Pokémon Gold and Silver General Guide

Check out our guide for everything about Pokémon Gold and Silver, from where to find the EXP Share to getting through Ice Path!

Pokémon Gold and Silver, the original second generation titles, are back in style on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. A lot has changed in the Pokémon games since then – after all, these games debuted in the early 2000s! Here we give you all the important information you need, from what game or starter to get, to a run down of all the old-school mechanics, and even how to overcome puzzles, find the Legendaries and defeat Miltank.


  • The Basics
    • Which version should I get?
    • What’s special about generation 2?
    • What’s different about generation 2 mechanics?
    • Which Starter?
    • Early hints and tips
    • Who should I catch?
  • Useful and Important Items
    • Useful Hold and Key Items
    • Evolution items
    • Type boosting Items
    • Useful TMs and miss-able HMs
  • Catching the Legendaries and rare Pokémon
    • Legendaries
    • Rare and one-off Pokémon
  • Trainer Phone Numbers, Trading and More
    • Essential Phone Contacts
    • Transferring Pokémon to other games
    • Duplicating Pokémon
    • Changing the time and day
  • Puzzles
    • Ilex Forest
    • Ecruteak City Gym
    • Ruins of Alph
    • Team Rocket Hideout (Mahogany Town)
    • Mahogany Town Gym
    • Radio Tower Basement
    • Ice Path
    • Blackthorn City Gym

The Basics

Which version should I get?

Which do you like more, Lugia or Ho-Oh? Don’t worry; Gold and Silver have both! While you can only get Ho-Oh after becoming the Champion in Silver, and vice versa for Lugia in Gold, there’s no need to worry about being unable to catch all the non-event second generation Legendaries without trading.

The differences come down to the regular Pokémon you’ll encounter on your journey. Take a look at the list below, and decide which Pokémon you like more!

Gold Silver
Mankey/Primeape Meowth/Persian
Growlithe/Arcanine Vulpix/Ninetales
Spinarak/Ariados Ledyba/Ledian
Teddiursa/Ursaring Phanpy/Donphan
Gligar Skarmory
Mantine Delibird

What’s special about generation 2?

A lot was introduced, besides bug fixes. Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced two new types (Steel and Dark), the Breeding mechanic (including Pokémon Eggs), genders, held items, Shiny Pokémon, a Day/Night cycle, the phone and rematch system, roaming Legendaries, new Poké Balls…

It is also the only set of games (including the remakes) which allows you to visit two regions. Here you can visit Kanto and take on another 8 Gyms, giving a total of 16 Gym Badges to collect!

What’s different about generation 2 mechanics?

So cool he has his hat backwards.

There’s a lot missing, for starters. There are no Abilities, nor any Natures. Critical hits do twice the damage (not 1.5* as in sixth- and seventh-generation games). For more advanced players, the equivalent of Individual Values (IVs) – Deter Values (DVs) – range from 0 to 15 and determine how strong a Pokémon could be compared to another of the same species, and Effort Values do not have a 510 total stat cap and function differently altogether.

The Physical and Special stats are based on type as well. Bite for instance is a Dark-Type move, and all Dark-type moves use the Special Attack stat – no exceptions. This means a lot of Pokémon won’t perform as you may expect. Gyarados can’t make use of Waterfall with its Attack stat, as it is a Special Attacking move. The types and what stat they correspond to are as follows:

Physical: Normal, Rock, Ground, Fighting, Steel, Bug, Poison
Special: Water, Grass, Fire, Ghost, Dragon, Dark, Psychic, Ice, Electric

Pokémon also have limited movepools compared to newer games, so you will want to keep that in mind.

Which Starter?

Like all main series Pokémon games, you have the choice between three Starter Pokémon; Totodile (Water-type), Cyndaquil (Fire-type) and Chikorita (Grass-type).

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Chikorita is effectively the hard mode choice. Most Gyms in Johto resist the Grass typing, and this includes the first two. Ouch. Meanwhile, poor Chikorita and its evolutions misses out on key moves such as Petal Dance.

Totodile is the middle-difficulty choice. It suffers from Water being the Special typing given its strong Attack stat, but it will manage just fine. Rage (Lv7) also proves useful for tough fights at the beginning of the game.

Cyndaquil meanwhile makes the beginning game easy and by the time it gets harder it’d have also toughened up. The second gym and Sprout Tower (available around the first Gym) are both weak to its typing.

Early hints and tips

Here’s a few quick tips to keep in mind during the early game:

  • Save your Berries!
    Save these up! A Miltank will be in your debt.

    Your Starter Pokémon has a (plain) Berry on it. Remove it from them and save those you get from trees. You’ll want as many as you can later on to help out a sick Miltank to access MooMooMilk and a TM. Different Berries (e.g. PSNCUREBERRY) will not work on that Miltank however, so use as you please.

  • Keep Apricorns! You can use them later to make new types of Poké Balls.
  • Manage your phone numbers! You can rematch NPCs and hence gain training experience (as well as some fun conversations). Some NPCs will also tell you about events or rare Pokémon appearances! However, you can only hold 10 numbers at once.
  • Talk to mum after getting a Pokédex! She’ll save money for you from each battle (fear not, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver players – she calls you way less often in these games). She’s sometimes spend that money on gifts for you, including the Moon Stone relatively early in the game. This also includes dolls you can decorate your room with! In short – definitely have her save your money.
  • Manage your Bag space! You do not have infinite space, so you will have to get used to selling useless items or storing some for latter in your PC. You’ll fill up the space around the 2nd Gym if you don’t! At least it is better than the Bag in the first generation games…
  • Want an easier time of Gyms? Catch Bellsprout and Drowzee. In-game trades for them will greatly aid the first and third Gym battles respectively.

Who should I catch?

For a full list, Route by Route, check out our guide linked below on who to consider adding to your team, and which Pokémon will just give you headaches! Of course, if you want to use your favourites, by all means do so; with enough grinding any team will get you over the line and earn you the title of Champion.

Pokémon Gold and Silver Walkthrough and Capture Guide

By the way, an important note is a glitch that exists. While the Sleep and Frozen status conditions increase the chance of catching a wild Pokémon, Paralysis, Poison and Burn does not! It is unfortunate, but don’t bother with using these to help (unless the game is patched; we’ll update accordingly if this comes true).