Player character

(Redirected from Player Character)
0050Diglett.png This article is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this article to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Pokkén Tournament player characters

The beginning of Red's Pokémon journey.

A player character (Japanese: 主人公 protagonist) in the world of Pokémon is the main character in the plot of the Pokémon games. The player character is an avatar that represents the real player in the world of the game, and they are characterized by almost never speaking outside of occasional short dialogue options.

In the core series

In the core series games, the player characters are Pokémon Trainers beginning their Pokémon journey. They are usually around 10 or 11-years-old[1] and start their journey in their hometown by getting a starter Pokémon, a Pokémon that appears very early in their native region's Pokédex, and is usually of the Grass-, Fire-, or Water-type. The region's resident Pokémon Professor will always give them this, as well as a Pokédex. Starting in Pokémon Crystal, players can also choose their character's gender. Usually, they have rivals who begin their journey at about the same time. Players take part in several events, and meet a great number of Pokémon and people during their adventure. A common target is to conquer a Pokémon League's eight Gym Leaders and Elite Four, and become the Champion. Several additional side-quests occur during and after each game's main plot.

To date, only one player character has reappeared from an older generation in a role other than that of the player. In Generation II and the Generation IV remakes, when Ethan or Kris/Lyra travels to Mt. Silver and reaches the deepest point of the cave, Red is found, utterly silent as he was under the player's control. At the time of these games' respective releases, Red's Pikachu was the highest-leveled Pokémon owned by an in-game Trainer (Barry's fully evolved starter Pokémon temporarily surpassed the standard set in Gold and Silver until the release of their remakes, HeartGold and SoulSilver). Red reappeared in Black 2 and White 2, in the Champions Tournament of the Pokémon World Tournament, and again in the Alola-based Generation VII games, as the leader of the Battle Tree with Blue.

The player character can be named in all core series games at the beginning of the game using the same interface as that for entering nicknames for Pokémon. From Generation I through Generation V, the player name character limit was five in Japanese and Korean and seven in Western languages. From Generation VI onward, the character limit was increased to six in Japanese and Korean and 12 in Western languages.

In the side series

Stadium series

Three unnamed player characters appear in Pokémon Stadium series. Japanese-only Pokémon Stadium featured one male character, whose design was likely based on Red. However, for the sequel, a brand new male character was created. This player was also in Pokémon Stadium 2, where he was given a female counterpart. She appears when a player uses a Pokémon Crystal Game Pak. Like the core series player characters, these three characters remain silent throughout the games.

Additionally, the Pokémon Stadium series includes various minigames featuring Pokémon as player characters. For instance Pikachu or Voltorb are the player characters in "Thundering Dynamo" from Pokémon Stadium, while Cleffa and Igglybuff are the player characters in "Streaming Stampede" from Pokémon Stadium 2.

Orre series

Aside from the standard that many of the games' player characters take in their journey, there are also several other ways in which other player characters complete their journey, such as Wes and Michael in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness who are called to defeat Cipher and free all of their snagged Pokémon from their Shadow state.

In spin-off games


Pokémon GO

In Pokémon GO, the player character can be chosen and customized at the beginning of the game. They can also be customized at any time from the profile screen starting in version 0.31.0.

The default male player character originally wore the gray weave hat, no glasses, the a shirt that came with fingerless gloves, a green and red backpack, the red and black pants and leggings, and green shoes. After an update the overhaled the trainer's wardrobe, the default male player character wears the gray trainer visor, no glasses, the light blue classic hoodie, a yellow trainer backpack, yellow fingerless gloves, trainer shorts, gray leggings, and yellow running shoes. Both designs feature the character with brunette hair, teal eyes, and light skin.

The default female player character originally wore the white and red cap, no glasses, the maroon shirt that came with a choker and gloves of the same color, a red backpack, an orange ball buckle belt, gray and black pants, and orange shoes. After an update that overhaled the trainer's wardrobe, the default female player character wears the black ball cap, no glasses, the black ribbon choker, the crimson classic longsleeve, a teal urban pack, black fingerless gloves, crimson ball buckle, crimson sprint suit, black long leg warmers, and red running shoes. Both designs feature the character with brunette hair, teal eyes, and light skin.

