PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
1 vote

Does anyone tell me what a "Wanderer" encounter is?

I want to capture a Pokémon in Sword and Shield, and it says "Wanderer", but what's that?

Where did you see "Wanderer encounter?" There can be multiple meanings to it, it would help to know the context.
@Fates did you see the term "Wanderer" on the Serebii pokedex?
Flagged because not enough context
This question is still answerable, I think I may have figured it out.
The user still hasn’t clarified anything, or if anything helped them. This is only their second post, never BA’d, never commented; I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever know if they haven’t said anything by now.

Tl;dr I strongly believe answerer isn’t going to clarify (even if they return), therefore we’ll never know what they mean, and we have three very vastly different answers, implying the general public doesn’t have a real good idea of what they mean. If OP doesn’t come back to clarify or BA, we’ll have three totally different answers, all which could be wrong.

I’m flagging in advanced since I’m 95% sure the user won’t respond by the week time limit for clarification.

Even though the asker's question is vague and they have not clarified what they're asking about, it's clear to me that the question is asking us to to figure out which pokemon are "Wanderers" in Sword/Shield. I, Cyberbear IV, and Hellfire Taco have all found sources with the same definition of wandering encounters, and I doubt that there would be two different types of encounters that are both considered "wandering." Therefore I can't imagine what else the asker could possibly be asking about.

As for there being confusion over the correctness of 3 "vastly different answers," my answer is literally the same as Cyberbear's, the only difference being that I go more in-depth in my definition than he does. GmaxWaluigi just guessed that the Galarian Bird trio were wanderers because, as he said, the overworld models and how you encounter them are unique from all other envounters in the game. Even though it makes sense why he guessed that, it's not like he has a source to validate his claim.

Before answering, I looked at the Pokedex pages of various pokemon on both Bulbapedia and Serebii. I found that many pokemon encounters considered to be wandering were similar in that each pokemon is guaranteed to spawn in a single location. To show this I posted a link of Duraludon's Serebii page in my answer, and if you click it you will see that it can be encountered "wandering" at the Giant's Seat. Hellfire Taco also posted links from both Bulbapedia and Serebii of Obstagoon's pokedex pages, and they have Obstagoon listed as "wanderer" (Bulbapedia) or "wandering" (Serebii). With this information, I would argue that these pokemon are examples of the "Wanderers" @Fates is asking about. I believe that the definition I posted in my answer is the right one, otherwise I would not have posted it in the first place. And again, I have well-known sources backing me up.

I'm not trying to be aggressive or attempting to make my answer look best. I just want to know why you feel like the answer to this question has not been reliably answered.

3 Answers

3 votes
Best answer

All right, after doing a little digging I believe I have found the correct answer to this question.

According to Bulbapedia:

A Wanderer is a type of wild Pokemon encounter found in Pokemon Sword and Shield. It is a wild Pokemon that appears in a fixed location in the overworld and which may react to the player's presence in the same manner as other symbol encounters.

Before I add anything to Bulbapedia's definition, a symbol encounter is the type of wild Pokemon encounter that was introduced in the Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee! games. Instead of having to walk through a patch of tall grass or a cave to encounter a wild Pokemon, as in older games, in the Let's Go! games all the wild polemon spawn from tall grass, in caves, etc. and walk around in the overworld. You can actually see a Rattata dart from a patch of tall grass or a Geodude appear and float around in a cave, for example.

Well, a "wanderer" encounter is a unique type of symbol encounter. Instead of spawning from tall grass or random areas in caves, bodies of water, etc., a wandering Pokemon has a specific area in which it always spawns. In the Wild Area of Sword and Shield, a wanderer spawns once a day.

For example, in the Wild Area, there is a wild Duraludon that you can always encounter at the same area of the Giant's Seat. If you either cause the Duraludon to faint in battle, catch it, or flee from it in battle, the Duraludon will despawn. But if you return to the Giant's Seat the next day (starting at 12:00 a.m.), you will find another Duraludon stomping around in the very same area as the previous one.

