Black City/White Forest Mechanics

By <Totes> and shiny finder. Sprites provided by Jo The Marten.


The Black City (BC) and White Forest (WF) are two of the most complicated features of the Pokémon Black and White games. Although the official Wi-Fi service was shut down for these games long ago, these features are still active as they require local play through the Entralink. Little info, however, is available on how these features work. This guide will walk you through the mechanics of BC/WF, focusing on the process of recruiting Trainers.

How Trainers Are Selected

When a new save is created, 13 recruitable Trainers are assigned to the BC/WF--10 in the overworld and 3 in the Entralink. These Trainers change which items are available for sale (BC) and which Pokémon show up in the wild (WF). The game randomly selects the Trainers from a pool of 30. The Trainers available and their respective features are tabulated below. Pokémon found in the White Forest are level 5.

Trainer Overworld Sprite Black City White Forest Base Happiness
Battle Pokémon Market Item Grass Pokémon Water Pokémon Overworld Item Black White
Ace Trainer Lena Ace Trainer Lema Gardevoir Gallade Sun Stone Ralts Wooper Sun Stone 20 80
Ace Trainer Vincent Ace Trainer Vincent Magmortar Fire Stone Magby Corphish Fire Stone 30 70
Backpacker Carlos Backpacker Carlos Staraptor Oval Stone Starly Corphish Oval Stone 70 30
Backpacker Emi Backpacker Emi Blissey Fluffy Tail Happiny Corphish Timer Ball 30 70
Backpacker Herman Backpacker Herman Porygon-Z Dusk Stone Porygon Wooper Dusk Stone 80 20
Backpacker Molly Backpacker Molly Azumarill Shiny Stone Azurill Lotad Shiny Stone 20 80
Battle Girl Karenna Battle Girl Karenna Slaking Leaf Stone Slakoth Lotad Leaf Stone 30 70
Black Belt Ryder Black Belt Ryder Machamp Nugget Machop Lotad Quick Ball 70 30
Clerk Britney Clerk Britney Jumpluff Rare Bone Hoppip Surskit Rare Bone 30 70
Clerk Collin Clerk Collin Alakazam Yellow Shard Abra Lotad Yellow Shard 30 70
Clerk Doug Clerk Doug Luxray Red Shard Shinx Lotad Red Shard 70 30
Clerk Piper Clerk Piper Victreebel Star Piece Bellsprout Surskit Nest Ball 70 30
Gentleman Frederic Gentleman Frederic Roserade Luxury Ball Budew Wooper Honey 30 20
Hiker Gene Hiker Gene Aggron Big Mushroom Aron Surskit Big Mushroom 30 70
Lady Lynette Lady Linette Vileplume Bellossom Heart Scale Oddish Surskit Heart Scale 70 30
Lass Miki Lass Miki Togekiss Max Repel Togepi Surskit Repeat Ball 30 70
Nursery Aide Miho Nursery Aide Miho Shiftry Big Pearl Seedot Surskit Ultra Ball 70 30
Pokémon Ranger Eliza Pokémon Ranger Eliza Flygon Blue Shard Trapinch Lotad Blue Shard 70 30
Pokémon Ranger Ralph Pokémon Ranger Ralph Ludicolo Water Stone Lotad Surskit Water Stone 30 70
Rich Boy Pierce Rich Boy Pierce Ampharos Poké Ball Mareep Surskit Poké Ball 30 70
Roughneck Dave Roughneck David Gengar Tiny Mushroom Gastly Surskit Tiny Mushroom 70 30
Schoolkid Leo Schoolkid Leo Pidgeot Stardust Pidgey Surskit Stardust 70 30
Schoolkid Shane Schoolkid Shane Rhyperior Berry Juice Rhyhorn Surskit Net Ball 30 70
Schoolkid Silvia Schoolkid Silvia Beautifly Dustox Pearl Wurmple Surskit Poké Ball 30 70
Scientist Jacques Scientist Jacques Nidoqueen Poké Doll Nidoran-F Lotad Dive Ball 30 70
Scientist Marie Scientist Marie Magnezone Green Shard Magnemite Lotad Green Shard 70 30
Socialite Grace Socialite Grace Salamence Dawn Stone Bagon Wooper Dawn Stone 20 30
Veteran Ken Veteran Ken Nidoking Thunder Stone Nidoran-M Corphish Thunder Stone 70 30
Veteran Rosa Veteran Rosa Exploud Moon Stone Whismur Lotad Moon Stone 80 20
Youngster Robbie Youngster Robbie Electivire Fresh Water Elekid Surskit Great Ball 70 30