Pokémon Masters EX

In Pokémon Masters EX, the player character, Scottie or Bettie, is a Pokémon Trainer who travels to the artificial island of Pasio to participate in the Pokémon Masters League tournament.

All player characters from Generation I to Generation VIII (with the exception of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! and Pokémon Legends: Arceus) appear as playable characters. So far, Red, Ethan, Brendan, Dawn, Hilbert, Rosa, Serena, and Gloria are based on the player character of their respective games. The other player characters are based on the non-player characters as applicable. Red is the only character based on a core series player character to be a Champion, as it is unclear if any of the other characters based on the player characters have defeated their respective region's Champion.

Pokémon: Magikarp Jump

In Pokémon: Magikarp Jump, the player plays as a person of ambiguous gender always referred to as "you", who fishes and trains Magikarp to jump as high as possible.

Pokémon Quest

Main article: Player (Quest)

In Pokémon Quest, the player explores the Tumblecube Island and befriends Pokémon.

Game Boy Color

Pokémon Trading Card Game series

In Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR!, Mark and Mint do not use actual Pokémon themselves, but cards instead.

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

In the Challenge mode of Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, the player character is Ethan. In this mode, he challenges the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four of Johto, as well as some other characters, in puzzle games.

Nintendo DS

Pokémon Conquest

In Pokémon Conquest, the player character is the Warlord of Ransei's kingdom of Aurora. Their objective is to unite the seventeen kingdoms of the region, stop Nobunaga, and meet the legendary Pokémon that created Ransei. As more stories are unlocked, more characters become playable.

Pokémon Ranger series

In the Pokémon Ranger series, Lunick, Solana, Kellyn, Kate, Ben and Summer are not Pokémon Trainers, but instead Pokémon Rangers. They use the Pokémon they have captured with the Capture Styler to help them along the way. They also have partner Pokémon that follow them wherever they go.

Pokémon Trozei

In Pokémon Trozei!, the main protagonist is Lucy Fleetfoot, who must release all the Pokémon stolen by Phobos Battalion.

Pokémon Dash

In Pokémon Dash, the player character is Pikachu.

Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure

In Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure, the player can choose from four preset outfits, two for each gender, at the beginning of the game.

Nintendo 3DS

Detective Pikachu

In Detective Pikachu, the protagonist is Tim Goodman, who teams up with Detective Pikachu to solve several mysteries and to find his missing father.

Pokémon Art Academy

The player is a student at the Pokémon Art Academy. The player's appearance is not seen in-game, although they are identified by their name and gender (male or female). The player's ID card also displays their student level and signature.

A non-player character of the opposite gender often interacts with the player as a friendly classmate: either Lee or Lily.

Nintendo 64

Pokémon Snap

In Pokémon Snap, Todd Snap must strive for something different from Trainers. He must capture all the Pokémon on Pokémon Island—on film.

Hey You, Pikachu!

Main article: Player (Hey You, Pikachu!)

In Hey You, Pikachu!, the player uses the PokéHelper to talk to Pikachu. The player is shown as a silhouette.

Pokémon Puzzle League

Pokémon Puzzle League is an anime-based game. The player characters come from the anime, instead of their core series counterparts. In the 1P Stadium mode, the player character is Ash Ketchum. In the 2P Stadium mode, there are 15 player characters to choose: Ash Ketchum, Gary Oak, the Team Rocket trio, Tracey, Ritchie, Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, Koga, Sabrina, Blaine, Giovanni, Lorelei, and Bruno.


PokéPark series

In PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, the player character is a Pikachu. In PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond, the player characters are Pikachu, Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott.


Pokémon Ga-Olé

In Pokémon Ga-Olé, the main protagonist can be played in the arcade game as either a male or a female.

Pokkén Tournament

In Pokkén Tournament, the player took control of a character who wishes to rise to the top of the Ferrum League. The player avatar can be customized at the beginning of the game, with more customization options available to purchase in the shop as the game progresses.

Pokémon Battrio

Main article: Avatar (Battrio)

Players with Memory Keys have the ability to create an avatar (Japanese: アバター) that will serve as their profile for all activity while playing Pokémon Battrio. Players can select either a male or female avatar of varying types, and give their profile a nickname of up to four characters.


