Ever since Pokémon Go was released, trainers the world over have been searching in vain for the missing Pokémon, Ditto. Ditto is a Pokémon that can transform into other Pokémon, copying its opponents looks and move set. It was data-mined after a recent update but still not seen in the game until the 23rd November, when trainers around the world started catching it. But beware, if you’re intending to go ditto hunting then it’s no use looking out for the purple blob, you might expect. Ditto has only, so far, been encountered in its transformed state, i.e disguised as other Pokémon. Reported captures indicate that Ditto disguises itself as Pidgeys, Rattatas, Zubats and Magikarps. Yes, that’s all the ones you’re likely to have grown tired off and stopped catching.

It’s near impossible to tell that the apparent common Pokémon is in fact a Ditto in disguise. It will look the same, sound the same and if you fail to catch it or run from the encounter then it will still be listed in your journal as the Pokémon you saw, and not as a Ditto. The only way to find out if it is a Ditto is to catch it. The only tips to catching a Ditto, at the moment, which seem credible, is that people are reporting decreased capture rates and higher flee rates, which would indicated that Dittos are likely harder to capture than the common Pokémon they’re pretending to be. So if you come across a particularly stubborn Pidgey that doesn’t want to stay in that pokéball you just threw, then it may be a Ditto, in disguise.

A number of other theories have emerged, but many have been discounted, like the report that Dittos will only be found with other Pokémon of the species it’s pretending to be, such as two apparent Rattatas with one being a Ditto. However, since that theory was formed, many have reported lone Ditto captures.

Once caught an extra animation will play revealing that the caught Pokémon is, in fact, a Ditto, and it will then be listed in your pokédex and journal as a Ditto capture. In combat, Ditto will transform into its first opponent. It will then stay in that form for the full length of the fight, even if its opponent changes. It will take on the look and stats of the Pokémon it mimics but its CP and IVs, individual values, will be determined by its own CP and not that of the Pokémon it’s copying. So if it was level 25 and came up against a level 12 Snorlax, it would transform into a level 25 Snorlax and not a level 12 like its opponent. Therefore, it can become more powerful than the original Pokémon it’s copying. This might be worth bearing in mind, if you’re intending to take one on in a gym. Dittos will show a low CP but will transform much higher, so don’t be fooled and send a low level against it.

It’s not yet clear if Ditto can be hatched from eggs, but the original games may provide a clue as Ditto could not be bred or hatched. So it would seem likely that a wild catch would be the only way of getting your hands on one. When set as your buddy, Ditto will take 3kms to find a candy, not as much as rare or legendary Pokémon.

So happy Ditto hunting, and don’t forget the bird food to lure all those Pidgeys.