New Pokémon Snap: Explore The Pokémon World

Are you super excited about the ‘New Pokémon Snap’ to the Nintendo Switch? Well, the game brings one of the most unusual experiences to game lovers, i.e., observing the Pokémon world with utmost reality, taking their snaps without catching them, and observing how they live in their habitat. The Pokémon world is encapsulated in the best possible way within Nintendo’s Switch capabilities. The quality graphics of islands with changeable surroundings, the ambiance of forests and beaches, and the ways various Pokémon live together make the fans eager to explore the game.

What Pokémon Snap Is All About?

As the name indicates, the Pokémon snap is about observing Pokémon in their natural habitat and capturing their photographs. The players will be evaluated based on the quality of the pictures they take. Better ratings will be given to the pictures which are difficult to capture. For example, capturing the Pokémon walking will receive one point, whereas the player who successfully takes a picture while the Pokémon is eating can receive 2 points. Likewise, taking a picture while Pokémon is playing or dancing will result in 3 or 4 points, respectively.

The game is specifically designed to explore the Pokémon world. The previous Pokémon Snap version, launched in 1999, charmed the players in the Nintendo 64 era. But the new game is designed to use the best of Nintendo’s switch capabilities. You will explore the unseen behaviors of Pokémon in the Lental region, meet Professor Mirror, and work together to explore the Illumina phenomenon. The photographs you will take, and environmental observation will aid in revealing strange occurrences within the region. Players also have the option to create their Photodex with the help of the photographs they take.

Saving, editing, and sharing photos are now integrated into the game. Previously, it wasn’t easy to save the images taken within the games to your photo gallery. Still, the new Pokémon Snap has encapsulated all the elements of photography within the game. Like any other photographic tool, the users now have the option to capture high-definition pictures and adjust their brightness, zoom, and blur the desired elements. The users can add filters, stickers, and different kinds of frames to beautify the pictures further.

Interactivity

Limited games allow the players to look at how other users are playing. The new Pokémon snap to the Nintendo switches also allows players to improvise their pictures, looking at how everyone else is taking them. It provides an idea about what angles are better for taking a photograph, the combination of light and brightness, and the other aspects of photography. Overall, the game has made fans eager to explore new functions. The fans are enthusiastic about exploring the Pokémon, patrolling the territories, and capturing their unseen reactions. They are impatient to see and take photographs of Pikachu, Squirtle, Sobble, Scorbunny, and various other Pokémon. Users can play musical instruments, make them dance, and capture better photographs.

Key Statistics About The Game

The game is expected to release at the end of April 2021. Only one player can play at a time. It is a simulation, and the expected file size is 6.8GB. Pokémon Snap can be played on TV, in tabletop Mode, and handheld modes. The supporting languages of the game are French, German, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Italian. Bandai Namco Studios originally developed the game, and is expected to entertain fun lovers very soon.

Who is making pokemon snap

New Pokémon Snap is currently in development by Bandai Namco Studios Inc., the company behind the Wii port of Super Smash Bros. What’s more. The publisher claims this new game is being developed exclusively for Nintendo’s new console.

What New Features Will It Have?

Many differences in the new Pokémon Snap have become staples of the series. These include taking photographs of Pokémon and earning points, being able to choose your Pokémon’s pose before you take a picture, having an island challenge where you have to take pictures of as many Pokémon as possible, and having an encyclopedia of Pokémon. In addition, there are some fun new twists as well. These features include Poké Balls that can be thrown at Pokémon from a distance and first-person Mode when taking pictures with the camera close-up with Rita. Putting these concepts together leads to some interesting gameplay scenarios.

How to Buy Pokémon Snap

Pre-orders for the new Pokémon Snap are now available on the Nintendo eShop and retail locations.

The game is now available for pre-order at stores such as Amazon.

