As always, the rarest of catches in Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee are the legendary Pokemon. The one you're most likely to be able to access first is Zapdos, the legendary thunder bird - but to catch it, you'll need to find your way to the power plant.
You see, catching legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Lets Go is a mostly optional activity. You can make your way from Pallet town right the way to Indigo Plateau without ever encountering one if you so wish - but if you're more proactive, you'll be able to start picking them up from around the halfway point in the story.
On this page, we're going to explain how to catch Zapdos in Pokemon Let's Go, starting with the all important instruction of how to get to the power plant, which Zapdos appropriately calls home.
How to get to the Power Plant in Pokemon Let's Go
Pokemon Let's Go is a pretty faithful recreation of the world from Pokemon Red, Blue, Green and Yellow, and that includes the placement of the Power Plant, a unique opportunity to catch lots of awesome electric-type Pokemon... including Zapdos.
To get to the power plant you need to use Sea Skim (aka Surf), a secret technique you can grab as soon as you reach Fuchsia City. For more information on unlocking it, check out our Secret Techniques & HM guide page. In theory you can do this just three gym badges into the game.
The Power Plant can be reached off of Route 10, near the entrance to the Rock Tunnel dungeon area. Simply look for the body of water, hop on it using Sea Skim and follow it around. Eventually, you'll find the hidden entrance to the power plant - once you follow the path of the water, it's basically impossible to miss.
Once you reach the power plant, treat it like any other dungeon. There's no trainers here, so just work your way through catching Pokemon for experience - you're going to need it for Zapdos...
Pokemon Let's Go: Zapdos Battle & Capture Tips
Before you try to approach Zapdos, there's some important context you should be aware of - before you have the chance to catch Zapdos, you have to beat it in battle. You should've encountered this sort of wild Pokemon before with the sleeping Snorlax that were blocking the roads, but now it's much higher stakes with a powerful level 50 legendary Pokemon.
Zapdos is a flying and electric-type mix, so that makes it most vulnerable to rock-type Pokemon and attacks overall. Ice-type Pokemon and moves work well too, but they're harder to come by in Kanto. Rock-types are easily found, however, and you'd be surprised how well an evolved member of the Geodude or Rhydon evolution families can fare against this legendary. Onix is a great pick too.
Remember that if your moves aren't cutting it you could bolster a Pokemon's chances with some choice move TMs.
If you're after a shiny Zapdos, keep in mind that the same shiny rules apply as outlined in our shiny hunting guide - you should abuse Pokemon Let's Go's catch combo system and possibly wait to earn the shiny charm before initiating this encounter if you're desperate for a shiny form. As a warning, the pre-battle cutscene doesn't display Zapdos as shiny - it'll only appear as shiny in gameplay sequences.
Finally, the Zapdos stats, nature and so on are defined when you go to catch it - so if you save before the fight, you can indeed save scum to get favorable stats.
How to get a second Zapdos in the late game
After you've caught Zapdos for the first time, Zapdos can actually show up as a spawn in the wild. It's a rare Pokemon Spawn, so it doesn't show up very often at all - but it can have its spawn odds increased significantly through the use of catch combos and lures, just as with shinies.
Zapdos shows up as a rare spawn in just the same way as Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur, in fact - so it is doable, if you're patient. It can show up in the following areas:
- Route 1
- Route 2
- Route 3
- Route 4
- Route 6
- Route 7
- Route 8
- Route 10
- Route 11
- Route 12
- Route 13
- Route 14
- Route 15
- Route 16
- Route 17
- Route 18
- Route 19
- Route 21
- Route 22
- Route 23
- Route 24
- Route 25