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Pokemon Scarlet And Violet: How To Find And Evolve Tadbulb

When it comes to overly literal puns in Pokémon names, "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet" just might have taken the cake with their introduction of Tadbulb in the ninth generation roster. Called the "EleTadpole Pokémon," Tadbulb does indeed seem to be some sort of electric tadpole, bearing a strong resemblance to the standard variety of modern incandescent lightbulbs. This cute and quirky Pokémon is a fairly common sight in the starting areas of Paldea and isn't the most powerful — with the dual-type Pawmi and Wattrel evolutionary lines available from the start as well, Tadbulb doesn't quite measure up as the early-game Electric-type team member to invest in.


That is until you realize that Tadbulb is just the pre-evolution of Bellibolt, the amphibian Pokémon introduced in one of the promotional trailers as Gym Leader Iono's signature Pokémon (and was theorized to be a reference to early Pokémon sprites from the original "Pokémon Gold and Silver"). The connection is easy to miss if only because Tadbulb doesn't evolve through level growth, but rather requires an item to transform into its stronger iteration. With a high Special Attack stat and a well-balanced moveset that includes Type offsets, like Water Gun and Mud Shot, the single-type Tadbulb and Bellibolt are solid candidates as the Electric type coverage in your team. Here's how to find and evolve these eccentric and electric critters in "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet."


You can find Tadbulb nearly anywhere close to rivers

To start with, Tadbulb and Bellibolt are both available as Tera Raid bosses in 1-star and 4-star raids respectively (via Serebii), so make sure to check any raids that pop up — Grass, Bug, Ice, or Water Tera Types are especially advantageous to cover Tadbulb's singular weakness to Ground type attacks.


Otherwise, you'll find Tadbulbs floating around pretty much anywhere by wetlands or riverbanks, as outlined in its Pokédex entry. They're quite small, however, so you might have to pay close attention to find any yellow bulbs flitting between the grass. That said, you're just as likely to accidentally run one over while biking along the riverside paths — either way, it won't take long to find one to catch.

While it looks like Tadbulb's habitat covers the starting area, its actual spawn location is inaccessible from the player's house. The earliest you can encounter Tadbulb is after the Academy tutorial, at which point you can exit out the west of Mesagoza and immediately drop down the cliffs to your left — don't worry, Miraidon and Koraidon don't take any fall damage, and there's an easy path back up towards Cortondo City farther downriver. Keep heading south down the dirt path, and you should start to see some Tadbulbs once you clear the natural underpass.


Evolving Tadbulb into Bellibolt takes a Thunder Stone

Unfortunately, idly leveling Tadbulb won't work — you'll need to use a Thunder Stone on it. Thankfully, these stones aren't as rare in "Scarlet and Violet" as in some previous generations. You actually gain access to one as soon as you unlock the Pokédex app, as the bonus reward for logging 30 entries is a Thunder Stone. Just go into your Pokédex menu proper (and not just the "home" page that showcases recent catches), and press X to receive the rewards.


However, if you've already used up your free Thunder Stone from the Pokédex, there are other opportunities to grab one in the later game as well. According to PrimaGames, there are three confirmed overworld spots where you can pick up a Thunder Stone from the ground: 

  • The middle of the far side of the pier, full of warehouses in Levincia City.
  • Atop the first wind turbine to your right after crossing the river from the direction of the West Province (Area One) – Central Pokémon Center.
  • Atop the winding cliff on the northwestmost island encircling Casseroya Lake.

Additionally, earning your third gym badge seems to unlock Thunder Stones as a purchase from any Delibird Presents branch for 3,000 LP or Poké Dollars. Whichever way you get your hands on a Thunder Stone, you can use it on your Tadbulb through either the Bag or Pokémon menu to get a brand new Bellibolt for your team.