Nintendo’s New Pokémon Snap Has Finally Arrived 

After 22 years, a new and improved Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo Switch has finally arrived. The new Pokémon Snap is a dream come true for those who enjoy exploring worlds. From forests to deserts and everything in between, players can spend hours searching for the ultimate photos of 200 different Pokémon. 

Much like a National Geographic photographer moving through the outback of Australia, a player can explore the habitats of various mons, searching for the perfect opportunity to take a photo. 

The goal is to explore and find Pokémon in their home environments, hoping to snap a picture of them in their natural habitats. While some aspects of this updated game are similar to the original version, it’s an entirely new experience with additional habitats and 200 Pokémon to find within the game. It can feel like you are being transported into a world full of Pokémon, more so than in any other entry in the franchise. 

A New World to Explore

Like the original adaptation, this one has the player assisting in exploring these environments and the classification of Pokémon. In the newest version, though, the player is helping Professor Mirror and his assistant Rita. The goal is to discover how and why Pokeman can glow and how this affects their behavior. 

The professor will help rate your photos while Rita teaches you about the islands you explore and the Pokémon. Players can save their favorite photos and enhance them using filters or changing the lighting exposure. There are also several in-game tasks to complete to level up, opening up further opportunities to see mons with new behaviors.

New Pokémon present as the player moves through the various environments in the trusted exploration pod NEO-ONE. A player can throw fluff fruit to entice a mon out from hiding or to feed them, providing an opportunity to take photographs. Players can also toss a glowing orb in the mons vicinity, making the mom glow and pose. 

Players can also convince the mons to dance by playing a melody, creating even more photogenic sequences. Exploring at night also allows for more opportunities to find other Pokémon and to change the lighting for more photo options.

Professor Mirrors will rate each photo on a scale of 1-4, with a 4 being more action sequence photographs such as playing with other mons or dancing.  As players explore the region of Lental, as this world is called, you can work on quests and complete tasks assigned by the professor and Rita. 

As more tasks are completed, new options and Pokémon become available. The mons become even more accustomed to you and allow you to approach closer, allowing for even better camera action.

When saving photographs to your album, you can add personal touches and do some editing. Players can re-center their photographs, reduce the blur or add lighting to emphasize different aspects of the photo. You can also save photographs to a personal album designed separately from the Photodex involved in gameplay.

New Additions for the 21st Century

The newest game version also includes an interactive option for online play using photos from a player’s album. Players can see pictures that others have taken, not only for new ideas on how and when to photograph their favorite mons but also to compete for the top photo in different categories.

The game itself is fun to play. Exploring the various environments and finding new Pokémon throughout the game provides hours of enjoyment. As you move and continue to level up, new behaviors present themselves for each mon, and the interactions between the mons themselves range from adorable to hilarious. 

The artwork is fabulous and presents the player with realistic opportunities to take some memorable photographs of the mons in action.

By having this version accessible on the Nintendo Switch, the game creators, Bandai Namco Studios Inc, have only added to the sensation of playing within this world. The Switch is a handheld device that gives the impression of holding a camera and moving around to find the best possible picture angle. 

The game has been translated into several languages, making it a worldwide phenomenon where gamers can interact and share their photographs.

There were a few minor complaints for users who played the original version of Pokémon Snap, released in 1999. The newest version has solved many of those. There are more environments to explore and more Pokémon to find. 

The original release only had 63 different mons in-game versus the 200 from various generations within this edition. While there will be those who find criticisms for this edition, there is a big opportunity for future versions to incorporate several new Pokémon, with over 600 mons yet to be added.

Final Thoughts

From the console to the in-game interactions between the player and mon, there is very little negative to say about this version of Pokémon Snap. Immersing yourself in these new environments is truly special for any Pokémon fan. There is something magical about seeing a Venasaur stomping through a field or a Mantine jumping in and out of the water. New Pokémon Snap breathes life into the Pokémon that we fantasize about so much, allowing us to experience everything like we were on a virtual safari. 

It’s truly loads of enjoyment for new and existing fans. Spending time looking for and discovering new Pokémon while learning about their behaviors is an enjoyable experience. 

