All of the starters in the Pokemon series: Gen I-VIII

The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single Pokémon.

Ever want to see the Pokemon starters in order without any unneeded rankings? After eight generations and over 20 years, losing track of them is easy. While you’re sure to remember your favorite, there are over two dozen others in this catalog of creatures. Check out the complete list of starters from Gen I to Gen VIII.

Gen I Starters

Pokemon gen i starters charmander squirtle bulbasaur
Image via The Pokémon Company

The Pokemon series started in 1996 with Gen I’s Pokémon Red and Blue. Players explored the Kanto region on their journey to become Pokemon Champions. The first set of starters from Kanto introduced the three types that became standard for the duration of the franchise: Grass, Fire, and Water. After the original three starters, the first generation saw several more join the original trio later on.

Bulbasaur

Pokemon Gen I Starter Bulbasaur
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CategoryTypeAbility
Seed PokémonGrass/PoisonOvergrow

The first entry in the Pokedex, Bulbasaur, is the first of the three choices in Red and Blue. The Seed Pokemon is also the only member of this starting trio that offers a dual type from the beginning, and the sprout on its back continues to grow through its evolutions. Eventually, the plant blooms into a flower that can absorb Solar energy after its final evolution as Venusaur.

Charmander

Pokemon gen I starter charmander
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CategoryTypeAbility
Lizard PokémonFireBlaze

Pokemon’s first Fire-type starter and the second choice in Red and Blue, Charmander, is a fan-favorite. The Lizard Pokemon is an adorable little salamander with a glowing ember at the end of its tail from the time it is born. This fire symbolizes its life force, and if the flame went out, Charmander would die. Seriousness aside, this cutie only gets better as it evolves, with its final evolution, Charizard, remaining among the most popular Pokemon today.

Squirtle

Pokemon Starter Gen I Squirtle
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CategoryTypeAbility
Tiny Turtle PokémonWaterTorrent

What’s cuter than a tiny turtle with a charming smile? Only its plucky attitude! The final Pokemon in the original trio of starters is Squirtle, the first Water-type starter in the franchise. As its name indicates, this Pokemon squirts the liquid from its mouth and body when threatened, often retracting into its shell. As it grows, so too does its ability to manipulate water. Once it evolves into Blastoise, it’ll shoot water with enough force to pierce steel.

Pikachu

Pokemon Pikachu starter
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CategoryTypeAbility
Mouse PokémonElectricStatic

After the release of Gen I, the franchise mascot got a unique game release several years later. In 1998’s Pokémon Yellow, Players don’t get a choice of starters, instead getting the Electric type, Pikachu, from the get-go. The Mouse Pokemon got a chance to shine thanks to the anime’s popularity. Pikachu also returned as a starter for the Gen I remake Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu back in 2018, adding another entry to the icon’s belt.

Eevee

Pokemon eevee black border
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CategoryTypeAbility
Evolution PokemonNormalRun Away / Adaptability

Another standout Gen I Pokémon, Eevee, made its debut as a starter in the Gen I remakes. In 2018’s Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee, players get an Eevee as their partner instead of the original trio. Thanks to its abilities, players can learn moves from each of Eevee’s evolution types, but don’t expect it to evolve; this Eevee won’t change form.

Gen II Starters

Pokemon gen ii starters cyndaquil totodile chikorita
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It’s a whole new world we live in. Pokemon Johto! Gen II of the Pokemon Franchise introduced the Johto region and several new starters when Pokémon Gold and Silver debuted at the end of 1999. Like the starters from Gen I, the second trio adheres to the Grass, Fire, and Water type.

Chikorita

Pokemon Gen II Starter Chikorita
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CategoryTypeAbility
Leaf PokémonGrassOvergrow

The first starter in the Johto region, Chikorita uses the leaf on its head to attack enemies, often shooting off shards for attacks. Chikorita also gives off a scent that calms its enemies and surrounding Pokemon when waving its head. Unlike Bulbasaur, Chikorita is strictly a Grass type, and each of its evolutions is as well.

