Pokémon Master is a position and title that many Pokémon Trainers want to achieve. However, it has never been properly explained what a Pokémon Master is or how to achieve such a position of power. There are many theories which try to reveal the mysteries of a Pokémon Master and answer the many questions that can explain the title of a Pokémon Master.
The following are different interpretations of what it truly means to be a "Pokémon Master":
- A Pokémon Trainer who has captured (or is the first person to capture) all Pokémon
- This is the most common interpretation of the term. However, this would be practically impossible for any Pokémon Trainer to achieve in reality, since some species of Pokémon appear to have only a single organism in the entire species, which is difficult to obtain or has already been captured by another Trainer. Also, brand-new species of Pokémon are being discovered all the time.
- A Pokémon Trainer who has defeated all Gym Leaders in their region and obtained all the Gym Badges
- This is a more achievable goal; however, this implies that there can be (and, in fact, are) many Pokémon Masters, not just one.
- A Pokémon Champion
- A Pokémon Champion who can never be defeated
- A Pokémon Trainer who has captured at least one of every Pokémon Type
- Ash Ketchum once mentioned that a trainer needed to capture at least one of every type of Pokémon (i.e. Fire, Ice, Dragon, etc...). One can assume that this might excludes Mythic, Legendary, and Extinct types. In the season finale of Pokémon: DP Sinnoh League Victors, he also states that by defeating the Sinnoh League Champion, Cynthia, he will become a Pokémon Master, although details of this are not known.
- A Pokémon Trainer who has captured or defeated Mewtwo
- According to The Official Pokémon Handbook, a Pokémon Trainer would deserve the position of Pokémon Master by achieving this. However, in the anime and manga, this would be practically impossible to achieve. This would also mean that:
- A Pokémon Trainer who professionally battles Pokémon in tournaments and is generally well known
- In the Electric Tales of Pikachu manga, a Trainer is considered a Pokémon Master simply by having these qualities.
- A Pokémon Trainer who has defeated the Elite Four and Battle Frontier in every single region of the Pokémon World
- A Pokémon Trainer who has won some kind of a Pokémon Master tournament
- It is possible that one must win all league tournaments, capture as many Pokémon as possible along with large amount of knowledge of them and become unbeatable to become an Pokémon Master. In the anime, dream version of Professor Oak (created by Mismagius) told Ash that his "records" were high enough to him to enter any master tournament, even though in reality this was not true. This could mean that trainer needs to win enough championships and Battle Frontiers and then compete in specific tournament and win it to become Pokémon master.