In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Metal Powder can be obtained as a held item taken from wild Ditto. Each wild Ditto has a 5% chance of holding Metal Powder, and the best early location to farm Ditto would be on Route 14.
You can obtain as many Metal Powders as you want, so this is a repeatable item that you can farm.
But stealing from wild Ditto is the only way to get Metal Powder, and there are no other acquisition methods aside from trading.
There aren’t very many prerequisites to getting some Metal Powder. Basically, you just need to be able to catch a Ditto (or 20).
But before you can get access to wild Ditto, you need to:
- Be able to make it to one of Ditto’s locations (Route 13, 14, 15, Cinnabar Mansion, and Cerulean Cave)
- Have Thief or Covet (Optional)
If you can reach Route 13 – 15 (east of Fuchsia City), then you’re good to go!
How To Get Metal Powder
So we have to catch a ton of Ditto and hope one or more of them are holding the Metal Powder, or we have to use Thief/Covet on a few Wild Ditto until we steal some Metal Powder from one of them.
Before I go over Ditto locations and specifically how to steal/catch them, I want to cover a couple important points:
- Wild Dittos only have a 5% chance of holding a Metal Powder item. So you may have to catch / use Thief or Covet on a lot of Ditto.
- Save time by only stealing once. After you use Thief/Covet, if an animation doesn’t play, then that Ditto doesn’t have a Metal Powder. So you can Run Away or KO the Ditto.
- Clear your Thief Pokémon of any items. The Pokémon that uses Thief/Covet cannot already be holding an item. If it is holding an item, then it will not steal the Metal Powder, even if a Wild Ditto is holding one.
Now that we’ve covered those points, let’s get into the locations.
All Ditto Locations
|Location||Level||Encounter Rate||Metal Powder Chance|
|Cinnabar Mansion B1||30||10%||5%|
|Cerulean Cave 1F||52 – 61||11%||5%|
|Cerulean Cave 2F||55 – 64||11%||5%|
|Cerulean Cave B1||58 – 67||25%||5%|
As you can see from the table above, Cerulean Cave actually has the highest encounter rate for Ditto.
However, Cerulean Cave is only available late game after you’ve defeated the Pokémon League and have helped Celio with his gems.
To keep this guide accessible to everyone, I’ll be catching my Ditto on Route 14, which still has a 15% chance of finding a Wild Ditto – while also being available fairly early-to-midstory in the game.
Note: to get to the tall grass on Route 14, you will need to use Cut to remove a Tree.
Option 1: Getting Metal Powder by Catching Ditto
If you don’t have Thief / Covet, then you’re going to have to catch a bunch of Ditto until one is holding Metal Powder.
Ditto only has a 5% chance of holding Metal Powder, though, so there’s a decent chance you’ll wind up with 15 – 20 Ditto before you find Metal Powder.
To make things easier, I recommend clearing your party of all but one Pokémon. This way you can catch 5 Ditto at a time, check whether they are holding the Metal Powder, deposit them at the Pokémon Center if not, then rinse and repeat.
When you catch a Ditto, if it is holding Metal Powder, you will see an item icon on the Ditto when you open up your Party menu.
If you see the item icon, you can select Ditto, then select Item > Take.
Option 2: Getting Metal Powder With Thief / Covet
If you do have Thief or Covet, then things get a little easier.
All you have to do is search around for a Wild Ditto and use Thief on it.
Just make sure the Pokémon using Thief isn’t holding an item already.
- If the Ditto is holding Metal Powder, an animation will play showing the item hop from Ditto to your Pokémon.
- If Ditto is not holding a Metal Powder, there will be no animation and the move will go off like normal. If Ditto isn’t holding a Metal Powder, you can run away or KO it for the XP.
After you’ve stolen Thief from a Ditto, simply open up your Party and select the Pokémon that stole the item. Then select Item > Take to take the Metal Powder and put it in your bag.
What Does Metal Powder Do?
Metal Powder is a held item that increases Ditto’s Defense stat by 100% (doubles the Defense stat.) Metal Powder is extremely rare and unique, because it literally only works on Ditto, and will stop working as soon as Ditto transforms into another Pokémon.
It’s similar to the Lucky Punch item which only works on Chansey.
Initially the Metal Powder may seem a tad lackluster, but it’s actually a very important item if you choose to use a Ditto.
Ditto is extremely vulnerable before it transforms, and without a Metal Powder, there’s a good chance Ditto will be one-shot by any Pokémon with a powerful attack. The Metal Powder gives Ditto a fighting chance at being able to transform and fight a fair one-on-one.
That said, it’s pretty unlikely that you’d ever want to use a Ditto in a real team… plus the item only sells for 5 Pokédollars, so it’s not even a great source of money.
In general, it’s not an item really worth farming.