How many Pokémon are there? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. When it comes to Pokémon Trading Card Game and videogame series, it’s often said that you’ve gotta catch ‘em all. But establishing just how many Pokémon there are to catch can be tricky.
Spanning nine generations and almost 100 mainline Pokémon TCG expansions, the pocket monsters just keep on coming. New creatures, new types, and new quirks are added to the franchise with each generation, not only adding more Pokémon for you to do battle with, but also add to your Pokédex (or commit to memory, if you’re an ardent fan).
While we think Pokémon is at its best in the trading card game, where you can spread your creatures across the tabletop, and gaze in wonder at the most powerful Pokémon cards or the rare Pokémon cards you’ve just found in a booster pack, it’s the franchise’s mainline videogames that herald each new generation. The answer to ‘how many Pokémon are there?’ changes with each new set, but it’s not unusual for a generation to add anywhere between 70 to 150 of the cuties. And with nine generations, the total number of Pokémon is now pretty high.
So, let’s cut to it. There are 1,015 Pokémon. That’s the simplest and strictest answer, counting only distinct species of Pokémon. Within those, 63 are Legendary.
But you could count differently, and include the different forms of Pokémon as separate entries. There are currently 59 regional forms from Galar, Hisui, Alola, and Paldea. These variants of previous Pokémon have different typing, appearance, and abilities, to match the environments in which they live, such as the gorgeous white Vulpix of the Alola region.
On top of that, there are 48 different Mega Evolutions that some Pokémon can evolve into during battle, granting radically new appearances and abilities for a limited time. Plus, there are 32 different Gigantamax forms open to some Pokémon, each of which sees the creature grow massively in size.
Count these tricky edge cases, and you’ll find well over 1,100 Pokémon. And if you ask how many Pokémon cards are there, the number goes through the roof! But we think it’s best to stick to the basic count, and see the alternate forms as just what they are – variations, rather than entirely separate species.
But which generation introduced your favourite Pokémon? We’re pleased you asked. Here are the most notable Pokémon of each generation:
Gen 1 Pokémon
The starting set – first introduced in Japan with 1996’s initial Game Boy games, Pokémon Red and Green – includes the franchise’s original Generation 1 roster of 151 Pokémon. All the classics are here: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Jigglypuff, Snorlax, Mew, and, of course, Pikachu.
Generation I also introduced four Legendary Pokémon to the franchise. Three make up a Legendary trio of birds, native to the Kanto region: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. And the final is none other than that most infamous, genetically-enhanced clone, Mewtwo.
Many Pokémon from this generation are featured on some of the best Pokémon cards of all time. And why wouldn’t they be? Everyone loves a classic.
Gen 2 Pokémon
Generation 2 added a cool 100 new Pokémon. While they might not have the kudos of being in the original class, there are many famous names among them. Slowking was added as an evolved form of Slowpoke, Cleffa quickly became a staple of the TCG, and even the new starters, like Totodile, have their fans.
Five new Legendary Pokémon were introduced in this generation, including the trio of beasts Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, alongside ‘guardian of the seas’ Lugia, and ‘guardian of the skies, Ho-Oh.
Gen 3 Pokémon
Adding another 135 Pokémon, Generation 3‘s most notable creatures include the Flying-Ground-type Flygon, and the Pikachu-esque pair Plusle and Minun.
But it’s through its eight new Legendaries that this generation really shines. The trio of golems Regice, Registeel and Regirock were added, alongside the pair of birds Latias and Latios. Its trio of super-ancient, weather-specialist Pokémon – Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza – quickly became fan favourites, too.
Gen 4 Pokémon
Taking it down a peg, Generation 4 added 107 new Pokémon, including videogame starters Empoleon, Infernape, and Torterra, as well as Lucario, who might be best known now as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The generation also introduced an abundance of new evolutionary forms, such as Leafeon and Glaceon for Eevee, and Magmortar for Magmar.
As for Legendaries, Generation IV added the trio of Lake Guardians Uxie, Azelf, and Mespirit, the creation trio Giratina, Palkia, and Dialga (all with vaguely metaphysical abilities), and standalones Cresselia, Heatran, and Regigigas. That makes for a total of nine.
Gen 5 Pokémon
Generation 5 added a whopping 156 new Pokémon, the most of any generation so far. Many of them are dual-types, such as Archeops, and some have gone on to become firm favourites in the TCG, including Zoroark.
And it didn’t skimp on the Legendaries, either, adding another nine, in the form of three trios. These were the musketeer-inspired Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, the geography-themed Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus, and Tao trio of Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem.
Gen 6 Pokémon
After the previous generation’s bumper supply, Generation 6 added a mere 72 new monsters, and marked a change towards lower turnout in future generations. But the vast majority of the new Pokémon are brand new species, rather than evolutionary forms of previous creatures. You might recognise Greninja, Aegislash, and Delphox among its roster.
Generation VI went less trigger-happy with Legendary creatures than previous gens, too. There’s just three: the poster children Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde. The generation did boast three Mythical Pokémon though: the crystal fairy Diancie; the djinn Hoopa; and the steam-powered Volcanion.
Gen 7 Pokémon
Carrying on the trend of smaller rosters, 88 Pokémon were added in Generation 7. But this gen made up for the low quantity with a good dollop of quality – there’s no filler, all thriller in this Pokédex. Most notable is the disguise-wearing Mimikyu, and the incredibly weird Dhelmise, which is a ship’s anchor and wheel, all wrapped together in seaweed.
Generation VII was also the first to introduce new regional forms of previous Pokémon, adding new types and abilities to those creatures living in the generation’s Alola region. The best of them is undoubtedly the Alolan version of Exeggutor, which adds a huge neck to the usually stubby palm plant. It also had Ultrabeasts – extradimensional Pokémon with some truly outlandish designs.
Generation VII also brought eleven new Legendaries: the four guardian deities Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini; Type: Null and its evolutionary form Silvally; the psychic pair Cosmog and Comoem; and Solgealeo, Lunala, and Necrozma as the life-giving light trio.
Gen 8 Pokémon
Generation 8 added 96 new pocket monsters, 89 in the Galar region with Pokémon Sword and Shield, as well as 7 from Pokémon Legends Arceus. There are some fetching additions: the cute, monkey-like Grookey, the electric-poison type Toxel, and the hilarious lump-creature that is Snom.
And Legendaries haven’t been forgotten, either, with eleven more added in this generation. These include the heroic guard dogs Zacian and Zamazenta; the extraterrestrial Eternatus; the martial arts-inspired Kubfu, Urshifu; the snowy Glastrier, Spectrier, and Calyrex; the titans Regidrago and Regieleki; and the lovely Enamorous.
While there were more monsters in Generation 8 than the previous couple of Pokémon gens, in one way it marked a notable change for the series – Sword and Shield is the first mainline Pokémon title where you can’t import every Pokémon released so far. As of the Crown Tundra DLC, there’s still 231 pocket monsters missing.
Gen 9 Pokémon
Generation 9 is the latest batch of Pokémon to grace our screens, and we’re still getting to know the 103 new critters released in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet – as well as the extra seven revealed in February 2023. That takes our total to 110 Pokémon, whew.
As well as fun designs like an aquatic wiggly Digglet (Wigglet) and a long-awaited evolution for Giraffarig, the Paldea region is home to the ‘Primal Pokémon’, futuristic or ancient relatives of modern ‘mons, with strange names like Great Tusk and Iron Moth.
There’s only two Legendary Pokémon in this newest generation thus far – Koraidon and Miraidon – the sleek lizards, that are also your main way of getting around quickly in Paldea.