The Best Way to Use Island Scan in 'Pokemon Sun' and 'Moon'

If you want to catch 'em all, you gotta hunt down all the QR Codes.


It’s easy for fans of Pokémon to get quickly overwhelmed by new features — like Global Events or the Festival Plaza — included in each successive generation. Fortunately, Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Island Scan feature is relatively simple, and totally great. You can stay in love with the series and augment your already choice team by catching these Island Scanner Pokémon with relative ease. Before you yourself wear the look of terror brandished by the above player clutching his 3DS in abject horror at the prospect of this somewhat convoluted process, read our primer to see how you can make the best of this new and highly beneficial feature.

Find yourself some QR Codes

Yes, this will actually work. It's a Wonder QR Code for a Starly, which is a fat little pigeon Pokémon.


Spray bottles, miscellaneous ads, or perhaps even five-year-old pamphlets (because let’s be real, nobody uses QR Codes anymore), it doesn’t matter where you find your QR Codes, but you need them to play Pokémon, of all things.

On the second page of the menu in-game, there’s an option to run the QR SCANNER. Selecting it activates the outer camera on your 3DS, allowing you to scan QR Codes by pressing the R Button. Scanning any QR Code gets you information about different Pokémon. Specifically, it will mark the Pokémon as “Seen” in your Pokédex, which in turn allows you to see where you can capture it in the game. You can find 472 useful QR Codes via Imgur for Alolan Pokémon. Others, like the stitch featured above, can yield more random results. (Note: The supposed grand total number of Pokémon sits at 802.) You can also scan QR Code patterns from your friends’ Pokédexes if you feel like getting real intimate.

Scan 10 QR Codes to activate the Island Scanner

Be sure to shampoo AND condition.


The game says “you get one QR Code scan every two hours and can save up to 10 scans” — whatever that means — but in practice, you can scan ten QR Codes back-to-back with each scan getting you 10 points. Upon reaching 100 points, you can activate the Island Scanner. Doing so allows you to scan the entire island you are on for rare Pokémon.

You can do so by selecting it at the bottom of your bottom screen and holding the R button to “pick up a trace of the rare Pokémon.” The whole process takes a couple of very repetitive minutes.

Catch the rare Pokémon within 60 minutes

Cyndaquil is one of several choice Pokémon you can find with Island Scan on the starting island of Melemele

The Bit Bag

Once the Island Scan is activated, a 60-minute timer begins during which you run the chance of encountering the rare Pokémon. You’ll be able to see the ‘mon’s silhouette and the specific area in which you can catch it, but for a handy resource, redditor Ruin4r has you covered. The user’s post not only provides another link to the many QR Codes for Alolan Pokémon, but also lists out ALL of the Island Scan Pokémon per day per island with information on what specific are to find them. As expected, later islands have more advanced Pokémon, and these rarities spawn at comparable levels to the other Pokémon in the area, so be careful not to pack too much heat for when you encounter a level 8 Klink in Hau’oli City. Here they all are below:

  • Melemele Island:
  • Monday: Totodile in Seaward Cave
  • Tuesday: Deino in Ten Carat Hill
  • Wednesday: Horsea in Kala’e Bay
  • Thursday: Klink in Hau’oli City
  • Friday: Chikorita in Route 2
  • Saturday: Litwick in Hau’oli Cemetery
  • Sunday: Cyndaquil in Route 3

Akala Island:

  • Monday: Spheal in Route 7
  • Tuesday: Luxio in Route 8
  • Wednesday: Honedge in Akala Outskirts
  • Thursday: Venipede in Route 4
  • Friday: Bellsprout in Route 5
  • Saturday: Marill in Brooklet Hill
  • Sunday: Gothita in Route 6

Ula’ula Island:

  • Monday: Swinub in Tapu Village
  • Tuesday: Duosion in Route 16
  • Wednesday: Roselia in Ula’ula Meadow
  • Thursday: Staravia in Route 10
  • Friday: Vigoroth in Route 11
  • Saturday: Axew in Mount Hokulani
  • Sunday: Rhyhorn in Blush Mountain

Poni Island

  • Monday: Conkeldurr in Poni Plains
  • Tuesday: Togekiss in Poni Gauntlet
  • Wednesday: Leavanny in Poni Meadow
  • Thursday: Serperior in Exeggutor Island
  • Friday: Samurott in Poni Wilds
  • Saturday: Emboar in Ancient Poni Path
  • Sunday: Elektross in Poni Grove

So how do I actually do this?

You can find Chikorita on Fridays on Melemele Island in Route 2.

Use Ruin4r’s resource, included above, to determine what specific area of the island the Pokémon will be in, and go there first thing. For instance, if it’s Friday and you find yourself jonesing for a Chikorita, here’s your workflow:

  • Go to Route 2 on Melemele Island
  • Scan 10 QR Codes
  • Activate the Island Scanner
  • Walk around in tall grass until you encounter Chikorita
  • Catch Chikorita the same way you would any random encounter

For those just starting out in the game, you could even toss your Litten, Rowlet, or Popplio to the side very early on in favor of Totodile, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, or heck, even the Dark/Dragon Deino. Better yet, round out your squad with a bevy of these Generation II starters, because you can quite literally catch ‘em all with ease now.

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