Slowly but surely, the Pokémon series has undergone its own evolution over the course of the past two decades. There are some things that may never change, most importantly the mechanic of finding and catching a colorful, creative, and unique roster of monsters in their fictional worlds. Leading up to Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the mainline games have been reluctant to, or incapable of, showing Pokémon out in the world before you encounter them. This makes the world feel far more natural, but also exciting when you finally find the location of the ultra-powerful and rare Legendary and Mythic Pokémon.
These Pokémon didn’t earn those monikers for being pushovers. Fighting one, let alone trying to capture one, is no easy feat. Before you can even think about testing your team against one of these monumental challenges, you of course need to know where they dwell. These aren’t the kinds of Pokémon you will find randomly roaming the fields like a normal monster. These make up a good portion of the end game content, so you won’t be able to access them easily. If you want to try your luck at taming these rare and powerful Pokémon, here’s where to find all the Legendary and Mythic Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Note: Small spoilers ahead for parts of the ending of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, as well as all the Legendary and Mythic Pokémon in the game and how to catch them.
There are only two Legendary Pokémon you can encounter before the main story of Pokémon Legends: Arceus is wrapped up and the post-game begins. Once you beat the fifth and final Royale Pokémon, you will be given a choice. Do you want to challenge the Diamond Clan leader or the Pearl Clan leader? Depending on your choice, you will face these two Legendary Pokémon in different orders, with the second being in a special Origin form.
If you choose the Pearl Clan, you will first go up against Palkia, followed by Origin Dialga. If you pick Diamond, you first fight Dialga and then Origin Palkia. Once you finish the story, though, that specific clan leader will give you an item you can use to change whichever Legendary you fought first into their Origin form, meaning you have the ability to get both in Origin form, but only one in their normal form.
The rest of the Legendary and Mythic Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are all only available after completing the main story. Most will be tied to The Researcher of Myths request that opens up, but there are some that you need to specifically seek out in hidden and new areas.
After starting The Researcher of Myths quest, proceed up until the point where you talk to Cogita and are sent to retrieve all the plates. Start The Plate of Firespit Island quest and go to the titular island in the Cobalt Coastlands, following the location marked for you, where you will encounter Heatran deep in a cave. You will need to use Balls of Mud to put out its fire shield and do damage to it.
This time, following The Plate of Snowpelt Temple plate quest, you will be taken to the Alabaster Icelands and into a new area of Snowpelt Temple using the Icicle, Iron, and Stone plates to battle Regigigas.
Activate The Plate of Moonview Arena, head over to the Moonview Arena in the Coronet Highlands, and talk to Warden Melli. Once the conversation ends, you will be facing off against Cresselia in the arena.
Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit
We’re bunching these three together because they all are tied to the same part of The Researcher of Myths quest — this time, The Plate of the Lakes branch. Following this quest will take you to three locations: One in the Crimson Mirelands, one in the Alabaster Icelands, and the last in the Obsidian Flatlands. You will face Uxie in the middle of Lake Acuity, Azelf in Lake Valor, and Mesprit at Lake Verity.
Once you’ve done all of the plate-related quests listed above and have collected every other plate as well, a new one called Seeking the Remaining Plates will activate. Following this, you will first need to defeat Volo and a Giratina at the Temple of Sinnoh, though you can’t catch it yet, before going back to Jubilife Village to start the On the Trail of Giratina quest, which sends you out to Turnback Cave by way of the Spring Path in Cobalt Coastlands. Once there, you can fight and catch Giratina, but also get the Griseous Core item that lets you change Giratina to and from their Altered and Origin forms.
Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus, and Enamorus
These four Pokémon make up the Incarnate Pokémon and will be part of your questline after beating Volo and Giratina at the Temple of Sinnoh and Turnback Cave, respectively. Once you beat them, go back to Galaxy HQ and speak with Cogita to get the Incarnate Forces of Hisui quest. This quest will take you to four different locations based on clues to find each of these Pokémon, though two of them also only appear under special weather conditions.
Tornadus is in the Bonechill Wastelands of the Alabaster Icelands and will only show up during snowy weather.
Thundurus is in the Cobalt Coastlands of Sand’s Reach and, naturally, only appears when there is a thunderstorm.
Landorus is in Ramanas Island’s Obsidian Fieldlands and will show up regardless of the weather.
After catching the first three, Cogita will give you the final clue to track down Enamorus in the Crimson Mirelands of Scarlet Bog. It will show up no matter the weather. Once you have all four, Cogita will also give you the Reveal Glass item that lets you change them between their Incarnate and Therian forms at will.
Another quest that opens after the main quest is finished is A Token of Gratitude. This will lead you to the Obsidian Flatlands to meet with Medi, who will point you toward the Flaoro Gardens where Shaymin roams. However, the request to go after Shaymin won’t appear unless you have save data from either Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield on your Nintendo Switch.
Darkrai is similar to Shaymin in the sense that the request to cause it to spawn, A Darksome Nightmare, will only be available if you have save data from a prior Pokémon game on your Nintendo Switch — in this case, either Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Pokémon Shining Pearl. Assuming you do have that data, the quest will lead you to Calmberclaw Cliffs in the Coronet Highlands, but make sure you go during the night. Otherwise, Darkrai won’t spawn.
Manaphy and Phione
These two Pokémon have a more involved set of requirements to find than just about any other Legendary or Mythic Pokémon on this list (with one major exception). The first step is to accept and complete request No. 66 from the Galaxy Hall blackboard, which tasks you with catching a Buizel, Mantyke, and Overquil. Buizels are found on the beach of Cobalt Coastlands and Obsidian Fieldlands; Mantykes are water Pokémon, also in the Cobalt Coastlands; and Overquils are the evolution of the Qwilfish you can catch in the water of the Cobalt Coastlands.
Once you have these three Pokémon, make sure you have them in your team and go to the two rock pillars jutting out of the water that look like horns — they’re by Sand’s Reach in Cobalt Coastlands at night. If all the conditions are met, a small cutscene will start, and you will be able to go catch both Manaphy and Phione at the Seaside Hollow.
We have an entire guide dedicated to catching Arceus, but we will still give you the short version here just so you know what you’re in for. Only after you’ve done the entire Researcher of Myths quest and collected all the plates and caught every Pokémon in the game (minus Shaymin and Darkrai), you can talk to Professor Laventon, who will send you back to the Temple of Sinnoh. Once there, play your flute to access Arceus, who fights like a Noble Pokémon rather than a regular battle. Manage to win, and the final Legendary Pokémon will be added to your team, along with the Legend Plate.