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Wild encounters

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This article describes wild Pokémon encounters. This includes how to set up random encounters (e.g. long grass, caves), and how to modify encounters based on various factors (e.g. location).

See also

Adding new encounter methods

  • This article describes how to add more encounter methods to Essentials.

Fishing encounters

  • These encounters occur when using a fishing rod on water.

Event encounters

  • These encounters are triggered by an event (e.g. upon interacting with a Pokémon in the overworld).

Roaming Pokémon

  • This article describes how to set up roaming Pokémon, and what they do and where they appear.


  • Amongst other things, this article shows how to set up a smashable rock and headbutt tree, both of which can lead to a wild Pokémon encounter.

Setting wild encounters for a map

The PBS file "encounters.txt" lists all the wild Pokémon encounters for each map. Each map has its own section, which begins with that map's ID number. The section is laid out in the following order:

Order Information Description
1 Map ID number The map's ID number. This can be found in the middle of RPG Maker XP's status bar (at the bottom) while the map is open for editing.
2 Encounter densities This is a set of three comma-separated numbers, which sets the likelihood of an encounter while walking around in long grass, caves and when surfing respectively. This line is optional, and if it does not exist, the densities are set to "25,10,10". A higher number means a greater chance of an encounter with each step.
3 Encounter type An encounter type followed by a list of Pokémon (each on a new line) that can be encountered this way. Possible encounter types are:
  • Land - For long grass. Pokémon will appear only while walking in the grass.
  • LandDay - Same as "Land", but for encounters between 6am and 8pm. If defined, overrides the "Land" encounter type during that time.
  • LandNight - Same as "Land", but for encounters between 8pm and 6am. If defined, overrides the "Land" encounter type during that time.
  • LandMorning - Same as "Land", but for encounters between 6am and noon. If defined, overrides the "Land" and "LandDay" encounter types during that time.
  • BugContest - Same as "Land", but for when the player is in a Bug Catching Contest. If undefined, "Land" is used instead.
  • Cave - For caves and other maps where wild encounters can occur anywhere, as long as the player is walking.
  • Water - For surfing.
  • RockSmash - For when the player smashes a breakable rock.
  • OldRod - For when the player uses the Old Rod.
  • GoodRod - For when the player uses the Good Rod.
  • SuperRod - For when the player uses the Super Rod.
  • HeadbuttLow - For when Headbutt is used on a tree. These Pokémon are rare to find in a Headbutt encounter.
  • HeadbuttHigh - For when Headbutt is used on a tree. These Pokémon are common to find in a Headbutt encounter.
Pokémon to encounter This is a list of the Pokémon associated with that encounter type. Each line in the list contains two or three comma-separated elements:
  1. A Pokémon species.
  2. A level.
  3. A second level. Optional. Must be higher than the first level.

If the second level is defined, the two numbers define a range of levels that the species can be found at (inclusive). If that line is chosen for the wild encounter, then there is an equal chance of the wild Pokémon being any of those levels.

The position of a species within the list determines the rarity of that species (higher up means more common). The list must contain a specific number of lines, depending on the encounter type. See the table below for the encounter probabilities and list lengths for each encounter type.

There can be multiple encounter types and lists of Pokémon to encounter in a map's section. However, a map's section cannot have more than one of the same encounter type.

The "Cave" encounter type cannot be defined if one of "Land", "LandMorning", "LandDay", "LandNight" or "BugContest" is also defined.

Each encounter type must have a specific number of lines (entries). Each line in that list has a probability assigned to it, which states how likely it is for that line to be chosen to define an encounter. These probabilities are in relation to each other within the same encounter type, e.g. a line with a value of 20 is twice as likely to be chosen as a line with a value of 10.

The table below lists each encounter type, along with the number of lines and the probabilities of each line (in order) for each of those encounter types.

Encounter type Number of entries Probability of encounter
12 20, 20, 10, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, 4, 4, 1, 1
5 60, 30, 5, 4, 1
OldRod 2 70, 30
GoodRod 3 60, 20, 20
SuperRod 5 40, 40, 15, 4, 1
8 30, 25, 20, 10, 5, 5, 4, 1

These are the default values. The probabilities sum to 100 in each case, which means they can also be seen as percentages. They don't have to sum to 100, but the default ones do for convenience.

You can have the same species in several different lines in a defined encounter type. For example, putting Rattata in the first three lines of the "Land" encounter type means that there will be a 50% chance of encountering a Rattata: (20 + 20 + 10) / 100.



This example sets the encounters for map number 019. The probability of an encounter in tall grass is 2.5 times higher than an encounter while surfing or walking in a cave (although the cave probability is ignored here because this map has Land encounters and therefore cannot have Cave encounters). There is one encounter type (Land), and the listed Pokémon (Sentret, Pidgey and Rattata) can be encountered at the given levels. The chances of encountering a Pokémon are as follows:

  • Sentret - 20%
  • Pidgey - 20%
  • Rattata - 60%

The chances of encountering a Pokémon at a given level are more complicated, as this chance includes not only the probability of choosing the line(s) naming that species, but also the probability of choosing a particular level in the ranges given. For example, there are four possible levels Sentret can have (12, 13, 14 or 15), and the 20% chance of choosing a Sentret for the encounter is divided evenly between each of these possible levels (i.e. 5% chance of encountering a level 12 Sentret).

These probabilities can easily become very complicated.


This example shows how multiple encounter types are defined. The encounter types here are "Land", "Water", "OldRod", "GoodRod" and "SuperRod" (highlighted).

Double wild battles

Main article: Partner trainer

All wild Pokémon encounters will be single wild battles, unless the player has a partner trainer. If they do, then all wild Pokémon encounters will be double wild battles instead.

In a double wild battle, Poké Balls cannot be used if both wild Pokémon are active. They can only be used if exactly 1 wild Pokémon is active (i.e. the other has fainted).

After a double wild battle, all the player's party Pokémon will be fully healed (ostensibly by the partner).

Modifying wild Pokémon

It is possible to modify many attributes of a wild Pokémon (e.g. make it shiny, choose its gender, change its stats, moveset, etc.). See the article Editing a Pokémon for information on which attributes can be changed. The method described below is the best way of editing a wild Pokémon.

Firstly, define a Global Switch that will cause one of these modifications (e.g. making the Pokémon shiny). Then, in the script section PokemonEncounterModifiers (which exists specifically for this kind of code), enter something like the following:

Events.onWildPokemonCreate+=proc {|sender,e|
  if $game_switches[31]

This example will cause all wild Pokémon to be shiny, as long as Global Switch 31 is ON when the encounter occurs. You can modify the cause and effects of these modifications however you want.

The factor that these modifications depend upon does not necessarily have to be a Global Switch. It can be almost anything you can think of: location, encounter type, weather, type of tile the player is standing on, a property of the Pokémon itself, etc. (e.g. you can have all fished Pokémon know the move Aqua Jet, or all Unown in a certain map be a particular form).

Start a Discussion Discussions about Wild encounters

  • Encounter densities

    3 messages
    • As long as you have experience with RGSS it's cool. As for the encounter system, I don't know where exactly it is located in the v...
    • @Komplexify Okay, so let's make sure I got this right... So encount is the density setting times 16 and also times a whole bunch of ot...

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