You can pick up the Poké Radar from Professor Rowan right after Professor Oak gives you the National Pokédex upgrade.
This means before you can get the Poké Radar you’ll need to defeat the Pokémon League Champion and enter the Hall of Fame, as well as register all 210 Pokémon in the Sinnoh Pokédex.
Acquiring the Poké Radar
To receive the Poké Radar, you will first need to do the following:
- Enter the Pokémon League Hall of Fame
- Register all 210 Pokémon in the Sinnoh Pokédex
Note: You only need to have seen all 210 Pokémon in order to get the National Pokédex or the Poké Radar; you don’t have to catch them all.
After you’ve met both prerequisites, Fly back to Sandgem Town and enter Professor Rowan’s lab.
Speak to Rowan at the northern end of his laboratory. When he asks if you want to show him the progress you’ve made filling the entries in your Pokédex, select Yes.
When Professor Rowan sees that you’ve filled the regional Pokédex with every Pokémon entry, he will begin to congratulate you.
At this moment Professor Oak from the Kanto region will enter the lab.
Rowan, full of pride, will introduce you to the Pokémon world’s pre-eminent Pokémon professor.
Then Oak will ask for your help in documenting all the world’s Pokémon. He will upgrade your Pokédex to include room for the entries of every Pokémon from the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn regions, on top of the Sinnoh entries you’ve already completed.
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to fill the 283 new entries of the National Pokédex, Professor Rowan has one solution.
As soon as Oak leaves, Rowan will hand you a device that will allow you to find and capture many more Pokémon species: the Poké Radar.
Poké Radar Details and Uses
The Poké Radar is a device that allows you to run targeted searches for Pokémon lurking in tall grass. There are two primary purposes for the Poké Radar:
- Increasing the odds of finding shiny Pokémon
- Finding Pokémon that are not native to the Sinnoh region (via a Mass Outbreak)
Using the Poké Radar to Find Shiny Pokémon
The Poké Radar is simple to start using, but a little more complicated to master.
It only works in tall grass. So to use it, enter a (preferably large) field of grass and stand close to the middle. Then select the Poké Radar from your Bag’s Key Items pocket and choose Use.
You should notice some rustling in up to four patches of grass (although sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re not paying close attention).
Each rustling patch will contain a Pokémon, and walking into one will start a battle (even if you’re using a Repel).
This will start a “chain” of Pokémon encounters. More on this momentarily.
The shaking grass is partially random, but it follows a pattern.
Imagine the grass tiles around you as being set up in “ring” formations of increasing size: the eight tiles directly surrounding you form one ring, then the sixteen tiles surrounding the first ring form a second ring, and so on until you have four rings in total.
The patches of rustling grass you see will include one random patch from each of the four rings (unless the randomly selected tile has no grass on it, in which case nothing will happen within that ring).
But not all grassy patches are equal.
If you avoid the nearest rustling patches and go for the one in the furthest ring, you’ll be far more likely to encounter the same Pokémon as before.
Repeatedly running into the same Pokémon adds to the Poké Radar’s chain counter. Conversely, encountering a different Pokémon will break the chain (and force you to walk 50 steps to recharge the Poké Radar).
The higher your chain is, the greater chance you have of encountering a shiny version of the Pokémon being chained.
Note: If you’ve received the Trainer Counter Pokétch app from Professor Oak at Pal Park, you’ll be able to tell how high your current chain is by checking the number at the top of the screen.
Using the Poké Radar During Mass Outbreaks
Once you have the Poké Radar, visit the little sister of Professor Rowan’s assistant in Sandgem Town and she will tell you about a mass outbreak of Pokémon she just learned about on the news.
From this point on, you can visit her once per day to trigger a Mass Outbreak. This will cause a Pokémon that isn’t native to Sinnoh to populate in a specific area.
If you visit the area the little girl mentions, the Pokémon she named will be one of the wild Pokémon you can find in random encounters.
It’s a good idea to visit Rowan’s assistant’s sister every day to find out what the daily Mass Outbreak species is.
Note: After Mass Outbreaks are mentioned for the first time, you can talk to Rowan’s assistant outside of Rowan’s lab to receive a Poké Radar tutorial.