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Tips And Tricks In Pokemon Sun And Moon

By now, you're probably waist-deep in all the new features Pokémon Sun and Moon have to offer. The adventure across the Alola region's islands should be a welcome addition to the series, and promises to introduce trainers old and new to some fantastic beasts, colorful settings, and interesting people. In order to make sure your trip goes smoothly, we'd like to offer you a few tips and tricks to keep the Pokéball rolling, become the very best, and catch them all.

Learn the type chart

It seems like a no-brainer, but learning the type chart and finding out the strengths and weaknesses of each Pokémon type is as important as ever. You might be surprised to learn that some of your favorite Pokémon have had type changes, which could affect your team composition strategies if you're a competitive player. Thankfully, tools like this Pokémon Team Planner help you find out the strengths and weaknesses of your lineup. Another helpful tool that's built into the game is an indicator that tells you whether or not a particular move will be effective against a Pokémon, providing that you've already faced a Pokémon of that species before in battle. Still, it's helpful to have some rudimentary knowledge of the matchups.

Learn evolutions

Just as it's important to know how different Pokémon types match up against each other, it's also imperative that you find out how some Pokémon in Sun and Moon evolve. Besides getting them to reach a certain level, some Pokémon require other parameters to be met before they change their form. According to this article from Kotaku, the following Pokémon evolve in the following ways:


  • Rattata – Evolves into Alolan Raticate at level 20 at night

  • Pikachu – Evolves into Alolan Raichu with a Thunder Stone purchased on Akala Island

  • Meowth – Evolves into Alolan Persian with high happiness

  • Graveler – Evolves into Alolan Golem through trading

  • Cubone – Evolves into Alolan Marowak at level 28 at night

  • Exeggcute – Evolves into Alolan Exeggutor with a Leaf Stone purchased on Akala Island

  • Yungoos – Evolves into Gumshoos at level 20 during the day

  • Rockruff – Evolves into Lycanroc at level 20, with its form dependent on which version of the game you're playing

  • Type: Null – Evolves into Silvally with high happiness

  • Charjabug – Evolves into Vikavolt if leveled in Vast Poni Canyon

  • Crabrawler – Evolves into Crabominable if leveled on top of Mount Lanakina

  • Fomantis – Evolves into Lurantis at level 34 during the day

  • Sandshrew – Evolves into Alolan Sandslash with an Ice Stone obtained from Po Town in Ula'ula Island

  • Vulpix – Evolves into Alolan Ninetails with an Ice Stone obtained from Po Town in Ula'ula Island

  • Salandit – Evolves in Salazzle at level 33 if female

  • Stenee – Evolves into Tsareena if it knows the move "Stomp"

Toss Pyukumukus back into the sea for money

Need to make a quick buck while saving the lives of some hapless Water Pokémon? At one point in the game, you'll come across a beach with Pyukumukus spread out across the sand. A kindly old man will offer you 20,000 in cold, hard Poké cash to toss them back into the ocean. This might seem cruel, but it's really a kindness since, according to Polygon, the little guys are in danger of starving to death if they remain in the same spot on the beach. Earning that much money while saving these noble creatures is a fine way to spend your time and should make you feel the warm fuzzies while lining your pockets.

Collect Zygarde pieces

At one point in the game, you'll be given the Zygarde Cube, an item that allows you to collect Zygarde Cores and Cells to eventually create a legendary Pokémon known as a Zygarde. There are a total of 100 Zygarde elements to collect across the Alola region, so you're going to have to keep an eye out for shiny objects in the environment. Here's a handy guide from Serebii on how to collect Zygarde pieces and assemble them into different Pokémon.

Use the QR Scanner for Island Scans

Once you get past the introductory portion of the game, you'll get a new menu option called the QR Scanner. As you might have figured, this lets you scan QR codes, some of which help fill out your Pokédex. As per the in-game manual for the QR Scanner, you can only get one QR Code scan every two hours and can save up to 10 scans. Each scan can net you points, and for every 100 points you collect, you'll get a powerful Island Scan that searches every Alola island for a rare Pokémon. You'll only have an hour to find IT once you've activated an Island Scan, so you better hurry and hunt it down.

Talk to everyone

Talk to every single NPC you meet. We can't stress this enough. While most of them well only regurgitate the same messages and flavor text, others will offer you free items and even the chance to trade for some rare Pokémon. It's worth it to walk up to everyone in the game since you'll more than likely get something out of it. We're digging how generous everyone in the Alola Region is, giving us TMs, Pokémon to add to our teams, and even the occasional riding Pokémon or two.

Explore every corner

As you wander around the islands, you might notice objects that look like Pokéballs lying around. These are items and can take the form of things like Potions, items your Pokémon can hold, and even actual Pokéballs. We urge you to explore every nook and cranny since there are always hidden items waiting to be plucked, some of which are actually invisible. If you see a spot in tall grass that looks it might be conspicuous, chances are there's a hidden item waiting for you. Don't be afraid of large patches of long grass—there just might a little clearing at the other side that holds some treasure.

Catch as many Pokémon as you can

Pokémon Sun and Moon is something of a numbers game, especially to competitive Pokémon trainers. Because of this, you'll want to catch as many different Pokémon as you can in order to have a varied team. You'll even want to catch lots of the same kind of Pokémon, as their stats could be vastly different. For example, you might find that the second Makuhita you catch could have a different Nature from the first—and one more suitable for your battle needs. Always make sure you have options when it comes to building your team.

Pay attention to the screen to avoid Trainer battles

If you're more of a pacifist, or if you just want to get from Point A to Point B more quickly, you can always avoid battles. Trainers are scattered around the many different routes in the Alola region, and will always want to battle if you lock eyes. As you get closer to one of these battle-hungry Trainers, you'll notice that your screen will darken a bit and only leave a narrow portion clear in the middle. You might be afraid that you're sensing someone's murderous intent, but it just means that a Trainer nearby will battle you if you move into their vision. Thankfully, there's almost always an alternate route that allows you to avoid these fights, just in case you're in a hurry.

Locate Pokémon with the Pokédex

Speaking of locating Pokémon, the new Pokédex has a handy feature that helps you find the little guys. Once you catch a Pokémon, you'll be able to use your 'Dex to see just where it appears across all the islands, even down to specific patches of long grass. This is one of the most useful features in the game and is sure to be a huge help to anyone who wants to catch multiple Pokémon of the same species for breeding purpose or trade fodder.