Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a very different experience compared to the usual generational Pokémon games. The battles, exploration, and crafting mechanics shown in the trailers alone are enough to tell you this. Therefore, know that there are a number of things you need to keep in mind before starting the game.

Below are the important ones:

This is an action game

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While Pokémon encounters are still turn-based, this game is mostly an action game. Wild Pokémon can attack you mid- (and out-of-) battle. You need to dodge attacks. You need to aim Pokéball throws if you want to capture a Pokémon. You don’t have to be good at action games to finish it, but you should know it’s an important part of the experience.

Your starter’s final form is different

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Cyndaquil, Oshawott, and Rowlet may look the same, but the final Pokémon in their evolutionary lines have regional variants. If you’re not aware, this means that their types are different.

  • Hisuian Typhosion is a Fire/Ghost, as opposed to being pure Fire.
  • Hisuian Samurott is a Water/Dark, as opposed to being pure Water.
  • Hisuian Decidueye is a Grass/Fighting, as opposed to being Grass/Ghost.

Their stats are the same as the original but their strengths, type weaknesses, and move pools are completely different. Consider this carefully when choosing your starter Pokémon.

Pokémon evolve manually

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Even if the Pokémon only needs to meet a level requirement to evolve, they won’t unless you manually evolve them in the Pokémon menu. This means you can have a level 100 Rowlet if you want.

Related: How big is Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Moreover, certain Pokémon need special requirements to evolve. This can be something simple like using an evolution stone on it or something more complex like having the Pokémon use a move multiple times in a certain Style during encounters. Will the game tell you how to evolve them? No. But the satchel menu will show you an evolve prompt if you’ve met the requirement.

Pokéballs need to be crafted

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You can’t buy Pokéballs in this game—you need to craft them. Materials can be gathered in the overworld or given as mission rewards.

As such, use Pokéballs wisely. Carefully aim Pokéballs and always choose the right kind when capturing certain Pokémon. For example, don’t waste a regular Pokéball on something high-leveled. If you have a Heavy Ball with you, which is more effective for capturing Pokémon from behind, throw that.

Remember to enter every distortion crack you see

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Speaking of gathering resources for crafting, you need to craft many items in this game, such as evolution and healing items. Therefore, when the game gives you that pop-up that says a distortion is forming, search for it and enter it. You’ll find a ton of rare materials here (like evolution stones and shards). Rare Pokémon such as Porygon may also appear occasionally.

The Pokémon in the distortions are pretty powerful, especially in the early game, so be careful. Focus on material gathering in your first few entrances and your future self will thank you.

Prioritize expanding your bag

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Since this game will require you to gather a lot of materials, more space in your bag means that you’ll be able to hold onto more. As such, as soon as you can, talk to Bagin and have your bag expanded. You’ll find him on the first floor of the Galaxy Expedition Team’s headquarters in Jubilife Village.

Related: How to gather resources in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Money is pretty scarce in this game by the way, so if you need to save up for anything later on, it’s the bag expansion as well.

There are no EVs and IVs

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Unlike generational Pokémon games, there are no effort values (EVs) nor individual values (IVs) in Pokémon Legends: Arceus to determine stats. Instead, there’s something called effort levels (ELs), which can be raised for every stat. That’s right; you don’t need to choose two to focus on. As long as you have the resources, you can boost each stat’s EL up to ten.

You can complete the Pokédex without trade evolving Pokémon

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There are Pokémon such as Haunter that need to be traded to evolve. While this is still true in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the game has also provided those without a Nintendo Switch Online Membership a method to evolve these Pokémon. Use can use a Linking Cable, which you can buy in Jubilife Village for 1,000 Merit Points (MPs).

Different Pokémon spawn during the day and night

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If you’ve ever played Pokémon Snap, then you should be aware of this to a certain extent. Some Pokémon are only active during the day and vice versa. Sleeping at your Camp changes the time of day.

Pokémon size matters

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In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you’ll encounter Pokémon of different sizes. These aren’t for show. Bigger Pokémon, especially the so-called Alphas, will have more HP. Meanwhile, smaller Pokémon are more agile and will have higher Spd.

Faster Pokémon get more turns

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While it’s important for Pokémon to have the capacity to tank attacks, that doesn’t mean that Alpha Pokémon are always the best one of its kind. In Pokémon Legend: Arceus’ battle system, faster Pokémon get more turns. You can tell by looking at the number of times a certain Pokémon appears in the Action Order. Pokémon like Lucario and Sneasel are better caught small to maximize their battle capabilities.

You can’t breed Pokémon

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The game’s goal is to complete the first-ever Pokédex, not breed Pokémon for competitive battling. So you shouldn’t be surprised to know that you can’t breed Pokémon in this game. Besides, there’s little point—aside from differing natures and HP/Spd stats, every Pokémon species in the overworld are nearly equal in strength.

For more help with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, we at Pro Game Guides have you covered.