There are many ways to get PP Ups in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. Some methods are repeatable, while others are hidden one-off items scattered across the map.
The one-off methods involve finding hidden or hard-to-reach spots in the game. The PP Ups here may be contained in item Pokéballs on the ground, or as hidden items on the ground, requiring the Dowsing Machine (or our screenshots in this guide) to find.
In the table below you’ll find a list of every possible way to acquire PP Ups:
|All PP Up Locations|
|1||The prize for matching 2 digits in the Pokémon Lottery Corner in Goldenrod City’s Radio Tower||Repeatable|
|2||Purchase for 1,000 points at the Pokéathlon Dome on Tuesdays and Thursdays||Repeatable|
|3||A phone call gift from Black Belt Kenji on Route 45||Repeatable|
|4||Picked up by any level 81+ Pokémon with the Pickup ability||Repeatable|
|5||Overworld PP Up Locations:
PP Ups increase the maximum amount of PP a Pokémon’s move has, allowing you to use powerful moves more times before needing to heal or use an Ether. Each move’s PP can be increased a maximum of three times.
Giving a Pokémon a PP Up also increases its happiness by between 5 and 2 points, depending on its current happiness value. This can be useful for Pokémon whose evolution method depends on high happiness.
Depending on your playstyle, you could potentially burn through a lot of PP Ups.
This guide will show you in detail how to get every possible PP Up in HG/SS. We will start with the repeatable methods, before revealing each hidden item’s location and how to get there.
Method 1: Matching Two Digits at the Pokémon Lottery Corner
Your first repeatable opportunity to get PP Ups comes when you reach Goldenrod City.
However, it does require a lot of luck, so don’t count on getting a healthy stockpile early game with this method.
Each day, you can play the Pokémon ID Lottery. It works by generating a random number and then checking this against the ID numbers of all your Pokémon. If at least two digits match, you win a prize.
The more digits matched, the better the prize.
The only way to increase your chances is by catching more Pokémon.
The good news is you’ll only need to match two digits for a PP Up.
To play, visit the Radio Tower in Goldenrod City.
Go inside and speak to Felicity, the middle lady behind the desk.
Simply agree to play and get your drawing for the day – it’s as easy as that.
Remember to return and play again each day to maximize your chances of winning. This is easiest once you’ve beaten Gym Leader Chuck in Cianwood City, earned your 5th badge, and can use Fly outside of battle.
Method 2: Buying PP Ups at the Pokéathlon Dome
After beating Gym Leader Whitney in Goldenrod City and earning your 3rd gym badge, you’ll unlock a much more reliable way to farm PP Ups.
This is the Pokéathlon Dome, found at the top of Route 35.
Go inside the building and take the left-most exit, then follow the path up to the Pokéathlon Dome.
Here you’ll gain access to minigames that can be completed to earn points. Each PP Up costs 1,000 points.
There are no hard and fast rules to which game is the quickest earner. It all comes down to your specific talents, preferences, and Pokémon.
Try a few combos to find your best match.
Once you’ve racked up 1,000 points, come back to the Pokéathlon Dome on a Tuesday or Thursday. The Athlete Shop – located in the top right-hand corner of the building – sells PP Ups on these days.
Method 3: A Gift From Black Belt Kenji
The next repeatable PP Up method comes after reaching Blackthorn City.
Again, this method requires a lot of waiting and good fortune. However, once you’ve initiated it, you don’t need to do anything other than answer your phone.
First, you’ll need to find Black Belt Kenji.
Leave Blackthorn City by its southern exit onto Route 45.
Keep heading south until you reach the ledge pictured below.
Jump over it and keep heading south while hugging the wall to your right.
Eventually, you’ll reach Black Belt Kenji.
Defeat him in battle and register his number in your Pokégear.
From now on Kenji will call you on occasion.
Some calls will be mundane, but eventually he’ll let you know that he’s got an item waiting for you. Return to him to receive your PP Up.
Method 4: Using a Level 81+ Pokémon with the Pickup Ability
Pokémon in your party with the Pickup ability have a 10% chance of finding an item after you win a battle, even if they didn’t participate. They must have no held item for this to occur.
The rarity of these items scale with the Pokémon’s level.
At level 81+, the list of possibilities includes PP Ups. They make up 4% of all found items at this level range.
