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What You Should Do First In Pokemon Sun And Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon have finally been released, inviting Pokémon fans to the Alola region for a brand new, island-themed adventure. With a whole new land to explore and even more new creatures to befriend, you're going to want to know just where to start and what you should be doing to ensure an enjoyable stay. We've got a few suggestions for making the most out of the beginning of your adventure, so strap on your backpack and grab your stylish hat, because here are some of the things you should be doing on the introductory Melemele Island in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Play the demo and send your gifts to the main game

Even before you start the game, no matter which version you pick up, you should play the demo. If you were lucky or just plain proactive, you would have downloaded the demo and played it every day to trigger some of the events yielding gifts that could be sent to the game proper. According to this Reddit post, the demo gave you a chance to get an Ash-Greninja, a Star Piece, a Nugget, three Stardusts, ten Pretty Wings, a Balm Mushroom, and a Comet Shard. A lot of these items can be sold at PokéMarts for a good deal of money, giving you a little boost in the main game. The Greninja and the items can be picked up at the first Pokémon Center you can reach, accessible through a deliveryman. Just keep in mind that you won't be able to use the Greninja until much later, since it's sent over around level 36 or so.

Mess with the options, especially the text speed

This sounds like a no-brainer, but the very first thing you should do (especially if you're going to attempt the next two tips), is mess with the options and set the text speed to "Fast." There are quite a few cutscenes, especially early in the game, that bombard you with dialogue bubbles from characters like Lillie or Professor Kukui. We understand that the game wants you to learn how to play it properly, but some of us are going to be soft-resetting like crazy to get shiny starters or working with friends to get a set of all three starters, so cutting down on the time it takes for these characters to talk is important. Of course, it's always worthwhile to take all of the dialogue in, but you'll likely want to get straight to the meat of the game rather than slog through another introduction to the world of Pokémon. They're our friends, we work together to make ourselves stronger, yadda yadda—we get it.

Pick any starter Pokémon (or get all three with a buddy)

It might be difficult to do, but one of the very first choices you have to make is picking which starter Pokémon to claim as your first buddy on your adventure. They're all pretty cool (all though Popplio might have more detractors than most starter Pokémon), so just pick your favorite. Or if you're really ambitious, you can grab a friend and spend a few hours trying to get a set of all three starter Pokémon. This is where the Fast Text Speed comes in handy, since you'll have to restart the game a few times and play through 40 or so minutes of the introduction before you can access the Festival Plaza and trade with others. Here's the process in a few steps:


  1. Get both you and your friend to the point where you can access the Festival Plaza
  2. Trade your first starter to your friend (you'll both need at least two Pokémon in your party to trade).
  3. Restart your game and grab your second starter
  4. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until you both have the desired number of starter Pokémon

The whole process takes about 40 minutes, so you're going to have to be very invested in getting Litten, Rowlet, and Popplio on your team.

Alternatively, keep soft-resetting for a Shiny starter

If you're really ambitious, you can try to get shiny versions of Litten, Rowlet, and Popplio. All you have to do is play the intro up until the point that you're saved by Tapu Koko and can follow Lillie back to Iki Town to choose your starter Pokémon. Save your game right before you talk to Lillie and then slog through about three minutes of dialogue before you can choose between the three starters. Pick whatever Pokémon you please and wait until you get to the screen that allows you to give your new friend a nickname. It's on this screen that you can see whether or not you got a shiny version of your chosen Pokémon.

A shiny Litten will have white fur, a shiny Rowlet will be slightly green, and a shiny Popplio will be slightly more purple. If you don't get the desired shiny at that point, you can soft-reset by pressing the Left and Right shoulder buttons and Start, taking you back to the main menu and allowing you to load your game at the last save point. According to this video, there's a 1-in-4,000 chance for you to get a shiny starter, so we wish you the best of luck in this endeavor.

