All About Piplup Pokémon

Last Modified Jun 10, 2021 07:10 GMT

The water type starter for generation four, Piplup is a penguin Pokemon that evolves into Prinplup and eventually Empoleon. While it begins as a water type, it eventually gains the steel typing as well once it evolves into Empoleon. Do not let its looks deceive you, it is an incredibly proud Pokemon that, according to the Pokedex, is difficult to raise. In the anime, Piplup debuted in the first episode of the Diamond and Pearl season, to go along with its debut in the Diamond and Pearl games. This guide will showcase Piplup’s (and its final evolution’s) capability in battle, its appearances in the anime, as well as other general facts about Piplup.

Piplup Pokemon

About Piplup

As the anime reached the Diamond and Pearl season, it is only logical that a starter of the games would appear in the first episode of the season. Chosen by Dawn at the beginning of their journey, their relationship was rather tumultuous. Piplup being the proud Pokemon it is, expressed indignance towards Dawn’s attempts to help and feed it. Throughout the series, their relationship becomes friendlier, however, Dawn’s Piplup never reaches its final evolution. If you are playing Diamond and Pearl, you ought to have better luck raising your own Piplup.

First appearance in animePokemon the Series: Diamond and Pearl Following a Maiden’s Voyage!
First appearance in gamePokemon Diamond and Pearl
Region Sinnoh
Evolution Evolves into Prinplup which evolves into Empoleon
1st Evo level16
2nd Evo level36
Pokedex EntryBecause it is very proud, it hates accepting food from people. Its thick down guards it from cold.

Piplup Base Stats


Appearance of Piplup

Piplup’s epithet is the “Penguin Pokemon” and it lives up to that title. Piplup is a blue-bodied, penguin-like Pokemon with a yellow beak and black eyes. It has two flippers as its arms and yellow feet with three toes each. Its darker blue feathers on its head come down to its neck, almost like a bowtie or a hooded cape. Piplup also has two white circles on its chest.

Appearance of Piplup

Behavior of Piplup

An incredibly proud Pokemon, while rather clumsy, it will take time to warm up to this Pokemon. It will often puff up its chest in a condescending manner and will refuse food from its caretakers if it feels like it. Despite its rather cute appearance, it has a great amount of pride even when it trips and falls. Even with its arrogant behavior, it is a skilled swimmer, befitting the water typing and penguin-like appearance.

Strengths and Weaknesses

As Piplup is the base evolution, it is difficult to mention its strengths without getting into its final evolution Empoleon. Since it becomes a dual-type upon evolving into Empoleon, it becomes resistant to the grass and maintains regular effectiveness against fire-type moves. Unfortunately, the steel typing is not enough to fully resist electricity and it will still take double damage from electric type moves. While Empoleon has a great special attack stat, it lacks the speed to take full advantage of it. Its defense stats are still admirable and there is a lot of flexibility to be found in building an Empoleon.

Shiny Piplup

Could you tell the difference between a Shiny Piplup and a regular Piplup at first glance? While it may be easier to see in its final evolution, Shiny Piplup is just an icier blue color than its regular counterpart. It is nearly impossible to see a difference in Shiny Prinplup, but at least the starry entrance of Shiny Piplup can help the colorblind determine if it is shiny or not. Despite not being the most impressive color swapping that a shiny could receive, it is still quite desirable being one of the starter Pokemon of generation four.

Shiny Piplup

Best Moveset

To cover the best movesets, we’ll focus on the final evolution of Piplup as there is not much reason, if any, to run Piplup instead. In competitive Pokemon battles, there are many different sets you could run with Empoleon. As a Pokemon in the OU (Over Used) bracket, it will come across many difficult matchups. However, its flexibility makes Empoleon difficult to read and you can get away with much more than you could with another Pokemon.

For a sweeping set, consider Hydro Pump, Grass Knot, Stealth Rock/Ice Beam, and Aqua Jet/Knock Off with a focus sash-held item. To help Empoleon sweep a little easier you can consider a berry-held item like Shuca, Wacan, or Petaya along with Agility to assist with its sweeping capabilities. If you decide to run Agility, you will want Substitute to help Empoleon survive. To take advantage of a defensive Empoleon you will want Surf, Protect, Roar/Knock Off, and Stealth Rock.


Hydro Pump/SurfGrass Knot/Substitute
Ice Beam/Knock OffAgility/Stealth Rock


Stealth RockRoar/Knock Off

How to Catch Piplup in Pokemon Go

Since Piplup is a starter Pokemon, it is relatively rarer than other water spawns you can potentially find. To have the best odds of finding a Piplup, use incense and hunt for Piplups in rainy weather. Of course, searching near water biomes will help increase the spawn rate as well. It will take 25 Piplup candies to evolve Piplup into Prinplup and another 100 to evolve into Empoleon. Piplup has been a level 1 raid boss in the past, so keep your eyes on nearby Pokemon Gyms to see if you can catch an easy Piplup.

How to Catch Piplup in Pokemon Go

Video Guide



  1. The name Piplup is a portmanteau of the words pip, the baby stage of a bird, and plop an onomatopoeia of something plopping into the water.
  2. In the anime, Dawn commands Piplup to use Water Gun even though it cannot actually learn it in the games.
  3. Piplup was the second bird-type starter introduced into the games, the first being Torchic.


Q. Is Piplup a good Starter Pokemon?

Piplup is a perfectly good choice as most starter Pokemon are. It can be difficult deciding between starter Pokemon sometimes. In generation four it is especially difficult considering Infernape is effective against the majority of gyms you will encounter. Despite this, Piplup evolves into a very flexible Empoleon eventually making it a solid choice.

Q. What type of Pokemon is Piplup?

Piplup starts as a water type and eventually becomes a dual water/steel type. Once it reaches this stage, remember that electric type moves, while not effective against steel, will still deal super-effective damage to Empoleon. It is known as the “Penguin Pokemon” as it is listed in the Pokedex.

Q. Is Dawn’s Piplup a boy or a girl?

Dawn’s Piplup is a male, making it statistically accurate with its 87.5% male to female ratio. Despite its wardrobe sometimes indicating otherwise, Dawn’s Piplup is confirmed to be male. Its wardrobe choice is likely due to Dawn’s friendly demeanor and Piplup’s desire to cheer on its trainer.


Congratulations you now know just about everything there is to know about the Penguin Pokemon starter of generation four. Quite the prideful little penguin, Piplup is a good choice as a starter considering its flexibility along with its decent statline. With its many appearances in the anime and its personality reflected with its trainer Dawn in the anime, many fans of the series hold a special place in their hearts for this generation four starter.