Complete Day Care & Breeding Guide (Pokémon Crystal)

Speaking with the daycare man

The Pokémon Day Care is located on Route 34, to the south of Goldenrod City. Look out for the house with the massive yard on the right-hand side of the route and you’ll find the Day Care quickly.

You can leave up to two Pokémon in the Day Care so they can gain experience and level up while you adventure with your main team.

Retrieving your Pokémon costs 100 PokéDollars, plus another 100 for every level they gained while you were away.

Pokémon who stay together at the Day Care Center for a while may produce an egg if they are compatible. Keep the egg in your party while walking around to help it hatch.

Tip: They’ll give you an Odd Egg the first time you visit. This Egg might become a Pichu, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Tyrogue, Smoochum, Elekid, or Magby.

Pokémon Day Care Location

Exit Goldenrod City through the south toward Route 34.

Heading south on the Goldenrod main road toward Route 34. / Pokémon Crystal
Heading south on the Goldenrod main road toward Route 34.

Keep going south, past a policeman, and you’ll see the entrance to the Day Care Center to the right with a big red mat in front of the doorway.

Reaching the Day Care Center in Route 34. / Pokémon Crystal
Reaching the Day Care Center in Route 34.

What Happens at the Pokémon Day Care?

An old couple runs the Pokémon Day Care.

Day Care Man and Woman at the Day Care Center. / Pokémon Crystal
Day Care Man and Woman at the Day Care Center.

Each will offer to care for one of your Pokémon while you’re away. You’ll then have to talk to that specific NPC again to retrieve each Pokémon.

But there are a few different things that can happen at the Day Care by leaving your Pokémon in their care.

Day Care Woman offers to raise a Pokémon. / Pokémon Crystal
Day Care Woman offers to raise a Pokémon.

Leveling Up

During their stay at the Pokémon Day Care, your critters will gain experience and level up. They get one (1) EXP point for every step you take.

Day Care Man informs you of your Pokémon’s growth. / Pokémon Crystal
Day Care Man informs you of your Pokémon’s growth.

A Level 5 Pokémon will level up after a short run around Goldenrod City (around 100 steps), while a Level 70 might take several laps around Johto (around 15,000 steps).

Pokémon never evolve at Day Care. If a Pokémon reaches the level where it would normally evolve, it will wait until the next time it gains a level while in your party.


Pokémon might produce an egg after around 500 steps, but only if compatible. Compatibility depends on the Pokémon’s species and gender.

Whenever your Pokémon produce an egg, you’ll see the Day Care Man standing in the yard where the critters are kept. Talk to him and he’ll ask whether you want to keep it.

Day Care Man offers you a Pokémon egg. / Pokémon Crystal
Day Care Man offers you a Pokémon egg.

You need free space in your party to receive the egg.

You can deposit a Pokémon in Bill’s PC by using the terminal at the Day Care Center to make space.

Approaching the PC terminal in the Day Care Center. / Pokémon Crystal
Approaching the PC terminal in the Day Care Center.

Eggs hatch after you’ve traveled around with them in your party for a while. The Pokémon inside will always be Level 5 upon hatching.

The Odd Egg

When you first meet the Day Care Couple, they’ll tell you about a mysterious egg they found and ask if you want to keep it.

This Odd Egg contains one of the seven pre-evolutions or “baby forms” introduced in Pokémon Crystal.

What makes the Odd Egg really special is the remarkably high chance of the newborn Pokémon being Shiny.

Shiny Tyrogue is born. / Pokémon Crystal
Shiny Tyrogue is born.

It’ll happen around 15% of the time, but not at the same rate.

Some Pokémon are more likely to come out Shiny than others:

Odd Egg Hatchlings
Pokémon Color Scheme Chance of Hatching
Cleffa Normal 16%
Shiny 3%
Igglybuff Normal 16%
Shiny 3%
Smoochum Normal 14%
Shiny 2%
Elekid Normal 12%
Shiny 2%
Magby Normal 10%
Shiny 2%
Tyrogue Normal 10%
Shiny 2%
Pichu Normal 8%
Shiny 1%

Pokémon hatched from this egg will always be female. This excludes Tyrogue because the species is exclusively male.

How To Breed Pokémon & Get Eggs

Two compatible Pokémon must stay together at the Pokémon Day Care Center for some time to breed and produce an egg.

Check back with the Day Care Couple every 500 steps or so. You’ll know there’s an egg waiting for you when you see the Day Care Man standing in the yard.

Facing the Day Care Man in the yard. / Pokémon Crystal
Facing the Day Care Man in the yard.

Tip: Make sure there’s an empty slot in your party so you can receive the egg right away.

Pokémon Compatibility (All Egg Groups)

There are three main conditions for two Pokémon to be compatible and produce eggs.

