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Pokemon Let's Go: how to get Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle

While Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee are set in the world of Kanto as first introduced in Pokemon Red, Blue and Green, it's more closely related to Pokemon Yellow - and that means you don't get your choice of the classic and iconic starter Pokemon Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. We love Pikachu and Eevee (especially when they have the right nature), but that'll never do.

If you're anything like us, you're likely to have some sort of personal attachment to one of the three original Kanto starters - and the good news is you can get them relatively easy and relatively early on in Pokemon Let's Go, adding them to your team and evolving them into their equally brilliant final forms Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise to take into battle as powerful high-end Pokemon.

On this page, we're going to explain how to catch Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle in Pokemon Let's Go. That includes easy, stress-free ways of getting them as free 'gift' Pokemon from friendly trainers out in the world, plus where to farm wild encounters of these Pokemon if you want to catch more than one without having to fiddle with Ditto in the daycare. 

Bulbasaur in Pokemon Let's Go: Bulbasaur Location for gift & wild encounters

There are two ways to get your hands on a Bulbasaur in Pokemon Let's Go - one which involves a friendly NPC who'll simply give you Bulbasaur, and one way which involves catching it in the wild - though the chances there are much more slim.

  • To get a Bulbasaur without catching, you simply need to head to a particular NPC that can be found in Cerulean City. You'll want a house that's just to the left of the Pokemon Center - making it nice and easy to find. Head inside and chat to the chap within. He has a Bulbasaur he wants to offload, but he wants a decently experienced trainer. If you've caught at least 30 Pokemon (not 30 species, just 30 catches total), he'll hand the Bulbasaur over into your care.
  • For a wild Bulbasaur Location, you'll need to hjead to Viridian Forest. As far as we can tell, this is the only place in Pokemon Let's Go where Bulbasaur appear in the wild, and this is true in both versions of the game. This is a rare spawn, so don't expect to see it often. Remember, you can up your chances of seeing rare spawns with Lure items or by chaining together catch combos.

Charmander in Pokemon Let's Go: Charmander Location for gift & wild encounters

As with the other classic starter Pokemon, Charmander can be grabbed in one of two ways - through an NPC or in a natural catch, albeit a rare and difficult one. Here's how the two processes work for the fire lizard (and best starter ever):

  • To get a Charmander without catching, you'll want to first reach Cerulean City. This, again, is quite early in the game. North of Cerulean City you'll find the Nugget Bridge leading to Route 24. The story of Pokemon Let's Go will bring you this way anyway. As you exit the Nugget Bridge onto Route 24 proper, look north - here you'll see a trainer standing against some sheer rock face, and he has a Charmander with him. Like Bulbasaur, he has a requirement - if you've caught 50 Pokemon or more, he'll give you his Charmander.
  • For your wild Charmander location, you'll want to head to either Route 3, Route 4 or the Rock Tunnel that connects them. Again, this is a rare encounter that doesn't even show up on the habitat section of the Pokedex, so you'll need to do a lot of grinding, building up catch combos and using lures to try to lure out a Charmander. They are there, though.

Squirtle in Pokemon Let's Go: Squirtle Location for gift & wild encounters

The final of the three starters from the classic games is Squirtle, and Squirtle is the last to show up on Pokemon Let's Go in either form. You won't be able to nab Squirtle until one further city in the game, and it won't appear in the wild until much later. Here's how it works:

  • To get a Squirtle without catching, you'll need to reach Vermillion City. You'll see a Squirtle causing Officer Jenny trouble in Cerulean City, and when you reach Vermillion you'll see Jenny again - and this time she's caught the cheeky little Pokemon. She's willing to give it to you to keep it on the straight and narrow, but she'll need proof you know what you're doing - having caught 60 Pokemon should do it.
  • If you want a wild Squirtle encounter, you will sadly need to wait until some of the later routes in the game out on the islands, where you'll use Sea Skim (aka Surf) to get out onto the water. Look for wild Squirtle on Route 24, Route 25 and the Seafoam Islands area of Kanto. You'll reach these areas a little later, but the same rules apply - it's a super rare encounter not mentioned in the Pokedex, and you'll need to use catch combos and lures to raise your chances of bumping into a Squirtle.
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