Where To Get Dratini, Dragonair & Dragonite (Pokémon HGSS)

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In Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver, Dratini can be obtained in a few different ways, depending on how far through the game you are.

The earliest of these methods is in Goldenrod City, allowing you to have a Dratini on your team before the 3rd gym.

But the complete list of locations, in order of distance through the game, are:

  • Goldenrod Game Corner, purchased for 2,100 coins
  • Dragon’s Den in Blackthorn City, caught with the Good Rod, Super Rod, or by surfing on the water
  • Dragon’s Den, gifted for correctly completing the Master’s quiz (this Dratini has the special extra move ExtremeSpeed)
  • The Safari Zone’s Swamp Area, caught with the Good Rod if you have 10 waterside blocks, or the Super Rod without any blocks needed

Dratini then evolves in Dragonair starting at level 30. Dragonair can also be caught in the wild in the following locations:

  • Dragon’s Den, with the Super Rod only
  • The Safari Zone’s Swamp Area with 15 waterside blocks and the Super Rod only

Dragonair then evolves into Dragonite at level 55.

We’ll provide a full breakdown of each method, plus some tips to get the most out of your Dragonite, below


Location 1: Goldenrod Game Corner

The game’s earliest Dratini is available from Goldenrod Game Corner, pictured below.

Goldenrod Game Corner, in Goldenrod City / Pokemon HGSS
Goldenrod Game Corner, in Goldenrod City

To earn enough coins to purchase Dratini here, you must play many games of Voltorb Flip.

To play, first you need to receive the Coin Case by talking to Mr. Game, pictured below.

Mr. Game in Goldenrod Game Corner, who gives the player their Coin Case / Pokemon HGSS
Mr. Game in Goldenrod Game Corner, who gives the player their Coin Case

After you have your Coin Case, you can play Voltorb Flip by standing opposite Mr. Game at the flashing table and pressing ‘A’.

Voltorb Flip is the Pokémon universe’s answer to Minesweeper.

You must flip cards to reveal hidden numbers that multiply your score. If you accidentally flip a card to reveal a Voltorb, it’s game over and you lose your accumulated coins.

It’s possible to work out where the Voltorbs are hidden using the clues at the side. If you feel the risk is too high, you can exit the game at any point to keep your current stockpile of coins.

Once you have amassed 2,100 coins, you can buy a level 15 Dratini from the left-most of the two Gentleman standing nearby.

The Gentleman who allows you to buy Dratini for 2,100 coins / Pokemon HGSS
The Gentleman who allows you to buy Dratini for 2,100 coins

Location 2: Dragon’s Den

Once you’ve beaten Gym Leader Clair, she’ll command you to take a test in the nearby Dragon’s Den before giving you your badge.

Surf on the water behind the gym until you reach the cave entrance pictured below. Head inside.

The entrance to Dragon's Den in Blackthorn City / Pokemon HGSS
The entrance to Dragon’s Den in Blackthorn City

Once inside, there are several ways of getting a Dratini.

These are:

  • 10% of all wild Pokémon encounters while surfing
  • 4% of all encounters while fishing with the Good Rod
  • 32% of all encounters while fishing with the Super Rod

If you’ve only just unlocked Dragon’s Den and don’t yet have your Super Rod, surfing is the quickest way to find one.

If you do already have your Super Rod, there is also a 3% chance of catching a Dragonair.

Fishing for wild Dratini inside Dragon's Den / Pokemon HGSS
Fishing for wild Dratini inside Dragon’s Den

If this is your first time inside Dragon’s Den, there is also the opportunity to get a special Dratini as a gift.

We’ll explain more in the next section.


Location 3: The Special ExtremeSpeed Dratini in Dragon’s Den

To get your 8th gym badge, you must first pass the Dragon’s Den Master’s quiz. However, if you give all perfect answers, the Master will gift you a special Dratini that knows the move ExtremeSpeed.

ExtremeSpeed is a powerful Normal-Type move that hits before most other attacks, regardless of the user’s speed stat.

If you answer any of the questions wrong, the Master will still give you a Dratini, but it will know Leer instead of ExtremeSpeed.

