If you’re looking for the best Pokémon in Pokémon Go, you’ll already know it's a tough slog.
With the hundreds of Pokémon up for grabs in the wildly-popular AI game, Pokémon Go hinges upon a deft balance of stats, type matchups, and overall aesthetics. Use our Pokémon Go type chart to work out the strengths and weaknesses of your creature before getting into the good stuff here.
Pokémon’s strength is measured in CP, or Combat Power. This can vary based on a number of factors. Each Pokémon will have an individual CP, so, for example, not every Pikachu will be as strong as the next. Higher level trainers will usually encounter Pokémon with higher CP, or you can also power up the CP of your Pokémon to make them better in battle.
HP, or Hit Points, is also an important stat to consider. Hit Points measure the health of your Pokémon, so Pokémon with more HP can last longer in battles.
Though CP and HP can vary between individual Pokémon, there are some Pokémon that typically have higher CP and HP than others. These are the strongest Pokémon in Pokémon Go overall - and they tend to be pretty rare finds.
Now, onto all those highly-collectible Pokémon.
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Slaking
The Pokémon with the highest combined maximum CP and HP is Slaking.
Slaking is the third evolution of Slakoth, coming after Vigoroth. It needs 100 Candy to evolve from Vigoroth. Slakoth can be hatched from 10km eggs or found in grassy areas. This is helpful because many of the other strongest Pokémon in Pokémon Go are legendaries, so Slakoth is a more accessible option even though it may take some time to evolve all the way up.
Being a Normal type, Slaking has few weaknesses. In fact, it only takes extra damage from Fighting types.
On the other hand, it is only resistant to the best ghost type Pokemon attacks -but with so much HP, it should still be able to withstand them for some time.
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Mewtwo
Mewtwo is a very strong all-round Pokémon in Pokémon Go. It has both good CP and HP stats.
Mewtwo is only obtainable through 5-star Raids, and Legendary Pokémon cycle in and out of the Raid pool, so you may need to check whether it is available to be caught. At the time of writing, it will be returning to the Raid pool in June 2022.
Mewtwo is one of the best psychic type Pokémon, so it is resistant to damage from Fighting and other Psychic types. However, it will take additional damage from Bug, Ghost, and Dark types, so be aware of the matchups you might be facing before entering a battle.
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Blissey
Like Slaking, Blissey benefits from having a very high HP, as well as having a reasonable maximum CP. It also has a lot of Stamina. All in all, Blissey is an especially great choice for defending Gyms.
Its prior evolution, Chansey, can be found by exploring in the wild. Happiny, the baby version of the Pokémon, can also sometimes be found in eggs. Blissey will need to be evolved by giving 100 Candy to a Chansey.
Blissey is a Normal type Pokémon, so it only takes extra damage from fighting-type attacks and is only resistant to the best ghost type Pokémon attacks.
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Groudon
Groudon is another powerful Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Groudon is only obtainable through 5-star Raids, and Legendary Pokémon cycle in and out of the Raid pool, so you may need to check whether it is available to be caught. At the time of writing, it will be returning to the Raid pool in June 2022.
Groudon is a ground type Pokémon. This means that it is resistant to poison and rock-type attacks. It is especially resistant to electric attacks, so this is a great matchup to use Groudon in. However, it is weak to water, grass, and is especially susceptible to moves from the best ice type Pokémon.
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Rarest Pokémon
Some Pokémon are genuinely impossible to find in Pokémon Go, either because they haven’t been released yet or because they’ve been cycled out of special events like the 5-star Raids.
However, others are simply rare.
Here are some of the rarest finds in Pokémon Go.
Unown can very rarely be found when exploring the wild. That makes it especially tricky to catch all of the variants, which are themed around the alphabet, let alone grab all those shinies if you’re looking for them.
They do sometimes appear more commonly during special events, such as the yearly Pokémon Go Fest. At times like these they may also appear in Eggs, so be sure to grab up as many as possible for the chance to fill out your collection.
All the different Unown are psychic types. They are resistant to damage from fighting and other psychic types. However, they are weak against bug, ghost, and especially attacks from the best dark type Pokémon.
Salazzle is the evolution of Salandit. Salandit is usually not available in the wild. Instead, you will need to hatch it from a 12km Egg. 12km Eggs are available by beating Team Rocket in Pokémon Go. However, even within the 12km Egg pool, Salandit is a rare hatch, so you might need to hatch many Eggs before getting one.
Even worse, only female Salandit evolve, and only 12.5% of them are female. So you will likely need to hatch multiple Salandit to have any chance at a Salazzle. At least you’ll have some Candy stored up!
