Where To Get Heart Scales in Pokémon HGSS

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There are several one-off and repeatable ways to get Heart Scales in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

The options, in order of ease, are:

  1. Hidden on the ground on Route 32 and in Vermilion City (Once only)
  2. Occasionally found when using Rock Smash on breakable rocks (Repeatable)
  3. Found by Pokémon over level 51 with the Pickup ability (Repeatable)
  4. On sale for 1,000 points at the Pokéathlon Dome on Wednesdays and Sundays (Repeatable)
  5. Held by wild Luvdisc during their swarm on Route 27 (Repeatable)
  6. Using the Pokéwalker’s Dowsing Machine on the Beautiful Beach, Warm Beach, Stormy Beach, and Quiet Cave courses (Repeatable)

Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll run through each one below in more detail.

Heart Scales act as currency for the Move Reminder in Blackthorn City. For each scale, he will teach your Pokémon a move it had previously forgotten.

 
The Move Reminder in Blackthorn City requesting a Heart Scale / Pokemon HGSS
The Move Reminder in Blackthorn City requesting a Heart Scale
 

You’ll need at least one Heart Scale to fill your Pokédex, as Piloswine evolves into Mamoswine when it re-learns Ancient Power. You’ll need more if you want to edit the movesets of your other Pokémon.

Luckily, all that ever stands between you and a hoard of Heart Scales is a little repetition and/or luck.

 

Method 1: The Heart Scale On Route 32

The earliest and easiest Heart Scale is hidden on Route 32.

You’ll need Surf to get to it, but you’ll already have this by the time you reach Blackthorn City anyway.

First, fly to Violet City.

Once you’re there, take the south exit down onto Route 32.

 
The way to Route 32 from Violet City / Pokemon HGSS
The way to Route 32 from Violet City
 

Carry on down the route, sticking to the right until you reach the area with surfable water, boardwalks, and fishermen.

Use Surf once you reach the following point.

 
The surfable water on Route 32 / Pokemon HGSS
The surfable water on Route 32
 

Then, simply Surf to the right and press ‘A’ on the boulder pictured below.

 
The hidden Heart Scale on Route 32 / Pokemon HGSS
The hidden Heart Scale on Route 32
 

You can only get one Heart Scale this way, as the item never respawns.

 

Method 2: The Heart Scale In Vermilion City

The next easy-to-get Heart Scale is much further along in the game, in Vermilion City.

To reach this point, you’ll need to have beaten the Elite Four and traveled to Kanto. You’ll also need a Pokémon with Surf in your party.

Once you’re in Vermillion City, head down to the waterfront and use Surf just to the right of the gym.

 
The area in Vermilion City where you'll need to use Surf / Pokemon HGSS
The area in Vermilion City where you’ll need to use Surf
 

Surf immediately to the right until you reach the boats pictured below.

Press ‘A’ on the middle of the lower one to pick up your Heart Scale.

 
The boat containing the hidden Heart Scale in Vermilion City / Pokemon HGSS
The boat containing the hidden Heart Scale in Vermilion City
 

Like the Heart Scale on Route 32, this is a one-time find.

 

Method 3: Finding Heart Scales By Smashing Rocks

Whenever a Pokémon uses Rock Smash to destroy a breakable rock in the overworld, you have a chance of finding an item.

Heart Scales are one of these items, along with Revives, Max Ethers, Star Pieces, and colored shards. They’re quite rare though, so you might have to break a few rocks before you find one.

 
Picking up a Heart Scale after using Rock Smash on a breakable rock / Pokemon HGSS
Picking up a Heart Scale after using Rock Smash on a breakable rock
 

The chances of each rock containing a Heart Scale are totally random, and all rocks except those in the Ruins of Alph and Cliff Cave have a chance of dropping them.

Some of the best locations to grind for Heart Scales in this way are Cianwood City and Vermilion City, as they contain multiple rocks and nearby houses to make them respawn.

Once you’ve smashed all the rocks in the area, simply go inside a building or cave. When you emerge, all the rocks will have respawned.

 

Method 4: Using A Level 51+ Pokémon With The Pickup Ability

Pokémon with the ability Pickup have a 10% chance of gaining a held item after winning any battle – even if they did not take part.

Once they reach level 51, this list of items includes Heart Scales.