To reach the Master, you will need a Pokémon with Surf and Whirlpool.

Start by heading into Dragon’s Den, the same way as in the previous method.

You’ll then need to Surf to the southwest corner of the water until you reach a whirlpool blocking your path.

The whirlpool blocking your path in Dragon's Den / Pokemon HGSS
The whirlpool blocking your path in Dragon’s Den

Use Whirlpool to get through, then follow the water around until you come to the building pictured below. Go inside.

The shrine deep inside Dragon's Den, where the Master awaits / Pokemon HGSS
The shrine deep inside Dragon’s Den, where the Master awaits

Once inside, talk to the Master at the back of the room.

Accept his test, and give the following answers:

  1. Ally or Friend
  2. Strategy or Training
  3. Anyone
  4. Love or Knowledge
  5. Both
The master preparing to test the player / Pokemon HGSS
The master preparing to test the player

Once you’ve provided the correct answers, you’ll pass the test. Gym Leader Clair will reluctantly give you the 8th badge and leave quickly afterward.

To get your Dratini, you must first speak to her once more and receive the TM59 Dragon Pulse.

Leave the way you came, and she will approach you before you can exit the cave.

Note: If you leave Dragon’s Den with an Escape Rope or Dig, you will need to find Gym Leader Clair in her gym to get the TM before you can receive your Dratini.

Gym Leader Clair approaching the player to offer the TM59 as an apology / Pokemon HGSS
Gym Leader Clair approaching the player to offer the TM59 as an apology

Once you’ve got the TM, you can return to the Master for your Dratini. You will need a free space in your party to receive it.

The special ExtremeSpeed Dratini from Dragon's Den in action / Pokemon HGSS
The special ExtremeSpeed Dratini from Dragon’s Den in action

Location 4: The Safari Zone’s Swamp Area

You can also catch both Dratini and Dragonair in the Swamp Area of the Safari Zone.

However, reliance on either the block-placing mechanic or the Super Rod means each is only available after at least defeating the Elite Four and unlocking the National Pokédex.

Dratini can be caught with the Good Rod after adding 10 waterside blocks, or with the Super Rod with no blocks required.

Dragonair can be caught only with the Super Rod after 15 waterside blocks have been added.

Fishing for wild Dratini in the Safari Zone's Swamp Area / Pokemon HGSS
Fishing for wild Dratini in the Safari Zone’s Swamp Area

Evolving Your Dratini

The Dratini line don’t require any special methods to evolve them, just good-old-fashioned training.

Dratini begins evolving into Dragonair at level 30.

Dragonair then begins evolving into Dragonite at level 55.

Dratini evolving into Dragonair / Pokemon HGSS
Dratini evolving into Dragonair

Usage Tips

Dratini and its evolutions are the 1st generation of pseudo-legendary Pokémon.

Pseudo-legendary Pokémon are characterized by their three-stage evolution chains, relatively high evolution levels, and uniquely high stats once they reach their final form.

So, while your Dratini may faint a fair few times while you’re training it, it will eventually become a force to be reckoned as the powerful Dragonite.

A Dragonite after some training / Pokemon HGSS
A Dragonite after some training

Dragonite are exceptionally well-balanced Pokémon, with versatile stats and a huge variety of moves allowing them to be all-out attackers, supporting players, or a mixture of both.

Dragonite’s Attack is its highest stat, so expect physical attacks to pack a particular punch. However, it is no slouch in the Special Attack department, so a mixture of physical and special attacks is still highly effective – especially when we consider the type coverage of all its possible moves.

Although a powerful attacker, Dragonite is no glass cannon.

Its respectable HP, Defense, and Special Defense stats mean it’s more than capable of taking hits. It can even heal itself with Roost for increased survivability.

Dragonite’s only mediocre stat is its Speed.

However, if you snagged the Dratini with ExtremeSpeed from Dragon’s Den, this high-priority move can counteract this weakness in sticky situations.

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Louie Neale

Full-time freelance copywriter and long-time Pokémon trainer, currently rediscovering my childhood love for the classic games by bringing you all the info you need.