Starter Pokémon in Let's Go - not just your actual starters Pikachu or Eevee - are actually available in the wild to be caught.
They're also gifted to you as you progress through the game, too, and there's something very noteworthy about those gifted versions as well. With that on mind, this page explains all Pokémon Let's Go starter locations and how to get Bulbasaur, how to get Charmander, and how to get Squirtle as early as possible in Let's Go, and how to get some garuanteed strong versions of them too.
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Pokémon Let's Go starter locations explained
Believe it or not, all three of the original 'starter' Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle, are available to be caught in the wild in Pokémon Let's Go - although there's a slight catch.
All three are Catch Combo Pokémon - super rare Pokémon that have very low spawn rates in certain areas, meaning they'll probably only appear if you build up a Catch Combo to increase your chances.
We explain Catch Combo and catching in Pokémon Let's Go in much more granular detail in our dedicated guide to it all, but in brief, a Catch Combo is a chain of the same Pokémon caught in a row. The more of that Pokémon you catch in a row in a location, the higher the chance of a rare Catch Combo Pokémon appearing - in this case, one of the starters.
Pokémon Let's Go Bulbasaur location - how to get the Grass-type Starter
Bulbasaur can only be caught in the wild at Viridian Forest, the early-game wooded area you reach from Route 2.
It can appear at any point, but the chances are greatly increased in two ways: by building up a Catch Combo, or by using a Lure, Super Lure or Max Lure. One Lure can be found in Viridian Forest, we recommend using it once you've earned a decent-sized Catch Combo. For us, Bulbasaur appeared at around a ten to twelve Combo.
Pokémon Let's Go Charmander location - how to get the Fire-type Starter
Charmander can only be caught in the wild in three locations: Route 3, Route 4, and Rock Tunnel.
Route 3 and 4 can be reached nice and early in the game - shortly after you defeat Brock's Gym in Pewter City - which again means you can kit yourself out with an original starter early in your adventure.
As with Bulbasaur, the same point on rareness and Catch Combos applies. Build up a combo of around ten or twelve Pokémon and then use a Lure, and you should have a very good chance of one appearing in the long grass. If not, keep your combo going and be patient!
Pokémon Let's Go Squirtle location - how to get the Water-type Starter
Squirtle is the latest of the three to become available. You can first encounter it on Route 24 and Route 25 - the two routes just north of Cerulean City, where you find Misty's Gym - and then it can also reportedly be found in Seafom Islands much later in the game, although we haven't been able to confirm that just yet ourselves.
Once again, the same rules apply: Squirtle's chance of spawning will be incredibly low on these routes, until you build up a decent sized Catch Combo - in our experience, again, of around ten or twelve - or use a Lure of some kind as well to help out.
For all our Let's Go helpers in once place, head to our main Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide hub which includes guides to tricky areas like the postgame Cerulean Cave, and the Elite Four, plus tough dungeons like Silph Co., Seafoam Islands and Victory Road. Otherwise, we detail a Pokémon Let's Go TM list and all TM locations, Let's Go's starter locations and how to get Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle, along with how to get Mew in Let's Go, and how to get Meltan in Let's Go and Go too. Likewise, we go over how connect Pokémon Go to Let's Go on Nintendo Switch and transfer Pokémon, Catching, catch combos, and how to catch Pokémon explained , and finally give you a quick rundown of our selected Pokémon Let's Go tips and tricks to get you off to a great start, too.
How to get the best versions of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle in Let's Go
Interestingly, catching the starters in the wild isn't the only way you can get them in Pokémon Let's Go - and, in fact, it's not even really the best way to get them, unless your intended purpose is top-tier competitive play.
Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle are all gifted to you if you talk to the right people in Pokémon Let's Go. Better yet, gifted Pokémon in Let's Go have great stats: they'll have a garuanteed one stat marked as 'best' and two others marked as 'fantastic', which is just slightly below best.
Even better, it seems as though those stats are tied to the Pokémon's base stats - so, your Squirtle will have 'Best' or 'Fantastic' Special Attack and Defense, for instance - meaning their best stands tend to line up with their best use in battle.Here's where to get these gifted versions.
Where to get Bulbasaur as a gifted Pokémon with high stats
In Cerulean City, the first house on the western side of towm - just as you enter from Route 4 - has a lady inside.
She'll give you a Bulbasaur if you've caught enough Pokémon. You need to have caught 30 Pokémon in total - these can be of the same species, so it's nice and easy to do!
Where to get Charmander as a gifted Pokémon with high stats
On Route 24, in the top left corner, is a man who'll gift you his Charmander to look after if you've caught enough Pokémon.
This time you need to have caught a total of 50 Pokémon, and again these can be fifty of the same Pokémon, it doesn't matter if you double up, so it should again be nice and easy!
Where to get Squirtle as a gifted Pokémon with high stats
Finally, you can get a gifted Squirtle in Vermillion City from the Police Officer there - who you will have spotted struggling to keep up with the Squirtle back up in Cerulean City!
She'll give you the Squirtle if you've caught a total of 60 Pokémon, and once again that's 60 Pokémon caught in total, not 60 different species, so by now you should have plenty enough of them - if not, of course, you can just go out and catch more!
As all three of those are available pretty early in the game, we recommend you use them as your main ones, if you do plan on using starters in your regular squad. Otherwise, while it's certainly possible, your chances of catching one with even better stats in the wild are pretty slim, so unless you get lucky it could take quite some time to do better than the above three to find the actual very best!