What Exactly are Alolan Forms?


With the most recent Pokemon Go announcement that Alolan forms are being added to the game within the coming weeks, there are a few types of people; those who love Alolan forms, those who do not like, or could care less about Alolan forms, and those who have no idea what Alolan forms are.

Well, we hear you, and we are here to help!

Alolan forms were introduced in Generation 7 in the Sun and Moon games, and are referred to as a ‘regional variant’. They were created when Kantonian Pokemon travelled to the tropical region of Alola and had to adapt to the environment around them and protect themselves from predators. To do this, they changed forms, typings and even stats to better survive in the new habitat they were thrown into; except for Raichu. The Pokemon Website states no one knows why Raichu changed appearance but they assume it was because it ate too many pancakes. That is kind of like adapting to its environment right?

Besides that, what kinds of changes did these Pokemon undertake and which Pokemon changed? Well, there are 18 Pokemon with Alolan forms, which we can see in this graphic below made by our very own Couple of Gaming:

Many of these Pokemon look just familiar enough to tell what they are, but they have certainly taken on new forms- and typings to boot! You can see a full list of these new typings in this announcement article or here in this Bulbapedia article.

In the main series, the Alolan variants can only be found in the Alola region, meaning you cannot catch a normal Vulpix while in Alola, because all of them have converted to their Alolan Form (probably through natural selection). We are unsure of how these spawns will translate into Pokemon Go.


  • Where is Alolan Cubone, Exeggcute and Pikachu?

    • There is no Alolan Cubone, Exeggcute or Pikachu. While in the Alola Region, a normal Cubone, Exeggcute or Pikachu will evolve into their corresponding Alolan form. Anywhere outside of the Alola region (including Ultra Space in the Ultra Sun and Moon games) they will evolve into their normal, Kantionian forms.
  • How will they spawn in Pokemon Go?

    • At this time we do not know if Alolan forms will spawn on the overworld, nor for how long. We are also unsure of how the evolution of the above Pokemon will be affected. We can assume if you evolve them during the event period they will evolve into their Alolan forms, but there is no way to tell for sure.
  • Will they have a different dex page?

    • All Alolan forms share the same Pokedex number as their normal form (for example, Raichu and Alolan Raichu are both National Dex #26) so it is unknown whether or not they will just all be under the same tab, or if they will get their own page all together.
  • Will there be shiny Alolan Raichu?

    • At best, we can assume yes. But unless you have loads of shiny Pikachu from a lucky community day, or just luck over time, then we would not suggest evolving your only shiny right away in the hopes that it will be Alolan. Yes, we do know shiny Alolan Raichu is adorable. It may be possible that only Pikachu (and Cubone and Exeggcute) caught during the event will be able to evolve into Alolan forms.
  • Will these Pokemon be meta relevant or better than their Kantonian forms?

    • This may be true for a few select Pokemon, though with different typings, each form will have different uses in the meta-game. We will have more on this topic in the future, so stay tuned!

Did we miss anything? Did this help to quell a little bit of confusion? Let us know in the comments below and join the discussion on our Discord server!

Author & tags

Age 21, Nursing Student in the USA. Long time Pokemon Fan, I just love helping the community! I read comments because otherwise I won't know what typos I made :p

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