Pokemon Go leak reveals first look at Explorer Pikachu

Daniel Megarry
Pokemon Go PikachuNiantic

Dataminers have uncovered a first look at the special Explorer Pikachu that will be making an appearance in Pokemon Go this December.

Niantic is celebrating the upcoming release of the franchise’s 23rd animated movie Secrets of the Jungle with a special tie-in event that will bring a number of cool features and rarities to Pokemon Go.

There will be a chance for players to catch a mythical shiny Celebi, and there will also be a new version of Pikachu called Explorer Pikachu, which ties in nicely to the jungle theme that the movie presents.

Pokemon Explorer PikachuThe Pokemon Company
Explorer Pikachu will appear in Pokemon Go this December

First look at Explorer Pikachu in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go dataminer martycochrane has discovered images of the game’s version of Explorer Pikachu and shared them on Reddit. It’s wearing a safari hat and has an adorable satchel over its shoulder, which is styled after the Water-type Pokemon Wailmer.

They also shared a new ‘forest’ background that will appear in the game as part of the Secrets of the Jungle update, and images of shadow versions of Wooper and Quagsire. Team Rocket’s Jessie and James will also return for the Quest Icon, briefly replacing Willow.

The design of Explorer Pikachu seems to have gone down well with fans, with some of them calling it the best alternative version of Pikachu that’s appeared in the game.

“I know there are way too many costumed Pokemon, but at least they’re looking better and better with each new event,” wrote one Reddit user, while another added, “Pikachu actually looks great. Probably my favorite so far.”

How to catch Explorer Pikachu in Pokemon Go

Explorer Pikachu will appear both in the wild and in raids between Monday, December 14, 2020, at 8 AM local time and Monday, December 21, 2020, at 10 PM local time. That means you’ll have a whole week to catch it.

During the Pokemon Spotlight Hour on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, from 6 PM to 7 PM local time, Explorer Pikachu will appear more frequently in the wild, and players will get twice the Candy for catching Pokemon.

If you’re lucky, you might even get a Shiny Explorer Pikachu.

Pokemon: Secrets of the Jungle will officially hit theaters on December 25 in Japan, and it’s expected to debut in North America sometime in 2021.