Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a radically different game from the rest of the mainline series. While the turn-based battles and catch-’em-all-a-thon are still present, Arceus features numerous changes to the familiar formula. The most significant departure is in the game’s difficulty. It’s not an insurmountably challenging title, but for Pokemon standards, it’s pretty tough.
Whether you’re having a tough time or are just about to get started, we’ve collected the top 15 Pokemon Legends: Arceus tips and tricks to help you on your adventures through Hisui.
Don’t Be Afraid to Run Away
For the first time in the series, Legends Arceus makes player characters vulnerable, meaning you can be attacked and blacked out by wild Pokemon. It can happen both inside and outside of battle. What’s more, even though you can divert their attention by tossing out your Pokemon partners, you can quickly become overwhelmed if you attract the attention of more than one enemy.
As a rule of thumb, when encountering a challenging situation, be it a group of Pokemon or a much more powerful one, don’t be afraid to high-tail it and live to fight another day. Getting knocked out means a lot of your stuff will be dropped from your inventory, so it’s best to run than risk your hard-earned items.
A Bit of Jolly Cooperation
While not a multiplayer game in the biblical sense, Legends Arceus does feature some online mechanics. Taking a page out of the Dark Souls book, as we mentioned above, you drop a portion of your items when you black out. These remain in the world, and if you’re connected to the internet, they can be retrieved by other players. Collected items are sent back to you while the good samaritan receives Merit Points to be traded for other goodies.
Keeping yourself online doesn’t just help yourself but also others, leading to a cycle of reciprocation that adds a layer of social gaming to Arceus. So, keep your wifi on and join the fun.
Don’t Tunnel Vision on one Pokemon
The core of Arceus’s game loop is about filling out the very first Pokedex, meaning you’ve got a lot of catching to do. As each Pokemon needs a fair few times to be caught, it’s easy to look at their Research Tasks like a sort of to-do list. Don’t let that happen to you.
Instead of focusing on completing one Pokemon at a time, work your way through your missions and requests. As you go along, you’ll stumble on many different kinds of Pokemon. Most of your activities will fill out the most tedious tasks, leaving you to pick off the more nuanced ones later.
Always Be Gathering
Items are essential in Legends Arceus. The fact that the game has crafting makes gathering resources all the more crucial. On top of that, you’ll be using items a fair bit, especially during tough battles. Therefore, it’s essential never to stop gathering.
As you wander around Hisui, you’ll find trees, mining spots, and herbs. Make sure you collect everything in sight as you go. You’ll be glad you kept your satchel full when you’re preparing for the next boss battle.
Make Use of Space-Time Distortion Fields
A few hours into the game, a new phenomenon will pop up in certain places on the map. These are Space-Time Distortion Fields, and they’re the perfect place to level up your Pokemon.
Even though your partners will all receive experience from your battles, you’ll likely need to catch up a few of them, especially when you need a specific type for a boss battle or area. The Distortion Fields contain a lot of Alpha Pokemon, meaning it’s a perfect place to grind a few levels.
Enable Gyro Assist Aiming
The aiming controls in Arceus are pretty good, but if you’re not a fan of stick targeting, then you’ll want to enable gyro assist. Turning this option on allows you to use motion controls to aim your Pokeballs. Apart from being more accurate, it feels more natural. At first, you may find it hard to aim, but once you’re used to moving your Switch or controller around, you’ll discover a whole new way of aiming, and you’ll never go back to using the right stick.
You’ll notice that in Legends Arceus, Pokeballs are classified by weight. This categorization isn’t just for the Pokemon they are specialized at catching. It also alludes to the weight of the balls themselves. For instance, you’ll find that Heavy balls will fall significantly closer to you compared to when you toss out regular ones. Likewise, Featherweight balls will fly a lot farther. Be aware of this and adjust your aim to avoid wasting precious resources.
With all the gathering you do in Legends Arceus, your storage will eventually fill up with tons of duplicates of the same Pokemon. At first, the game only allows you to release one at a time, but once you’re out of capacity, you can talk to the lady there, and she’ll give you the ability to mass release them. Doing so will also grant you some bonuses, so perform this action often.
Upgrade Pokemon Stats
Arceus does away with all the hidden and complex IVs and EVs. In their place, there are Effort Levels, visible stats that affect each of your Pokemon’s attributes. Using Grit items can level each stat up by 10, though collecting them can be slow. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to start upgrading your core Pokemon team with this system, as later battles are relatively challenging.
Fast Travel is Available from the Start
Contrary to what Legends Arceus would have you believe, fast travel isn’t locked up until the point it mentions its existence. Quite the contrary, you can select a fast travel destination right from the beginning, so if you’re still getting your feet wet in the game, know that you don’t have to wait to use this time-saver.
Completing the Pokedex is the ultimate goal of Legends Arceus. Eventually, doing so yields its own sweet rewards, particularly when you max out each Pokemon’s page. Going beyond that to fill out every single entry leads to even greater rewards, including the coveted Grit items. As we mentioned earlier in this guide, it’s not advisable to tunnel vision on one Pokemon at a time. But once you’re close to completing a page, it’s worth prioritizing those last few entries.
Shinies Stay on the Map
One of Arceus’s most welcome changes is in the way Shinies work. Once one appears on the map, it’ll remain there forever. This makes hunting for Shiny Pokemon far more accessible and more rewarding. As an extra tip, completing a specific Pokemon’s page increases the chances of a Shiny version appearing.
Use Berries Often
Berries have a lot more utility in Legends Arceus than in other entries. One of the most important uses is luring Pokemon to a specific location. As you advance through the game, you’ll discover that more and more Pokemon spawn in tighter proximity to each other. This means you’ll have to face more than one in battle potentially. Use Berries to peel one off the crowd and fight it on equal terms. Likewise, you can also use Berries during battle to temporarily heal your partners and boost their stats.
Use Same Type Moves
The Same Type Attack Bonus – or STAB – is a crucial mechanic of combat you need to be aware of in Pokemon Legends Arceus. This means that Pokemon will have 50% more effectiveness when using moves of the same type as they are. For instance, if Pikachu uses an electric-based attack as an Electric Pokemon, it will deal extra damage with said attack. It incentivizes you to maintain at least one same attack type for each of your partners.
How to Use Styles
A notable change in Legends Arceus is the introduction of combat styles. Once a Pokemon masters a move, it can use two variants of it, a Strong one and an Agile one. The Strong variant makes the attack more impactful at the potential cost of missing a turn. On the other hand, Agile allows you to take an extra turn for a follow-up. Understanding when to use these is crucial to mastering the game’s combat. Strong attacks are best used when you are striking with a super-effective move, or you know you can finish off your opponent. Agile attacks are best used when you want to follow up with an item or use a Pokeball.