A nest in Pokémon Go is an area with set boundaries within which a specific species of Pokémon can spawn much more frequently than it normally would.
The species will normally nest there for exactly two weeks, at which time it will ‘migrate’ and be replaced by a new species. Unless a nest migration is forced (more info on that below), each species that nests there will migrate every second Thursday at 00:00 UTC.
Species’ That Nest
Not all Pokémon species’ nest. Region Exclusives, most evolved Pokémon, 10km egg Pokémon, and several other (seemingly random) species don’t nest. But most unevolved ones do.
The reason why Pokémon such as Dratini, Larvitar, Chansey, Beldum, and others who evolve into some of the strongest Pokémon in the game don’t nest, is because this would result in people being able to obtain lots of them too easily.
Here’s a list of all of the Pokémon that can currently nest:
|Gen1 (57 species):||Abra, Bellsprout, Bulbasaur, Caterpie, Charmander, Clefairy, Cubone, Diglett, Doduo, Drowzee, Eevee, Ekans, Electabuzz, Exeggcute, Gastly, Geodude, Goldeen, Growlithe, Horsea, Jigglypuff, Jynx, Kabuto, Krabby, Machop, Magikarp, Magmar, Magnemite, Mankey, Meowth, NidoranF, NidoranM, Oddish, Omanyte, Onix, Paras, Pidgey, Pikachu, Pinsir, Poliwag, Ponyta, Psyduck, Rattata, Rhyhorn, Sandshrew, Scyther, Seel, Shellder, Slowpoke, Spearow, Squirtle, Staryu, Tentacool, Venonat, Voltorb, Vulpix, Weedle, Zubat|
|Gen2 (29 species):||Aipom, Chikorita, Chinchou, Cyndaquil, Dunsparce, Girafarig, Hoothoot, Hoppip, Houndour, Ledyba, Marill, Misdreavus, Murkrow, Natu, Qwilfish, Remoraid, Sentret, Shuckle, Slugma, Sneasel, Snubbull, Spinarak, Sunkern, Swinub, Teddiursa, Totodile, Wobbuffet, Wooper, Yanma|
|Gen3 (28 species):||Aron, Baltoy, Barboach, Carvanha, Corphish, Duskull, Electrike, Gulpin, Luvdisc, Makuhita, Meditite, Mudkip, Nosepass, Numel, Poochyena,
Identifying and Predicting Nest Locations
Nest locations are often predictable by the fact that they’re very often (if not always) grassy areas with footpaths running through them.
More specifically, Pokémon Go draws its map information from openstreetmap.org and the ‘grassy areas with footpaths’ must be tagged with certain land-use terms, such as ‘leisure’, ‘park’, ‘golf course’, ‘playground’.
Many areas are eligible to be nests but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they all are nests (yet). New areas seem to become nests with each migration, so just because an eligible area isn’t currently a nest, doesn’t mean it won’t be in a few weeks time.
To view nest eligible areas in your location, visit this special link (which already contains the query that’s needed to identify eligible areas), navigate to your area on the map and click ‘RUN’. The blue areas that appear on the map will be areas that satisfy the requirements of nest eligibility. Providing they’re public property and of a decent size (smaller areas may not have many spawns and so will take longer to see a pattern) go check them out and see what you find.
The Silph Road have a Nest Atlas where Trainers around the world can report areas that they suspect could be nests or report which species’ have migrated to already discovered nests. Check your area to see what’s been reported and add any more that you discover.
Identifying the Nesting Species
Identifying which species is nesting in a particular area is often a case of keeping a close eye on your nearby scanner when you’re at an area you know/suspect is a nest and seeing if any rare Pokémon are spawning more frequently than you’re used to. If they are, and their typing is boosted by the current weather, check again during different weather conditions, as this can dramatically increase its spawn rate (View this link for more info on weather spawn mechanics). If they’re spawning frequently in one area and it’s not due to the weather, chances are that you’ve identified the nesting species.
As mentioned, nest migrations happen every two weeks on a Thursday, but they can also be forced to migrate when new Pokémon are introduced into the game.
Let’s say for example:
- A nest migration happens on Thursday 1st and Doduo becomes the new nesting species in this particular area.
- A wave of new Pokémon then happen to be introduced into the game on Tuesday 6th, which forces a nest migration – Doduo leaves and Ponyta takes its place – The Doduo nest only lasted for 6 days.
- Ponyta will remain as the nesting Pokémon until the next scheduled migration on Thursday 15th, at which point the nesting species will change (in this example we’ll say it changes to Bulbasaur).
- The Ponyta nest only lasted for 9 days.
- If no new Pokémon are introduced within the next 14 days, the area will remain a Bulbasaur nest until Thursday 29th and will continue changing species every 14 days until a new batch of Pokémon are introduced and disrupt the nest change schedule.
These are the only times when a species will nest for less than 14 days.