The ability to compare photographs and compete against other players for the best picture in different categories is a good, clean, relaxing enjoyment that any player, young or old, can truly enjoy. So grab your camera and find those hidden Pokémon waiting to give you a picture worth a thousand words.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

7.5/10

Summary: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are decent remakes of good games. While the core gameplay loop is still the same, the updated cutscenes don’t compare to contemporary ones, and some gameplay changes may bewilder long-time fans of the franchise.

Story

Where Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have done the least to change the originals is where they’ve had a chance to shine the most. 

The story is good enough that it’s clear why Nintendo chose to continue its trend of remakes with these games. Though not as popular as some other entries, Diamond and Pearl (along with Platinum) were both strong entries in the series.

Like any Pokémon game, the player is a ten-year-old child going on their first grand adventure. But unlike some other games, you don’t start with the chaperoning of any adults. 

The player and their rival don’t even have Pokémon as they set off into the woods near the local lake to see if there’s anything there. They’re just kids that got an idea from seeing something on television. If anything, the protagonist keeps the rival from doing anything stupid.

Then both the player and their rival must steal pokemon from a discarded briefcase to defend themselves when danger inevitably comes knocking. And from there, what starts as an innocent adventure quickly escalates into a mess of cosmic proportions. 

While many gangs read as cults of personality in the Pokémon franchise, Team Galactic is one of the best depictions of a truly unhinged group of people once you know what they’re planning.

Back in the day, this may have read as a bit silly. The leader’s goals make absolutely no sense to anyone who thinks about them critically. Players looking at it through a modern lens are all too familiar with the dangers of ignoring a charismatic leader just because he appears to have lost his marbles.

However, even if a few other things about Generation IV haven’t managed to age quite as well, the story is more fine wine than vinegar at this point. For this alone, it was worth rebooting just for today’s kids to experience it.

Gameplay

There are a few key aspects of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that Nintendo had to consider when adapting the gameplay of the originals. Contests, the Grand Underground, the Poketch, and even poffins have all come back, and some have fared better than others.

Contests

Pokémon Contests were first introduced as a new feature in Generation III. Upon arrival, they had a mixed reception, but they were popular enough with people who wanted to do things other than the battle that they made a comeback for Generation IV. 

Meanwhile, Poffins are an update to Pokeblocks that made them a little more of a challenge to make corrections with the second screen getting involved.

But with updated graphics come updated Contests, and the revamped systems aren’t what players might be used to now. 

Poffins are the first thing one might notice a few changes; they’re nearly impossible to make with controllers alone, making certain home entertainment setups into a logistical snarl. Players should expect to mess a few of these up before they finally get the new controls right.

And then there are the Contests themselves, which are an acquired taste, to say the least. Instead of the classic system where players use various moves to please the judges and the crowd, the moveset of your Pokémon no longer matters. Instead, players only need to complete a rhythm game. 

For those with poor coordination or disabilities, this is immediately alienating in a way that the old Contest system never was.

On top of no longer being as accessible, they’ve made it so that dressing up a Pokémon is no longer a factor in how good they look for their Contest debut. No more putting a mustache on a Pokémon’s eyes to make it look like they have bushy, concerned eyebrows. No more players show off their identities through Pokémon’s dapper little hats or bow ties. 

Call it simplified or streamlined, but many people will call it ruined.

Battles

To hardcore players, the quality-of-life improvements in Briliant Diamond and Shining Pearl might read as having their hands held. To most, however, they’ll be a relief.

From the start, players will notice that their battle experience is now shared by the whole party. 

Rather than needing an EXP Share, the whole party will level evenly regardless of what items they hold or what you have in your bag. This will be a huge weight off the shoulders of people who were used to the old method of swapping a stronger Pokémon in at the start of the battle, but hardcore players can’t turn it off either.

In addition, other things about the battle system have brought it up to speed with modern games in the series. 

