How to Find and Catch Zapdos in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

Zapdos can be found in the Abandoned Power Plant at Route 10. Route 10 is located just outside of Cerulean City, before entering Rock Tunnel. Surf on a strip of water in Route 10 to reach the Power Plant to find Zapdos inside and catch him.

Preparing to Catch Zapdos

Zapdos is one of the three Legendary Bird Pokémon to be found in-game. As a Rare Pokémon, ample preparation is needed to ensure you don’t lose the opportunity to catch him.

You can prepare the following before venturing out to the Power Plant to try to capture Zapdos:

  • Pokémon with the SURF move – the Abandoned Power Plant where Zapdos is located can only be accessed by first surfing through a small plot of water in Route 10, so make sure to bring a Pokémon who has learned the HM move.
  • Pokémon with the CUT move – if you are coming from Cerulean City, there will be some small trees along the way to Route 10 that need to be cut down
  • Ultra Balls – capturing Zapdos is difficult to do in just one try, so make sure you have a lot of Ultra Balls as back-ups
  • Max Repel – although optional, it’s easier to navigate the Power Plant to find Zapdos if you’re not constantly engaged in battle with wild Pokémon

Wild Pokémon found in the Power Plant will be at around Level 30s or so, while Zapdos will be found at Level 50, so also make sure to bring Pokémon at a similar or higher level.

Once you are ready, you can now head to Route 10.

Getting to Route 10

There are two ways to get to Route 10. If you have a Pokémon who has learned the move FLY, you can fly directly to Route 10 via its Pokémon Center.

The Pokémon Center is located just outside Rock Tunnel. From here you can continue north towards the water and use SURF to get to the Power Plant.

If you don’t have a Pokémon with the HM move FLY, you can get to Route 10 via Cerulean City.

Route 10 can be found on the outskirts of Cerulean City. Head out of the city and continue east, until you find a small tree blocking your way.

Cut it down using your Pokémon and follow the path. Most of the trainers encountered here are battles you’ve previously won already, so continue ahead.

Jump down the first ledge and keep going east until you are no longer able to, then go upwards.

Continue along the path, jumping down a ledge and heading right until you see the Route Marker pop up on your screen saying you are now at Route 10.

From here, you can either stop by Route 10’s Pokémon Center first to change your party’s line-up and heal, or continue ahead to where the water is and use SURF.

Follow along the strip of water, heading southwest until you reach land. You can now see the Power Plant.

There’s a Pokémon trainer just before the Power Plant. You can avoid him or battle him as you wish. Once done, head inside.

Inside the Power Plant

The Abandoned Power Plant is a linear maze that you need to traverse through to reach Zapdos. You may encounter various electric-type Pokémon when exploring, as well as Electrodes posing as Pokéball items.

From the entrance, continue straight ahead until you reach an intersection going east and south.

Take the path going down until you are met with two routes to choose from again.

Head to your right past the many rocks until you can continue upwards.

Follow the trail along the maze, skipping the room entrance as you go on up ahead.

Continue along the path until you’re in a room leading to two directions. Head left since the room downwards is a dead end.

Keep to the trail by going up and then southwest, until you find the sprite of the Legendary Bird Zapdos.

Don’t forget to SAVE before you engage Zapdos in battle!

Battling and Catching Zapdos

Zapdos will be at Level 50 when found and engaged in battle.

Zapdos’ move sets and stats are displayed below. While each Pokemon’s stats vary per save file, the table indicates at base stats and stats range for Zapdos at Level 50.

STATSAT BASERANGE AT LVL. 50
HP90150-197
Attack9085-156
Defense8581-150
Special Attack125117-194
Special Defense9085-156
Speed10094-167

MOVESPP
Thunder Wave20/20
Agility30/30
Detect5/5
Drill Peck20/20

The Legendary Bird is an Electric-Flying Type Pokémon, so it is best to use Rock and Ice Pokémon that are effective against him.

Start by gradually lowering Zapdos’ HP to the red level. Once weak enough, you can start to throw your Ultra Balls at him. It may take some time to catch him, so you can also try to inflict a Status Effect on Zapdos to aid in his capture.

Be careful not to use HP draining Status Effects on Zapdos so he doesn’t faint as he won’t respawn once fainted.

Continue flinging your Ultra Balls at him until you have captured Zapdos. Once captured, the Pokédex will immediately register his data.

Congratulations! You have now caught one of the Legendary Bird Pokémon in-game!

Zapdos is one of the three Legendary Birds to be discovered and caught in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. As a rare legendary, a player only has one shot of catching him, so by following this guide you will be able to successfully capture Zapdos for your Pokédex collection!

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