Cyndaquil

Pokemon Gen II starter Cyndaquil
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CategoryTypeAbility
Fire Mouse PokémonFireBlaze

Gen II’s Fire-type starter, Cyndaquil, is a tiny mouse Pokemon, but don’t let its size deceive you. Cydaquil can ignite several skin pockets on its back to create a cloak of flames. The angrier it gets, the more violent the fire. However, if this Pokemon uses its flame coat for too long, it’ll eventually fizzle out. As it evolves, its control over flames grows.

Totodile

Pokemon Gen II Starter Totodile
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CategoryTypeAbility
Big Jaw PokémonWaterTorrent

Johto’s Water-type starter, Totodile, is an energetic little croc. Known for its powerful jaws and playful nature, this Pokemon can tear things apart with its bite force. Thanks to its jaw’s prowess, it’s a great attacker, but the rest of its body won’t catch up until Totodile evolves later.

Gen III Starters

Pokemon gen III starters treecko, Torchic, mudkip
Image via The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced players to the third generation of Pokemon and the Hoenn region in 2002. Once players enter the Hoenn region during Gen III, they’ll meet another trio of starter Pokemon with distinct forms and abilities. Unlike the starters before Gen III, some of these Pokemon change type after evolving.

Treecko

Pokemon Gen III starter Treecko
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CategoryTypeAbility
Wood Gecko PokémonGrassOvergrow

Gen III’s Grass type, Treecko, known as the Wood Gecko Pokemon, spends time scaling walls and scouring trees while staying out of sight. When it gets into a fight, Treecko uses its thick tail to stun its enemies. Treecko is the only starter from Gen III that doesn’t change type upon evolution, which leads to its counterparts overshadowing it and Sceptile, the final evolution in this line.

Torchic

Pokemon Gen III Starter torchic
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CategoryTypeAbility
Chick PokémonFireBlaze

The Fire-type starter in the Hoenn region, Torchic, loves to stick by its trainer’s side. You’ll likely find Torchic scurrying behind trainers to keep pace. Thanks to an internal fire source, this Pokemon can also spit fire at scalding temperatures, with its control over fire growing as it evolves. Its second and third evolutions take on another type (Fighting), making it the second starter ever to do so. Once it becomes Blaziken, it bounds across the battlefield with incredible speed.

Mudkip

Pokemon Gen III Starter Mudkip
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CategoryTypeAbility
Mud Fish PokémonWaterTorrent

Gen III’s final starter is Mudkip, the Mud Fish Pokemon. This adorable little fish uses the fins on its head like sonar to keep track of objects and animals in the water. Though this aquatic ally loves the water, later evolutions enable it to live on land thanks to a Water/Ground typing. One of the biggest pros for this little guy is that Swampert, its final form, negates its aversion to Electricity. Just watch out for Grass-type moves, as they’re 4x effective.

Gen IV Starters

Pokemon Gen IV Starters turtwig chimchar piplup
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Almost four years after Gen III started, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl christened the fourth generation when they launched in 2006. During the journey through Gen IV’s Sinnoh region, three more options appear at the start of a new adventure. In this region, each of the starters gets a second type by the end.

Turtwig

Pokemon Gen IV starter Turtwig
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CategoryTypeAbility
Tiny Leaf PokémonGrassOvergrow

Gen IV’s first starter, Turtwig, uses sunlight to nourish its body. The Tiny Leaf Pokemon has a shell made of hard soil and uses it to defend against attacks. Though this starter is only a Grass type to start, its final form, Torterra, boasts a Grass/Ground combo with a back so big that trees grow on top of it. The future is bright for this little fellow, provided it gets plenty of training and sunlight.

Chimchar

Pokemon Gen IV Starter Chimchar
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CategoryTypeAbility
Chimp PokémonFireBlaze

Sinnoh’s second starter is the flaming chimp Chimchar. The Chimp Pokemon has a butt cloaked in flames. The gas in Chimchar’s stomach keeps this inferno going; the better it feels, the stronger the flame. Its final evolution, Infernape, sports a Fire/Fighting mix and overwhelms others with its blistering speed and bombastic nature.

Piplup

Pokemon Gen IV Starter piplup
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CategoryTypeAbility
Penguin PokémonWaterTorrent

Piplup is the most challenging starter Pokemon to bond in Gen IV with due to its proud personality. It’ll take some time to form a connection with Piplup and longer to get it to listen. Eventually, though, the Water-type will come around, and its final evolution, Empoleon, is a solid partner. The Water/Steel mashup swims as fast as jet boats, with sharp wings that can literally break the ice.

