Through one of the most sinister storylines in Pokémon history, you can get Darkrai by following a few steps. In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, you’ll have to get an event item to enter Darkrai’s lair of nightmares.
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What You Need Before You Can Begin the Darkrai Event
The first thing you need is the Member Card. This event key item was distributed worldwide for Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl between April 1 and April 30, 2022. Sadly, there is no other way to obtain the Member Card as of yet.
The next thing you’ll need is the National Pokédex. To get it, you need to have seen all 151 Pokémon in the Sinnoh Pokédex. Once you’ve seen all Sinnoh Pokémon, head to Professor Rowan’s lab in Sandgem Town. When you speak to him, Professor Oak will appear and upgrade your Sinnoh Pokédex into the National Pokédex.
How to Get the Lunar Feather
Once you’ve obtained both the Member Card and National Pokédex, you need to rescue a little boy from an eternal nightmare. This will unlock Newmoon Island after you follow the necessary steps.
Begin by going to Canalave City. In the southwest corner, there’s a house where a child is sleeping and cannot wake up. Interact with the kid and their mother before leaving the house. Next, talk to the sailor (who is also the sleeping child’s father) at the port.
The sailor will ask you to help his child by getting the Lunar Feather, which will break the nightmare curse. The sailor then takes you to Fullmoon Island, where you meet Cresselia. However, you cannot catch this legendary Pokémon now.
Cresselia gives you the Lunar Feather and then disappears. You can find it later as a roaming Pokémon, but you don’t need to catch it or encounter it again to get Darkrai.
Afterward, head back to Canalave City and talk to the sleeping boy once more. With the Lunar Feather in hand, you wake him from his eternal nightmare—which means you broke the curse. The child’s parents will thank you for helping before they let you leave.
How to Get to Newmoon Island
Once you leave the sleeping child’s house, head to the formerly locked inn at the northeast corner of Canalave City. Entering it will lead to a creepy NPC putting you to sleep in the nearby bed. This brings you to Newmoon Island.
Explore the island to find Darkrai hanging out in a shadowy crater. Darkrai is at level 50, so, despite being pretty strong, your team should be stronger at this point in the game. It’s recommended to save your game before trying to catch Darkrai, however, it’s not a big deal if you fail to get the nightmare Pokémon now.
What to Do if You Don’t Catch Darkrai During the Nightmare Event Encounter
If you run out of Poké Balls or knock out Darkrai, you can get back to Newmoon Island easily. You just need to speak to Sailor Eldritch (the sleeping child’s father) in Canalave’s port.
He’ll take you to Newmoon Island whenever you want as long as you’ve done the nightmare event in Canalave’s northeast inn. With that said, you can only get one Darkrai. After you catch it, no more will spawn on Newmoon Island.
Alternate Way to Get Darkrai
Besides the nightmare event, you can only get a legitimate Darkrai by trading for one online. Shortly after Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl‘s release, there were some glitches that let you reach Newmoon Island without a Member Card. However, such glitches have been patched out of the game since then.
While there’s a way to reset your game to a pre-patched state, it’s risky. You can potentially corrupt your save data or core game files. Also, it’s possible to damage your cartridge and render it unusable if you try to physically tamper with it.