Pokemon Sun/Moon are now out, and they are massive games. Unlike Pokemon X/Y, which took several steps back in terms of the content that they offered to the player, Sun/Moon go overboard with the sheer amount of things available for the player to do, both, during the story of the game, and beyond, in the post game.
There’s simply so much to do in Pokemon Sun/Moon that trying to keep track of it all can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in- from EV training to Hyper Training, from breeding to transferring your older Pokemon into the game, from a description of all new abilities and all new items to a guide to using QR codes, from the locations of all Legendary Pokemon the game to the location of all Zygarde cells, we cover everything.
So let’s get started, without further ado. Want help with the single player campaign of the story? Don’t worry about it, and just check out our walkthrough for the game here! Also if you have any questions about the game, ask away in the comments section below the article.
Pokemon Sun/Moon have removed Super Training and Horde Battles, which were both the preferred methods to EV Train in Pokemon X/Y and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire. Instead, this time around, players must use new methods to EV train.
But first- what is EV training? EV training is what determines the stat growth of your Pokemon. You see, every Pokemon that you encounter in the wild gives you Effort Value (or EV) points towards one of your six stats- HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Receiving four points towards anyone of these stats leads to an additional +1 in that stat. Any Pokemon can receive a total of 510 points, and any one stat can receive a total of 252 EV points. This means that by leveraging this mechanic, you can technically create Pokemon with dedicated roles on your team- you can have a Wall that specializes in high HP and defense, a sweeper with high Attack, a Tank with high HP and Attack, you can have a Pokemon with high Attack and Speed that always hits first, and so on.
One way to do this is to simply fight the Pokemon that yield the EVs you want- you can find a list of what Pokemon yield what EV in Alola on Serebii. However, this method can take long, so we’re here to help you quicken things up. Keep the following in mind:
Take advantage of SOS battles- SOS battles can mean that you can fight chains of Pokemon that all yield the same, or similar EVs, meaning you don’t have to go about hunting for the same wild Pokemon over and over again. Not only this, but Pokemon called upon in an SOS battle yield double EVs– so SOS battles can be a very fast way of EV training. Use Adrenaline Orbs to induce SOS battles. Below is a list of the ideal routes that you can go train your Pokemon in for specific EVs:
HP: Maile City (Grimer)
Attack: Route 1 (Yungoose during the day, Spinarak during the night)
Defense: Route 12 (Geodude)
Special Attack: Hau’oli Cemetary (Gastly, only at night)
Special Defense: Route 2 (Drowzee)
Speed: Seaward Cave (Zubat)
Use items to speed things up- you can give your Pokemon the Macho Brace, which doubles the EVs that it gets. You can also use supplements to give your Pokemon certain EVs:
HP Up: Adds 10 HP EVs
Protien: Adds 10 Attack EVs
Iron: Adds 10 Defense EVs
Calcium: Adds 10 Special Attack EVs
Zinc: Adds 10 Special Defense EVs
Carbos: Adds 10 Speed EVs
In addition to the following items that you can use to gain specific EVs in each battle on top of the ones you would already get from that battle. All of these can be found in the Battle Tree for Battle Points:
Power Anklet: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s Speed stat to grow
Power Band: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s Sp. Def to grow
Power Belt: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s Defense to grow
Power Bracer: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s Attack to grow
Power Lens: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s Sp. Attack to grow
Power Weight: Reduces Speed but allows holder’s HP to grow
Try to get the Pokerus- the Pokerus is a unique virus that doubles the EVs you get from any battle. In theory, with the Pokerus, Macho Brace, and an SOS battle, you could end up maxing out any specific EV for a Pokemon in a single battle, with just a dozen or so Pokemon defeated.
But if all of that sounds like a whole lot busywork? Well, there is still a way for you to do this all in a more hands off way. While Super Training is gone, there are other ways to control EV growth for casual players too:
Develop the Isle Evelup in your Poke Pelago. This lets you pick six Pokemon stored in your PC that get EV trained. Without Poke Beans put out, maxing out EVs take 31 hours and 30 minutes- putting Poke Beans out halves that time.
