How to catch Gen 1 starter Charmander in 'Pokémon Sword and Shield'

You'll need to prove yourself first.

pokemon charmander

Pokémon Sword and Shield have kick-started the eighth generation of pocket monsters, giving gamers an unexplored region to wander and a fresh Pokédex to fill out. The new titles feature 94 new Pokémon and include a whopping 400 critters to catch. But that only includes one starter from all the previous generations. Charmander is the sole old-school starter, hailing from the Kanto Region of Gen 1. There are also three new starters for Gen 8: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. The cute, fiery lizard eventually evolves into Charizard, easily one of the most iconic Pokémon of all time. Needless to say, gamers will be on the hunt for Charmander as soon as they set off on their Sword and Shield adventure. But they’ll need to prove themselves before they get a shot at nabbing the Fire-type.

Pokémon Sword and Shield spoilers ahead.

Charmander only becomes available after players beat Sword and Shield and become the Galar region’s Pokémon champion. You’ll need to dethrone Leon, the Galar champion when the game begins, which wont be easy.

charmander pokemon sword and shield

His team is absolutely stacked and includes: Aegislash (Steel-Ghost), Dragapult (Dragon-Ghost), Haxorus (Dragon), Mr. Rime (Ice-Psychic), Inteleon (Water), and Charizard (Fire-Flying). All of Leon’s Pokémon are level 64 or higher, so players will want to make sure their squad is at least in the ballpark to stand a chance.

Once Leon is conquered, the game will cut to the credits and gamers will reawaken in Postwick. From here, head to Hop’s house (your neighbor and rival through the games) and go upstairs into Hop’s room.

pokemon sword and shield
The outside of Hop's house.

There will be a lone Pokéball on Hop’s bedroom floor containing Charmander. It’s as easy as that.

Charmander starts at level 5, evolves into Charmeleon at level 16, and finally turns into Charizard at level 36. Players will need to grind out many battles to get him there or just stock up on Rare Candy to make the job easier.


Pokémon Sword and Shield are out now on the Nintendo Switch.

Media via Game Freak / Nintendo, Pokemon