Your Pickup Pokémon’s level after this point impacts the chance of finding a Heart Scale. The probability brackets work like this:

  • Level 51-70, 4% of all found items
  • Level 71-100, 10% of all found items
 
A Phanpy with the ability Pickup who has found a Heart Scale / Pokemon HGSS
A Phanpy with the ability Pickup who has found a Heart Scale
 

The following Pokémon get the ability Pickup:

  • Meowth, found on Routes 5, 6, 7, 8, 38, and 39 (SoulSilver only)
  • Aipom, found by using Headbutt on trees in Azalea Town, Mt. Silver, and Routes 28, 33, 42, 44, 45, and 46
  • Teddiursa, found on Route 45 and Mt. Silver (SoulSilver only)
  • Phanpy, found on Route 45 and Mt. Silver (HeartGold only)
  • Zigzagoon, found in Sprout Tower, Bell Tower, and Burned Tower while playing the Hoenn Sound radio station, the Plains area of the Safari Zone after adding 15 Forest Blocks, and the Savannah area of the Safari Zone after adding 10 Forest Blocks

You can have up to 6 Pokémon in your party all with the Pickup ability farming Heart Scales (along with other rare items, like evolution stones, Rare Candies, and Leftovers) at once.

This can be a very effective method, if you’ve got the time to invest.

 

Method 5: Buying Heart Scales At The Pokéathlon Dome

After you’ve beaten Gym Leader Whitney in Goldenrod City and earned your 3rd badge, you can buy Heart Scales by winning minigames in the Pokéathlon Dome.

The Pokéathlon Dome is located at the top of Route 35, through this building.

 
The entrance to the Pokéathlon Dome on Route 35 / Pokemon HGSS
The entrance to the Pokéathlon Dome on Route 35
 

Once you’re inside, take the left door and follow the path up to the Dome itself.

You can play minigames with your Pokémon here to earn points. A single Heart Scale costs 1,000.

There is no set best-earning minigame, it all depends on your playstyle and available Pokémon. Try them all to find your winning combination.

Once you have 1,000 points, come back on a Wednesday or a Sunday. The Athlete Shop, located in the top right-hand corner of the Pokéathlon Dome, will sell them on these days.

 
The Athlete Shop, found in the top right-hand corner of the Pokéathlon Dome / Pokemon HGSS
The Athlete Shop, found in the top right-hand corner of the Pokéathlon Dome
 

Method 6: Stealing Heart Scales Held By Swarming Luvdisc

This method of farming Heart Scales requires you to have beaten the Elite Four and received the National Pokédex from Professor Oak in Olivine City.

It also requires the waiting game of getting Luvdisc as your swarm Pokémon for the day. But, once you do, it is easily the most lucrative way of farming Heart Scales.

Once you’ve unlocked the National Pokédex, different Pokémon swarms will occur each day. You can find out which Pokémon is swarming and where by listening to Professor Oak’s Pokémon Talk show on your Pokégear Radio.

When it is Luvdisc’s turn to swarm, they will make up 60% of all the wild encounters while surfing on Route 27, immediately to the east of New Bark Town.

Each Luvdisc has a 50% chance of carrying a Heart Scale.

 
The waters of Route 27, where Luvdisc swarms occur / Pokemon HGSS
The waters of Route 27, where Luvdisc swarms occur
 

You can then farm many Heart Scales by catching wild Luvdisc or using the move Thief to steal their held item.

If you get through a lot of Heart Scales, there are two ways to make farming them even more efficient.

First, if you open the battle with a Pokémon with the ability Compoundeyes at the head of your party, the chances of the held Heart Scale double to 100%.

Pokémon with the ability Compoundeyes include:

  • Butterfree
  • Venonat
  • Yanma

Alternatively, if you bring a Pokémon with the ability Frisk, you’ll be alerted to the presence of a wild Pokémon’s held item. This way you can save time on empty-handed Luvdisc.

 
A Shuppet frisking a wild Luvdisc and identifying a held Heart Scale / Pokemon HGSS
A Shuppet frisking a wild Luvdisc and identifying a held Heart Scale
 

Pokémon with the ability Frisk include:

  • Stantler
  • Shuppet
 

Method 7: Using The Pokéwalker’s Dowsing Machine

If you’re lucky enough to have a copy of HeartGold or SoulSilver with the additional Pokéwalker accessory, you can find Heart Scales with this too.

Heart Scales can be found by using the Pokéwalker’s Dowsing Machine on the following courses, after taking the following number of real-life steps:

  • Beautiful Beach, after taking 2,000+ steps
  • Warm Beach, after taking 3,000+ steps
  • Stormy Beach, after taking 800+ steps
  • Quiet Cave, after taking 2,500+ steps

Bear in mind that you’ll need to have unlocked the National Pokédex for all courses apart from Beautiful Beach.

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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.