively, Pokémon marked with an * only spawn in massive mass outbreaks of their pre-evolution or from a second wave):

The majority of Pokémon species in Hisui can have a Mass Outbreak in the region(s) where they normally spawn in the overworld, with the exception of five categories:

  • Pokémon species that never appear in the overworld (Mythical and Legendary Pokémon, Sneasler, Overqwil, Hisuian Electrode, etc.);
  • Pokémon species that appear exclusively as fixed Alphas in the overworld (such as Infernape, Torterra, Empoleon, Rapidash, Dusknoir, etc.);
  • Pokémon species that appear exclusively in the Space-Time Distortions (starter lines, Eeveelutions, Magnemite line, Johtonian Sneasel line, Cranidos and Shieldon lines, etc.);
  • Pokémon species that exclusively appear flying in the overworld (Togetic, Togekiss, Hisuian Braviary, Magnezone, Crobat).

Also, Pokémon that normally spawn only during the day or at night in the overworld can have an Outbreak at any time of day, such as Drifloon or Zubat that normally only spawn at nighttime, but can outbreak during the day as well.

Two Pokémon have additional requirements for appearing in Massive Mass Outbreaks:

  • Spiritomb will not appear until all 108 Wisps are obtained and Request 22: "Eerie Apparitions in the Night" is complete.
  • Unown will not appear until all 28 forms have been found and cataloged in the Unown Research Notes.
NDex Pokémon Obsidian Fieldlands Crimson Mirelands Cobalt Coastlands Coronet Highlands Alabaster Icelands
M.O. M.M.O. M.O. M.M.O. M.O. M.M.O. M.O. M.M.O. M.O. M.M.O.
025   Pikachu
026   Raichu ✓*
035   Clefairy ✓*
036   Clefable ✓*
037   Vulpix
038   Ninetales ✓* ✓*
041   Zubat
042   Golbat
046   Paras
047   Parasect
054   Psyduck
055   Golduck ✓*
058   Growlithe
059   Arcanine ✓*
063   Abra
064   Kadabra
065   Alakazam ✓* ✓*
066   Machop
067   Machoke
068   Machamp ✓* ✓*
072   Tentacool
073   Tentacruel ✓*
074   Geodude
075   Graveler
076   Golem ✓* ✓* ✓*
077   Ponyta
078   Rapidash ✓* ✓*
092   Gastly
093   Haunter
094   Gengar ✓* ✓* ✓*
095   Onix
100   Voltorb
101   Electrode ✓*
108   Lickitung
111   Rhyhorn
112   Rhydon
113   Chansey
114   Tangela
122   Mr. Mime ✓* ✓*
123   Scyther
125   Electabuzz
126   Magmar ✓*
129   Magikarp
130   Gyarados ✓*
133   Eevee
143   Snorlax ✓*
155   Cyndaquil
156   Quilava
157   Typhlosion ✓*
169   Crobat ✓*
172   Pichu
173   Cleffa
175   Togepi
176   Togetic
185   Sudowoodo ✓*
190   Aipom
193   Yanma
198   Murkrow
200   Misdreavus
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
201   Unown
207   Gligar
208   Steelix ✓* ✓*
211   Qwilfish
214   Heracross
215   Sneasel
216   Teddiursa
217   Ursaring
220   Swinub
221   Piloswine ✓*
223   Remoraid
224   Octillery
226   Mantine ✓*
234   Stantler
239   Elekid
240   Magby
242   Blissey ✓*
265   Wurmple
266   Silcoon
267   Beautifly ✓*
268   Cascoon
269   Dustox ✓*
280   Ralts
281   Kirlia
282   Gardevoir ✓*
299   Nosepass
315   Roselia
339   Barboach
340   Whiscash
355   Duskull
356   Dusclops
358   Chimecho ✓*
361   Snorunt
362   Glalie ✓*
363   Spheal
364   Sealeo ✓*
365   Walrein ✓*
387   Turtwig
388   Grotle
389   Torterra ✓*
390   Chimchar
391   Monferno
392   Infernape ✓*
393   Piplup
394   Prinplup
395   Empoleon ✓*
396   Starly
397   Staravia
398   Staraptor ✓* ✓*
399   Bidoof
400   Bibarel ✓* ✓*
401   Kricketot
402   Kricketune ✓* ✓*
403   Shinx
404   Luxio
405   Luxray ✓* ✓*
406   Budew
407   Roserade ✓*
415   Combee
417   Pachirisu
418   Buizel
419   Floatzel ✓*
420   Cherubi
422   Shellos
422   Shellos
423   Gastrodon ✓*
423   Gastrodon ✓*
424   Ambipom ✓* ✓*
425   Drifloon
426   Drifblim ✓* ✓*
427   Buneary
428   Lopunny ✓* ✓*
429   Mismagius ✓* ✓*
430   Honchkrow ✓*
431   Glameow
432   Purugly ✓* ✓*
433   Chingling
434   Stunky
435   Skuntank ✓* ✓*
436   Bronzor
437   Bronzong ✓* ✓* ✓*
438   Bonsly
439   Mime Jr.
440   Happiny
441   Chatot
442   Spiritomb
443   Gible
444   Gabite
445   Garchomp ✓*
446   Munchlax
447   Riolu
448   Lucario ✓* ✓*
449   Hippopotas
450   Hippowdon ✓* ✓*
451   Skorupi
452   Drapion ✓* ✓*
453   Croagunk
454   Toxicroak ✓*
455   Carnivine
456   Finneon
457   Lumineon ✓*
458   Mantyke
459   Snover
460   Abomasnow ✓* ✓*
463   Lickilicky ✓* ✓*
464   Rhyperior ✓* ✓*
465   Tangrowth ✓*
466   Electivire ✓*
467   Magmortar ✓*
468   Togekiss ✓*
469   Yanmega ✓* ✓*
472   Gliscor ✓*
473   Mamoswine ✓*
475   Gallade ✓*
476   Probopass ✓*
477   Dusknoir ✓* ✓*
478   Froslass ✓*
479   Rotom
501   Oshawott
502   Dewott
503   Samurott ✓*
548   Petilil
549   Lilligant ✓*
550   Basculin
570   Zorua
571   Zoroark ✓* ✓*
627   Rufflet
628   Braviary ✓*
704   Goomy
705   Sliggoo
706   Goodra ✓*
712   Bergmite
713   Avalugg ✓*
722   Rowlet
723   Dartrix
724   Decidueye ✓*
899   Wyrdeer ✓*
900   Kleavor ✓*
901   Ursaluna ✓*
902   Basculegion ✓*
902   Basculegion ✓*
903   Sneasler ✓*
904   Overqwil ✓*

