Naturally, you’ll want to assemble a team with a few powerful Pokémon (and then some!) to accompany you on your journey through the Paldea region. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to encounter and acquire Pokémon, so before long, you’ll have a trained-up squad that’s ready to battle!
Read on to learn about choosing your first partner Pokémon, catching wild Pokémon, Tera Raid Battles, and trading Pokémon. Also see this guide’s Finding Eggs section for the inside scoop on Pokémon Eggs!
Near the start of your adventure, you’ll have to make an important decision: Who will you choose as your first partner Pokémon? Will it be the Grass-type Sprigatito, the Fire-type Fuecoco, or the Water-type Quaxly? There’s no wrong answer, of course—whichever one you pick is sure to become a faithful friend. Just be sure to catch Pokémon of other types to build a well-rounded team capable of facing whatever challenges come your way.
The easiest way to add more Pokémon to your team is to catch wild Pokémon. As you travel through the region, you’ll see plenty of Pokémon roaming around the landscape. Unlike many previous Pokémon RPGs, there are no random Pokémon encounters in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. If you want to catch a wild Pokémon, you’ll have to approach it (or let it approach you!) to begin a battle. Keep an eye out for small groups of wild Pokémon that will occasionally form. Battling or catching the Pokémon in these groups is a great way to gather Pokémon materials—you’ll learn more about those in this guide’s How to Make TMs section—and train specific stats for your Pokémon. For example, here’s a tip that experienced Trainers should find useful: a group of six Bounsweet can yield six base points for your Pokémon’s HP!
In Paldea, you’ll be the one who hides in tall grass. You can gain an early advantage over a wild Pokémon by sneaking up behind it without being seen, then tossing the Poké Ball containing your party’s lead Pokémon. If the Poké Ball hits the wild Pokémon, a battle will begin! Attack the wild Pokémon to lower its HP. The closer it comes to being knocked out, the easier it will be to catch. Using moves that inflict status effects, such as paralysis or sleep, also increases your odds of success. Once you think you’ve weakened the wild Pokémon enough, throw a Poké Ball to try and catch it. If the Pokémon manages to break out of the Poké Ball—and some definitely will—you can keep trying until you succeed. Just make sure to carry lots of Poké Balls so you don’t run out!
Join forces with other Trainers to take on powerful Terastallized Pokémon in Tera Raid Battles. After forming a group with up to three other players, you’ll face off against a wild Tera Pokémon that you’ll have the opportunity to catch if you manage to defeat it within a time limit.
During a Tera Raid Battle, you’ll notice a yellow bar underneath the wild Tera Pokémon that slowly drains over time. Your goal is to defeat the Tera Pokémon before that meter is depleted. Note that Tera Raid Battles don’t use the standard turn-based format found in traditional Pokémon battles. Instead, you’ll select a move or a cheer, and once that action has been completed, you’ll be able to choose another. Meanwhile, your teammates and the wild Tera Pokémon will be seamlessly acting on their own—gone are the days of waiting for other Trainers to take their turn!
After three attacks, you’ll be able to Terastallize your own Pokémon, which can help turn the tables in a tough Tera Raid Battle. However, if your Pokémon is knocked out, its Terastallization will come undone and you’ll lose time on the meter. You’ll also be out of the battle for a little while before you’re able to send your Pokémon back into the fray. Success in Tera Raid Battles can come down to a matter of seconds, so be prepared for a challenge and make every moment count!
Not only is it fun to trade Pokémon with other Trainers, it’s also a great way to obtain some of the Paldea region’s more elusive Pokémon. After all, certain Pokémon can only be encountered in either Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet, so trading with friends is a great way to make progress in your Pokédex and round out your team. During a trade, however, note the level of the Pokémon you’re going to receive. If you haven’t defeated enough Gym Leaders throughout the region, your new Pokémon might not listen to you in battle. Should you find yourself with a partner who just won’t cooperate, try progressing further down the Victory Road storyline to earn more Gym Badges so that Pokémon of higher levels will be easier to catch and more likely to do what you ask.