What is Pokémon? As one of the biggest media franchises in the world, it’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t know what the red cheeks and yellow ears of a Pikachu look like. Pokémon is absolutely everywhere, but we’re still ready to guide newcomers.
Before we set off on a quest to be a Pokémon master, be sure to learn all about the creature collecting series with our positively packed Pokédex of premium guides. We have articles covering subjects like our Scyther evolution, Misdreavus evolution, Murkrow evolution, Bisharp evolution, Ralts evolution, starter Pokémon, mythical Pokémon, and the best games like Pokémon Go.
Alright, trainers, get ready to learn quicker than a Rapidash using agility (you’ll get that in a bit) with our what is Pokémon guide.
What is Pokémon?
Pokémon – otherwise known as Pocket Monsters in Japan – is a creature-collecting video game series. Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Game Boy, Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version debuted in Japan on February 27, 1996, before Pokémon Blue Version came out later the same year on October 15, 1996.
Western audiences had to wait a little longer, as Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue came to North America on September 28, 1998, and Europe on October 5, 1998. Pokémon Yellow debuted in Japan on September 12, 1998, before releasing in North America on October 19, 1999, and Europe on June 16, 2000.
These games launched alongside the Pokémon anime series and the Pokémon Trading Card Game, creating what we now know as the Pokémon media empire. Across multiple formats, the ethos of Pokémon is “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” as players work to complete the Pokédex and catalog every single Pokémon available in each game.
Now, Pokémon has multiple generations of games across various platforms, multiple movies, various television series, and almost countless releases of the Trading Card Game featuring hundreds of different cards. Pokémon is one of the top three earning media franchises in the world, with an estimated accumulated wealth of $76.4 billion since its debut, putting it ahead of Star Wars, Marvel, and even Mickey Mouse.
How many Pokémon are there?
Currently, as of the new Pokémon announced for the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC, there are 1,015 officially announced Pokémon. There are an additional 59 regional forms, 48 mega evolutions, 32 gigantamax Pokémon, and multiple Pokémon that naturally have different forms, such as the Unown forms that spell the alphabet.
How many Pokémon types are there?
There are 18 different Pokémon types, with the most recent type – fairy – introduced in Pokéon X and Y for the Nintendo 3DS. You can find each type below, next to our guide to the best Pokémon of that type.
|Normal||Best normal Pokémon|
|Fighting||Best fighting Pokémon|
|Flying||Best flying Pokémon|
|Poison||Best poison Pokémon|
|Ground||Best ground Pokémon|
|Rock||Best rock Pokémon|
|Bug||Best bug Pokémon|
|Ghost||Best ghost Pokémon|
|Steel||Best steel Pokémon|
|Fire||Best fire Pokémon|
|Water||Best water Pokémon|
|Grass||Best grass Pokémon|
|Electric||Best electric Pokémon|
|Psychic||Best psychic Pokémon|
|Ice||Best ice Pokémon|
|Dragon||Best dragon Pokémon|
|Dark||Best dark Pokémon|
|Fairy||Best fairy Pokémon|
If you want to know how to defeat each type, our weakness guides hold all the answers:
- Water Pokémon weakness
- Fairy Pokémon weakness
- Dark Pokémon weakness
- Dragon Pokémon weakness
- Ice Pokémon weakness
- Electric Pokémon weakness
- Fire Pokémon weakness
- Normal Pokémon weakness
- Ghost Pokémon weakness
- Steel Pokémon weakness
- Ground Pokémon weakness
- Rock Pokémon weakness
- Psychic Pokémon weakness
- Bug Pokémon weakness
- Poison Pokémon weakness
- Flying Pokémon weakness
- Fighting Pokémon weakness
- Grass Pokémon weakness
How many Pokémon generations are there?
There are currently nine Pokémon generations, and you can find each generation below, next to their region’s name, each release (without the word Pokémon), and our guide to the best Pokémon from that generation of games.
|One||Kanto||Red, Green, Blue, Yellow||Best gen 1 Pokémon|
|Two||Johto||Gold, Silver, Crystal||Best gen 2 Pokémon|
|Three||Hoenn||Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FiredRed, LeafGreen||Best gen 3 Pokémon|
|Four||Sinnoh||Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver||Best gen 4 Pokémon|
|Five||Unova||Black, White, Black 2, White 2||Best gen 5 Pokémon|
|Six||Kalos||X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire||Best gen 6 Pokémon|
|Seven||Alola||Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon, Let’s Go, Eevee!, Let’s Go, Pikachu!||Best gen 7 Pokémon|
|Eight||Galar||Sword, Shield, Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, Legends Arceus||Best gen 8 Pokémon|
|Nine||Paldea||Scarlet, Violet||Best gen 9 Pokémon|
For more on the areas where each individual Pokémon game takes place, be sure to read our full Pokémon regions guide next.
How many Pokémon games are there?
There are 38 mainline Pokémon games, including different versions of each, such as Pokémon Green Version, Pokémon Platinum, and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. This does not include the DLC expansions added to Pokémon Sword and Shield or the upcoming DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
To learn which of the many games is worth your time, be sure to check out our guide to the best Pokémon games.
How many episodes of the Pokémon anime are there?
The Pokémon anime currently has 1,236 episodes. These range from the original series debuting on April 1, 1997, to the current season called Pokémon Horizons.
How many Pokémon movies are there?
There are currently 24 animated Pokémon movies and one live-action. You can find each film listed below, alongside its original release date in Japan and North America.
|Movie||Japanese release||North American release|
|Pokémon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back||July 18, 1998||November 12, 1999|
|Pokémon: The Movie 2000||July 17, 1999||July 21, 1000|
|Pokémon 3: The Movie||July 8, 2000||April 6, 2001|
|Pokémon 4Ever: Celebi – Voice of the Forest||July 7, 2001||October 11, 2002|
|Pokémon Heroes: Latias and Latios||July 13, 2002||May 16, 2003|
|Pokémon: Jirachi, Wish Maker||July 19, 2003||June 1, 2004|
|Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys||July 17, 2004||January 22, 2005|
|Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew||July 16, 2005||September 19, 2006|
|Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea||July 15, 2006||March 23, 2007|
|Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai||July 14, 2007||February 24, 2008|
|Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior||July 19, 2008||February 13, 2009|
|Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life||July 18, 2009||November 20, 2009|
|Pokémon: Zoroark – Master of Illusions||July 10, 2010||February 5, 2011|
|Pokémon Black – Victini and Reshiram||July 16, 2011||December 10, 2011|
|Pokémon White – Victini and Zekrom||July 16, 2011||December 3, 2011|
|Pokémon: Kyurem vs The Sword of Justice||July 14, 2012||December 8, 2012|
|Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened||July 13, 2013||October 19, 2013|
|Pokémon: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction||July 19, 2014||November 8, 2014|
|Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages||July 18, 2015||December 19, 2015|
|Pokémon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel||July 16, 2016||December 5, 2016|
|Pokémon: I Choose You!||July 15, 2017||November 25, 2017|
|Pokémon: The Power of Us||July 13, 2018||December 8, 2018|
|Detective Pikachu||May 3, 2019||May 10, 2019|
|Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution||July 12, 2019||February 27, 2020|
|Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle||December 25, 2020||October 8, 2021|
Alright, trainers, that’s all we have for our what is Pokémon? guide for today, but if you have any burning questions, feel free to let us know over at the Pocket Tactics Facebook account. If you’re getting ready to dive into the games, be sure to check out our guides to the strongest Pokémon and our mammoth Pokédex.