The 8 Best Monkey Pokémon

The designers of Pokemon have drawn inspiration from many sources throughout the history of the series, including the natural world, whether it be plant life or the animals that inhabit these environments. One such animal is the monkey, a diverse species characterized by its tail – in comparison to other primates, such as monkeys, which lack this feature.

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Similar to the diversity of their real-world counterparts, Monkey Pokémon are also unique when it comes to their designs, types, and battle performance. While some Pokemon monkeys closely resemble their real-life inspirations, others build on this framework, resulting in creative designs that only highlight what makes these primates so great.


8 Three in one: Pansear/Pansage/Panpour

Although Pansear, Pansage, and Panpour are individual Pokémon in their own right, they are closely related for more than one reason. Known as the elemental monkeys, each of these Pokémon represent the base elements, with Pansear being fire, Pansage being grass, and Panpour being water.

In addition to this motif, these Pokemon monkeys also reference the three wise monkeys – see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil – making them a surprisingly enlightened group. While these monkeys give you decent type coverage when used together, their stats leave something to be desired.

seven The Original: Mankey

The Fighting-type Pokemon Mankey first appeared in Generation 1, where it was exclusive to Pokemon Red. Known as the Pig Monkey Pokemon, Mankey is inspired by these two animals – although he looks more like a monkey, he also has a pink pig’s nose.

Although Mankey is known for its quick temper, it’s actually one of the smallest Fighting-type Pokemon in the entire Pokedex, making it a cute creature that can also pack a punch. Mankey’s anger can scare away even the strongest trainers, but according to his Pokedex entry in Pokemon Sun, “the resulting loneliness makes him even angrier” – you might want to risk bonding with friendship with this Pokemon.

6 Drop The Beat: Thwackey

The second evolution of the Grookey line, Thwackey evolves from Grookey at level 16 and stands on two legs, contrasting with his previous evolutionary form. However, Thwackey keeps Grookey’s musical spirit, using the two sticks he keeps in his fur to drum melodies.

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Categorized as Beat Pokemon, Thwackey gets his name from the way he “bangs” his sticks to make music. As his Pokedex entry in Sword says, Thwackey will earn more respect from his peers the faster he can create a rhythm with his sticks. This skill is very useful both for making music and for winning Pokémon battles.

5 Flaming Chimpanzee: Chimchar

A Generation 4 fire starter Pokémon, Chimchar is a small monkey with a fiery tail and an equally flame-like tuft of fur on top of its head. The only time Chimchar’s flame is not lit is when she sleeps or passes out in battle. Despite its friendly appearance, it was once thought to be an apparition and known as “Lantern-Tail”, as noted in its Pokedex entry in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Like the monkeys in real life, he is a skilled climber and can scale even the steepest cliffs – a useful attribute when living in the mountainous region of Sinnoh.

4 Natural Talent: Grookey

One of the starter Pokémon you can choose to begin your adventure in Pokemon Sword and Shield, Grookey is a Grass-type Pokémon that resembles the adorable squirrel monkey, thanks to its facial markings and the coloring of its arms.

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Grookey also has musical talents, as his Pokedex entry in Sword states that he “uses his special staff to strike a beat”. The music he creates can also renew nearby plants and flowers, thanks to his Grass typing. Grookey is definitely a cute companion to have and a great choice for your journey through Galar.

3 Until Nothing Good: Aipom

The cheeky Pokemon Aipom has a passion for mischief, as evidenced by its lingering broad grin. The main design feature of this purple monkey is its long tail which has a hand-like appendage at the end – the perfect tool for picking fruit from trees and pulling pranks and tricks.

Aipom has a simple yet effective design that sets it apart from other monkey Pokémon in the series. You might want to steer Aipom away from Bounsweet, as it’s stated in his Pokedex entry for Pokemon Ultra Moon that Aipom likes to eat them and will jump on them whenever he gets the chance.

2 Mythical Pokémon by day, loving dad by night: Zarude

First appearing in the Pokemon Secrets of the Jungle movie, Zarude is a Mythical Dark and Grass-type Pokemon that was available in Pokemon Sword and Shield through a special event.

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Zarude also has an alternate form, known as Dada, thanks to his role in the film, where he adopted a human child and formed a strong bond with him. Zarude’s Dada form appears identical to her usual form, aside from the pink cape she wears around her neck, referencing the movie. Unfortunately, if you weren’t lucky enough to receive a Zarude during the special event, you won’t be able to receive one legitimately.

1 Close Fighter: Infernape

Evolving from Monferno at level 36, Infernape is one of the best Fire-type starter Pokémon in the series when it comes to design, with gold plates that look almost like armor and a large flame flowing from its head.

Infernape takes the best elements of Monferno and Chimchar designs and takes them to the next level, while drawing inspiration from various mythologies, such as the Chinese epic Journey to the West and the Hindu epic Ramayana. However, it’s not all style over substance, as Infernape also has some powerful moves in its arsenal.

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