  • They must be of opposite genders.
  • They must belong to the same Egg Group.

All Pokémon belong to at least one Egg Group, and some belong to more than one. These groups are only there to determine who they can reproduce with.

Gen II Egg Groups
Egg Group Pokémon in Group
Amorphous Gastly, Gengar, Grimer, Haunter, Koffing, Magcargo, Misdreavus, Muk, Slugma, Weezing, Wobbuffet.
Bug Ariados, Beedrill, Butterfree, Caterpie, Forretress, Gligar, Heracross, Kakuna, Ledian, Ledyba, Metapod, Paras, Parasect, Pineco, Pinsir, Scizor, Scyther, Shuckle, Spinarak, Venomoth, Venonat, Weedle, Yanma.
Dragon Arbok, Charizard, Charmander, Charmeleon, Dragonair, Dragonite, Dratini, Ekans, Gyarados, Horsea, Kingdra, Magikarp, Seadra.
Fairy Azumarill, Blissey, Chansey, Clefable, Clefairy, Granbull, Hoppip, Jigglypuff, Jumpluff, Marill, Pikachu, Raichu, Skiploom, Snubbull, Togetic, Wigglytuff.
Field Aipom, Ampharos, Arbok, Arcanine, Cyndaquil, Delibird, Dewgong, Diglett, Donphan, Dugtrio, Dunsparce, Eevee, Ekans, Espeon, Farfetch’d, Flaaffy, Flareon, Furret, Girafarig, Golduck, Granbull, Growlithe, Houndoom, Houndour, Jolteon, Mankey, Mareep, Meowth, Miltank, Nidoking, Nidoran, Nidorino, Ninetales, Persian, Phanpy, Pikachu, Piloswine, Ponyta, Primeape, Psyduck, Quagsire, Quilava, Raichu, Rapidash, Raticate, Rattata, Rhydon, Rhyhorn, Sandshrew, Sandslash, Seel, Sentret, Smeargle, Sneasel, Snubbull, Stantler, Swinub, Tauros, Teddiursa, Typhlosion, Umbreon, Ursaring, Vaporeon, Vulpix, Wooper.
Flying Aerodactyl, Crobat, Dodrio, Doduo, Farfetch’d, Fearow, Golbat, Hoothoot, Murkrow, Natu, Noctowl, Pidgeot, Pidgeotto, Pidgey, Skarmory, Spearow, Togetic, Xatu, Zubat.
Grass Bayleef, Bellossom, Bellsprout, Bulbasaur, Chikorita, Exeggcute, Exeggutor, Gloom, Hoppip, Ivysaur, Jumpluff, Meganium, Oddish, Paras, Parasect, Skiploom, Sunflora, Sunkern, Tangela, Venusaur, Victreebel, Vileplume, Weepinbell.
Humanoid Abra, Alakazam, Drowzee, Electabuzz, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Hypno,Jynx, Kadabra, Machamp, Machoke, Machop, Magmar, Mr. Mime.
Mineral Geodude, Golem, Graveler, Onix, Steelix, Sudowoodo.
Monster Ampharos, Bayleef, Blastoise, Bulbasaur, Charizard, Charmander, Charmeleon, Chikorita, Croconaw, Cubone, Feraligatr, Flaaffy, Ivysaur, Kangaskhan, Lapras, Larvitar, Lickitung, Mareep, Marowak, Meganium, Nidoking, Nidoran, Nidorino, Pupitar, Rhydon, Rhyhorn, Slowbro, Slowking, Slowpoke, Snorlax, Squirtle, Totodile, Tyranitar, Venusaur, Wartortle.
Water 1 Azumarill, Blastoise, Corsola, Croconaw, Delibird, Dewgong, Dragonair, Dragonite, Dratini, Feraligatr, Golduck, Horsea, Kabuto, Kabutops, Kingdra, Lapras, Mantine, Marill, Octillery, Omanyte, Omastar, Politoed, Poliwag, Poliwhirl, Poliwrath, Psyduck, Quagsire, Remoraid, Seadra, Seel, Slowbro, Slowking, Slowpoke, Squirtle, Totodile, Wartortle, Wooper.
Water 2 Chinchou, Goldeen, Gyarados, Lanturn, Magikarp, Octillery, Qwilfish, Remoraid, Seaking.
Water 3 Cloyster, Corsola, Kabuto, Kabutops, Kingler, Krabby, Omanyte, Omastar, Shellder, Tentacool, Tentacruel.
Genderless Electrode, Magnemite, Magneton, Porygon, Porygon2, Starmie, Staryu, Voltorb.
Undiscovered Articuno, Celebi, Cleffa, Elekid, Entei, Ho-oh, Igglybuff, Lugia, Magby, Mew, Mewtwo, Moltres, Nidoqueen, Nidorina, Pichu, Raikou, Smoochum, Suicune, Togepi, Tyrogue, Unown, Zapdos.
Ditto Ditto.