Related: All of the new Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

Gen V Starters

Pokemon Gen V Starters snivy Tepig Oshawott
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Gen V takes place in the Unova region, introducing players to another set of new allies. Unova debuted alongside Pokémon Black and White in 2010, adding over 150 new Pokemon to the roster.

Snivy

Pokemon Gen V Starter snivy
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CategoryTypeAbility
Grass Snake PokémonGrassOvergrow

The Grass-type starter for Gen V is Snivy. This Grass Snake Pokemon uses its tail to absorb sunlight, and the more sunlight they ingest, the quicker they move. If you want to know how good your partner feels, look at its tail. Sick Snivy tails droop, and wilt, meaning your buddy may need a break. Unlike the fourth Gen’s starter, Turtwig, Snivy remains a Grass type through its evolutions. Its final form, Serperior, will only fight at full strength against worthy opponents, judging them with an icy glare.

Tepig

Pokemon Gen V Starter Tepig
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CategoryTypeAbility
Fire Pig PokémonFireBlaze

The Fire Pig Pokemon, Tepig, often shoots fire from the tip of its snout, but getting too excited makes it lose control of its powers. Tepig is also the sole member of this trio to gain a second type by the end of its line. Once you have its final form, Emboar, on your team, there’ll be yet another Fire/Fighting starter to add to your collection.

Oshawott

Pokemon Gen V starter Oshawott
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CategoryTypeAbility
Sea Otter PokémonWaterTorrent

Unova’s Water starter is the Sea Otter Pokemon, Oshawott. This little sea-faring mammal often uses the shell on its stomach as a battle weapon, but you may also see it using the item to break open the berries it eats. Once this Pokemon reaches the final stage of its evolution, Samurott, it’ll use the armor plating its entire body as a weapon, including the large sword on its head.

Gen VI Starters

Pokemon Gen VI Starters Chespin fennekin froakie
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After Gen V, players head off to the Kalos region and Gen VI. Pokemon X and Y launched in 2013 for the 3DS. This is the first entry in the franchise to use 3D models and forgo the pixel art from Gen I-V. Players get three new starters during this Gen, each with a dual typing for their final evolution.

Chespin

Pokemon Gen VI Starter Chespin
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CategoryTypeAbility
Spiny Nut PokémonGrassOvergrow

The first fresh face of Gen VI, Chespin, is an adorable ally. The Spiny Nut Pokemon gets its name from the formidable mass on its head. Though the green headdress is often soft, the critter can flex this part of its body, making it hard enough to stop a speeding truck. You’ll often see the little fighter using its head as a weapon. Once it hits its final form, Chesnaught, it’ll take on a Grass/Fighting combo.

Fennekin

Pokemon Gen VI Starter Fennekin
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CategoryTypeAbility
Fox PokémonFireBlaze

The second starter in Kalos, Fennekin, is the Fox Pokemon. If you see this little mammal munching on something, don’t assume it’s food. Fennekin can chew up twigs to help power up attacks. You’ll want to avoid its ears when it’s chewing as it vents air over 375 degrees F. The final form of this furry starter is Delphox, a Fire/Psychic-type that uses a stick to focus the energy from its attacks.

Froakie

Pokemon Gen V starter Froakie
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CategoryTypeAbility
Bubble Frog PokémonWaterTorrent

The standout starter from Gen VI, Froakie, comes from humble beginnings. The white masses covering its body are bubbles it secretes from its skin, giving it the nickname: Bubble Frog Pokemon. Though its first form may look a bit goofy, it’s a powerful ally that only grows stronger over time. Froakie’s final form, Greninja, is a powerful Water/Dark-type that can throw shuriken made of water. These weapons are strong enough to sever metal, so be careful around this popular Pokemon.

Gen VII Starters

Pokemon Gen VII Starters rowlett litten popplio
Image via The Pokémon Company

Gen VII takes us to the Alola region, a locale inspired by the tropical islands of Hawaii. Pokemon Sun and Moon launched in 2016 as the second mainline entries for the Pokemon series on the 3DS. Here in Alola, there are three new starters, each with a unique form, personality, and type pairing.

