The easy answer is 151. Obviously.
Let me rephrase the question. What’s the maximum number of Pokémon you need to catch in Pokémon Go to catch them all?
Given how rare some Pokémon are and how candies allow Pokémon to evolve I wanted to investigate the worst case scenario. Let’s say you never caught a Pokémon that’s in an evolved form already. Let’s say you never hatched any eggs. And also, let’s say that restrictions such as continent specific Pokémon or some being unreleased isn’t an obstacle for you.
If you caught only unevolved forms and worked your way up from there just how many would you need to catch them all? Also, how many candies would it take?
1. Completing the Pokedex.
I’ll quickly review the math I used to figure this out.
There are 25 Pokémon that don’t evolve at all. So our count starts at 25 and you would get 3 candies each for each one caught.
Next there are 40 Pokémon that only have one evolution and 37 when you exclude Eevee (we’ll get to that in one second). You need 50 candies to evolve any of these Pokémon. To evolve one you would need to catch 13 of them, receiving 39 candies and another 11 candies from trading that many in. This would take 481 Pokémon and 1,850 candies.
Now for Eevee. Eevee has the 3 evolutions which only require 25 candies each to evolve to. Better yet, all of the evolutions all come from Eevee candy. So, when you evolve your first one, then you actually have 2 candies leftover that can be applied to the next one (capture 7 and trade in 6 for a total of 27 candies). You would need to capture 20 Eevees and use 79 candies.
Lastly, there are 16 Pokémon that evolve twice and require 125 candies total to make that happen. You would need to capture 32 then trade 29 for the total of 125 candies. This adds up to 512 Pokémon necessary and 2,000 candies.
Edit: Realized after first posting that there are more special cases for Magikarp-Gyarados, Pidgey-Pidgeot, Weedle-Beedrill, and Caterpie-Butterfree. These adjustments are factored in below.
Our totals then are 1,072 Pokémon needed to catch ’em all. They would use up 4,193 candies.
This is definitely the hardest path to take, which no one would recommend as its the absolute maximum requirements. This would complete your Pokedex and as proud as the professor would be there is still a little bit more to do if you’re truly a diehard fan.
2. Capturing Every Pokémon.
Since you would need to evolve Pokémon to fill the Pokedex you would lose their unevolved forms. If you wanted to own all 151 entirely and completely then you would need some extra ones.
That means one extra Eevee. You also wouldn’t need to catch any more Pokémon with a single evolution, because we caught 13, but only traded in 11. One of the remaining two of them stays unevolved and the other evolves.
For the double evolutions we traded in 29 of the 32 captured, leaving you with 3 remaining. One of them is evolved to the highest form, one stays in the lowest form, and the other would need to evolve just once. This would take 25 candies and another 7 Pokémon captured for each.
All in all, our new totals for being a Pokémon Master.
3. Time Factor
Going this far with the data there was one more thing I wanted to find out – how long would it take to catch them all. Given a quick estimate of 30 seconds to catch each Pokémon and requiring 1,177 Pokémon total it would take at least 9.8 hours. This is just for capturing them, it doesn’t take into account how long you need to be out there searching for the rare ones.
Let me know what you think! Also, let me know if there’s any errors in the math or special cases like Eevee that I need to take into account.