Use the Bouncy House in Poke Plaza to level up your Pokemon’s EVs. You can develop six courses within it, one dedicated to each stat. You need to level up the Festival Plaza to add more courses to the Bouncy House and make it more effective, and you can only use it once a day.
You can keep track of your Pokemon’s EV growth by checking the graph on the top screen when you open up the Pokemon’s Status Screen.
IVs, BREEDING, AND HYPER TRAINING
Breeding in Pokemon games can often be instrumental to get the perfect Pokemon- the Pokemon you have can have poorer ‘genes’ (IVs) so to speak, that limit its effectiveness in battle, or it can have natures or abilities that hinder it in battle, or just not have access to the right moves. That’s where breeding comes in.
You can put two Pokemon, a male and a female, in the Nursery, and they will produce an egg. The two Pokemon can be of different species, but they must be of the same egg group.
The female Pokemon will always pass down its species
The male Pokemon passes down its attacks
If you use Ditto, you can use a Pokemon of any gender to breed, and the non Ditto Pokemon substitutes for the female in the above two rules
If you want a parent to pass down its nature to the baby, have that parent hold an Everstone
If you want a parent to pass down its IVs, have it hold the Destiny Knot (found at the Battle Tree for 48BP)
If you don’t want to get into the breeding business, you can also ‘improve’ your Pokemon’s IVs using Hyper Training. Hyper Training is found in the Mall in Hau’oli City, which will let you improve either one specific IV for any of your Pokemon, or all of them, by asking for Bottle Caps as payment.
TRANSFERRING OLDER POKEMON INTO POKEMON SUN/MOON
Pokemon Sun/Moon are fully backwards compatible with Pokemon X/Y, Pokemon OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire, and even the Virtual Console releases of Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow. This means that any Pokemon you caught in those games can be transferred over into Sun/Moon. To do this, you must download the Pokemon Bank and Poke Transfer apps on the Nintendo 3DS. Do note that the functionality that lets you bring over older Pokemon into Sun/Moon will not be available until January 2017.
Download Pokemon Bank from the Nintendo eShop. Pokemon Bank is a free app, so you must have a Nintendo ID to download it.
Poke Transfer can be downloaded from within the main menu of Pokemon Bank.
Boot up Pokemon Bank. If you have a physical copy of X/Y or OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire, make sure that they are in the 3DS’s cartridge slot.
When Bank asks what game you want to use, make sure to select the game that you want to transfer Pokemon over from.
You can now access all Pokemon in that game’s PC Storage System- transfer them over to Bank, and save and exit.
Sign back into Bank, and select Pokemon Sun or Moon this time when it asks you which game you want to use (make sure the Sun or Moon cartridge is in your 3DS before this step).
Transfer the Pokemon from the Pokemon Bank boxes to your PC Storage System in Sun and Moon.
That’s it! Do note that Pokemon transferred over to Sun/Mooncannot be transferred back to X/Y or OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire. Also note that only the Pokemon in your PC Storage System can be transferred- so make sure they are not in your party in X/Y or OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire!
If you want to transfer the Pokemon over from Red/Blue/Yellow, the steps differ a bit:
Boot up Poke Transfer. Select the appropriate game (Red, Blue, or Yellow) on startup.
Transfer Pokemon from the first box of the game to Poke Transfer, which will put them in a Transfer Box in Pokemon Bank.
Save and Exit Poke Transfer, and boot up Pokemon Bank. Move the Pokemon from the Transfer Box into either a box in Pokemon Bank (from where you can transfer them into Sun/Moon later) or into Sun/Moon directly (presuming you selected those games upon Bank’s startup).
Boot up Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow, and transfer the next 20 Pokemon you want to move to Box 1 in the games.
Save and exit, and repeat the steps until all Pokemon are transferred.