Pokémon with the ability Pickup include:
- Meowth, found on Routes 5, 6, 7, 8, 38, and 39 (SoulSilver only)
- Aipom, found by using Headbutt on trees in Azalea Town, Mt. Silver, and Routes 28, 33, 42, 44, 45, and 46
- Teddiursa, found on Route 45 and Mt. Silver (SoulSilver only)
- Phanpy, found on Route 45 and Mt. Silver (HeartGold only)
- Zigzagoon, found in Sprout Tower, Bell Tower, and Burned Tower while playing the Hoenn Sound radio station, the Plains area of the Safari Zone after adding 15 Forest Blocks, and the Savannah area of the Safari Zone after adding 10 Forest Blocks
It’s also possible to have a party full of Pokémon all using Pickup at once.
This would require an enormous amount of training at this level range, but the amount of valuable goodies would be similarly massive.
All Overworld & Hidden PP Up Locations
There are many PP Ups hidden across Johto and Kanto.
Below you can find a location-by-location breakdown, organized in order of their distance through the game.
Many of the locations are caves. We suggest bringing a few Escape Ropes or a Pokémon who knows Dig to help you leave quickly afterward.
#1: The Pokéathlon Dome
After beating Gym Leader Whitney and earning your 3rd badge, you’ll unlock the Pokéathlon Dome at the top of Route 35.
You can find a hidden PP Up one space in front of the railings to the right-hand side of the building.
#2: Moomoo Farm
Moomoo Farm sits between Routes 38 and 39, reachable either by going directly west from Ecruteak City or northwest from Olivine City.
Once you get there, the PP Up is completely hidden in the grass in the top left corner of the Miltank pen.
#3: Mt. Mortar
You’ll need to be able to use Surf outside of battle to find the PP Up in Mt. Mortar. That means getting your 4th badge from Gym Leader Morty in Ecruteak City first.
Once you have it, leave Ecruteak City through the east gate.
Don’t go inside the first entrance to Mt. Mortar that you see.
Instead, Surf further east over the water until you come to Mt. Mortar’s middle entrance.
Head inside and go immediately down the ladder in front of you.
Then Surf on the water to your right.
Keep surfing straight upward until you come to a fork in the waters. Take the left path.
Follow the water all the way around until you reach the spot pictured below.
Disembark on the land here. The Pokéball contains a PP Up.
#4: Violet City
You’ll also need Surf to reach the PP Up hidden in Violet City.
Once you can use it outside of battle, make your way there and go to the body of water in the northwest part of the city, pictured below.
Surf up to the top right-hand corner of the water and you’ll find a place to disembark.
Follow the small grassy path to a clearing containing a PP Up in a Pokéball.
#5: Bell Tower
The PP Up hidden in Ecruteak City’s Bell Tower is only accessible after collecting the Rainbow Wing.
For HeartGold players, the Rainbow Wing is given as a reward for saving the Goldenrod Radio Tower director from Team Rocket.
SoulSilver players will need to wait until they reach Pewter City, where they can get one by talking to the old man to the right of the Pokémart.
Once you’ve got your Rainbow Wing, Fly to Ecruteak City.
The entrance to Bell Tower is located on the treeline at the top of the city.
Go inside and show the monk to the far right your Rainbow Wing to gain access.
Follow the path through to the tower and navigate through the first two floors. The first floor is straightforward and the second only contains an incredibly easy jumping puzzle.
Once you reach the third floor, take the path directly to the south of the initial ladder spot, pictured below.
At the end of this line of ramps, you’ll find a ladder going up and a Pokéball.
The Pokéball contains your PP Up.
Surprisingly, even though Bell Tower isn’t a cave, Escape Ropes/Dig still work here to allow you to leave easily.
#6: Ice Path
The next PP UP is right at the end of Ice Path, just before you come out at Blackthorn City.
So, first Fly to Blackthorn City and take the northeast route to Ice Path.
Enter the cave and you’ll see a Pokéball on a slippery ice puzzle immediately to your left.
To complete the puzzle, take the following directions (assuming you entered from the Blackthorn City side):
#7: Route 45
To find the PP Up on Route 45, first Fly to Blackthorn City.
Then leave the city via the south exit and keep going down until you reach the bridge pictured below.
Cross the bridge and carry on past the entrance to Dark Cave.
Then keep going south while hugging the wall to your left.
After a little while, you’ll reach a spot with steps leading down to the river, pictured below.
Follow the thin strip of land all the way up to the top and press A to find a hidden PP Up.