Even if the above conditions are met, Pokémon might be unable to produce offspring. These situations are:

  • One belongs in the Genderless or Undiscovered groups.
  • Both Pokémon are Ditto.
  • Their Defense DVs are the same.
  • Their Special DVs are the same or vary by exactly 8 points.

Due to how stat inheritance works in Pokémon Crystal, the last two are more likely to happen if the Pokémon are related.

Breeding With Ditto

Ditto is an exception to most compatibility rules in Pokémon Crystal.

The shape-shifting Pokémon will transform into the right species and gender to breed with another Pokémon left with it at the Day Care.

This includes Pokémon in the Genderless Egg Group, which refuse to breed with anything but a Ditto.

Staryu (left) and Ditto (right) at the Day Care yard. / Pokémon Crystal
Staryu (left) and Ditto (right) at the Day Care yard.

Tip: You can catch Ditto on Route 34, where the Day Care is located. There’s a 5% chance of encountering it in the tall grass at any time of the day. Convenient!

Ditto won’t try to reproduce with another Ditto.

Chances of Producing an Egg

Every time you take a step, there’s a tiny chance (lower than 0,1%) of your compatible Pokémon at Day Care producing an egg.

Two compatible Pokémon will produce eggs at different rates depending on two factors:

  • Their species
  • And their original trainer

You can check how likely your Pokémon are to breed by talking to them in the Day Care’s yard. You’ll get a different message depending on how much they like the other Pokémon.

Pokémon Breeding Rates
Species Original Trainer Message at Day Care Yard Breeding Rate
(Per 100 Steps)
Same Other It appears to care for the other Pokémon. 19%
Same Same It is friendly with the other Pokémon. 14%
Other Other
Other Same It shows interest in the other Pokémon. 4%

Interacting with incompatible Pokémon at Day Care prompts the following messages:

  • It has no interest in the other Pokémon.
  • It’s brimming with energy.

If you see one of these messages, your two Pokémon will never produce an egg together.

How Species & Gender Are Determined

A newborn Pokémon’s species is always the same as its mother’s earliest form.

Visual explanation of Gender and Species inheritance. / Pokémon Crystal
Visual explanation of Gender and Species inheritance.

Tip: Since Ditto transforms to fit the needs of its partner, the species will always be the same as the other Pokémon.

On the other hand, its gender is completely independent of the Pokémon’s parents.

The one variable that affects gender is each Pokémon’s gender ratio.

Pokémon like Gyarados have an equal chance of being male or female, but other Pokémon lean heavily to one side of the binary. Eevee, for example, is male 90% of the time.

There is no way to manipulate the chances of a Pokémon being male or female.

Note: Technically, gender is determined by the Pokémon’s Attack IV, a fully randomized stat.

How Moves & Stats Are Inherited

Passing Down Moves (Egg Moves)

Newborn Pokémon come out of the egg with pre-learned moves, including some inherited from their parents. Most of them come from the father.

Move Inheritance
Priority Move Type Requirements
#1 Default Moves
  • Child species learns it before Lv. 5.
#2 Egg Moves
  • Father already knows it.
  • Belongs in species-specific “Egg Moves.”
#3 TM/HM/Tutor Moves
  • Father already knows it.
  • Child is compatible with it.
#4 Inherited Level-Up Moves
  • Father already knows it.
  • Mother already knows it.
  • Child can learn it by leveling up.

If a Pokémon would learn more than four moves, priority is given in the above order.

This makes it easy for a Pokémon to learn Egg Moves but hard to inherit Level-Up Moves from its parents.

Passing Down Stats (DVs)

Not all Pokémon of the same species have the same stats at the same level. Instead, they’ll grow at different rates and show different stat distributions.

These differences are determined by their Deter Values (DVs), which are something like the Pokémon’s genes.

Note: Deter Values (DVs) were replaced by Individual Values (IVs) after Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire (2002), but it’s the same basic concept.

A newborn Pokémon’s DVs are partially inherited from its opposite-gendered parent:

  • Attack, Speed, and HP: Random
  • Defense: Same IV as the parent
  • Special: May be the same IV as the parent or vary by +8/-8

If one of the parents is a Ditto, the child will always inherit Defense and Special from it regardless of gender.

Breeding Shiny Pokémon

There’s a 1/64 chance that a newborn Pokémon will be Shiny if the opposite-gender parent (or Ditto) is Shiny.

Note: In comparison, the chances of a wild Pokémon being Shiny are 1/8192.

That’s because in Pokémon Crystal, all Shiny Pokémon share a similar set of DVs:

  • HP: 0 or 8
  • Attack: 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 or 15
  • Defense: 10
  • Special: 10
  • Speed: 10

Although HP, Attack, and Speed are mostly random, Defense and Special are inheritable (as explained above).