Once again, do note that these Pokemon cannot be returned to Red/Blue/Yellow! Also remember that only Pokemon in the PC Storage System can be transferred over, so make sure they are not in your party.
Abilities are passive skills that Pokemon have- some that can take effect in battle, some that take effect in the overworld, and some that have entirely different effects based on the situation. The video below will walk you through a description of all the new Abilities that Sun/Moon introduce:
Pokemon Sun/Moon add about 80 or so new Pokemon to the roster of Pokemon, bringing the total up to over 800. Want to familarize yourself with all the new Pokemon? Go nuts. The videos below will help you out with that, as well as with all the Alolan forms of the older Pokemon:
Understanding the new Pokemon is all well and good, but unless you are familiar with all the new moves that these games bring to the table, you’re going to find yourself thoroughly outclassed in battles. The video below should help you get familiar with the new moves.
Z CRYSTAL LOCATIONS
Z-Moves are the big new addition in Pokemon Sun/Moon, devastating type based finisher moves that can entirely change the tide of battle. To use Z-Moves, your Pokemon must have the appropriate Z-Crystal equipped. There is one Z-Crystal for each of the Pokemon types, as well as several species, such as Pikachu and Eevee, that get Z-Crystals all to themselves. The video below should help track down all the Z-Crystals in the game:
Pokemon Sun/Moon feature, like previous games in the series, a lot of loot for you to hunt down. There’s an insane amount of items, some rare and others reasonably easier to find, that can be used to your advantage. Trying to find new items can be very difficult if you don’t even know that they exist- thankfully, the video below helps out with that:
RARE AND LEGENDARY POKEMON
Unlike Pokemon X/Y, which were a total disappointment in this regard, Pokemon Sun/Moon feature a lot of Legendary Pokemon you can go hunting for. The video below shows you where to find them all. Before we get to that, however, here are some tips for you:
This goes without saying, but always save before initiating an encounter with a Legendary Pokemon
If you knock a Legendary Pokemon out, all hope is not lost! You can go beat the Elite 4, and the Pokemon should respawn in its original location again
Carry lots and lots of Pokeballs. The best Pokeballs to use are Ultra Balls, which are the strongest ‘regular’ Pokeballs in the game, Timer Balls, which become more and more effective the longer a Pokemon battle goes (and Pokemon battles with legendaries will probably go on for very long), and Dusk Balls, which become more powerful if you use them at night, or in a dungeon, and become twice as powerful if you use them at night inside a dungeon
Speaking of which, it is probably best advised for you to initiate encounters with Legendary Pokemon at night
Always carry a Pokemon that knows the move False Swipe, and another that knows Stun Spore or Thunder Wave- False Swipe will leave the opposing Pokemon at 1HP, and Stun Spore or Thunder Wave will paralyze it. A Pokemon with 1HP and paralysis is a lot easier to catch than it would be otherwise
Now, here’s where you can find these Legendary Pokemon:
Pokemon Sun/Moon have QR Code functionality, which can be used to get Rental Pokemon teams for battle facilities or unranked online battles, or to add Pokemon that you have not encountered as ‘Seen’ to your Pokedex, making it easier to track them down.
To scan a QR Code, select the option from the game’s main menu, pulled up by Pressing X
You can scan one QR Code every hour, and up to ten per day
Scanning 10 QR Codes in a day unlocks rare Pokemon for you in the wild- such as Cyndaquil, Chikorita, and Totodile, the Johto starters. The video below shows you where to find them:
ZYGARDE CELLS AND CORES LOCATIONS
One of the quests you get in Pokemon Sun/Moon is to hunt down Zygarde, which has broken down into its constituent cells and cores, all of which must be collected. Depending on how many Cells and Cores you have, you get a different form of Zygarde in your party- collecting all of them is definitely to your benefit.
The video below shows you where to find all Zygarde Cells and Cores. Remember, the game does not offer any way for you to track which ones you have already got, so you might have to repeat some of these places: