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Lapras is a unique wild encounter in Pokémon HG/SS, appearing only on Fridays. It’s located two floors below ground in Union Cave.
While Lapras appears only on Fridays, it does appear every Friday. So, if you don’t manage to catch one the first time, don’t worry. You can always try again next week.
You’ll need the ability to Surf to reach the Lapras.
That means you must first defeat Gym Leader Morty in Ecruteak City, earn your 4th badge, and collect the HM03 Surf by defeating the Team Rocket Grunt threatening the Kimono Girl in Ecruteak Dance Theater.
Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready to add Lapras to your team. We’ll show you exactly how below.
How To Find & Catch Lapras
Start by ensuring it’s a Friday, otherwise Lapras will not appear.
Then make your way to Azalea Town.
Once you’re in town, head east through the short Route 33 until you get to Union Cave’s entrance.
Note: You can also get to Union Cave by heading south from Violet City down through Route 32. However, this will bring you to the opposite side of the cave to where Lapras spawns.
Head inside the cave and take the first available left path.
Carry on as far to the left as possible, then use Surf on the body of water to your south.
Surf straight down across this water and disembark on the only other available patch of land.
Take the stairs down to the floor below.
Navigating this floor is easy.
Simply Surf all the way across the water to the right and take the next set of stairs down another floor.
Now that you’re two floors below ground, Surf on the water immediately to your south.
Here, you’ll want to Surf down southward until you come to an area of dry land to your left, pictured below.
Disembark here and head south on foot as far as you can go.
You’ll pass a trainer and see a body of water to your right. A wild Lapras should be swimming about on that water.
All that remains is to catch it.
Approach the Lapras and ‘talk’ to it by pressing ‘A’ to initiate the battle.
Tip: It may help to save beforehand, just in case you accidentally knock the Lapras out instead of catching it. However, if you do, it will respawn again next Friday.
Lapras will always be at level 20 and know the moves Confuse Ray, Ice Shard, Water Pulse, and Body Slam.
Lapras’ catch rate is fairly low, so bring a decent supply of Pokéballs.
A Pokémon capable of inflicting Paralysis or Sleep status conditions, and/or one that knows False Swipe may be helpful too.
Lapras Usage Tips
Lapras’ high HP and Special Defense, plus its decent Defense make it a naturally hardy Pokémon.
This is further improved by one of its possible abilities, Water Absorb, which provides healing instead of receiving damage from Water-Type attacks. It can even cure itself of status conditions with Heal Bell.
On top of this, Lapras still boasts respectable Attack and Special Attack stats. Although, it is wise to opt for Special Attack out of the two, as Lapras’ moveset leans more in this direction.
All of this makes it an excellent choice for your team, both in-game and in competitive matches.
Its bulky build and Ice typing make it especially useful for defeating Elite Four Champion Lance.