The PokéWalker is an external device that is bundled with HeartGold and SoulSilver. The primary function of the device is to act as a pedometer: where the steps you take while wearing the device accumulate experience points and happiness for the single Pokémon that can be stored within it. This is the closest to a live-action Pokémon DayCare you could get (please note that breeding functionality is not available).
As pointed out in this article on Bulbapedia, the PokéWalker is considered an update to/remake of the Pokémon Pikachu 2. The Pikachu 2 was released in America on October 16 of 2000. It also counted steps, used the currency Watt and allowed for the distribution of items found on the device to Gold, Silver or Crystal via Mystery Gift.
There are minigames available on the device as well as numerous areas that can be visited to go on a Stroll with a Pokémon in, some of which are only unlockable as special events. More on these later.
Below the options you see 10W / 55W. 10 denotes the cost of the currently selected item in Watts (in this case using the Poké Radar to find wild Pokémon) and 55W denotes the total amount of Watts saved.
The Trainer Card has two parts. When first selecting it, it will show the Original Trainer name, the current Course name and the time, on a 24 scale. Pressing the left arrow shows the day (as a subtraction from the current day), steps taken on that day, total days the device has been used and the total steps taken with the device. You can view steps taken for the last seven days.
Pokémon & Items simply displays what Pokémon are on the device (the one on a Stroll and those captured) as well as what items have been discovered.
Settings allows for you to adjust the Sound and Shade (in that order) of the device. Muting the sound is suggested to help preserve battery life. Adjusting the shade to light would also help but hinders the visibility, especially under sunlight.
As with Pikachu 2 Watts exist as the game's currency. Watts (denoted in the game as W) are collected at a rate of about 20 steps to 1W while you walk around with the PokéWalker. The number of steps to Watts varies from device to device; for instance mine is about 17 steps to 1 Watt so your rate may be lower or higher. By moving around and accumulating Watts you will be able to spend them in three different ways.
Watts can be spent on the PokéWalker by using the PokéRadar to encounter Pokémon or by using the Dowsing MCHN to discover items. Any Watts that remain when you sync the device to your DS are transferred to your game and are saved. The total amount of saved Watts on your game will allow for the unlocking of other Courses to take a Stroll in.
Please note that it is very difficult to trick the PokéWalker into thinking that it is taking steps when it is not. While the device can be tricked, actions such as shaking it by hand will not be successful if the rate you are shaking it is greater than the rate of consistent jog.
On each specific course page, listed below, there are three Advantage Types listed. When a Pokémon is taken out on a stroll that has one of these element based types several benefits will be realized.
When using the PokéRadar, the number of steps required to encounter a Pokémon on that Course is reduced 25%. As well, the rarity of Pokémon on that Course is slightly reduced.
When using the Dowsing MCHN, the rarity of the items found on that Course is slightly reduced. However, the number of steps required is not changed.
Using the PokéRadar item you will be able to encounter wild Pokémon within the area that you have chosen. To search for a Pokémon will cost you 10W. When searching for Pokémon you will be presented with four patches of grass (in a 2x2 square). A single grass patch will appear with 1, 2, or 3 exclamation points over it when a Pokémon appears. The exclamation points indicate the rarity of the Pokémon that is in the grass patch: the higher the number, the rarer Pokémon.
Once involved in a battle you have three options: Attack, Evade, or Catch. Attacking will lower the opponent's HP and increases the chance of capture (as is the case with captures in the main games). Evading will prevent your Pokémon from losing HP from an incoming attack and your Pokémon will then attempt to attack the opponent. This sounds great in theory but Evading comes with the chance that your opponent will escape from battle, so use Evade only if necessary.
You can throw a Poké Ball to capture this Pokémon, up to three Pokémon can be captured per Stroll. If you capture more than three, you will be presented with a listing of the Pokémon you have already caught and be forced to choose which to keep and which to let go.
Captured Pokémon can be sent to HeartGold or SoulSilver where their caught location will read: PokéWalker.
Check the individual Course pages below to see which Pokémon are available with the Courses. Each Course has a total of 6 Pokémon that can be encountered while taking a Stroll in them.
You will use the Dowsing function of the PokéWalker, at a cost of 3W per use, to search the grass for items. When taking part in this minigame you are presented with six patches of grass, all in a horizontal line. Select one in the hopes that that patch contains an item. You have two opportunities to locate the item. Your PokéWalker will give a clue, such as Its near!, if you do not discover the item on the first try.
If you are successful in finding one, you can then transfer it to HeartGold or SoulSilver for use in the game. As with the PokéRadar and the Pokémon caught with it, you can save up to three items and if you find more will be forced to select which to keep and which to let go.
Check the individual Course pages below to see which items are available within the Courses. Each Course has a total of 10 items that can be discovered while taking a Stroll in them.
Areas are unlocked through a variety of methods: default, accumulating Watts, obtaining the National Dex and continuing to accumulate Watts or by special means such as an event download or by completing a foreign trade on the GTS.
When Watts are sent from the PokéWalker to your game the total Watts are accumulated. If you have obtained enough Watts to unlock a new course it will become available but this only occurs one area at a time per communication. For instance, if you deposit a Pokémon and your Watt total is 0W, when you next recieve Watts (say 450) only the Rugged Road Course will be unlocked. The Beautiful Beach Course, which is unlocked by earning 200W (less than the theoretical earnings), will not be unlocked until the next communication. A technical behavior but still worth noting, especially if you do not communicate between the game and device very often.
