Getting Started: 10 Quick Tips for playing Pokémon Legends Arceus

Posted at: 5:11pm on 1st September 2021

As it is now the 28th January here at Pokécharms Towers it’s now also officially Pokémon Legends Arceus’ launch day! We’ve had the good fortune to get a couple days head start on the game and can report already that it is an absolute stand-out adventure we’ll all be talking about for years to come. We’ll have much more in our full official review for you later on today but for now we’ve collected some general (and, as much as possible, spoiler-free) tips & advice for getting started with this *very* different Pokémon game.

1. Try to catch and battle everything you see

  • Defeating a Pokémon in battle or seeing it use specific moves can all contribute to its research level in the PokéDex so interacting in one way or another with pretty much every Pokémon you see has an overall positive benefit.
  • The catch rate mechanics in Legends Arceus are very different to previous games. Even if you have to start a battle, you might not need to weaken the Pokémon to catch it, so you could risk throwing a Poké Ball on your first turn and avoiding a bigger fight if possible.

2. Don’t obsess over your Research Tasks

  • The Research Tasks are designed to be completed mostly just by playing the game and interacting with the Pokémon you find and catch. You cannot complete the PokéDex until after the credits either way, so until then just focus on catching and battling as many Pokémon as you can.

3. Swap your Pokémon out often

  • Some Pokémon’s research tasks, as well as their evolutions, will realistically require you to actually raise and battle with them yourself – including the starters and legendary Pokémon – so it’s helpful to swap as many Pokémon into your team on a regular basis as you can.
  • All of your on-hand Pokémon will gain EXP from battles, so weaker Pokémon will level up quite quickly, and EXP Candy can both be reliably obtained by defeating or catching Alpha Pokémon and eventually purchased from a vendor in Jubilife City, so bringing new Pokémon up to the rest of your team’s levels can be quite quick and simple.

4. Keep an eye out and pick up any bags dropped by other adventurers

  • Under the Network settings in the main menu you’ll find an option for ‘Lost and Found’. This will eventually fill up with the dropped satchels of other adventurers. If you connect online, this feature will include the bags of other players who have been defeated out in the wilds of Hisui, as well as your own bags of lost items if you, yourself, fall in battle.
  • Finding other players’ bags will gain you some Merit Points and if its another player’s they’ll actually get some of their lost items back (or vice-versa if someone finds yours). Merit Points can be cashed in at the Trading Outpost for some incredibly rare evolution items so make sure you pick any dropped satchels up when you see them on the map!

5. You can never have enough Poké Ball material

  • Whenever you’re out on expedition, make sure you always harvest any Tumblestones, Apricorns and Iron Chunks you see – even if you have to go a little out of your way for it. Running out of Poké Balls when you find a rare Pokémon or a strong Alpha you want could be heart breaking so always make sure you can craft what you need as much as possible!

6. If you find a Shiny Pokémon: SAVE!

  • Shiny Pokémon will appear on screen with a sparkling visual and sound effect, so even the most subtly different shiny Pokémon should still be very obvious. As soon as you see this, save immediately! If you defeat or chase away the shiny Pokémon without being able to catch it, you’ll be able to quickly reload the save and try again. Autosave will only kick in if you do catch it so you don’t need to worry about turning that off.

7. Prioritise expanding your storage early on

  • The most common problem you’ll face out in the wild is not having enough space in your satchel for the items you’ll pick up. Mitigate this as much as possible by focusing on spending the money you earn on expanding your storage slots. The cost of these slots starts off relatively cheap but eventually will require some saving up, so pay off what you can early on until you get as comfortable as possible when following the next tip:

8. Only carry what you absolutely *need* whilst adventuring

  • Although you can craft items any time by using your key item crafting kit, the crafting spot at camps and in Jubilife City can access your storage as well as items on hand, so don’t waste pocket space carrying around items you’ll only need for crafting.
  • Focus on only carrying the following kinds of items and regularly returning to a camp to drop off anything else you pick up:
    • Poké balls and items to craft them: Tumblestones, Apricorns and Iron Chunks
    • Medicines and medicinal items, such as leeks to craft them with. Focus primarily on potions and revives – any statuses you acquire in fights will reset themselves after battle.
    • Berries, foods other distracting items: Anything you can toss to draw a Pokémon’s attention to a specific spot, hide yourself or to interrupt them when they’ve spotted you.

9. Starter and Legendary choices

  • At two points of the game you’ll have to make a choice: which starter Pokémon do you want as your first partner, and, effectively, a choice between Dialga and Palkia. Don’t sweat these choices too much: no matter what, you will eventually be able to get all three starter Pokémon and both legendary Pokémon.
  • When choosing between Dialga and Palkia, you may wish to choose the opposite of the one that is your favourite as there are some small differences in the ways you’ll eventually obtain the one you didn’t choose that you may prefer for your favourite.

10. One final late-game tip

  • After defeating the final Noble Pokémon, don’t report to Commander Kamado until you’ve completed any requests or done anything else you want to do such as stocking up on certain items, catching or training certain Pokémon or any trades you want to do with friends. Once you do, you’ll be limited in what you can do for all of the above until you return to Jubilife City after the credits, which could be a few hours at least!

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