Pokémon Play It! series

In Pokémon Play It! and Pokémon Play It! Version 2, Julie talks directly with the unseen player character. In the introduction of both games, Julie says that she and the player character are Pokémon Trainers. However, they play the Trading Card Game rather than train Pokémon.

Perdue series

In Pokémon Team Rocket Blast Off, Pokémon Poké Ball Launcher, and Pokémon Seek & Find, the player characters are Ash Ketchum and May.

Pokémon Team Turbo

In Pokémon Team Turbo, there are 20 racers available: Bulbasaur, Venusaur, Charmander, Charmeleon, Squirtle, Blastoise, Pikachu, Treecko, Torchic, Blaziken, Mudkip, Skitty, Plusle, Spheal, Metagross, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Deoxys, and Munchlax.


Pokémon Rumble series

In Pokémon Rumble, the player starts as a Toy Rattata. In Pokémon Rumble Blast, the player starts as a Toy Pikachu. In Pokémon Rumble World, the player starts as their Mii character.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, players play as actual Pokémon. Unlike most other Pokémon games, the player actually talks, but is given preset responses to say to questions. In Red Rescue Team, Blue Rescue Team, Explorers of Time, Explorers of Darkness, and Explorers of Sky, after defeating the final boss, the player speaks in full sentences instead of silently thinking to themselves or having answer choices. This type of dialogue is used by the player on rare occasions, in small amounts, throughout the story of Gates to Infinity.

Available player characters:

Super Smash Bros. series

The Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games includes characters from multiple franchises other than Pokémon. The playable characters from the Pokémon franchise found in Smash Bros. games are: Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pichu, Mewtwo, Lucario, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard, Greninja, and Incineroar. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard are playable under the control of the Pokémon Trainer, who is based on the player character versions of Red and Leaf and represents the concept of player characters in the Pokémon games.


Core series













Red Ethan Brendan Lucas
Female N/A











Leaf Kris Lyra May Dawn











Hilbert Nate Calem Elio Chase Victor Rei Florian











Hilda Rosa Serena Selene Elaine Gloria Akari Juliana

Side games

Stadium (JPN) Stadium (ENG) & Stadium 2 Stadium 2 Colosseum XD Battle Revolution
Boy Girl Wes Michael Nate Cyndy

Spin-off games

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Missing images of "You" from Pokémon Zany Cards and the player characters of New Pokémon Snap
GO Masters EX Conquest Ga-Olé
Male Female Scottie Bettie Hero Heroine Male Female
Ranger Ranger: Shadows of Almia Ranger: Guardian Signs TCG GB1
Lunick Solana Kellyn Kate Ben Summer Mark Mint
Typing Adventure Snap Trozei Magikarp Jump Detective Pikachu
Boy Girl Todd Snap Lucy Fleetfoot You Tim Goodman
Hey You, Pikachu! Puzzle Challenge
Player Ethan

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros. series
Pikachu Jigglypuff Mewtwo Pichu Pokémon Trainer
Squirtle Ivysaur Charizard Lucario Greninja Incineroar


Hot Blooded Type Cool Type Glasses Type Naughty Type Fashionable Type
Hot Blooded Type Cool Type Glasses Type Naughty Type Fashionable Type

Pokémon characters

Pikachu's Adventure &
Wonders Beyond
Wonders Beyond Rumble Rumble Blast Dash
Pikachu Snivy Tepig Oshawott Rattata Pikachu Pikachu
Electric Grass Fire Water Normal Electric Electric

Stadium minigames

Stadium (ENG)
Clefairy Says Dig! Dig! Dig! Ekans' Hoop Hurl Magikarp's Splash Rock Harden
Clefairy Sandshrew Ekans Magikarp Metapod Kakuna
Run, Rattata, Run Snore War Sushi-Go-Round Thundering Dynamo
Rattata Drowzee Lickitung Pikachu Voltorb
Stadium 2
Barrier Ball Clear Cut Challenge Delibird's Delivery Eager Eevee
Mr. Mime Scyther Scizor Pinsir Delibird Eevee
Egg Emergency Furret's Frolic Gutsy Golbat Pichu's Power Plant
Chansey Furret Girafarig Golbat Pichu Pikachu
Rampage Rollout Streaming Stampede Topsy-Turvy Tumbling Togepi
Donphan Cleffa Igglybuff Hitmontop Togepi Omanyte

