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Pokemon that would be better detectives than Pikachu

The Pokemon series is known for releasing a handful of spin-offs between mainline entries. From Pokemon Snap to Pokken Tournament, these titles allow you to interact and observe Pokemon in new environments. Each expands the world of Pokemon in fascinating ways, but few spin-offs have been as ambitious or as surprising as Detective Pikachu for the 3DS.


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This adventure game transformed Pokemon’s mascot – Pikachu – into Benoit Blanc as he searches for his friend while solving other puzzles. Detective Pikachu can talk and likes to drink coffee, but is it really the Pokémon you want to hire to solve a case? There are other Pokemon with abilities that would make them much better detectives than Pikachu.

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10 smearing

A Smeargle holds its tail next to a trainer who is holding a ping pong ball and paddle

Detective Pikachu isn’t known for taking meticulous notes on the cases he’s working on. While it’s impressive that it can retain so much information in its head, as a client, it might be more reassuring to see your detective put pen – or tail – to paper to outline the suspects and details of your case.

Smeargle may not look like a brilliant detective, but his spectacular attention to detail and ability to jot down names or locations with his tail could make him a valuable member of any investigation. Smeargle might be a great detective, but it might also be responsible for more graffiti crimes than any other Pokemon.

9 Sudowoodo

A group of sudowoodo dances and celebrates in a forest

Detectives have to work long hours to pursue their targets, and one of the most tiring parts of the job is having to wait in one place before they finally show up. There are few Pokémon with this much patience, but Sudowoodo is known as a mimic Pokémon and spends most of its time standing in one spot pretending to be a tree.

This is usually a defensive mechanism, helping Sudowoodo avoid unnecessary fights, but his ability to stand in one spot for a long time could also be used tactically. When Detective Sudowoodo receives a tip that something is going on in the forest, it can easily interfere and prevent illegal activity.

8th night owl

A normal night owl and a glossy night owl are sitting together on a branch

One of Detective Pikachu’s most outstanding qualities is his never-ending love of coffee. Being a detective sometimes means early in the morning and late at night, so caffeine is essential to staying alert at all times. There are a few Pokemon that could get the job done without coffee, including the night owl, Noctowl.

See also: Pokemon that would be useful around the house

Noctowl might not be great for day shifts, but it would excel when surveying areas at night due to its excellent visibility. As long as the stars or moon emit even the tiniest amount of light, Noctowl can see almost anything and use this ability to capture baddies at night or find lost items for his clients.

7 Mimikyu

Mimikyu is standing on a dirt road surrounded by grass

Detective Pikachu is known for many things, but being a master of disguise is not one of them. While it would be great if the Yellow Mouse sported a fake mustache and wig on occasion, other Pokemon like Mimikyu would be much better at going undercover without immediately drawing attention.

Mimikyu is known as the disguise Pokémon, and while we only ever see it dressed up as Pikachu, it might be easy to throw a different outfit on it to help it blend into certain areas. Detective Mimikyu is also incredibly small, making it a great choice when you need someone to squeeze into tight spaces undetected.

6 Mr Mime

Mr. Mime stands in a dark room and points to the front

After hearing about a crime or accident, the investigating detective may need to recreate the situation to help them put themselves in the shoes of the victim or perpetrator. Detective Pikachu may not have the patience to run through every possible scenario to come to a conclusion, but Mr. Mime’s imagination and pantomime skills could help solve a case faster than a quick attack.

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After stealing a scene from the live-action movie Detective Pikachu, it would be great to see Mr. Mime join Pikachu on his next adventure as a co-detective. Though Mr. Mime can’t speak as fluently as Detective Pikachu, his ability to create invisible objects could make catching baddies feel like a walk in the park.

5 Kecleon

A green and a purple kecleon stand next to each other

A detective’s ability to remain undetected for extended periods is vital to his success, but Detective Pikachu’s obsession with coffee and exuberant personality sets him apart like a sore thumb. While not known for disguising or blending in, there are Pokemon like Kecleon that could easily disguise themselves when going undercover.

Kecleon can change color to match any environment it finds itself in, making it the perfect choice for a stealth operation. The only caveat is that the stripe across its belly doesn’t change, but that should just be a minor hiccup for this Pokemon, which could also use its extended tongue to catch baddies.

4 Alakazam

Alakazam holds two spoons sideways

A handful of notorious detectives stumble towards the solution of a mystery rather than the logic and reasoning to get there. Bored To Death’s Jonathan Ames and Johnny English come to mind, and while they ultimately catch the bad guy and save the day, it might be nice to tie someone with a sizeable IQ to the case to find out who committed the crime has.

Alakazam has an IQ of 5000, making it by far the smartest Pokemon. Its brain is so large that Alakazam’s neck can barely support it, but it instead uses psychokinetics to hold its head up. Alakazam has little physical power, so it might not be great on the field, but its intelligence could be essential in connecting the dots and figuring out the intent behind a crime.

3 audio

Audino angrily stares into a lush jungle

Some people like Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard and Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Eddie Valiant are often referred to as hardened detectives. These types of characters are cynical, rude, and often seen under the influence. They have a tough exterior and street smarts that either help them get what they want or get beat up by the people who intimidate them.

See also: The most heartwarming moments in the Pokémon games

Tough and tough might not always be the safest path, and a Pokémon like Audino loves to help people. His incredible hearing abilities allow Audino to hear heartbeats, which could be useful during interrogations to determine if someone is lying. Audino can also hear everything from up to a mile away, making it one of the best choices when you need a Pokémon to survey an area from a safe distance.

2 Luke

Lucario is standing on a rock near some mountains

When all the clues a detective has gathered don’t seem to paint a picture, a detective may have to rely on their sixth sense or gut feeling to make a decision. It might not always work well, especially when they’re wrong, which is one of the reasons a Pokemon like Lucario would be perfect for investigation and interrogation.

As shown in Super Smash Bros., Lucario has a unique ability that allows him to read auras and also use them during battles. It can use this ability to sense the aura emanating from someone and to read their thoughts and emotions. It would be impossible to lie to Lucario and get away with it. Also, his ability to understand human speech would allow him to work with other authorities with ease.

1 Raichu

Raichu puts his hands in the air on a dirt road

Pikachu might not be a perfect detective, but who knows what might happen when it has a few more years of experience to learn and grow. After some time to mature, Pikachu could oversee a team of detectives as Lead Detective Raichu, a more down-to-earth and responsible investigator who worked hard to earn his title.

Detective Raichu may not have as many one-liners as Pikachu, but their maturity and knowledge could make them invaluable members of any investigation. There are plenty of Pokémon that could make better detectives than Pikachu, but after years on the job it could evolve into a Raichu and prove to everyone that talent comes in many shapes and sizes.

Next: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Most Underrated Pokemon

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