There are many powerful Dragon-type Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. If you’re looking to add Dragonite to your team, you should find Dratini and catch it. Thankfully, there are a few places where it can spawn.
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How to Find Dratini
There are three locations where Dratini can spawn—and all of them are in the water. However, none of these places are accessible until the mid-game unless you go very out of your way. It’s not recommended to do so when you start a playthrough, as there are many high-level Pokémon in these spots—including Dratini.
One location is a little pond at the top of a waterfall east of Alfornada. You can get here by taking the path leading east out of the city and ascending the gradually sloping hill. Dratinis of around level 40 inhabit this pond but aren’t its only residents. Be careful if you’re near the edge of the waterfall, as its strong current can push you underwater—which will cause the game to reset your position to the nearest spit of land.
Next, you can explore the small lake around the watchtower in North Province (Area One). On average, the Dratinis here are around level 50. Beware of the many similarly-leveled Golducks nearby, as they dominate this spot.
Finally, there are plenty of Dratinis in Casseroya Lake. This is the easiest spot to find a Dratini as they’re everywhere in this dragon-themed body of water. Those found here will be around level 50 as well. However, the unavoidable lag you get in Casseroya Lake can make catching Dratini a bit annoying.
How to Catch Dratini
Like a lot of the more shy aquatic Pokémon, Dratini will dive underwater if you startle it by approaching too quickly. If you’re fast enough, you can toss a Poké Ball at one before it dives. However, if you’re not having any luck with this method, there’s something else you can try.
Instead of rushing toward a Dratini at full speed, stay still and let the tiny dragon come to you. Once it spots you, it will linger nearby and stare curiously. It won’t get any closer, however, you don’t need it to do so.
When it is stationary, lock onto Dratini by holding down the ZL button (the left trigger) and then press ZR (the right trigger) to toss a Poké Ball at it to initiate battle. After the battle starts, decrease Dratini’s HP and inflict a status condition on it for an easier time capturing it.
How to Evolve Dratini
Dratini evolves into Dragonair starting at level 30. However, since all of the wild Dratini in the Generation IX games spawn over this level, this makes evolving Dratini pretty simple. If it is over level 30, you only need to increase its level once and it will evolve immediately.
Even evolving a Dragonair into a Dragonite is very easy for the same reason. Dragonair evolves into Dragonite starting at level 55. So, if you catch a Dratini that is around level 50, you’ll have a Dragonite in no time! You won’t need to farm experience very much to reach your Dratini’s full potential.