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How do you get into Saffron City in fire red?

How do you get into Saffron City in fire red?

Getting into Saffron City is a key objective in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. As one of the largest cities in Kanto, Saffron City contains important locations like the Fighting Dojo, Silph Co. headquarters, and the city’s Pokémon Gym. However, Saffron City’s gates are initially blocked by a guard, making entering the city impossible early in the games. Using the right techniques and obtaining the right key items, players can gain access to Saffron City and continue their Pokémon journey.

Reason Saffron City is Initially Blocked

When players first travel along Route 5 or 6 to reach Saffron City, they find the city gates blocked by a guard. He explains that the gates to Saffron City are closed due to “trouble” inside the city and no one is allowed to enter or leave.

This trouble is related to Team Rocket taking over the Silph Co. building, the largest company in Kanto which produces items like the Master Ball. With Team Rocket using Silph Co. as their headquarters, they want to limit who can come in and out of Saffron City to help keep their operations secret. As a result, the city gates on Routes 5 and 6 are blocked by the guard so Team Rocket is not disturbed.

The guard refuses to let the player enter Saffron City when they first attempt to pass through the gates. This means players need to find an alternative way to get inside the city and continue their adventure.

Obtaining the Tea to Open Saffron City Gates

To gain access to Saffron City before defeating Team Rocket, players first need to obtain a drink called tea. This special tea can be purchased in Celadon City.

To buy the tea, players must:

  1. Travel to Celadon City either by cycling south from Lavender Town or going west from Saffron City
  2. Locate the small tea house in the southeast part of Celadon City – it’s located three houses to the left from the Pokémon Center
  3. Go inside the tea house and talk to the lady behind the counter
  4. Purchase a fresh bottle of tea for the price of 300 Pokedollars

This tea is the key item needed to get past the guard blocking the entrance to Saffron City. With the tea purchased, players now need to backtrack to the gates of Saffron City on Route 5 or 6.

Using the Tea to Enter Saffron City

After buying the tea in Celadon City, players need to return to the Saffron City gates and give the tea to the guard blocking the way. Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Return to the gates along Route 5 or 6 just south/east of Saffron City
  2. Talk to the guard and select “Yes” when he asks if you want to give him something
  3. Choose the Fresh Water, Soda Pop, or Lemonade in your bag to give to the guard
  4. After giving him the drink, the guard will become thirsty and leave his post to use the restroom
  5. With the guard gone, walk through the gates to finally enter Saffron City!

By giving the guard the drink from Celadon City, he becomes distracted and leaves his position blocking the gates. This gives players a chance to slip into Saffron City while he is away.

Why the Tea Distracts the Guard

You may be wondering why simply giving this guard a drink causes him to leave his post guarding Saffron City. There are a few possible reasons:

  • The tea makes the guard have to use the restroom, forcing him to leave his position temporarily
  • The guard gets parched standing outside all day, so the drink is a nice refreshment that distracts him
  • With the gates closed, the guard is bored and welcomes conversation with the player giving him the tea
  • After blocking outsiders for so long, the small kindness of receiving a drink disarms the guard

While the exact reason is not stated, the end result is the guard walks away after getting the tea. This leaves the gates unguarded and gives players a limited window to get inside the city.

Alternative Ways to Enter Saffron City

In addition to distracting the guard with tea, there are a couple other ways players can access Saffron City before defeating Team Rocket:

Teleport Move

If a Pokémon in the player’s party knows the move Teleport, they can teleport directly inside Saffron City’s Pokémon Center. This allows the player to skip the guard blockade entirely.

Fly HM

After obtaining the Fly HM midway through the game, players can fly directly into Saffron City if they had previously visited the Pokémon Center there. This is another way to bypass the guard and gates.

However, the tea method is likely the earliest option available for most players. It also avoids having to catch an Abra or defeat Gym Leaders to get Teleport or Fly.

Map of Key Locations

Here is a map highlighting the important locations to get into Saffron City using the tea from Celadon City:

Celadon City Tea House Purchase the tea to distract the guard
Saffron City Gates Give the tea to the guard blocking the gates
Saffron City Enter the city once the guard leaves his post

Defeating Team Rocket to Fully Open Saffron City

While using tea gives early access, Saffron City remains closed off in other ways until later in the game. Team Rocket still occupies Silph Co., so the city is not fully restored yet.

To open Saffron City and drive out Team Rocket:

  1. Infiltrate the Silph Co. building and defeat the Team Rocket members inside
  2. Make your way up to the top floor and defeat Giovanni to drive Team Rocket out of the building
  3. After Team Rocket flees, return outside and the Saffron City gates will now be permanently open
  4. The guard blocking the entrance will also be gone, allowing free passage into the city

Once players complete these events, Saffron City will be totally liberated. Important locations like the Gym also reopen once Team Rocket is gone. So while tea grants initial access, defeating Team Rocket fully restores Saffron City and unlocks everything there.


Getting into Saffron City in FireRed/LeafGreen requires some clever tactics early in the game. With the city gates blocked, players need to find alternative routes past the guard. The key is purchasing tea in Celadon City, giving it to the thirsty guard, and sneaking into Saffron City while he leaves his post. This grants access to Saffron City before obtaining abilities like Teleport or Fly. However, driving out Team Rocket is still required later on to fully restore Saffron City’s locations and unlock its potential. So use the tea trick for early entry, but prepare for an epic battle against Team Rocket to liberate the city entirely!