|Sticky Barb Locations
|The Veilstone Department Store—On the fifth floor, from one of the two men standing side-by-side in front of the escalator
Held item (5% chance) found on the following Pokémon:
The best way to get a Sticky Barb is to speak to one of the identical NPCs on the fifth floor of the Veilstone Department Store, who will give the item to you for free. But this is a one-time only event.
So if you want more Sticky Barbs then you’ll have to take them as held items from wild Cacnea or wild Cacturne.
Acquiring Sticky Barbs
Method 1: The Veilstone Department Store
You’ll be able to snatch up a Sticky Barb as soon as you first reach Veilstone City.
Once there, your destination is the Veilstone Department Store. This is just a short walk to the northwest of Veilstone City’s Pokémon Center.
Once you’re inside the Department Store, take the elevator or escalators to the fifth floor.
You’ll notice two men in overalls standing next to each other at the southern end of the fifth floor. Speak to the man on the right.
This friendly guy will hand over a Sticky Barb simply because you talked to him.
Keep in mind that this will be the only Sticky Barb available to you until after you’ve beaten the game.
Method 2: Wild Cacnea and Cacturne (Repeatable)
You can also find Sticky Barbs being held by wild Cacnea and Cacturne on Route 228. Although these Pokémon only becomes available after you’ve received the National Pokédex upgrade from Professor Oak.
And surprisingly, Cacturne—the evolved form of Cacnea—is much easier to find than Cacnea is.
To reach Route 228, start by Flying to the Resort Area of the Battle Zone.
Then cross the bridge to the north of the Pokémon Center.
On the other side of the pond, continue northward to leave the Resort Area and enter Route 229.
Where the trail splits at the Resort Area/Route 229 sign, head northward through the tall grass and go past the two Ace Trainers.
Veer to the northwest and slip through the gap in the trees.
A sandstorm will flare up as Route 229 becomes Route 228.
Hug the eastern wall to maintain your course northward through the narrow canyons.
Continue heading north until you find some tall grass in which to search for Cacturne.
It won’t be long before you find one here.
Because Cacturne has an encounter rate of 20% to 40%, depending on the time of day.
Each wild Cacturne has only a 5% chance of carrying a Sticky Barb, so this method can take a fair amount of time.
However, you can greatly speed up the process of acquiring Sticky Barb by bringing a designated item farming team with you.
These special teams use Pokémon with the Abilities Frisk and Compoundeyes to both increase the odds of finding items and identify any items being held.
In this case, Compoundeyes will increase the chance of a Cacturne holding a Sticky Barb from 5% to 20%.
When you’ve found a Cacturne with a Sticky Barb, either use a stealing move (like Thief or Trick) or catch the Cacnea to obtain the item.
Then you can end the battle however you prefer—you will keep the Sticky Barb even if you flee.
Sticky Barb Details and Uses
The Sticky Barb is a held item that damages the holder for 12.5% of its maximum HP at the end of every turn. However, if an opponent with no held item makes contact with the holder by using a move, the Sticky Barb will transfer to the attacker.
This item can be especially useful if given to a Pokémon with Trick or Switcheroo: this way even if an opponent is holding an item, you’ll still be able to transfer the Sticky Barb to them (and hopefully receive a much more useful item in return).
Just try not to use physical attacks on a foe you’ve passed a Sticky Barb to – or else it will transfer right back to your Pokémon.