Salazzle is a poison as well as dark type Pokémon, so it is resistant to grass, poison, ghost, and dark-type attacks.
However, it is weak to some of the best ground type Pokémon and their attacks.
Melmetal is the evolution of Meltan. Both of these Pokémon made their first appearance in Pokémon Go during the 2018 Community Day. However, they are very hard to get a hold of.
You can get one Meltan by completing its associated Research tasks. However, it requires a whopping 400 Candy to evolve into Melmetal.
You can get candies in the usual ways, like feeding it berries and walking with it as your buddy, but the quickest way is to get more Meltan.
To get more Meltan (and more candies), you need to obtain a Mystery Box by transferring a Pokémon from Pokémon Go to Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee or Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu.
Opening the Mystery Box will cause Meltan to spawn for you for a short time. When you finally have 400 Candies, you can obtain a Melmetal.
Melmetal and Meltan are both some of the best steel type Pokémon. This gives them a lot of resistances - normal, grass, ice, flying, psychic, bug, rock, dragon, steel, and fairy type attacks will all do less damage, and Poison attacks will barely affect them.
However they are weak to fighting and ground type attacks.
Okay, Pikachu Libre is technically only a costumed Pikachu, but it’s still one of the rarest Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
To be able to catch it, you have to reach Level 20 in the Battle League, Pokémon Go’s competitive PvP. This requires winning many, many battles against your fellow Trainers. Once you reach that level, you’ll have a chance to encounter Pikachu Libre and capture it.
Like a regular Pikachu, Pikachu Libre is an electric type. That means that it’s resistant to electric, flying, and steel-type attacks, but vulnerable to ground type attacks from some of the best ground type Pokémon.
Of course, having Pikachu Libre is more about showing off how good you are in the Battle League anyway!
The best Pokémon in Pokémon Go: Best PVP Pokémon
Competitive PvP in Pokémon Go is quite different from any other aspect of the game. Accordingly, you will need different Pokémon to do well in it.
Here are some of the best Pokémon for PvP in Pokémon Go. Most people play in the Ultra League, where Pokémon are capped at 2500 CP, so we’ll assume that’s the one you’re going for too.
Giratina is one of the most popular Pokémon in the Ultra League, so even if you’re not using it yourself, be prepared to run into many of them. It is especially powerful in its Altered Form, which can be found in 5 star Raid Battles.
Giratina is a ghost and dragon type Legendary Pokémon. This gives it many resistances. It will take less damage from bug, electric, fighting, fire, grass, normal, poison, and the best water type Pokémon.
However, it does have a handful of weaknesses to be aware of. It is vulnerable to dark, dragon, fairy, ghost, and ice-type attacks.
Walrein has both a high CP and a high HP, making it a good all-rounder for taking into PvP battles in Pokémon Go. It should be able to deal lots of damage while also staying in the fight for a long time.
It also has a Shadow form, which you can obtain by defeating members of Team Rocket.
Shadow form Pokémon have both strengths and weaknesses to consider, but Shadow Walrein is generally considered more powerful. It will require more resources to power up, however.
Walrein is an ice and water type Pokémon. It is extremely resistant to other ice-type attacks, and somewhat resistant to water-type attacks. However, it is especially weak against the best fighting type Pokemon as well as rock, grass, and electric-type attacks.
Trevenant is a ghost and grass type Pokémon which has a well-rounded set of stats. With its variety of strengths, it can be a good lead Pokémon if you’re not sure what to expect from your opponent. It can be evolved from Phantump for 200 Candy.
Trevenant’s ghost, dark, and grass-type moves can deal super effective damage to a wide range of Pokémon, especially those which are popular in the Ultra League like the best fairy type Pokémon.
It is also resistant to ground, water, grass, electric, normal, and fighting-type moves. However, it is weak to flying, ghost, fire, ice, and dark type moves.
The last evolution of the humble Mudkip, Swampert is a popular choice in Pokémon Go’s PvP mode. In part that’s because of its easy availability, especially compared with Legendaries like Giratina. However, it is also a powerful Pokémon in its own right, especially thanks to attacks like Hydro Cannon.
It also has a Shadow form, which you can obtain by defeating members of Team Rocket, which has additional strengths and drawbacks to consider.
As a duo water and ground type Pokémon, Swampert only has one weakness: the best grass type Pokémon.
However, it does take a devastating amount of damage from these type of attacks. On the other hand, it is resistant to electric, poison, rock, steel, and fire type attacks.
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