Where To Get Larvitar, Pupitar & Tyranitar in Pokémon HGSSThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Wild Larvitar only appear in Mt. Silver’s cave and the Mountain Area of the Safari Zone.
That means you’ll need to wait until you’ve healed the sickly Ampharos in Olivine Lighthouse to add one to your team – or perhaps longer if you get unlucky with your initial Safari Zone areas.
Once you’ve got a Larvitar, they evolve into Pupitar starting at level 30. Then, when your Pupitar reaches level 55, it will become the mighty Tyranitar.
We’ll go into more detail on the exact catching locations and recommended movesets below.
Catching Your Larvitar
The best place to catch a Larvitar will depend on how far through the game you are.
The easiest location is Mt. Silver’s cave, but you’ll need all 16 gym badges to gain access.
If you want a Larvitar on your team before that point, the Safari Zone is your only option. Depending on which starting areas you’re randomly allocated, this approach becomes available from your 5th badge onward.
Location 1: The Safari Zone’s Mountain Area
After healing the sick Ampharos in Olivine Lighthouse, you’ll get a call from Baoba informing you the Johto Safari Zone is open for business.
This is your first opportunity to catch a Larvitar. Head to the Safari Zone, west of Cianwood City, to get started.
First, you’ll need to check to see if your Safari Zone came with a Mountain Area. There are 10 possible starting configurations, and only half include the Mountain Area. Which set you get is completely random.
The Mountain Area is the one pictured below.
If you started with the Mountain Area, great news!
Larvitar appear in the grass here as 10% of the wild encounters, although only in the morning or day time.
If you add 5 peak blocks, they’ll appear at higher levels and at all times of the day.
Catching Pokémon in the Safari Zone can be tough. Remember, throwing mud makes the wild Pokémon easier to catch, but more likely to flee. Bait makes them less likely to flee, but harder to catch.
If you didn’t start with a Mountain Area, you’ll need to complete both of Baoba’s challenges to unlock the Area Customizer. The second challenge is offered as a phone call three in-game hours after completing the first.
Once you’ve completed both, use the Area Customizer to add the Mountain Area and away you go.
Location 2: Mt. Silver’s Cave
If you’ve already beaten all 16 gyms, catching a Larvitar in Mt. Silver’s cave will be much simpler.
Start by flying to Victory Road.
Enter the building and take the left path. The guard will only allow you through if you’ve collected every badge.
You’ll emerge on the other side on Route 28.
Walk west for a short while until you reach the point pictured below.
See those steps in the bottom-right of the picture above?
Climb them and carry on further west until you reach another set of steps.
Climb these and walk a short distance north.
Before long, you should reach a Pokémon Center.
You’ll find the entrance to Mt. Silver’s cave just a little to the left of the Pokémon Center.
Once inside, Larvitar will appear as 5% of the wild encounters throughout the cave.
Wild Larvitar here are only level 15-20, so it may be a good idea to bring a similar-level Pokémon to weaken them easily.
If you want to skip an evolution stage, wild Pupitar appear in a single specific room not far from the cave’s entrance. They will be at level 45 in HeartGold, and level 30 in SoulSilver.
To reach the room, Surf on the water immediately to your left when you enter Mt. Silver’s cave.
Climb the waterfall and you should see a cave entrance to your right. Pupitar make up 5% of the wild encounters in that small room.
Evolving Your Larvitar
Larvitar’s evolution methods don’t require any special items or unique approaches, just regular training.
Larvitar begin evolving into Pupitar at level 30.
Pupitar then begin evolving into Tyranitar at level 55.
The Larvitar evolution line are HeartGold and SoulSilver’s pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
That means they have three evolution stages that happen at relatively high levels and end up with incredibly high stats in their final form.
As such, Larvitar and Pupitar may not be the strongest Pokémon around, but once they become Tyranitar, you have one of the strongest non-legendary Pokémon in the game at your disposal.
Tyranitar’s stats are excellently balanced.
Their monstrous Attack stat makes them devastating physical attackers, while their still-respectable Special Attack gives them a truly versatile mixed attacking potential. This is complemented by a wide-ranging offensive movepool.
Their formidable bulk makes them even more dangerous.
Their HP, Defense, and Special Defense stats are naturally high – with the Sandstorm caused by their Sand Stream ability further raising their Special Defense by 50%.
The one area Tyranitar lacks in is Speed.
However, this is more than negated by their other strengths.
Tyranitar can play purely offensive, mixed, or supporting roles on your team. They can set up powerful hazards in the form of Stealth Rocks, buff themselves with Dragon Dance, and automatically set up Sandstorm to support weather-based team synergy.