A regional variant (Japanese: リージョンフォーム Region Form) is a species of Pokémon found in a specific region that takes on a different form than it does in most other regions. These Pokémon have uniquely adapted to habitats that are different than those where its species naturally live in other parts of the world. As such, many things may be different about them, from their appearance and way of living to even their type, moves, Abilities, base stats and height and weight. This is analogous to peripatric speciation in regards to real world phenomena, where a population that is isolated from the rest of the species develop unique traits and eventually evolve into a new species.
In the Alola region, a species' regional variant is referred to as its Alola Form (Japanese: アローラのすがた Alola form). A Pokémon in its Alola Form is described as Alolan — for example, Exeggutor in its Alola Form is referred to as Alolan Exeggutor. Only Pokémon introduced in Generation I have Alola Forms.
In Alola, when breeding Pokémon whose offspring has a regional variant, the offspring's form depends on its parents. If the female parent is the species' normal form (including in a Ditto pairing) and holds an Everstone, and if the offspring is in the same family as that parent, then the offspring will hatch as the normal form. In all other cases, the offspring will always hatch in its Alola Form.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, if a Pokémon evolves from a species that does not have an Alola Form to one that does, such as Cubone, it will always evolve into its Alola Form and cannot evolve into its normal form. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the Pokémon will evolve into its Alola Form while in Alola itself, but can also evolve into its normal form while in Ultra Space.
In spin-off games
In the Super Smash Bros. series
In Pokémon GO
Alolan Pokémon first appeared in Pokémon GO on May 30, 2018, with the appearance of Alolan Exeggutor. With the exception of Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate, Alolan Pokémon are typically exclusive to special Eggs and Raid Battles. However, Alolan Exeggutor has reappeared in the wild on occasion since its initial debut, and Alolan Diglett and Alolan Geodude have also infrequently appeared in the wild.
In the anime
Alolan Pokémon have been present in the Sun & Moon series since the first episode. Ash first learned about them in The Guardian's Challenge!, where his class discussed the difference between Alolan Exeggutor and Exeggutor from other regions.
Multiple Alolan Rattata and Raticate appeared in To Top a Totem!, where they were harassing a farmer on Melemele Island, stealing his crops. Hala tasked Ash with finding a solution to this problem that doesn't involve battling the pests. Instead, Ash chose to battle the Verdant Cavern Totem Pokémon, Gumshoos, and enlisted its help to scare the Rattata and Raticate away.
Lillie received a Pokémon Egg in Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!. It hatched into an Alolan Vulpix she nicknamed Snowy in Racing to a Big Event!. After capturing it in the following episode, Lillie took her first steps towards overcoming her fear of touching Pokémon.
In Getting the Band Back Together!, an Alolan Dugtrio appeared under the ownership of Professor Kukui's old friend, DJ Leo. Their musical performance drew the adoration of a wild Alolan Diglett, who later joined as another member of their DJ group.
In A Team-on-Team Tussle!, Team Rocket fought a trio of Team Skull Grunts over a Darkinium Z protected by a Totem Alolan Raticate and Ally Alolan Rattata and Raticate. While Jessie and James are ultimately unsuccessful in defeating the Totem, Meowth is able to steal the Z-Crystal while it is distracted.
An Alolan Geodude debuted in Treasure Hunt, Akala Style!, where Ash attempted to catch it. After a short battle, the Alolan Geodude punched Ash's Poké Ball into his face with a Thunder Punch and then ran away.
In A Crowning Moment of Truth!, while Ash and his classmates were visiting Wela Volcano Park for the Wela Fire Festival, the festivities were interrupted by a a wild Alolan Marowak, who stole the Wela Crown used in a ceremony. While Kiawe and his Turtonator were defeated by it during their first challenge, they were able to defeat it in a rematch thanks to Turtonator's newly-learned Shell Smash. After being defeated, Marowak gave back the crown and asked to join Kiawe's party.
A wild Alolan Meowth appeared in Acting True to Form!, where it came to Team Rocket looking for a worthy master. It manipulated Jessie and James into turning against Meowth by showing off its abilities, and also earned their favor when they realized it could use their Darkinium Z. When Giovanni and Matori contacted the trio for a report on their activities, the Alolan Meowth became intrigued by them. To this end, it slipped away, stole Meowth's savings, and flew to Kanto to reach Team Rocket HQ, where Matori made it her assistant due to its craftiness.
More Alolan Sandshrew appeared in Not Caving Under Pressure! in the caverns underneath Mount Lanakila. Lillie befriended a particularly large Sandshrew, and helped it reclaim its territory from an aggressive Tyranitar. After the battle, Sophocles's Charjabug found an Ice Stone, which the Sandshrew promptly used to evolve into Sandslash. Sandslash rewarded Lillie with an Icium Z as a token of gratitude.
Alolan Geodude and Graveler appeared in SM095 at Wela Volcano Park, having been driven out by Rock Hunters attempting to mine the caves in the area for the food the Pokémon eat. The hunters were attacked by their leader, an Alolan Golem, who began attacking indiscriminately. Thanks to the Ultra Guardians' Metang, however, Ash, Kiawe, and Sophocles were able to calm the group of Alolan Pokémon and stop the magnetic interference coming from the Park. The leader Golem later joined a trio of Hikers who volunteered to help with future patrols of Wela Volcano Park.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
An Alolan Grimer appeared in PASM13.
- Main article: Variant Pokémon
Prior to Generation VII, there were already certain Pokémon that had variations depending on their native geographical area, but, unlike regional variants, these Pokémon do not appear to have adapted to selective pressures; rather, their differences are purely aesthetic, with their type, moves, Abilities, height, and weight remaining the same.
- The Generation I Pokédex entries for Arbok state that there are six variations of its face-like hood markings that differ between areas. Eight designs are known, but only three have appeared in the core series games (with a fourth in Pokémon Ranger). In Pokémon Adventures, Arbok gains a special ability depending on its pattern.
- In Sinnoh, Shellos and Gastrodon have different appearances on each side of Mt. Coronet. East Sea Shellos and Gastrodon only appear east of Mt. Coronet, whereas West Sea Shellos and Gastrodon only appear on the west side.
- Mantyke's Pokédex entry in Pokémon Pearl says that the pattern on its back varies from region to region. While it has the same appearance in all Generation IV games (due to using the same sprites), the "face" from Generation V onward appears wider.
- Vivillon, which was introduced in Generation VI, has a different appearance depending on where the game it was created in is from in the real world.
- In the anime episode Poké Ball Peril, a number of alternately colored Pokémon were seen on Valencia Island, including Butterfree, Raticate, Nidoran♂, Nidoran♀, Vileplume, Paras, and Weepinbell. Professor Ivy, the Pokémon Professor of the Orange Archipelago, studies these variations.
- The episode Fly Me to the Moon featured Pidgey native to Pudgy Pidgey Isle that were too heavy to fly due to an abundance of food and a lack of predators.
- In the Pokémon Adventures round Off Course with Corsola, Bill mentioned that Kanto and Johto share many of the same Pokémon, but their colors and patterns are different between regions.
- When a Pokémon undergoes evolution into a regional variant, the background in the evolution animation is green, as opposed to the blue background for all other Pokémon. Conversely, when a Pokémon Egg hatches into a regional variant, the background is blue instead of yellow. Additionally, a different arrangement of the evolution music is played in both of these situations.
- All non-Alolan Pokémon that can evolve into an Alola Form have a signature move.
In other languages