Tips For Playing Pokémon Sun and Moon – Kotaku

 In Technology

Alola, fellow trainers. With many of you undergoing the island challenge today, I wanted to share some pointers on how to best make your way through an exciting new Pokémon adventure.

Pick whatever starter you want

Seriously, there’s no right choice. Rowlet, Litten and Popplio all make fine additions to a burgeoning squad, though they end up having different strengths by the time they reach their final evolution. Decidueye is more of a mixed attacker, Incineroar hits hard with a high attack stat, and Primarina has good special attack and defense, respectively. If those descriptions mean nothing to you, don’t worry about it. Just follow your heart.

If you’re looking to go against the grain, the misunderstood Popplio might be your best bet.

Be selective about what Pokémon you capture

There are hundreds of monsters for you to collect, and most of them won’t make the cut, long-term. At the start of the game it may be tempting to capture and use whatever you come across, but never settle for any creature you don’t actually like. You’re just going to replace it quickly, so don’t spend too much time leveling eh creatures just to get by.

Diversify your team

With elemental affinities, it’s important to make sure the team you select isn’t overwhelmingly weak to any given element. For tactical purposes, it might be worth checking out this online team planner, which can tell you about the elemental weaknesses your team needs to watch out for.

Use the right moves

The most powerful moves are the ones that align with a monster’s own typing. Known as a “STAB (same type attack bonus)“, it can grant you 50% more power on anything you dish out. (A fire Pokémon using a fire move is Very Good, for example.)

Now, don’t take this to mean you should only stock a monster up with the same move types. Some moves should also be reserved for taking care of a wider set of threats. The less you have to switch a Pokémon out to match the various types of enemies, the better—and having a Pokémon with a few different move types helps with that.

You should also use the right category of moves: if your Pokémon has a high special attack stat, you should use more special moves, and if they have a high attack stat, you should use physical moves. Stats can be observed by pressing X > Pokémon on the overworld.

Change your move order

Some moves are used more than others. Within a monster’s summary menu, you can tap and hold their individual moves and change the order around. I like to put my strongest moves first, for ease of use.

Switch effectively

Before sending a new monster out to battle, tap on their icon and check out their moveset. The game should tell you what moves are effective against your opponent. Don’t make the mistake of sending out a Pokémon to face an enemy when it only has a selection of “not very effective” moves.

Give Pokémon held items

You’ll collect dozens of items throughout your travels, many of which can be held by Pokémon to influence them in subtle ways. You should check out your inventory every so often to make sure your company is outfitted with the best stuff around. I like to equip my critters with stuff that will make moves more powerful, for example.

Catch multiple Pokémon of the same kind

Not all Pokémon are created equal…some are definitely better than others, even if they’re both literally the same Pokémon. If you have the patience, you should try catching multiple Pokémon of whatever you’ve set your eyes on. After you do, compare the stats, the natures and the abilities. Go with whichever has the better stats and the more beneficial nature.

Smogon and Bulbapedia are good resources for looking up natures and abilities suited for each monster. Smogon in particular is great reading for perusing the most effective loadouts for any given monster, and it even gives you some options depending on your preferred playstyle. (It will take some time for these websites to update with the latest competitive information.

Fiddle with your options

If you press X, and then right on your D-Pad, you should see the options menu. I set my text speed up to fast. You may be the type of person that doesn’t like watching battle animations—you can turn them off, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to blast through the game. Otherwise, the battle animations are a treat.


What use is it to become a master if you don’t look cute? Nearly every town in Sun and Moon comes equipped with shopping centers where you can buy new clothes and go to a barbershop. Some of the options can be pricey, but they’re worth it. Here’s what I look like.

Talk To Everyone

People in Sun and Moon are prone to shower you with gifts just for speaking to them, including actual Pokémon. You’ll also find that some NPCs will task you with quests. I found it helped to write these quests down, since the game doesn’t track them.

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