Rowlet

Pokemon Gen VII Starter rowlett
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CategoryTypeAbility
Grass Quill PokémonGrass/FlyingOvergrow

The Grass Quill Pokemon, Rowlet, takes the role of Gen VII’s Grass-type starter. This Grass/Flying hybrid is a dual typing from the start, an irregularity for most starter Pokemon. This little bird often uses its feather quills to attack, which are sharp enough to break rock. Rowlet also has impressive kicking power and uses its legs to keep foes at bay. The final evolution of Rowlet, Decidueye, changes into a Grass/Ghost-type known for shooting arrows with blistering speed. Thanks to the shape of its headdress, it can transform its body into a bow.

Litten

Pokemon Gen VII Starter Litten
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CategoryTypeAbility
Fire Cat PokémonFireBlaze

Litten is the Fire starter in Gen VII, and it’s a problematic Pokemon to train. Litten is often wary around people, and it can take some time to warm up to its trainer. Even after it bonds with a partner, it still values its independence, so offering too much attention can scare it away. This Pokemon can set its body on fire, and while it’s an excellent method for attacks, Litten also burns off its shedding fur twice a year. The final evolution in Litten’s line, Incineroar, is a Fire/Dark-type luchador known for flattening opponents with wrestling moves.

Popplio

Pokemon Gen VII Starter Popplio
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CategoryTypeAbility
Sea Lion PokémonWaterTorrent

Popplio is the friendliest of Gen VII’s starters, often aiming to entertain those around it. The Sea Lion Pokemon can use its nose to balance balloons and bounce them, which it usually does. This limber Pokemon also does tricks on the balloons it creates, making it an acrobatic attacker. The final form for Popplio, Primarina, continues to perform, even during battles. Expect to see singing and dancing once this Water/Fairy-type appears on the field.

Gen VIII Starters

Pokemon Gen VIII Starters grookey scorbunny sobble
Image via The Pokémon Company

Gen VIII of the Pokemon series brought the franchise to the Nintendo Switch with Pokemon Sword and Shield back in 2019 as the first mainline entry in the home console catalog. Trainers in Sword and Shield explore the Galar region and meet several new starters as they begin their journey. The starters in this generation don’t change type, sticking with either Grass, Fire, or Water type throughout their evolution.

Grookey

Pokemon Gen VIII Starter Grookey
Image via The Pokémon Company
CategoryTypeAbility
Chimp PokémonGrassOvergrow

The second ape-based starter in the catalog, Grookey takes the mantle for Grass starter in Gen VIII. This little monkey uses the stick in its hair to create beats on anything it thwacks. The Chimp Pokemon’s rhythms aren’t just for show, either. Thumps with its stick carry energy that heals plants via the sound waves it produces. Its final evolution, Rillaboom, holds a tree stump that it can use as a drum.

Scorbunny

Pokemon Gen VIII Starter Scorbunny
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CategoryTypeAbility
Rabbit PokémonFireBlaze

The Rabbit Pokemon, Scorbunny, is an energetic starter. The more it runs, the more firepower it stores in its body, particularly in the pads on its feet and nose. It takes some time for Scorbunny to warm up, but after it does, it’s ready for battle! Cinderace, its final evolution, often juggles a pebble on its feet before cloaking it in a fireball to chuck at enemies.

Sobble

Pokemon Gen VIII Starter Sobble
Image via The Pokémon Company
CategoryTypeAbility
Water Lizard PokémonWaterTorrent

The Water-type starter of Gen VIII, Sobble, often cries when afraid. This Water Lizard Pokemon’s tears aren’t just for show, though. Attackers who get too close when Sobble is crying will inhale the chemicals it exudes and start sobbing. It’s an odd but effective defense method. The final evolution for Sobble, Inteleon, shoots water from its fingertips with pinpoint accuracy.

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Tai Hofmann
Tai Hofmann

I'm Tai, the New Games lead, Writer, and Editor for Press SPACE to Jump. My first memory is forcing my parents to play 50-round games of Mario Party on the N64. Now I love games on all platforms and hone in on new releases. Some of my favorite titles include Final Fantasy XIV, Cuphead, God of War 2018, Persona 5, and Smash Bros.

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