Grab Munchlax from the Mystery Gift feature

If you get either version of the game by Wednesday, January 11, 2017, you can receive a special Munchlax equipped with the Snorlium Z Crystal through the Mystery Gift feature. This tiny guy comes with the Happy Hour and Hold Back moves, which allow it to double your prize money in battles and leave a Pokémon at 1 HP in battle, making it easier to catch. According to the official Pokémon site, this Munchlax will come with the Snorlium Z item which will give it the Pulverizing Pancake Z-Move once it evolves into a Snorlax. We can't begin to tell you how useful this little guy can be when it comes to catching Pokémon and earning cold, hard cash in the game. And once you get the Normalium Z later on in the game, fun things can happen with Munchlax's Metronome. But more on that later...

Fill out your team ASAP and get the Exp. Share item

Whether or not you spent the time to get all three starter Pokémon, you'll have to fill out your party with six different creatures eventually. The sooner you can do it the better, especially since the introduction takes you to a Trainer School that features a battle with four students and a teacher. Right before you run amok through the campus, Professor Kukui and Lillie will talk to you out front and give you the Exp. Share item, which will dole out experience points to your whole party. This is why it's important to fill out your team at this point to get the most out of the Exp. Share.

With this nifty item, whatever Pokémon deals the last blow in battle will get 100% of the experience, while the rest of your party will get half. This is particularly useful with Pokémon like Abra, who only have Teleport as a move to begin with and only get more useful when they evolve. Getting Exp. Share this early in the game should help smooth out your training regimen for your dream team.

Work on the Festival Plaza

The Festival Plaza is an online suite that can let you hook up with other Trainers to do battle or trade. Leveling it up can also get you access to different items and ways for your Pokémon to get a little bit stronger. According to Serebii, you can level the Plaza up to 100 and unlock the ability to order the clothing of other players, get new stores, and even change the appearance of your castle. Different NPCs inside the castle and around the Plaza will even boost your Pokémon's stats or help you obtain useful items. It's also just a nice distraction from the main game, so consider it a vacation from your island vacation.

Get the Normalium-Z Crystal and pair it with a Pokemon that knows Metronome

Here's where that Munchlax (or any Pokémon you pick up with the move Metronome) comes in handy. After you complete the first trial in the Verdant Cavern, you'll be gifted with the Normalium Z Crystal. Give this to Munchlax and unlock its Z-power in battle by choosing Z-Metronome. Since Metronome gives you access to random moves, the Normalium Z will make it so that Munchlax (or whatever Metronome-equipped Pokémon you have) will perform the more powerful Z-version of that move. Check out this video from YouTuber ScarletKohaku to see just how crazy the randomness can get. You'll end up knocking out most Pokémon in one hit with this combo. Just keep in mind that you can only use a Z-Power once per battle, so make that flashy Z-Metronome worth it.

Rock Smash everything on Melemele Island with Tauros

Once you get access to your Tauros travel Pokémon, you'll want to go throughout the entire island to Rock Smash everything. This will get you into areas that hold valuable items and even stronger Pokémon, like in the Ten Carat Hill area near the Pokémon Research Lab. It might not seem like much, but clearing out the entire island of Melemele before you move on is important, especially if your aim is to fill out that Pokédex. Some Pokémon are only available in these areas, either in certain spots in tall grass or in SOS battles (encounters in which wild Pokémon can call in a friend for aid). Keep charging around and smashing into every rock you see to literally leave no stone unturned.

Raise your team's affection with Pokémon Refresh

Pokémon Refresh is akin to Pokémon Amie and lets you pet your Pokémon, feed them, clean them up, and even relieve them of status effects like paralysis or poison. It also allows you to grow closer to your Pokémon, raising their affection towards you the more you take care of them. While this might just seem like a cute, throwaway concept, raising your Pokémon's affection towards you has useful applications in battle. The closer you are to a Pokémon, the better they'll fight, even able to avoid attacks because of your bond. It might feel a little silly to keep petting these creatures with a stylus and feed them Pokébeans, but the boosts in battle are wholly worth the effort.