The first Pokemon starter trio, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle from Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, and Pokemon Yellow
Image by Destructoid

All Pokémon Starters by Generation

Pokemon peaked with Sinnoh.

Arguably, the most exciting part of any Pokemon title is weighing the options of your starter and trying to predict how your journey will go. Every generation has something fun to choose, especially if you’re not dedicated to a certain type. From Kanto to Paldea, it’s likely that your starter will be with you every step of the way, but there’s a lot of adorable monster sidekicks to choose from.

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So, if you’re in the business of catching them all — and by all, I mean starters — then we’ve got a breakdown below of every generation’s starter Pokemon. Do you have a favorite type? Is there a best type? What about generation? All up in the air, but what is certain is that Litten and Charmander gotta be amongst the most adorable.

Your starter is your most important decision.

Generation 1

Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle - the Gen 1 Starter Pokemon from Red, Blue, and Yellow
Image by Destructoid

Generation I kicked things off back in 1998 with 151 of the pocket monsters to collect. Decades later, the trio of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle stand as hallmarks for youngsters entering the world of Pokemon.

  • Starters
    • Bulbasaur
    • Charmander
    • Squirtle
  • Games
    • Pokemon Red
    • Pokemon Blue
    • Pokemon Yellow
  • Region
    • Kanto

Generation 2

Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile as they appear in Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal
Image by Destructoid

Quick on the heels of Generation I’s success, Game Freak introduced players to the Johto region where Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile would serve as companions. With 100 new Pokemon to catch, having a strong starter was critical, though it is hard to choose the other two with Totodile’s enthusiasm.

  • Starters
    • Chikorita
    • Cyndaquil
    • Totodile
  • Games
    • Pokemon Gold
    • Pokemon Silver
    • Pokemon Crystal
  • Region
    • Johto

Generation 3

Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip from Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald in Generation 4
Image by Destructoid

While Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza might have been the big draw in 2003, it would be a long road before players reached them. Fortunately, Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip would do everything in their power to get their trainer there as the pair travels the Hoenn region. Where Treecko and Torchic’s designs were bland, Mudkip picked up the slack with its golden retriever energy packaged as a fish dog.

  • Starters
    • Treecko
    • Torchic
    • Mudkip
  • Games
    • Pokemon Ruby
    • Pokemon Sapphire
    • Pokemon Emerald
  • Region
    • Hoenn
    • Orre
    • Sevii Islands

Generation 4

Image by Destructoid

Even though there were two strong entries prior to Generation 5, 2007’s Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl really upped the ante. Turtwig is my favorite starter of all time and is backed by two other hall-of-famers: Chimchar and Piplup. They’re all undeniable menaces that will dominate the Routes, all day, every day. Aside from Generation 9’s Sprigatito, it’s all been downhill from here.

  • Starters
    • Turtwig
    • Chimchar
    • Piplup
  • Games
    • Pokemon Diamond
    • Pokemon Pearl
    • Pokemon Platinum
  • Region
    • Sinnoh

Generation 5

Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott from the Pokemon Black and White games, part of Generation 5
Image by Destructoid

Generation 5 is where it feels that Game Freak started to lose its way. From the snide Snivy to the unblinking, clown-faced horror that is Oshawott, the starter designs left a lot to be desired. I don’t know how they made a Pokemon creepier than Jynx, but they did and that paraffin profile has haunted my dreams since.

  • Starters
    • Snivy
    • Tepig
    • Oshawott
  • Games
    • Pokemon Black
    • Pokemon White
  • Region
    • Unova

Generation 6

The three Pokemon X and Pokemon Y starters, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie
Image by Destructoid

Perhaps the best thing about Generation 6 was its European aesthetic and the unofficial ranking of Shiny Eeveelutions held in Lumiose City. While fashion was the name of the game, starters like Fennekin and Froakie made quite the impression, especially the latter with his in-game behavior falling in line with the likes of Sam Fisher. Did you know Froakie’s bubbles turn into a mask?

  • Starters
    • Chespin
    • Fennekin
    • Froakie
  • Games
    • Pokemon X
    • Pokemon Y
  • Region
    • Kalos

Generation 7

Rowlet, Litten, Popplio from Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon
Image by Destructoid

Rowlet is a perfect round boy whose thoughts slide off his smooth brain. Litten is a spicy kitty who shoots flaming hairballs. Popplio is a straight-up clown who would be better served as bait for a Kyogre. Aside from Litten, I’m not getting much of a Starter vibe from this trio.

  • Starters
    • Rowlet
    • Litten
    • Popplio
  • Games
    • Pokemon Sun
    • Pokemon Moon
  • Region
    • Alola

Generation 8

The three Pokemon Sword and Shield starters with a grass, fire, and water type - those are Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble, respectively
Image by Destructoid

I don’t even know what to make of these starters. A grass monkey, a sporty rabbit, and a water tadpole caught during its transition into a frog? These designs are so forgettable, that my brain blocked them out until I had to write this.

  • Starters
    • Grookey
    • Scorbunny
    • Sobble
  • Games
    • Pokemon Sword
    • Pokemon Shield
  • Region
    • Galar
    • Hisui

Generation 9

The adorable grass kitten, Sprigatito, the fire-type dino Fuecoco, and the water-type duck Pokemon, Quaxly.
Image by Destructoid

It’s clear that all of the design resources went to Sprigatito during the development of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet. Fuecoco is a derpy fire dinosaur, whereas Quaxly is too much of a diva to even be worth considering. Meanwhile, sweet baby Sprigatito with its tiny pink toe beans makes it the obvious choice when entering the unpolished regions of Paldea and Kitakami.

  • Starters
    • Sprigatito
    • Fuecoco
    • Quaxly
  • Games
    • Pokemon Scarlet
    • Pokemon Violet
  • Region
    • Paldea
    • Kitakami

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Author
Christian Dawson
Christian has been playing games since he could hold a controller in the late 80s. He's been writing about them for nearly 15 years for both personal and professional outlets. Now he calls Destructoid home where he covers all manner of nonsense.