Catching Pokémon in Caves and Caverns
The biggest change from the Underground of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl is the addition of caves and caverns called Pokémon Hideaways. These hideaways are home to just over 200 different species of Pokémon, many of which only appear on Sinnoh’s surface after you’ve acquired the National Pokédex. Not all of these Pokémon will be available on your first visit to the Grand Underground, but more species will begin to appear as you progress through the game. Also note that some Pokémon found in hideaways are exclusive to either Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Pokémon Shining Pearl.
Each “?” icon displayed on the Grand Underground Map represents a Pokémon Hideaway that features one of eleven different terrains. These terrains range from sunlit fields to volcanic craters, and each is home to a different variety of Pokémon. Whenever you enter a hideaway for the first time, the name of the cave or cavern will be displayed as the “?” icon on the map is replaced with an icon indicating its terrain. A given terrain will house the same selection of Pokémon whether the hideaway is a smaller cave or a larger cavern. But because the caverns are larger, they can house more Pokémon at a time and give you more room to maneuver, making it easier to track down a particular Pokémon you want to catch. Some terrains are common throughout the Grand Underground, while others are limited to a select few hideaways.
What truly sets Pokémon Hideaways apart from Sinnoh’s surface is that you can actually see wild Pokémon wandering freely around the environment, allowing you to pick and choose which ones you want to encounter. Every time you exit and reenter a hideaway, it will be repopulated with a new selection of the Pokémon that can appear in that terrain. Keep in mind that wild Pokémon in the Grand Underground are quite tough—if you enter a hideaway as soon as you receive your Explorer Kit, you’ll be facing Pokémon that average around level 28, and their levels will increase further as you earn more Gym Badges and ultimately become the Pokémon League Champion.
and the Terrains Inside
These common hideaways can be found in every zone of the Grand Underground. Pokémon of every type gather in Spacious Caves, but they’re especially popular with Normal types. Lickitung, Aipom, and Skitty are all exclusive to this terrain. In the early stages of your adventure—when other terrains still offer a limited selection of Pokémon—Spacious Caves offer a diverse array of useful catches like Machop, Houndoom, Wingull, Shinx, and Buneary. It’s also a good place to find Bagon and Shelgon in Pokémon Shining Pearl.
Grassland Caves and Sunlit Cavern
These green and beautiful hideaways host the largest variety of Pokémon—over 80 different species total! Naturally, this terrain is a favorite among Grass types, and it’s the only terrain in the Grand Underground where you can catch Hoppip, Skiploom, Sunkern, Seedot, Nuzleaf, Combee, and Cherubi. Here you can find Scyther in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Pinsir, Lotad, and Lombre in Pokémon Shining Pearl. It’s also a great place to look for Grass-type first partner Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Chikorita, Treecko, and Turtwig.
The crystal-clear waters in these hideaways attract Water types, while their grassy shores appeal to many of the same Grass types that frequent Grassland Caves. Despite some overlap in wild Pokémon options, this is the only terrain where you can catch Dratini, Shellos, and Gastrodon. Other rare Pokémon that reside here include Chinchou, Lanturn, Octillery, and Surskit. Fountainspring Caves are also great places to look for Water-type first partner Pokémon like Squirtle, Totodile, Mudkip, and Piplup.
Rocky Caves and Big Bluff Cavern
The sandy desert terrain found in these hideaways is especially popular with Normal types, Ground types, and Rock types. It’s the only terrain in the Grand Underground where you can catch Phanpy in either game, along with Gligar, Larvitar, and Pupitar in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond. In the early stages of your adventure, it’s a great place to catch Rhyhorn, Absol, and Skorupi. As your journey progresses, this terrain will become popular with an array of Pokémon including Zigzagoon, Trapinch, Vibrava, Baltoy, Hippopotas, and more.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the rivers of lava in these sweltering hideaways are popular with Fire types. In the early stages of your adventure, you can catch Vulpix and Ponyta in both games, as well as Growlithe in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Magby in Pokémon Shining Pearl. As your journey progresses, they’ll later be joined by Numel, Torkoal, and others. There are also Normal types like Sentret and Furret and Rock types like Geodude and Onix. Once you’ve become the Pokémon League Champion, you can search this terrain for Fire-type first partner Pokémon like Charmander, Cyndaquil, Torchic, and Chimchar.
Swampy Caves and Bogsunk Cavern
These hideaways are great places to search for Swamp-type Pokémon... Wait, no, that’s not a thing. But the Pokémon that gather in this terrain do tend to include Water types, Poison types, and Ground types, such as Grimer, Wooper, Quagsire, Barboach, and Croagunk—the last of which you’ll need the hidden move Surf to reach. There are also several Grass types and Bug types to find, such as Pineco, Roselia, and Tropius. Pokémon that appear exclusively in this terrain include Weezing, Tangela, and Tangrowth.
