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HeartGold / SoulSilver Safari Zone Efficiency Guide

Mar 23, 2020
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This is another guide I'm making for myself and posting in case others find it helpful. The premise is that you want to maximize the number of Pokemon you have Access to, while minimizing the real life in game days you must wait in order to do so. I assume that someone is comfortable with levelling up a Pokemon, or breeding one, to access other Pokemon in the same evolutionary line. I also assume that someone will be rearranging the objects in the Safari Zone as needed to specifically target the Pokemon they wish to catch, and thus will have the full array of objects available to them for any given Pokemon.

The Basics
To catch Pokemon in the Safari Zone, you may need to have a given number of objects of the correct type placed in the appropriate area. Up to 30 objects can be placed, but some Pokemon require more than 30 objects before they appear. Thus the only way to have those Pokemon appear is to have that area active for a number of days, to increase the "value" of each object placed. The days the area is active need not be consecutive, you don't need to play every day or anything, but they must be disparate (unique), and your system's internal clock must not be modified during this time. Once you have reached the desired multiplier value, the area can be switched out and the bonuses will be retained, but it is not made clear whether the counter will be preserved upon switching the area back in or if it will reset. Thus I recommend being Sure you have reached the desired value before moving an area. Note that the Pokemon for whom this is true, by and large, are Pokemon which only appear in the Safari Zone. As such you Must play on disparate, real life days, for long enough to maximize the number of Pokemon you have access to. But what areas need to stay active, and for how long, and how can this best be optimized to minimize the total wait? We explore this below.

Note: All information is based on that found in the Bulbapedia page for the Johto Safari Zone, and assumes you have ready access to that page for reference. It is linked below. Also note that though the chart on that page maxes out at 130 days, as nothing higher than a x4 multiplier is required for any Pokemon, the areas do continue to acquire a higher multiplier the longer they're out, up to a maximum of a x7 multiplier after 250 days. This may reduce the amount of object rearrangement necessary but is not required in any way and provides minimal tangible benefit.

Peak: You only need to have this area active 40 days to get Waterside x2, allowing access to Spheal, as this is the best source of access to that evolutionary line. However, it is well worth waiting an extra 20 days in my opinion (60 total) to gain access to high level Vigoroths, requiring only 1 level to get Slaking rather than catching level 10-18 Slakoths on route 25 and needing 18 levels gained at minimum to fully evolve them. This is primarily because you don't lose efficiency in doing so, more on that later. Verdict: 60 days

You need to have this area active 20 days, to gain access to Forest x2, in order to have access to Cacnea, Vibrava, and Carnivine. Having it active another 20 days for Waterside x2 gives you access to Cacturne and Trapinch and saves you leveling up Pokemon, but only 1 level each. However as with Peak, you have the time, and it is a benefit, so eventually you'll want to get to 40 days. Verdict: 40 days

There is nothing in here which requires more than 30 blocks. You're fine from day 1. Verdict: 0 days

Riolu is only found here, and Lucario can only be obtained by evolving Riolu, so getting Peak and Forest x3 is required. Verdict: 70 days

Bronzong would require Peak x4, and Forest x3, to obtain. This would require the area to be active for 120 days. However, Bronzor is available in the Peak area, and is already available in the first 30 days. Beldum would require Peak x3, and thus 70 days, but Metang is available within 30 days in the Mountain. Shuppet just requires Forest x2, or 20 days, but Banette is available in the Marshlands 10 days after that which is necessary for Croagunk, so in reality No Pokemon are needed which take more than 30 objects. Verdict: 0 days

The only Pokemon which requires more than 30 objects is Bagon, which requires Peak x4 in order to obtain it, which would require 120 days. However, Shelgon is available in the Wetlands after only 70 days. As such no Pokemon are needed above 30 objects. Verdict: 0 days

Since we're not getting Shuppet in the Forest, we need Banette in here, which means we need Peak x2. If for some reason you got Shuppet, you would only need Forest x2, at 20 days. As is, 30 days is required. Verdict: 30 days

Sealeo would require Waterside x3, or 80 days, but Spheal is already available from Peak, and as such you only need access to Metang and Dusclops, which requires Peak x2, or 30 days. Verdict: 30 days

Rocky Beach:
The reason we've got time to kill elsewhere. Gible requires Peak x4, and thus 120 days, and there is no access to the evolutionary line anywhere other than right here. Verdict: 120 days

Solrock requires Peak x2, and is not available anywhere else, thus requiring 30 days. Verdict: 30 days

Torkoak similarly requires Peak x2, and is not available anywhere else, thus also requiring 30 days. Verdict: 30 days

As mentioned previously, Shelgon requires Peak x3, or 70 days. Since we're not getting Bagon in the swamp this is non-negotiable. If for some reason you already have access to Bagon, then nothing else in here requires more than 30 other than Buizel, which is widely available outside the Safari zone. However when going for efficiency from the start, this route, rather than the Swamp, is the way to go. Verdict: 70 days

What it looks like in Practice:

There is one problem area, the Rocky Beach, which requires 120 days of activity. No other areas require more than 70, and some do not require any time at all. To maximize functionality and efficiency, I recommend having the Rocky Beach always active, having 4 areas active which require only 30 days before they're fully online (Marshland, Mountain, Wasteland, and Savannah), and having one "hot swap" slot, ideally near the entrance, where you can put in any other areas in which you are looking for Pokemon. After 30 days, when the 4 areas have Peak x2 and are fully online, I recommend swapping them with the other 4 areas which require longer times (Peak, Desert, Meadow, Wetland) and continuing to use the entrance area to hot swap in whatever area you need. After the Rocky Beach has reached its designated age, the other areas will have then by default also been out long enough, and you can swap around freely.

I hope that helps!