In the anime

 
A mass outbreak of Pikachu in the anime

In Ivysaur's Mysterious Tower!, Vermilion City was the site of a mass outbreak of Bulbasaur and Ivysaur. Ash and Goh learned that the former grassland, now the site of a new Gym, was the ideal site for the Bulbasaur line to absorb the solar energy and wind needed to undergo evolution.

In Gotta Catch a What?!, Ash and Goh ventured into the mountains to discover a reported Pikachu outbreak. They learned that Pikachu had gathered because the area was rich in Thunder Stones, helping the Pikachu, including Goh's newly caught one, evolve into Raichu en masse.

In Trials of a Budding Master!, Goh learned of a mass outbreak of Geodude at the Rock Tunnel. After arriving there with Ash, he almost immediately found one and caught it.

In other languages

Mass outbreak

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 大量出現
Mandarin 大量出現 / 大量出现
  Finnish Suuri esiintymä
  French Apparition massive de Pokémon
  German Massiver Auflauf
  Italian Comparse massicce
  Korean 대량발생 Daeryangbalsaeng
  Brazilian Portuguese Aparição massiva
  Spanish Aparición masiva de Pokémon

Massive mass outbreak

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 大大大量出現
Mandarin 大大大量出現 / 大大大量出现
  French Mégapparition de Pokémon
  German Multiple Aufläufe
  Italian Comparse multiple
  Korean 초대량발생 Choderyangbalsaeng
  Spanish Aparición supermasiva de Pokémon


See also

References


  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.