Dazzling Caves and Stargleam Cavern
The enchantingly crystalline terrain found in these hideaways is home to an eclectic mix of Psychic types, Ghost types, and Fairy types. Despite this terrain being somewhat rare, there’s a long list of Pokémon that will only appear here, including Kadabra, Gastly, Hypno, Togepi, Wobbuffet, Girafarig, Snubbull, Ralts, Kirlia, Duskull, and Dusclops. You can also find Mawile in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond or Misdreavus and Sableye in Pokémon Shining Pearl. Keep in mind that this is the only terrain where you can catch Ditto, a Pokémon that’s crucial for Trainers hoping to discover rare Pokémon Eggs.
These hideaways feature one of the Grand Underground’s two cold-weather terrains, both of which share many of the same Pokémon. You can expect to find plenty of Ice types here, including Sneasel, Swinub, Delibird, Snorunt, Glalie, Walrein, and Snover. Spheal and Sealeo can also be found in Pokémon Shining Pearl. Of course, you can still find plenty of non-Ice types like Magnemite, Tauros, Mareep, Meditite, Pachirisu, and more. Notably, you can catch both Beldum and Munchlax here with relative ease—two of the hardest Pokémon to track down in the original releases of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.
Icy Caves and Glacial Cavern
The terrain in these beautifully frozen hideaways is found primarily in the Grand Underground’s Northwestern Zone. In addition to the Ice types shared with the Whiteout Caves listed above, wild Pokémon here include Mr. Mime, Smoochum, Swablu, Buneary, and Bronzor, as well as Poochyena and Mightyena in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond. The hidden move Surf can take you across those freezing-cold waters in search of Pokémon like Staryu and Lanturn
Riverbank Caves and Still-Water Cavern:
As the terrain icon suggests, these hideaways are something of a mix between the Grassland Caves and the Fountainspring Caves. Nearly 80 different Pokémon species call this terrain home, including all the Grass-type and Water-type first partner Pokémon listed earlier: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Chikorita, Totodile, Treecko, Mudkip, Turtwig, and Piplup.
Sandsear Caves and Typhlo Cavern
These hideaways’ mixed terrain is like a second home to many of the wild Pokémon from the Grand Underground’s Volcanic Caves and Rocky Caves. As the name of the large Typhlo Cavern in the Northeastern Zone suggests, this is the perfect destination for Typhlosion fans, as Cyndaquil—the Fire-type first-partner Pokémon whose final Evolution is the cavern’s namesake—can be caught here along with other Fire-type first partner Pokémon like Charmander, Torchic, and Chimchar.
Other Denizens of the Deep
Wild Pokémon aren’t the only ones that like to gather beneath Sinnoh’s surface. You’ll also encounter vendors, healers, and other friendly faces in the network of tunnels that link the Grand Underground’s caves and caverns. At least one vendor can be found in each zone, but their stock—which changes daily—will be the same no matter which zone you visit. Instead of money, these vendors use spheres of various colors and sizes as currency. Vendors can give you items in exchange for your spheres, or they can give you spheres in exchange for any unwanted items you’ve dug up. Some vendors deal in small spheres while other vendors deal in large spheres, but they both offer a daily selection of pedestals and TMs. Small-sphere vendors also sell Digger Drills for when you want to move your Secret Base (more on that below).
Fossil Digging from Tunnel Walls
The walls of the Grand Underground’s tunnels are literally bulging with treasure. Look for golden sparkles on the Grand Underground Map, and press the
Pokémon Fossils and other treasures are hidden beneath up to four layers of rock, and you’ll need to use your sledgehammer and pickax to excavate them. Use the
The sledgehammer can break through a wider area of the wall, but in the process it weakens the wall more than a swing of the pickax. As a general rule, you want to use the sledgehammer first, tapping around the wall until you expose pieces of each of the treasures hinted at when you began digging. Once you see all the treasures available in this digging session, you can use your pickax to focus on uncovering the ones you want most. Sometimes there are strips of bedrock in the deepest level of the wall, which cannot be excavated further—listen for the clink of metal on stone so you don’t mistake it for an item.
Spheres, Boxes, and Other Treasures
There’s a staggering variety of treasures hidden within the tunnel walls. Most often, you’ll find spheres, which come in five varieties: Red, Blue, Green, Pale, and Prism. Each color of sphere comes in small and large sizes, with the larger ones being more valuable. You can then trade your spheres to the vendors found throughout the Grand Underground for TMs and other items.
The second-most common items you’ll find are stone boxes, which can be opened to reveal Pokémon statues that you can use to decorate your Secret Base. Stone boxes come in a few different varieties—the prettier the box, the rarer the statue you’ll find inside. Rare statues obtained from Gorgeous Stone Boxes come in a more lustrous texture and impart a stronger effect when set up in your Secret Base. (See “Decorating Your Secret Base” for more details.)