Pokémon Team Turbo

Bulbasaur Venusaur Charmander Charmeleon Squirtle
Blastoise Pikachu Treecko Torchic Blaziken
Mudkip Skitty Plusle Spheal Metagross
Kyogre Groudon Rayquaza Deoxys Munchlax

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, Blue Rescue Team and Rescue Team DX

Grass Poison Fire Water Electric
Normal Water Fighting Ground
Normal Grass Fire Water
Grass Fire Water Normal

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness

Grass Poison Fire Water Electric Normal Grass Fire Water
Grass Fire Water Normal Grass Fire Water Normal

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Grass Poison Fire Water Electric Fire Normal Grass
Fire Water Ground Grass Fire Water Normal
Grass Fire Water Electric Fighting

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Keep Going! Blazing Adventure Squad!

Fire Fire Fire Normal Fire
Normal Fire Fire Normal

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Let's Go! Stormy Adventure Squad!

Water Water Water Ground Ground Water
Normal Psychic Water Fighting

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Go For It! Light Adventure Squad!

Electric Normal Water Electric Normal
Electric Electric Electric Electric

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

Electric Grass Fire Water Dragon

Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon

Grass Poison Fire Water Electric Grass
Fire Water Grass Fire Water
Grass Fire Water Fighting Grass
Fire Water Grass Fire Water

In the anime

Main series

May's anime counterpart

In the Pokémon anime, six of the player characters have been given major roles, four of them in the main series. Ash Ketchum represents Red (his game counterpart), being based on him in appearance as well as basic history (Ritchie, by extension of resembling Ash, also resembles Red, although his basic history is unknown).

At the beginning of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, May was introduced in order to better represent Generation III, as both Misty and Brock are characters who originated in Generation I. Likewise, at the beginning of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Dawn joined Ash to represent Generation IV. In Pokémon the Series: XY, Serena joined Ash in order to represent Generation VI.

Jimmy and Marina appeared in The Legend of Thunder! special, taking a similar role to Ash and his companions, fighting Team Rocket members to protect Legendary Pokémon. While the protagonists of Generation II did not join Ash's company, these two filled the roles as the anime counterparts to Ethan and Kris.

Lyra appeared in An Egg Scramble!, and joined the group for a brief time until Bagged Then Tagged!.

Ash and his friends have also encountered several player characters from the side games. Todd Snap was the first, and a special case, as he originated in the anime before appearing in Pokémon Snap. He joins the group for a few episodes at two points in the original series: once during the Kanto journey and once during the Johto journey. The others, Solana, Kellyn, and Ben are all Pokémon Rangers that Ash and friends assisted in rescuing and protecting Pokémon.

So far, Brendan has only made a few select cameo appearances at the beginning of some of the movies, while Lucas made a cameo at the beginning of Giratina and the Sky Warrior, where he was battling Brendan. Ethan also appears with a second counterpart at the beginning of Zoroark: Master of Illusions. Much later, Rei made a cameo at the end of The Arceus Chronicles (Part 4).

None of the Generation V or Generation VII player characters have yet been seen in the main anime.

Red in Pokémon Origins
Calem in Pokémon Generations
Elaine in Pokémon Evolution
Nate in the Black 2 and White 2 Animated Trailer
May and Brendan in the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Animated Trailer
Gloria in GOTCHA!

Pokémon Origins

Red has a direct counterpart as the main character in Pokémon Origins.

Pokémon Generations

Direct counterparts of Red, Ethan, Brendan, Hilbert, and Calem appeared in Pokémon Generations.

Much like Red, none of the other player characters depicted in the miniseries have any lines of dialogue.

Pokémon: Twilight Wings

Victor and Gloria appeared in Pokémon: Twilight Wings.


Red appears in POKÉTOON.

Pokémon Evolutions

Direct counterparts of Victor, Gloria, Selene, Calem, Serena, Hilda, Lucas, May, Ethan, Red, and Elaine appeared in Pokémon Evolutions. With the exception of Gloria and Serena, they are all based on the player character of their respective games.

This was the first time that a player character appeared with a customized playable skin color outside the games, with Victor and Elaine appearing with darker skin.

Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 Animated Trailer

Nate and Rosa both appeared in the animated trailer for Pokémon Black and White Versions 2.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Animated Trailer

Brendan and May both appeared in the animated trailer for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Pokémon Masters Animated Trailer

Scottie, Rosa, Bettie, Red, and Brendan appeared in the animated trailer for Pokémon Masters.


All playable characters from Pokémon Red and Blue to Pokémon Sword and Shield, with the exception of Kris, Leaf, Chase, and Elaine appear in the musice video, GOTCHA!.

In the manga

Many of the characters appearing in various Pokémon manga are based on player and rival characters from the core series games. These characters usually play a major role within the series.

Pokémon Adventures

Ruby, one of Brendan's manga counterparts

Pokémon Adventures features cross-canon counterparts for almost all of the player characters in the core series games, who are usually named after one of the games they originate from. Red is based on his game counterpart, while Green is based on the unnamed female character who appears in Pokémon Red and Green's official strategy guide. After Leaf was introduced in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Green changed into Leaf's clothes to serve as her counterpart. Gold is based on the then-unnamed player character Ethan. Once Pokémon Crystal was released and introduced a female player character, Kris, Crystal was introduced to be her counterpart. Additionally, though Lyra is usually accepted as a different character from Kris, Crystal has appeared wearing Lyra's clothes to serve as her counterpart, rather than introducing a second Johto female protagonist for the HeartGold & SoulSilver chapter.

Since having both a male and female player character became a staple for the series from then on, most player characters have been adapted into Pokédex holders who are named after the first two paired games in a generation, with the male player character being named after the first game of the pair and the female player character being named after the second game of the pair. For example, Ruby is a counterpart to Brendan and Sapphire is a counterpart to May, the protagonists of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The one exception to this is Lucas and Dawn, the player characters of the Sinnoh-based games. Diamond is a counterpart to Lucas, but the name Pearl was given to Barry's counterpart. Dawn's counterpart goes deliberately unnamed for the first few volumes of the Diamond & Pearl chapter, only being revealed in Startling Staraptor to be Platinum, after the name of the third version was known to the public. Additionally, despite not being introduced in the first paired games of a generation, Nate and Rosa received counterparts in the form of Blake and Whitley, respectively.

A few player characters from spin-off games have appeared in Pokémon Adventures as well. Todd Snap appears as a supporting protagonist in the Emerald chapter, though he is never referred to by name. Lunick and Solana star in the side story manga Pokémon Ranger the Comic: Double Mission, while Kellyn and Kate star in its sequel, Darkrai Mission Story: Pokémon Ranger Vatonage - the Comic.

In other manga

In addition to the Pokémon Adventures characters, there are many characters that have very similar character designs as player or rival characters from the games. These include Red from Pokémon Pocket Monsters, Rald from Pokémon Battle Frontier, Hareta and Mitsumi from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, and Black from Golden Boys.


  • According to Ken Sugimori, the player characters of Pokémon Black and White, Hilbert and Hilda, were deliberately made to be older than the "10 or 11 years olds in previous games".[1]
  • Most of the male characters that Ash, the main character from the Pokémon anime, has encountered have been from side games, like Pokémon Ranger. The only counterpart of a male player character from the core series games who has met Ash is Ethan, in the thirteenth movie.
  • Red's dialogue during his appearance as an NPC reflects the games' player characters' status as silent protagonists.
  • The list of default names per gender generally repeats from game to game, starting in Pokémon Crystal. Exceptions to this are character-specific names, which are names unique to a character and are usually references to the title or aspects of the game.
  • Until Generation V, the given Japanese names of the male player characters in the core series games (as NPCs) all end in ki (). This excludes Red's appearance in Generations II and IV, as he is not a player character during the games when he is an NPC. Inclusively, Lunick's Japanese name also ends in ki.
  • Despite female player characters not being introduced until the second generation, there are more female player characters than male player characters (due to both Kris and Lyra existing for the Johto region).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nintendo Dream volume 201 (translation)

Player characters
Core series RedLeafEthanKrisLyraBrendanMayLucasDawn
Side series WesMichaelNateCyndy
Spin-off games MarkMintTodd SnapLucy Fleetfoot
HeroHeroineTim GoodmanScottieBettie

  This game character article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.