Fast Held Item Farming in Pokémon Platinum (Team Comp Guide)

Using Trick in battle to steal from a wild Bibarel (Pokémon Platinum)

Farming held items with a 5% spawn rate, especially in bulk, can quickly turn into a monotonous chore.

But there are moves and Abilities that can streamline the process.

This guide will teach you how to build an optimized team following the best methods for farming held items from wild Pokémon, starting with the most crucial component: Abilities.

Abilities (Compoundeyes + Frisk)

The first step in building your item farming team is tracking down Pokémon that have the Abilities Compoundeyes and Frisk, which are by far the most useful tools for farming items in bulk.

We’ll cover both of these abilities in detail below, along with a list of all the Pokémon you can catch with these abilities.

Note: Abilities in battle are passive. So as long as you have a Pokémon with a certain ability in the right spot in your party, you won’t have to do anything special to activate it.

Compound Eyes

A Nincada with the Compoundeyes Ability / Pokémon Platinum
A Nincada with the Compoundeyes Ability.

Typically if a wild Pokémon has a chance of holding an item, the probability will either be 5% (for a rarer item) or 50% (for a more common one).

If a Pokémon with Compoundeyes is at the front of your party when a wild Pokémon battle starts, the probability that the Pokémon will have an item will be boosted by the following percentages:

  • A rare item increases from 5% to 20%
  • A common item increases from 50% to 60%

Compoundeyes is a rare Ability, so just finding a Pokémon with it might take some time.

In Platinum, the Compoundeyes ability is relegated to only a handful of Bug-type Pokémon. We’ve listed all of your options in the table below:

Pokémon with Compoundeyes
Pokémon Location
  • Route 204 (as Caterpie)
  • Eterna Forest (as Caterpie or Metapod) (Requires Pokémon FireRed in the DS console’s GBA slot)
  • Route 229 (using the Poké Radar)
  • The Great Marsh
  • Routes 205, 224, and 229
  • Eterna Forest
  • Eterna Forest (using thePoké Radar)

It should be noted that Compoundeyes will function even if the Pokémon is fainted. All that matters is that they’re at the front of the party. This will be important later.


A Banette with the Frisk Ability / Pokémon Platinum
A Banette with the Frisk Ability.

Frisk won’t increase your odds of nicking an item from a wild Pokémon, but it will identify the target’s held item for you.

More importantly, it will tell you whether or not an individual foe is even holding an item to begin with. This will save you from tons of frustration and wasted time.

But Frisk is even more uncommon than Compoundeyes, with only three available Pokémon in Platinum who can have it:

Pokémon with Frisk
Pokémon Location
  • Obtained by breeding Banette (see below)
  • Route 225
  • Route 226 (Night only)
  • Route 207 (using the Poké Radar)

Whichever Frisk Pokémon you choose for your team, this Pokémon should be placed in your second party slot. This is because we can have your first party slot hold a fainted Pokémon with Compoundeyes, since that ability works even if the Pokémon is fainted.

But if you want more details just skip to the “Optimizing Your Party” section at the end of this guide for more info.

Banette Frisking a wild Buizel to determine its item / Pokémon Platinum
Banette Frisking a wild Buizel to determine its item.

Item Stealing Moves

There are four moves in Pokémon Platinum that allow you to steal held items from wild Pokémon. While they aren’t strictly necessary, they’ll save you a lot of time and will help keep you from cluttering your PC boxes with caught Pokémon.

Optimally, your stealing move should be taught to your Frisk Pokémon in the second slot, that way it can be ready as soon as the battle starts.

But we’ll cover details on each of these moves below:


In-game description of Thief / Pokémon Platinum
In-game description of Thief.

Thief is the original stealing move, and is available to a wide range of Pokémon through TM46 (only Poochyena, Mightyena, Lombre, and Kecleon can learn it by leveling up).

Thief steals held items, does damage with a base power of 40, and has a 100% accuracy stat.

But there is only one copy of TM46 Thief in Pokémon Platinum. So you’ll want to be very cautious when deciding on which Pokémon to teach it to.


In-game description of Covet / Pokémon Platinum
In-game description of Covet.

Covet has the same effects as Thief: it steals items, does light damage, and has a 100% accuracy stat.

As with Thief, Covet can be taught to a huge variety of Pokémon.

Unlike Thief, Covet is primarily learned through leveling up or breeding, because there is no Covet TM in Platinum.

So more Pokémon in a single playthrough can be taught Covet than Thief.


In-game description of Trick / Pokémon Platinum
In-game description of Trick.

Trick is different from Thief or Covet, in that it swaps held items with the target rather than just taking theirs.

This means you can accidentally give a wild Pokémon a one-of-a-kind item if you aren’t paying attention, so be careful of that.

Trick also does no damage, which can be an asset if your team overpowers the target and you’re trying to avoid knocking them out.

Note: Your Pokémon doesn’t need to be holding an item for Trick to work; it will just act like a non-damaging version of Thief/Covet.


In-game description of Switcheroo / Pokémon Platinum
In-game description of Switcheroo.

This is the rarest of the stealing moves in the game.

Switcheroo can only be learned by four Pokémon in Platinum:

Pokémon Teaching Method
Persian Move Tutor
Hypno Move Tutor
Linoone Move Tutor
Buneary Breeding

Switcheroo is essentially the same as Trick, in that it does no damage and swaps held items with the target.

As with Trick, make sure this Pokémon isn’t holding anything important before using this move for item farming.

But ultimately you’re better off going for Thief, Covet, or Trick just to make things easier.

Optimizing Your Party

If you have one Pokémon with Compoundeyes and another with Frisk, you can arrange your party to take advantage of both Abilities at the same time while you’re farming for held items.

This is because Compoundeyes works as long as that Pokémon is at the front of the party, even if the Pokémon has fainted.

The following is a team lineup listing the spots and roles of each Pokémon:

Optimized Item Farming Party
Slot 1) A Pokémon with Compoundeyes (fainted) Slot 2) A Pokémon with Frisk (and a stealing move, preferably)
Slot 3) Another Pokémon with a stealing move (if not already present) Slot 4) Any Pokémon
Slot 5) Any Pokémon Slot 6) Any Pokémon

And the end result of forming such a team might look like this:

Setting up a held item stealing party with Compoundeyes and Frisk / Pokémon Platinum
Setting up a held item stealing party with Compoundeyes and Frisk.

With this formation, we get the following benefits:

  1. The (fainted) Nincada’s Compoundeyes will boost the likelihood that a wild Pokémon will be holding an item, and this happens with every encounter.
  2. Banette’s Frisk will inform you of what’s in the target’s held item slot, if anything.
  3. And Banette can then easily take the identified item using Trick (or whatever stealing move you want to use).

Once you have the item in your possession you can end the battle by fleeing or KO’ing the Pokémon – you’ll keep the held item no matter what.

Just remember to remove the stolen item from your Pokémon before hunting for more.

Chris Haygood

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Chris is an American freelance writer and lifelong gamer. RPGs have been his genre of choice ever since he got Pokémon Blue in 1867, but if he finds a good rhythm game, he will prioritize playing it over both eating and breathing.

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