The most exciting treasures you can find underground are Pokémon Fossils, which can be taken to the Mining Museum in Oreburgh City and turned into living, breathing Pokémon. Initially, only one Fossil can be found per game: the Skull Fossil (Cranidos) in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and the Armor Fossil (Shieldon) in Pokémon Shining Pearl. But after you’ve received the National Pokédex, you’ll be able to dig up Helix Fossils (Omanyte), Dome Fossils (Kabuto), Old Ambers (Aerodactyl), Root Fossils (Lileep), and Claw Fossils (Anorith).
Finally, there’s a wide variety of accessories, Evolution stones, and other rare items that can be dug up underground. These include power-boosting held items called Plates for each Pokémon type, as well as shards found in four different colors. You can trade 10 shards of the same color to an NPC on Route 212 in exchange for TMs containing weather-changing moves.
Treasures to Be Found in the Grand Underground
|Red Shard||Trade 10 on Route 212 for TM11 (Sunny Day)||Red Sphere S ×16|
|Blue Shard||Trade 10 on Route 212 for TM18 (Rain Dance)||Blue Sphere S ×16|
|Yellow Shard||Trade 10 on Route 212 for TM37 (Sandstorm)||Prism Sphere S ×16|
|Green Shard||Trade 10 on Route 212 for TM07 (Hail)||Green Sphere S ×16|
|Sun Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Red Sphere S ×24|
|Moon Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Red Sphere S ×12|
|Fire Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Red Sphere S ×24|
|Thunder Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Prism Sphere S ×12|
|Water Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Blue Sphere S ×24|
|Leaf Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Green Sphere S ×24|
|Oval Stone||Makes certain species of Pokémon evolve||Red Sphere S ×24|
|Heart Scale||Give to the Move Tutor in Pastoria to relearn a forgotten move||Red Sphere S x8|
|Odd Keystone||Used to summon Spiritomb on Route 208 (see above)||Green Sphere S ×24|
|Everstone||Held item that prevents a Pokémon from evolving||Pale Sphere S ×12|
|Hard Stone||Held item that boosts the power of Rock-type moves||Red Sphere S ×24|
|Light Clay||Held item that extends the duration of barrier moves like Light Screen and Reflect||Red Sphere L ×15|
|Iron Ball||Held item that cuts Speed and makes Flying-type Pokémon vulnerable to Ground-type moves||Prism Sphere L ×15|
|Icy Rock||Held item that extends the duration of the move Hail||Pale Sphere L ×10|
|Smooth Rock||Held item that extends the duration of the move Sandstorm||Prism Sphere L ×10|
|Heat Rock||Held item that extends the duration of the move Sunny Day||Red Sphere L ×30|
|Damp Rock||Held item that extends the duration of the move Rain Dance||Blue Sphere L ×30|
|Flame Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Fire-type moves||Red Sphere L ×40|
|Splash Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Water-type moves||Blue Sphere L ×40|
|Meadow Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Grass-type moves||Green Sphere L ×40|
|Zap Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Electric-type moves||Prism Sphere L ×20|
|Icicle Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Ice-type moves||Blue Sphere L ×40|
|Fist Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Fighting-type moves||Prism Sphere L ×20|
|Toxic Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Poison-type moves||Pale Sphere L ×20|
|Earth Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Ground-type moves||Green Sphere L ×40|
|Sky Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Flying-type moves||Blue Sphere L ×40|
|Mind Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Psychic-type moves||Pale Sphere L ×20|
|Insect Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Bug-type moves||Green Sphere L ×40|
|Stone Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Rock-type moves||Prism Sphere L ×20|
|Spooky Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Ghost-type moves||Pale Sphere L ×20|
|Draco Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Dragon-type moves||Red Sphere L ×40|
|Dread Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Dark-type moves||Red Sphere L ×40|
|Iron Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Steel-type moves||Prism Sphere L ×20|
|Pixie Plate||Held item that boosts the power of Fairy-type moves||Pale Sphere L ×20|
|Root Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Lileep)||Green Sphere S ×32|
|Claw Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Anorith)||Red Sphere S ×32|
|Helix Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Omanyte)||Blue Sphere S ×32|
|Dome Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Kabuto)||Blue Sphere S ×32|
|Old Amber||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Aerodactyl)||Green Sphere S ×32|
|Armor Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Shieldon)||Blue Sphere S ×32|
|Skull Fossil||Can be used to revive a fossilized Pokémon (Cranidos)||Green Sphere S ×32|
|Star Piece||Can be sold at a high price to shops||Pale Sphere L ×10|
|Rare Bone||Can be sold at a high price to shops||Pale Sphere S ×12|