Pokémon ORAS Soft Sand: Locations + Uses

Tuber girl NPC getting the soft sand
All Soft Sand Locations
# Method Repeatable?
1 Route 109 – Gift from Tuber Girl No
2 Rock Smash – Possible item drop Yes
3 Held item from Wild Pokemon (5% chance):

  • Nincada – Route 116
  • Trapinch – Route 111 – Desert
  • Diglett – Fiery Path (DexNav)

There are three different ways to obtain Soft Sands in OR/AS. The easiest way is by visiting the beach near Slateport City on Route 109 and talking to a specific NPC. She can be found on the southeast section of the beach. Talk to her to receive a free Soft Sand.

Alternatively, you have a chance to get a Soft Sand when you use HM06 Rock Smash to destroy any of the breakable rocks found throughout Hoenn.

Or you can use Thief to steal Soft Sands from wild Nincada, Trapinch, or Diglett. Each of these Pokémon have a 5% chance of holding a Soft Sand in the wild.

Method 1 – Route 109 (One-time Only)

Obtaining a Soft Sand from a Tuber Girl / Pokémon ORAS
Obtaining a Soft Sand from a Tuber Girl

Route 109 is first accessible when Mr. Briney sails from Dewford Town, which only happens after you’ve delivered the letter to Steven in Granite Cave.

At the beach on Route 109, you’ll find the Tuber Girl talking to someone. Once you interact with her she will give you Soft Sand.

To find her exact location, head back to Slateport City’s Pokémon Center:

Step 1: Take a right from the Pokémon Center and proceed south at the nearby intersection.

Slateport City / Pokémon ORAS
Slateport City

Step 2: Continue heading south on this path until you reach the beach area of Route 109.

Entering Route 109 / Pokémon ORAS
Entering Route 109

Step 3: Upon arriving at the beach, go southeast until you spot a wooden sign.

From the sign, head directly south to find the Tuber Girl with a pink air tube. Talk to her to obtain the Soft Sand.

The Soft Sand's location on Route 109 / Pokémon ORAS
The Soft Sand’s location on Route 109

Method 2 – Possible Item from Rock Smash

Using Rock Smash in Route 111 / Pokémon ORAS
Using Rock Smash in Route 111

As you explore Hoenn, you’ll encounter various breakable rocks that obstruct your path.

You can destroy these rocks by using HM06 Rock Smash. When you do, you have the chance to find an item like a Soft Sand. You can also encounter wild Pokémon this way.

The possible items you can find are based on whether you’re in the routes/caves of Hoenn or in a Mirage Spot. To find a Soft Sand, break rocks within Hoenn and not on Mirage Spots.

The full list of obtainable items can be found in the table below:

Hoenn Region Mirage Spots
Soft Sand Armor Fossil (OR)
Big Pearl Cover Fossil (AS)
Ether Dome Fossil (OR)
Hard Stone Helix Fossil (AS)
Heart Scale Old Amber
Max Ether Plume Fossil (OR)
Max Revive Skull Fossil (AS)
Normal Gem
Star Piece

Method 3 – Stealing from Wild Nincada, Trapinch, or Diglett

Using TM46 Thief on a wild Trapinch / Pokémon ORAS
Using TM46 Thief on a wild Trapinch

The last way to obtain Soft Sands is by finding it as a held item on wild Nincada, Trapinch, or Diglett.

These Pokémon can be found at the following locations:

  • Nincada – Route 116
  • Trapinch – Route 111 (Desert)
  • Diglett – Fiery Path (DexNav Exclusive)

When you encounter any of them, there’s a 5% chance they will be holding a Soft Sand. By using a Pokémon with TM46 Thief you can steal the item from it.

The complete list of Pokémon available in these areas is as follows:

Route 116

Route 116 / Pokémon ORAS
Route 116
Pokemon (Walking) Chance Levels
Nincada 20% 6-8
Zigzagoon 30% 6-7
Whismur 30% 5-7
Taillow 15% 6-8
Skitty 5% 8

Route 111 (Desert) – Wild Pokémon

Route 111’s Desert area / Pokémon ORAS
Route 111’s Desert area
Pokémon (Walking) Chance Levels
Trapinch 20% 20-32
Sandshrew 40% 20-23
Cacnea 20% 21-23
Baltoy 20% 23

Fiery Path – DexNav

Inside Fiery Path / Pokémon ORAS
Inside Fiery Path
Pokemon (DexNav) Chance Levels
Diglett -% 15
Tyrogue -% 15
Roggenrola -% 15

DexNav Detector Mode

Using the DexNav’s Detector Mode / Pokémon ORAS
Using the DexNav’s Detector Mode

You can also use your DexNav’s Detector Mode to increase your chances of finding wild Pokémon with held items.

Here’s how:

After catching a specific species of Pokémon, you can use the DexNav to track more of the same species in the wild.

The DexNav’s search level increases with each encounter with this Pokémon, regardless of whether you catch it or not. As this level rises, the likelihood of encountering wild Pokémon carrying items also increases.

How Soft Sands Work

In-game details for Soft Sand / Pokémon ORAS
In-game details for Soft Sand

The Soft Sand is a held item that boosts the power of Ground-type moves used by the holder by 20%.

Though it’s not the most popular choice in competitive battles, the Soft Sand can still be useful for Ground-type Pokémon using powerful STAB moves like Earthquake or Earth Power.

Unlike the Life Orb and Choice items which increase the power of all moves at a cost, Soft Sand boosts Ground-type moves without any downsides.

And there’s an often overlooked advantage of items like the Soft Sand too:

It’s difficult for opponents to identify your held item. This unpredictability can lead them to underestimate the damage your Ground-type moves can deal.


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Though he spends most of his time playing a wide variety of games, Pokémon has always been his favorite. When he’s not playing games or writing guides, you can find him watching anime and collecting trading cards.

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