When you start your journey in Pokémon Go, after creating a Trainer and setting a username - don't worry, you can change name and appearance later - Professor Willow will offer you one of three Pokemon to choose from.

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Literally turn your back on these guys to until you spot Pikachu.

These three starters are Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle - which long-time players will recognise are the very same as those offered to players by Professor Oak in debut entries Pokémon Red and Blue.

However, in a nod to fans of Pokémon Yellow and the TV show, it's actually possible to have Pikachu as the starter Pokémon in Pokémon Go instead.

While it's not the only way to get Pikachu in the game - it can be found in the wild in several locations, as well as from hatched Eggs - it's a nice little secret for those that want to bag the electric mouse straight away, especially if you want to see one of the game's Easter Eggs as part of the game's Buddy system.

How to get Pikachu as your starter in Pokémon Go

When you start the game, and you're offered one of the three traditional starters, don't tap on any of them. Instead, you simply ignore all three, and walk away so they appear further and further away on the map. (This means you'll have to start playing the game outside, as opposed to indoors - so hope you have your shoes on!)

Eventually, when you're far enough away, these starters will appear again right in front of you again in a bid to get your attention. Again, literally walk away from them until they spawn close by once more.

Do this enough times - three or four attempts should do it - and when the three starters appear the next time, the original trio will be joined by a fourth - Pikachu - ready for capturing.

If you want to see it in action, then here's GameExplain showing how it works:

Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, using Special Items such as the Dragon Scale and other methods. The update also introduced changes to Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distances, best Pokémon, moves and Buddy distances. Elsewhere, you can read about how Gyms, promo codes and the Pokémon Go Plus accessory works, and the many ways of earning experience with our XP chart.

How to find Pikachu and other starters out in the wild

Whatever Pokémon you choose initially, you'll be able to get the other starters - and more of your chosen starter - by finding them nearby out in the wild. While each starter is a rare Pokémon, since their eventual evolutions are among some of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go, it's well worth the effort. Pikachu in particular is worth hunting down, especially since it has its own Pokémon Go medal.

The trick to finding them is no different to other types of creatures. Make sure you follow the rules of how to identify and track nearby Pokémon to increase your chances of success. They can also be found by hatching one of Pokemon Go's many 2km, 5km and 10km Eggs, so keep walking with those Incubators active, as well as in Pokémon nests - though this involves living in the right area.

Eventually, when you have caught enough of your chosen starter type, you can then start evolving them into their respective evolutions - and hopefully you'll have that prized Charizard in no time.

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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