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Why Trainers Leave

Each Trainer has a default “happiness” value. When this value reaches 0, the Trainer leaves BC/WF and their respective items/Pokémon available for sale/capture are no longer available to you. Their happiness decreases by 5 for each day that passes, increases by 3 by entering BC/WF, and can increase further by talking to the individual NPC, as tabulated below:

Action Happiness Change
Day Passes -5
Enter BC/WF +3
Battle the Trainer (BC only) +7
Talk to the Trainer (WF only) +10

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Recruiting Trainers

Once a Trainer leaves, they inhabit the player's Entralink. This is the portion of BC/WF that other people can see when they visit your game via the Entralink. When a new game is created, 3 Trainers are randomly chosen from the pool of 30 (there cannot be overlap with the 10 inhabitants already chosen), and automatically inhabit the Entralink. Only the Trainers that inhabit the Entralink are recruitable by other players. Therefore, when a new game is started, 3 Trainers are immediately available for recruitment by other players.

You can have a maximum of 10 unique Trainers in your Entralink available for recruitment. This essentially fixes the total number of NPCs in your game to a maximum of 20: 10 inhabitants (which affect what Pokémon/items are available to you; non-recruitable by other players), and 10 Entralink NPCs (which are recruitable by other players and have no influence on your game). Note that other NPCs may exist in these areas, but we only refer to those that are potentially recruitable, either immediately if in the Entralink or later on once they leave and enter the Entralink over time.

To recruit an NPC over to your BC/WF, you must enter the Entralink of your friend's game and travel to their BC/WF. By talking to the NPCs, they may ask to inhabit your BC/WF. Saying yes will remove the NPC from the other player's Entralink and will cause the NPC to become an inhabitant of your BC/WF. Because NPCs in the Entralink have no impact on a player's BC/WF functionality (i.e. what you can catch/buy), having them leave will not negatively impact your friend's game.

As more Trainers enter your BC/WF, the area itself will become more developed. In the case of BC, this means more items will be available for sale, more Trainers available to battle, and more buildings in the overworld. Similarly, the WF will have more trees and patches of grass/water for you to encounter more Pokémon. Note that when very few NPCs inhabit your WF, the patches of water may not appear.

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Recruitment Restrictions

If your Entralink is full (meaning you have had 7+ NPCs leave over time for a total of 10 in your Entralink), the Trainers in your BC/WF will not lose happiness. This means they are permanent residents until someone comes along and recruits from your Entralink, freeing up a spot for a new Trainer to leave. Once this occurs, their happiness will begin to drop again and they will eventually leave.

You cannot have two of the same Trainer in your game, which includes your BC/WF and your Entralink. That means if you currently have a Trainer inhabiting your game, or the Trainer has subsequently left and has not yet been recruited, you will not be able to re-recruit that Trainer from someone else's game.

You cannot recruit Trainers if your friend has the same game version. For example, Trainers can only be recruited to your WF from your friend's BC, and vice versa. Trainers cannot be recruited from another WF into your own, for example.

There is no direct way to move a Trainer from your Entralink back into your own BC/WF. You must have a second game recruit the Trainer from your Entralink, cause them to leave in the other game, then recruit them back into your original game.

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Obtaining the Desired NPC

Now that you have an understanding of the complexity of BC/WF, it is time to set up your games to receive your desired Trainer. We'll be using the example of recruiting a desired Trainer into WF.

Prerequisites for the process:

  • A copy of Pokémon White with the story beaten to have WF accessible.
  • A copy of Pokémon Black for Entralink.
  • 2 Nintendo DS's for Entralink. It does not matter which model you use.

The table in section How Trainers Are Selected" will provide you with sufficient information on which Pokémon will appear in WF and their corresponding Trainer. Once you decide on the Pokémon you desire, the first thing you should do is check to see if your WF already has the Trainer that you need. If lady luck is on your side and the Trainer you need is in your WF, congratulations! However, if you're anything like us, your WF either has no Trainers or does not contain the Trainer that you desire. This is where Pokémon Black comes into play.

A fair warning: this process will be a little bit time consuming and tedious.

