|All Sticky Barb Locations|
|1||Held item (5% chance) found on wild Cacnea||Yes|
Sticky Barbs can only be acquired as held items on wild Cacnea. Each Cacnea has a 5% chance of holding a Sticky Barb, so this is a fairly rare held item.
You can only encounter wild Cacnea on the Route 111 Desert. And due to the sandstorm, you can only traverse this area once you have the Go-Goggles.
Where To Find Wild Cacnea
The desert area of Route 111 is the only location where you can find Cacnea.
So you need the Go-Goggles before you can move through the harsh sandstorm and get your Sticky Barbs. You’ll obtain this key item after beating Gym Leader Flannery at the Lavaridge Gym.
Note: Cacnea has a 20% encounter rate in the Route 111 Desert.
Once you have the Go-Goggles, here’s how to get to the desert and farm some Cacnea:
Fly to Route 111 and from the signpost, go northeast.
You’ll go past the Backpacker NPC, and you’ll find the path that leads right to the desert.
Once in the desert, walk around in the dark sandy areas until you encounter a Cacnea. Each one has a 5% chance of carrying a Sticky Barb.
Farming Sticky Barbs
To efficiently steal a Sticky Barb, you’ll want a Pokémon that knows the move Thief. This way, you can immediately take the item from any Cacnea that happens to be holding one.
Tip: You can get TM46 Thief from a Team Magma/Aqua Grunt in the Slateport City Oceanic Museum.
There are also two abilities that can help with this process:
- Compoundeyes – This increases your chances of each Cacnea holding a Sticky Barb.
- Frisk – This allows you to see if each Cacnea is holding an item right away. So you can save time and save Thief’s PP to only use it when you know the wild Pokémon has the item you want.
We created a separate dedicated guide explaining how you can build a team around these abilities to help you farm held items much faster.
How Do Sticky Barbs Work?
The Sticky Barb is a held item that damages its holder by 1/8th of its max HP at the end of each turn.
But if a Pokémon holding a Sticky Barb gets hit by a contact move, this item transfers to the attacking Pokémon (if it’s not carrying any item or if it has no substitute).
Note: A contact move is any move that physically touches its target. While primarily consisting of physical attacks, there are a number of special attacks which are considered a contact move too, such as Petal Dance.
A good strategy for Sticky Barbs is giving it to your Pokémon that uses special attacks and has the move Trick or Fling.
If the enemy Pokémon is not holding any item, you can use Trick to give it the Sticky Barb so they’ll receive damage every turn.
And then by only using special attacks, the Sticky Barb won’t transfer back to your Pokémon.
The only con in this strategy is that if the enemy Pokémon faints while holding the Sticky Barb, you will lose the item permanently.
But if you’re willing to keep farming more from wild Cacnea then this is a repeatable strategy.