S.O.S. Battles are a new feature in Pokemon Sun and Moon. After completing your first trial, wild Pokemon will begin to call another Pokemon for aid and change the battle to two on one. This makes things difficult at the start, but it’s actually highly beneficial. S.O.S. Battles are the best place to find Pokemon with hidden abilities, rare shiny Pokemon, Pokemon with increased stats, and certain rare species of Pokemon. Try chaining Pokemon in S.O.S. Battles to find these rare specimen.
Any wild Pokemon can call for help in Pokemon Sun and Moon. The trick to chaining Pokemon in S.O.S. Battles is to defeat the called Pokemon while leaving the original Pokemon that called for help un-fainted. Reduce the distressed Pokemon’s health without causing it to faint by using special moves like Hold Back and False Swipe.
Further increase the chance of wild Pokemon coming to aid the distressed Pokemon by using Pokemon with the abilities intimidate, unnerve, or pressure in the battle. Using the adrenaline orb item further increases the chance of wild Pokemon coming to help the distressed Pokemon.
If a wild Pokemon isn’t being called or isn’t responding to the distressed Pokemon’s call, try to pass your turn by using non-damaging status moves, switching Pokemon, or using more adrenaline orbs. Also, be aware of how much PP the wild Pokemon has. If all of their moves run out of PP, they will begin to use the move struggle, which causes damage to themselves.
Do not cause the original Pokemon to faint. While it is possible for the new Pokemon to call for help if the original Pokemon faints, it’s not a guarantee like with the original distressed Pokemon. Additionally, do not inflict paralysis, burn, sleep, poison, or frozen conditions on the Pokemon or they will never call for aid. Try to avoid using moves with secondary affects that may inflict these conditions, such as flamethrower inflicting burn.
Most Pokemon call for help from their same evolutionary line, such as Pichu calling for other Pichu or Pikachu. However, there are times when other species of Pokemon will come to another Pokemon’s aid or start attacking the distressed Pokemon.
When you’re ready to catch one of these rare Pokemon, you must defeat the secondary Pokemon before a Poke Ball can be used, just like in horde battles from the sixth generation. Focus on the Pokemon you would like to catch and use status conditions like paralysis and sleep to increase your chances of capturing the rare Pokemon.
The more Pokemon come into an S.O.S. battle, the more of a chance you’ll have in finding rare Pokemon. Getting 30 Pokemon to come into battle is your best bet to finding a Pokemon with four or six maxed out stats. Getting 70 Pokemon in a single S.O.S. battle will give you the highest chance of finding a shiny Pokemon.