  1. On one DS, have your character in Pokémon Black be in Nimbasa City with C-Gear on; do nothing else.
  2. On another DS, have your character in Pokémon White be in Nimbasa City with C-Gear on. On this DS, click on wireless and then click on Entralink.
  3. Once you are warped into the Entralink, head west towards the bridge with the portal and stay on that bridge until it says "Connected to [Trainer name]'s world!", as shown below. Now, pass through the portal and the game will transform you into another Trainer. Successful connection to Entralink
  4. Once you are in the other player's world, heads towards their Entree, as shown below. Entree
  5. Press A and pick "Accept A Mission" to do a mission. This will allow you to travel to BC, which you can access by clicking on the hexagon shown below where the red Trainer is. It is only required to accept a mission if you have never gone to the Entralink before. If you have, you can just warp to BC. Menu to accept a mission and map
  6. Now that you are in BC, walk around to see if the Trainer you want is there.
  7. If they are there, only click yes when they ask to go to WF if your WF is empty; if not, turn off both games, empty your WF by following "Forcing NPCs to Leave (2)", and then follow the steps above again to recruit them once your WF is empty.

If your desired Trainer is not there, this is where the tedious part will come into play. The good news is you will not have to replay Pokémon White again. However, you will have to begin a new save in Pokémon Black to receive a new set of Trainers to recruit and play up until Nimbasa City in order to follow the above steps and check for Trainers once again. If you are persistent and don't mind this too much, we recommend choosing Tepig as your starter for speed running towards Nimbasa City.

If you'd rather keep your Pokémon Black save file and restart Pokémon White, this process works in the other direction as well. However, your desired Trainer may leave by the time you can get to WF at the end of the game, meaning you may have to recruit your Trainer over to Pokémon Black, make them leave, then recruit them back into WF once you reach the end of the game.

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Forcing NPCs to Leave (1)

Follow these steps ONLY IF the Trainer you want is already in your WF and you only want them in it. This part will help you make the undesired Trainers leave while keeping the specific one that you want. This is helpful for limiting the Pokémon you can find to only your desired one.

  1. Talk to the desired Trainer to increase their happiness by 10. Only talk to them and not the Trainers you want to get rid of.
  2. Exit WF, stand outside the gate to WF on Route 14 or 15, then save.
  3. Exit the game and change the DS clock to 23:59.
  4. Enter the game again and wait until the time on the C-Gear goes from 23:59 to 00:02-00:05.
  5. Enter the gate, exit the gate back onto Route 14 or 15, then save.

Every Trainer's happiness should now decrease by 5, including your specific Trainer's. You will now repeat the steps above until all of the Trainers you don't want have a happiness of 0 and your desired Trainer remains. Of course, it will be hard to tell what happiness each Trainer is at, but to ensure that the Trainer you want does not leave, it is important to talk to them after every attempt at decreasing all of the Trainers' happiness. Keep in mind that this process may take a while before you start to see any Trainers leave WF. Once your Trainer is the only one that remains in WF, congratulations! Your WF now contains the Trainer that you want.

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Forcing NPCs to Leave (2)

Follow these steps ONLY IF you want to completely empty your WF. This is helpful when recruiting Trainers over from another game.

  1. Stand outside near the gate to WF on Route 14/15, then save.
  2. Exit the game, change the DS clock to 23:59.
  3. Enter the game again and wait until the time on the C-Gear goes from 23:59 to 00:02-00:05.
  4. Enter the gate, then exit the gate back onto Route 14/15, then save.
  5. After saving, check WF to see if Trainers are leaving. If n Trainers have left yet, reset the game and keep repeating steps 1-4 until all Trainers have left and WF is empty.

Once your WF is empty, you can head back to BC to recruit your desired Trainer. Once you have recruited your Trainer, congratulations! Your WF now contains the Trainer that you want.

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Changes in Black 2/White 2

The mechanics to BC and WF were largely simplified in the sequels. Both areas feature a battle facility in which you can battle through 10 levels to reach the top, winning item rewards such as Vitamins, Feathers, and EV-reducing Berries as you go. Both locations also have shops, which sell items once per day, to purchase evolution items. New items are unlocked as you progress through the battle facility. Finally, the complicated Trainer features of Pokémon Black and White were replaced with a key system that allows you to switch between BC and WF regardless of which game you have. The key to switch to the other area can be acquired from the opposite game via the Unova Link feature of the Black 2/White 2 games.

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We hope this guide sheds some light on the complicated process to build your Black City or White Forest by recruiting Trainers from the opposite game. Go out and enjoy these unique areas to the fullest!