#8: Victory Road
The PP Up hidden on Victory Road is most easily accessed from the very end portion of the cave, so this guide will assume you’ve already completed the cave once before.
You’ll need a Pokémon that knows Strength in your party.
Start by flying to Indigo Plateau and head south to Victory Road.
Upon entering, head to the left and take the first available path up to the north.
Drop down the first hole you encounter while heading north.
On this new floor, go left and descend the steep staircase. Solve the Strength puzzle by pushing the boulder down.
Head south but don’t go down the first ladder you see.
Instead, carry on down past it, turn right, and take the three sets of steps upward.
Follow the path around until you reach a ladder going up, pictured below.
Climb the ladder and you’ll enter a room with a hole in the ground. Drop down it.
Now, head up and to the left, solving another simple Strength puzzle by pushing the boulder to the left.
Then climb the ladder in the top right-hand corner.
On this next floor, avoid the hole in the ground and climb the steps instead.
Take the path going to the left.
Follow this path until you come to two holes in the ground. Drop down the second of the two.
Upon dropping down you’ll see a Pokéball on the ground. However, this does not contain a PP Up.
The PP Up is actually hidden on the exact tile you just landed on.
#9: Route 15
You’ll need a Pokémon with Cut to reach the PP Up on Route 15.
Start by flying to Fuchsia City and leave via the east gate to Route 15.
Follow the road to the east until you see the Cut-able tree pictured below.
Walk up a few steps and follow this new road back to the west.
At the end of this trainer-lined path, you’ll find a Pokéball containing a PP Up.
#10: Pewter City
The PP Up in Pewter City is easy to find.
Simply head over to the boulder on the left side of the city, pictured below, and press A.
#11: Rock Tunnel
The next PP Up is hidden a fair distance into Rock Tunnel. You’ll need a Pokémon who knows Flash to navigate the cave painlessly.
Start by flying to Lavender Town.
Then take the north exit out onto Route 10. Take the right turn at the first set of steps.
Follow the path round up and to the left until you come to the entrance to Rock Tunnel.
Go inside and have your Pokémon use Flash to illuminate your surroundings.
Climb the set of stairs immediately in front of you, then head to the left until you reach the descending ladder pictured below.
Climb down the ladder and follow the path to the right. Take the first turn going north when you see it.
Follow this path and take the first ladder going upward that you encounter.
On this new floor, follow the path to the right.
When you hit the turn pictured below, take the top set of stairs going left.
Carry on to the left until you find a ladder.
Climb down the ladder. This time, take the lower pair of stairs going downward.
Follow this passageway until you reach another steep set of steps going south, pictured below. Go down them.
Carry on downward and you’ll find a Pokéball containing a PP Up.
#12: Celadon City
Celadon has an easy overworld spot with a free PP Up.
Simply Fly to Celadon City and go to the very most bottom-right corner. Your PP Up awaits you, hidden at the end of a short passage in the trees (pictured below).
#13: Cerulean Cave (x2 PP Ups)
Our last location boasts two PP Ups, along with some of the most powerful wild Pokémon in the game – and even Mewtwo at its depths. So bring a strong team.
You’ll need all 16 gym badges to gain access to this location, plus you’ll need Surf and Rock Smash to get around, and Flash to see your surroundings.
To get to the cave, start by flying to Cerulean City.
Take the north exit and proceed along the golden bridge on Route 24.
At the end, turn left onto Route 25 and descend the steps to reach the Surf-able water below.
Surf southward and follow the cliffside as it curves left.
Soon you will see the entrance to Cerulean Cave.
Inside, illuminate the cave with Flash and Surf on the water immediately to your north.
Keep surfing north until you reach a left turn. Take it.
Once you’ve gone left as far as you can, Surf down south until you reach the stairs to dry land pictured below.
Do not take the first ladder you see.
Instead, take the second ladder a few steps to the southwest.
This will bring you to a rather terrifying-looking crystal maze. Don’t worry though, the way to the PP UP is straightforward.
Simply smash the breakable rock and follow the one-way path.
Before long you’ll come to a Pokéball containing the first PP Up.
Once you’ve snagged it, head back the way you came.
Climb back down the ladder and head south this time.
Follow this next one-way route until you come to the ladder pictured below.
You’ll emerge into a wide-open room. The second PP Up is hidden in the rock in the room’s bottom right corner.