Duraludon isn't the only example of wandering Pokemon in the Wild Area. The wild Onix in the rolling fields, the Snorlax at the Bridge Field, and the Obstagoon near the Wild Area's Pokemon Nursery are other examples, and the same is true for them as for the Duraludon at the Giant's Seat, as well as for all wandering Pokemon in the Wild Area.

There are also wandering Pokemon in the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra. All that is true for wanderers in the Wild Area is also true for wanderers in these areas.

Wandering Pokemon can also be found in other areas throughout the game. These Pokemon are:

  • A Chewtle on Route 2
  • A Yamper on Route 2
  • A Drednaw on Route 2, on the island in the middle of the lake
  • An Obstagoon on a hidden path of Route 2
  • A Lapras on the lake of Route 2
  • A Corvisquire perched on Route 3
  • A Carkol in the first Galar mine
  • A Woobat in the first Galar mine
  • A Crawdaunt at Turrfield
  • A Diglett on Route 4
  • An Eldegoss on the bridge on Route 5, drifting down from above
  • Several Galarian Stunfisk at Galar mine 2
  • A Drednaw st Galar mine 2
  • A Gastrodon at Galar mine 2
  • An Impidimp at Glimwood Tangle
  • A Morgrem at Glimwood Tangle
  • A Crustle on Route 8
  • All the Falinks that appear from the holes in the ruins on Route 8
  • A Glalie on Route 9
  • Several Grapploct on Route 9
  • An Abomasnow on Route 10
  • A Beartic on Route 10

Note that whether the listed Pokemon respawn or not and when they respawn varies. Some respawn if you exit the area and then return, some respawn daily, and some never respawn.


I hope this finally answers your question!

selected by
Are you calling all strong spawn encounters wanderers?
What exactly do you mean by that? I'm not saying that a wandering pokemon has to be a strong spawn encounter. I'm just pointing out that a wanderer has a pre-determined spawn point in which it's guaranteed to spawn once a day, which is the case for many strong spawn encounters.
0 votes

A "Wandering" Pokemon is a Pokemon that is not in the grass, and appears in the overworld.

A wanderer (Japanese: 固定シンボルエンカウント fixed symbol encounter) is a type of wild Pokémon encounter found in the Galar region in Pokémon Sword and Shield. It is a wild Pokémon that appears in a fixed location in the overworld, and may react to the player's presence in the same manner as other symbol encounters.

Source: Experience and this

edited by
0 votes

In Pokemon Sword and Shield, I believe the Wandering Pokemon you are talking about are Galarian Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. These Pokemon's encounters work differently than any other encounter in the game.

These legendary birds function similarly to Roaming Pokemon in previous games and generations. In older games, a Roaming Pokemon would be encounterable in the tall grass of a route, and everytime that you changed routes, the Roaming Pokemon also changed location.

In SWSH, these "Wandering" Pokemon appear in each of the three Wild Areas, (Wild Area, Isle of Armor, and Crown Tundra. They fly/run around in a specific route that eventually is looped. For some of the Birds you must chase them, and for some of the Birds you must wait for it to come to you. If you are looking at the Pokedex trying to find the location data for these Pokemon, it says Wanderer.

If you need more information, I would suggest going here and watch how the encounters work.

If you have any more questions, please ask!

@GmaxWaluigi no worries.
If you literally google "wanderer Pokemon" you'll get a link to the Bulbapedia page about wanderer Pokemon, which is exactly how I determined that this question is more than likely not about roaming Pokemon.
But where would this person say they saw that Pokemon was only obtainable as a wanderer? The Bulbapedia page details every location of wanderers. OP said he was looking for a Pokemon and it says Wanderer. Wherever he was looking for a Pokemon, we don't know and would be useful to know for an answer. I have as much context as anyone else.
Bulbapedia, this site, and Serebii all list roaming Pokemon as "roaming." Bulbapedia and Serebii both list wandering Pokemon as "wandering."
There are the most commonly used Pokemon websites, so it's safe to make the assumption that the asker got their information from one of them. I've never heard of roaming Pokemon referred to as wandering Pokemon, and I especially doubt that will happen now that they're two different things.
Fine. I said the birds were wandering because their encounter method is different than previous roaming Pokemon because of the Overworld models