7 Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips

Nintendo’s Pokémon Sun and Moon video games debuted to tons of fan fair. Coming months after the successful launch of Pokémon GO, the games for the Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS were able to capture the imagination of millions. Many of the fans buying in are practiced hands of the series, playing every game since Red and Blue. Others are coming back to the series with fresh eyes. Regardless of who you are and how long it’s been since you last played a Pokémon game, chances are that a few Pokémon Sun and Moon tips could improve your experience greatly.

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These two games are very, very different from where the series started. Actually, they’re also a bit different from Pokémon X and Y. Some of the staples of the series are gone entirely, while other mechanics have come along to replace them. There are no Gyms, but you do go on Trials to gauge how powerful you and your Pokémon have become. The Daycare that once provided an easy and expensive way to level up some creatures now only serves as a source for eggs. There are Z-Crystals to collect for devastating attacks, and there is a new tool that makes it easier to catch some of the game’s rarest creatures.

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Read: Pokémon Sun and Moon Buying Guide

Here are some Pokémon Sun and Moon tips for gamers returning to the franchise for the first time in years or upgrading from the last main title in the series.

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Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: Train Hard and Train Often

This tip is definitely not exclusive to Pokémon Sun and Moon, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Early on, the games will give you a false confidence. Battling a few wild creatures will let you level up and continue exploring. Don’t take this as a sign that you can breeze through Alola entirely and not spend time in the wild training your creatures.

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You may be able to breeze through the first island in Alola without setting aside time for training and leveling up, but by the second island, you’ll wish you had. Get into the habit of periodically battling Trainers and wild Pokémon to make your team stronger.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: Get Ready for Trials

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As many speculated early on, the Alola region doesn’t have Gyms as we knew them from the previous games. That is to say, there’s no building that you go to fight Trainers and mark another milestone in your rise to be the best. Instead, Pokémon Sun and Moon have Trials.

Trials basically perform the same functions that Gyms do, but there’s no badge to earn. You definitely want to make sure that your diverse team of creatures are leveled-up and well equipped before a Trial. Be sure to head back to a Trial area to try to capture the Pokémon unique to that area.

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Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: Get and Equip Z-Crystals

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Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Z-Crystals can empower your creatures to unleash some devastating attacks. Be on the lookout for them at stores. Once you’ve got them and the Z-Ring, you’ll be able to dish out a ton of damage.

To get a Pokémon to use a Z-Move, the Z-Crystal in use has to match the type of move that they have.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: Pokémon Refresh

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In past games, we’ve mainly seen the relationship between Trainers and creatures manifest in nicknames and equipment. Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Pokémon Refresh feature lets you earn the Affection of those that are on your team. You do this, by basically taking care of them.

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Refresh includes options for feeding and grooming your Pokémon. Petting is also good for them, with some of them preferring one spot or another to maximize Affection.

Affection is important because you want your Pokémon to have every advantage in a battle that it can have. Affectionate Pokémon have a 20% XP bonus in battle. This makes them easier to level up. They’re also adept at evasiveness during a battle and dealing a critical hit.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: When Catching Pokémon in the Wild, Expect Partners

You’ve got to train your Pokémon in grassy areas, mesa and more. Just be sure to plan for any outcome when you do. Keep medicine on hand so that you don’t have to go all the way back to a PokeStop to continue your training sessions. Also, don’t assume that the battle is going to be easy with a Wild Pokémon. They can call on a partner to assist them.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: QR Scanner & Island Scanner

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Using the QR Scanner and Island Scanner for Sun and Moon, you can quickly find where rare Pokémon are hiding. You’ll only get to use the Island Scanner after entering ten QR codes. Island scans only last for an hour. QR Codes can be used to add information to a PokeDex to make creatures of that type easier to find.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Tips: Be Mindful of Your Type & Switch When Necessary

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This last Pokémon Sun and Moon tip isn’t necessarily exclusive to Pokémon Sun and Moon, but it’s important nonetheless. When you’re preparing for a battle, everything counts. That means equipping your creatures with the right items and getting them to the right level. It also means paying attention to the details that are right in front of you.

One core battle concept hasn’t changed since the first two games. You need the right type of Pokémon for your opponent. If your enemy is Water Type, a Fire Type won’t do. If your Pokémon is a Grass Type, fighting a Fire Type won’t end well. Remember that you don’t have to stick with your lead Pokémon in a battle, in most situations you can switch to a more effective creature that has the potential to deal more damage.

Good luck with Pokémon Sun and Moon.