Upon depositing your Pokémon to the PokéWalker you will choose which area you want to leave your Pokémon in. As you accumulate Watts, and progress from the JohtoDex to the National Dex, more courses will become available. The twenty-seven areas that are known are listed below. Click a name to view a page with information respective to that course...
|Area||Way to Access|
|Refreshing Field (さわやかのはら)||Default.|
|Noisy Forest (ざわざわもり)||Default|
|Rugged Road (ごつごつみち)||50 watts.|
|Beautiful Beach (きれいなうみべ)||200 watts.|
|Suburban Area (じゅうたくち)||500 watts.|
|Dim Cave (くらいどうくつ)||1,000 watts.|
|Blue Lake (あおいみずうみ)||2,000 watts.|
|Town Outskirts (まちのはずれ)||3,000 watts.|
|Hoenn Field (ホウエンのはら)||5,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Warm Beach (あったかビーチ)||7,500 watts, National Dex.|
|Volcano Path (かざんのこみち)||10,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Treehouse (ツリーハウス)||15,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Scary Cave (こわいどうくつ)||20,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Sinnoh Field (シンオウのはら)||25,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Icy Mountain Rd. (さむいやまみち)||30,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Big Forest (おおきなもり)||40,000 watts, National Dex.|
|White Lake (しろいみずうみ)||50,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Stormy Beach (あれたうみべ)||65,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Resort (リゾートち)||80,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Quiet Cave (しずかどうくつ)||100,000 watts, National Dex.|
|Beyond the Sea (うみのむこう)||Foreign trade from GTS.|
|Night Sky's Edge (よぞらのはて)||Transfer a fateful encounter Jirachi to HG/SS.|
|Yellow Forest (きいろのもり)||Wi-Fi event download.|
|Rally (イベント)||Nintendo event download.|
|Sightseeing (おかいもの)||Nintendo event download.|
|Winner's Path (チャンプのみち)||Nintendo event or Wi-Fi download.|
|Amity Meadow (ふれあいのはら)||Nintendo event or Wi-Fi download.|
The PokéWalker communicates with your DS/DS Lite/DSi via an Infra-red connection established between the two devices. A menu for the PokéWalker, which can be accessed from the startup menu of you game as the third option, allows for the transfer of Pokémon to and from the PokéWalker device. As well as controlling this interaction your HeartGold/SoulSilver game will keep a PokéWalker Diary which tracks events such as steps taken, watts saved, Pokémon caught, items found and friend interactions.
When connecting the PokéWalker to your game you have the option to transfer all of the Pokémon captured, items found and Watts earned or to transfer all of the aforementioned plus the Pokémon that is out on a Stroll. If you decide not to transfer the Pokémon that is out on a Stroll the steps taken will not be transferred, but the Watts will. Having the steps not transfer means there will not be an award for the experience or happiness that is earned at that time.
This device is also capable of communicating with other PokéWalkers via the Infra-red port. When PokéWalkers are in close proximity and communication has been established, via pointing the Infra-red ports at eachother while pressing and holding Connect, players will recieve a random item determined by the route they are on a Stroll in. After communicating with the same device more than ten times Watts will be recieved instead of an Item.
Similar to Swapping Records with other players in the main installment games, the PokéWalkers exchange trainer data when communicating. The ingame team data (which is to say the team on HG/SS) that you have when you transfer your Pokémon onto the PokéWalker is sent to your friend's device. When your friend returns their Pokémon from a Stroll your team will appear in the basement of Viridian City's Trainer House to be battled for 1BP a day. This team will remain until another communication and withdraw replaces it.
Note that the Pokémon on a Stroll must be withdrawn to earn experience and happiness points, these things do not accumulate. Which is to say, leaving a Pokémon on the device for a week does not mean it gets experience and happiness for all of the steps that were taken on previous days. The accumulated amount of steps is still saved but your Pokémon is only awarded for the actions of the active day.
If a Pokémon levels up upon being returned, any experience/steps taken in excess of the amount needed to reach that level will not be applied. As well, moves that would be learned at a certain level that are missed because of being in the PokéWalker will not be learned at all. You will need to visit a move relearner to learn that move. This is technically a good thing because it keeps those valuable egg moves from being overwritten unintentionally and should honestly be a mechanic implemented in future versions of the DayCare.
The Pokémon on a Stroll in the PokéWalker can be Returned using a button combination, which is useful if the PokéWalker is lost. To return your Pokémon from the device, on your DS's PokéWalker menu, press and hold the following button combination: Up + Select + R. A Pokémon that is returned in this manner will not have earned any experience and any items or Pokémon caught on the device will not be saved to the game. If you later find the PokéWalker you will not be able "clone" the Pokémon on it by returning it because your game will reset the PokéWalker upon next communication and erase that data.
The PokéWalker can be Reset to sync with a new game or restart on the same game card. This will allow your PokéWalker to communicate with the new Trainer Card (in other words, the data specific to your game). To do this press and hold the following button combination from your DS's PokéWalker menu: Down + X + L. All data on the PokéWalker is lost when this is completed.
When your battery is low a battery shaped icon will appear in the top-left corner of the device. The PokéWalker uses a CR2032, disc shaped battery. By removing the back of the device using a + shaped screw-driver the battery will be exposed. The battery is held down in a fish shaped divot. To remove the battery, lift up on it from the small (head of the fish) part of the divot. A removed battery resets only the Watts and steps on the device; the Pokémon on a Stroll will remain. The manual states that the battery should average about a 4 month lifespan, something to keep in mind.