Focus Bands can only be found on wild Machoke as a held item. There’s a 5% chance that each wild Machoke is holding a Focus Band, and you can get the item by either catching the Machoke or using the move Thief.
The easiest locations to farm wild Machokes would either be in Cerulean Cave, or in the first floor of Mt. Ember.
Unfortunately, you have to be pretty far into the game to get a Focus Band in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. This is because Machoke doesn’t appear until later in the game.
Specifically, the prerequisites are:
- Have the move TM46 Thief (optional) or strong Poké Balls to catch Machoke
- Be able to reach Victory Road, Mt. Ember, or Cerulean Cave
Getting Focus Bands
All Wild Machoke Locations
We’re pretty much stealing Focus Bands from any wild Machoke we can find. So step one, of course, is to find a wild Machoke.
I’ve put together a table of all Machoke locations in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen:
|Location||Level||Encounter Rate||Focus Band Chance|
|Mt. Ember (Center Cave)||38 – 40||10%||5%|
|Mt. Ember (1F)||40 – 42||5%||5%|
|Victory Road (1F)||44 – 46||4%||5%|
|Victory Road (2F)||46 – 48||4%||5%|
|Victory Road (3F)||44 – 46||4%||5%|
|Cerulean Cave (1F)||46||10%||5%|
|Cerulean Cave (2F)||49||20%||5%|
As you can see, the best place to find a Machoke is in Cerulean Cave.
Unfortunately, you can’t reach Cerulean Cave until you’ve obtained the National Pokédex and helped Celio with the Ruby and Sapphire gems.
But for a secondary location, Mt. Ember on One Island is another good option. 10% is still a relatively high encounter rate, and you don’t have to go very deep into Mt. Ember to find a Machoke (although you do have to cross Kindle Road).
Method 1: Catching Machoke
I’m not going to lie, you’ll probably need to capture quite a few Machoke before you find one holding the Focus Band. Every wild Machoke has only a 5% chance of actually holding the Focus Band.
I recommend clearing your party before heading into Cerulean Cave (or wherever) so that you can catch a Machoke and immediately check whether it has a Focus Band or not.
If the Machoke you catch has a Focus Band, you will see the item icon on top of it when you check your Pokémon Party.
If you see the item icon, then just select the Machoke, then select Item > Take.
Afterward, you can give the Focus Band to whichever Pokémon you want. If you’re feeling lucky, you can even hunt for another Focus Band-wearing Machoke…
Stealing Focus Bands (Thief)
If you don’t feel like catching a ton of Machoke, you can use TM46 Thief to steal the Focus Band from a wild Machoke.
Note: Make sure to unequip any held items from the Pokémon you plan on teaching Thief, otherwise it won’t be able to actually steal the item.
But with this strategy you’d simply walk around looking for Machokes, then instead of capturing them, use Thief on them.
If the Machoke is holding a Focus Band, your Pokémon will steal it (you will see an animation and the game will prompt you with a notification.)
If Thief does not take the Focus Band on the first try, then that Machoke isn’t holding a Focus Band, and you can run away to find a different one.
This method takes about as long as the catching method, and doesn’t boost your chance of getting the Focus Band at all. So in the end it just comes down to personal preference.
Either way, you’re going to be seeing a ton of buff Machoke muscles. But that’s the price we pay for a Focus Band!
Focus Band Effects + Uses
When the Pokémon that’s holding the Focus Band is hit with a move that will drop it’s to 0 HP, there’s a 10% chance that the Pokémon will only drop to 1 HP instead.
It’s very similar to Endure, except Endure guarantees your Pokémon won’t faint, while Focus Band only offers a 10% chance.
10% may seem like a pretty small number. But the Focus Band is actually pretty strong, and may allow you to use a clutch move during an intense battle.
- How To Get Focus Bands in Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen