Pokemon Sun and Moon Guide: SOS Chaining

Want to know how to keep a long SOS chain to get shiny Pokemon and other rewards? Then, check out this guide!

Want to know how to keep a long SOS chain to get shiny Pokemon and other rewards? Then, check out this guide!

Pokemon Sun and Moon has a new feature where wild Pokemon call for help in battle. Whether you call it SOS calling, chaining, ally calling or ally chaining, it is all the same thing. Any and all of these refer to a method that can be used to EV train, get shiny Pokemon more easily, access hidden abilities, and obtain maxed IVs.

I’m going to go over how this chaining works, the rewards for using it, and some good Pokemon and moves to have when trying to do it.

This guide will go over everything about SOS chaining in Pokemon Sun and Moon, including:

  • SOS Calling Info — What it is, how to do it and what you can get for it.
  • Helpful Pokemon and Moves – Pokemon and moves that can help you chain for extended periods of time.

SOS Calling (Or Ally Chaining)

If you have played at least through the first Trial in Pokemon Sun and Moon, you have probably noticed that Pokemon sometimes call for help. This is the basis of SOS chaining. When you get a Pokemon’s health low, they are likely to call for help. This makes another Pokemon appear in battle next to them.

  • You cannot catch a Pokemon when there are 2 out at the same time.
  • If a Pokemon calls another that is not in the same pokemon family, you must defeat the new pokemon to keep the chain going.
    • An example of this is if Cubone calls Kangaskhan. If you defeat the Cubone and leave the Kangaskhan, no more pokemon will enter battle.
  • Not every pokemon will call for help.
    • Pokemon also have different rates at which they will call for help.
  • Sometimes a pokemon’s call won’t be heard, so no other pokemon will appear.

All you have to do is simply get a pokemon’s health low to get them to call for help. They will sometimes call for help at full health, but this is rare. The lower their health, the more likely they are to call.

When the new pokemon comes out, defeat it. You don’t have to leave the original pokemon alive, but it will make chaining easier, since you won’t have to lower the health anymore.

If you continue to do this, it is called a chain. If you do it for a long time, the opponent will eventually run out of moves and use Struggle, which does recoil damage to itself.

This can cause them to faint, so you will want to eventually lower a new pokemon’s health and get rid of the original.

Getting Shiny Pokemon

When you chain enough pokemon, you start to increase your chances of getting a shiny pokemon. At first, your chances start at 1/4096, and they stay that way for a while. Once you get to at least 70 in the chain, your chances go to 1/1024.

Keep in mind that if you go beyond 255, the chain resets and you have to defeat 70 more.

Perfect IVs

IV stands for Individual Value and can have a score from 0-31. These stats cannot be changed, so you will want to get them right the first time. Like EVs, IVs will increase how many points you get in a stat.

Chaining can also guarantee you get perfect (31) in a number of stats.

  • 5-9 chain – Guaranteed 1 perfect IV.
  • 10-19 chain – Guaranteed 2 perfect IVs.
  • 20-29 chain – Guaranteed 3 perfect IVs.
  • 30-255 chain – Guaranteed 4 perfect IVs.

It resets after 255. You can’t choose which stats will be perfect, but there are six total stats. One of your desired stats is bound to be affected. 

Hidden Abilities

Most pokemon have hidden abilities, abilities that you cannot get normally. SOS chaining allows you get these hidden abilities for pokemon you can chain in the wild.

  • 10-19 chain – 5% chance.
  • 20-29 chain – 10% chance
  • 30-255 chain – 15% chance.

Again, the chain resets after 255. It may seem like a low chance, but it is a lot easier than encountering a shiny.

EV Training

SOS chaining can also make EV training easier. You get double the EVs when defeating a pokemon that was called into battle.

Helpful Pokemon and Moves

The first thing you will want before you begin is False Swipe, or a similar move, like Hold Back. This is a move that will not faint a pokemon, and instead leaves them at 1 HP.

There are multiple pokemon that are useful for chaining, but having a couple of Smeargle is ideal. Smeargle can learn any move by sketching it, so you can combine multiple pokemon into one. Here are some moves you will want to have.

  • Spore, or another status effect move — This is to stop the chain when you find the pokemon you want.
    • Status effects stop pokemon from calling for help.
  • Recycle — This combined with a held Leppa Berry ensures you never run out of PP for your moves.
    • If you are chaining a lot, you will need to recover your moves PP. Leppa Berries restore 10 PP to a depleted move.
    • Recycle gives you back the Leppa Berry you used. You can do this as many times as you want.
  • Soak — This changes a pokemon’s type to Water. Useful for fighting Ghost pokemon so that you can hit them with False Swipe.
  • Role Play, or another move that shows abilities — If you are looking for a hidden ability, you need a way to check a pokemon’s ability.
    • Role Play changes your ability to the opponent’s ability, so you will know if it has a hidden one.
  • Damaging move — This is for defeating “called” pokemon to continue the chain.
  • Recovery move — This is to recover health so you don’t have to keep wasting items.

Heal Pulse is another useful move for chaining things like Mareanie, since you have to keep Corsala alive, and Mareanie will sometimes attack it.

Parasect, Kadabra, Decidueye, and Pyukumuku are all good Pokemon that can use one of the above moves. Munchlax can learn recycle, but Snorlax can’t.

pokemon sun and moon sos chaining

My main Smeargle has Leafage, Recover, Role Play and Recycle. I only used Leafage because it has 40 uses, and I was chaining Cubone. Aerial Ace or other moves that don’t miss are good alternatives.

That’s it for my guide on SOS chaining in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Let me know if you have any questions or chaining tips of your own!

About the author


After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).