A value of 10 in Defense and 2, 10, or 18 in Special could be considered a “Shiny Gene.” It will result in opposite-gendered offspring being Shiny 1/64th of the time.

Tip: Even if they aren’t Shiny, all opposite-gendered offspring of a Shiny parent will carry the Shiny Gene. That means it also has a higher chance of producing a Shiny egg.

Visual explanation of Shiny Gene inheritance depending on gender. / Pokémon Crystal
Visual explanation of Shiny Gene inheritance depending on gender.

This makes breeding Shiny Pokémon one of the easiest and most reliable ways to acquire Shiny Gen 1 & 2 Pokémon in the entire series.

Shiny Breeding with Red Gyarados

You don’t need to catch a single Shiny Pokémon regularly to start churning out Shiny offspring.

After all, you can fight and catch a Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage during the main storyline. Red Gyarados = Shiny Gyarados.

Facing the Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage. / Pokémon Crystal
Facing the Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage.

The Red Gyarados can only pass on the Shiny Gene to Pokémon in the Dragon and Water 2 groups.

Still, its descendants can continue passing the trait to more Egg Groups.

Here’s a chart to briefly illustrate how this process can work:

(Click for full-size)
The Red Gyarados’s potential Shiny descendants.

Tip: Since a Pokémon’s species is the same as the mother’s, you want to start with a male Gyarados. If you have a female, breed it to produce a male Magikarp with the Shiny Gene.

The Human-like, Amorphous, and Mineral groups are excluded since none of Gyarados’s possible descendants belong to these groups.

Tip: A Shiny Tyrogue, Magby, Elekid, or Smoochum from the Odd Egg can help you breed Shiny Pokémon in the Humanoid group.

The only way to breed Shiny Pokémon in the Genderless egg group is with a Shiny Ditto.

How To Hatch Pokémon Eggs

Pokémon eggs hatch after you’ve walked a certain amount of steps. The specific amount depends on the Pokémon inside the egg.

Tip: Each tile traversed by walking, surfing, or biking counts as a step.

Egg Hatching Time
Steps to Hatch* Pokémon
1,280 Magikarp
2,560 Cleffa, Igglybuff, Pichu, Togepi
3,840 Caterpie, Geodude, Hoot-hoot, Ledyba, Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, Spearow, Spinarak, Weedle, Zubat.
5,120 All other Pokémon not in this list.
6,400 Elekid, Heracross, Magby, Mantine, Misdreavus, Mr. Mime, Onix, Pinsir, Scyther, Smoochum, Skarmory, Tyrogue.
7,680 Kabuto, Omanyte.
8,960 Aerodactyl, Eevee.
10,240 Chansey, Dratini, Larvitar, Lapras, Snorlax.
Exact amount may be up to 255 steps lower depending on internal game cycles.

Whenever an egg hatches, you’re treated to a cutscene. Don’t worry about hatched eggs going unnoticed!

You can also check out our Egg Hatching Guide for more details.

Fastest Egg Hatching Method

All you need to hatch eggs fast is a long straight road that you can bike up and down as you accumulate steps.

Tip: You can have up to five eggs in your party simultaneously to maximize efficiency.

There are two ideal locations to do this in Pokémon Crystal:

Best Egg Hatching Locations
Map Location Description Benefits
Goldenrod City Straight road connecting Route 34 to Route 35, passing through Goldenrod. Day Care Center is located on Route 34.
Cycling Road Straight road connecting Route 16 and Route 18, passing through Route 17. Longest straight road in the game.

While the Cycling Road is the longest straight road in the game, the Goldenrod City run is just north of the Day Care. And it’s in Johto so you can use this location much earlier in the game.

Heading up to Goldenrod City from the Day Care Center. / Pokémon Crystal
Heading up to Goldenrod City from the Day Care Center.

This makes Goldenrod City more convenient if you’re hatching eggs while you wait for your Pokémon in the Day Care to produce more of them.

Lazy Egg Hatching Method

Alternatively, just find a stairwell in a multi-floor building – like those in the Goldenrod Dept. Store or Radio Tower. With these stairwells you can just keep re-entering the stairwell to count as one step each.

This will make you go up and down the stairs indefinitely.

Going up and down the stars at the Goldenrod Dept. Store. / Pokémon Crystal
Going up and down the stars at the Goldenrod Dept. Store.

While it technically takes more time than walking down a straight road, you can find a way to hold down the Up button and automatize the process.

Tip: A heavy object is enough for a keyboard, but you might need to get creative with a rubber band and some folded-up paper on consoles.

Just make sure to check the screen from time to time to see whether an egg has hatched.

Nelson Chitty

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Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.

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