Pokémon moves now display not only type but also that type’s relative weakness or strength compared to what you’re fighting. Some moves have been removed outright due to redundancy, while others that didn’t exist in the originals have been added. Movesets, in general, have also been brought to a modern standard.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have also addressed one of the biggest problems that Generation IV had at the time: a lack of fire-type Pokémon. 

In the originals, the only guaranteed fire-type Pokémon you could get without trading was your starter and a Ponyta. With Infernape being the rare unpopular fire-type starter, this left a lot of players stuck with the fire horse. Now, Growlithe and Houndour have both been added to that pool.

The Poketch

The Pokémon Watch, or Poketch as it’s called in-game, has always been a little on the awkward side. The step counter was useful when trying to hatch eggs, but otherwise, it stayed mostly out of the way on the second screen. Now, there’s no second screen where it can sit, so it just exists awkwardly in the way of your main screen. 

Admittedly a minor nitpick, but it’s something older fans may get annoyed about.

The Underground

Long-time fans of the series will be relieved to hear that the game has refused to budge an inch about this. 

Secret bases have been tweaked to be a little less fun, but mining and orb-finding have stayed the same in the grand scheme. The mechanics are unchanged, and the sound design is similar enough to have that same primal satisfaction from finding something shiny in the dirt.

Graphics

Anyone who’s played a modern Pokémon game knows that the cutscenes have evolved over the years to look pretty good. Stylized as they are, they usually manage to age pretty well and maintain the distinct visuals of the Pokémon franchise.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have largely ignored that to reduce cost, and the result is hilarious bobbleheads.

Ironically enough, the problem appears to be an attempt to stay true to the graphics of the time while still being in 3D. 

Aside from the beginnings and endings of battles, most cutscenes are rendered with the same big-headed models that the overworld uses. These models are proportioned based on the sprites of the old games, which had huge heads because those were the easiest things for kids to distinguish.

All of this is made weirder because the more sensibly proportioned models exist. This wouldn’t be an issue if the big-headed models were consistent through the overworld, player character dress-up, and battles. But the proportions veer wildly between silly and serious instead, which gives the games a lot of tonal dissonance from one cutscene to the next. 

It doesn’t help that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are already walking a storytelling tightrope as it is. In some places, the jarring shifts between battle cutscenes and bobbleheads are enough to grind the immersive experience to a screeching halt. Kids may not notice, but adults definitely will.

Conclusion

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are good games built using the bones of great games. Some choices in adapting the originals have led to improvements, and others have been uniquely detrimental. 

Most of the improvements come as general quality-of-life changes and involve reducing the amount of artificial difficulty, while most of the things that made the games worse have been in the name of streamlining.

In the end, these games are still well worth their price tag. If you have a Switch, you should try the updated versions of these classic titles in the series. Even if your focus is entirely on solo play, the story is something that every Pokémon fan will appreciate.

Pokémon Legends Arceus Review

Pokémon Legends Arceus is what many Pokémon fans have been waiting for: an open-world Pokémon experience that focuses on the nominal pocket monsters with fresh gameplay mechanics. At the same time, however, Arceus is far from the typical Pokémon experience that most players have come to expect from the classic games. 

Pokémon Legends Arceus isn’t an open-world game. It’s filled with large areas you can explore at your own pace, unlocking in a particular order. While this is necessary for story progression, it still feels like an experimental bit of game development, even if each area is fun to explore.

The new gameplay mechanics are what drive the game forward. Whereas mainline Pokémon games focus on random encounters, in Arceus, you see Pokémon and approach them to either capture or battle them. If you trigger an attack from an overworld Pokémon, they’ll attack you directly. Otherwise, you have to throw out your Pokémon to begin a battle.

The battles have new mechanics that will seem familiar to Bravely Default fans. Pokémon can learn moves in a Strong or Agile Style. Strong Style increases the Pokémon’s move power but sets them back. The agile Style uses less power but allows you to move faster. Your Pokémon battle strategy will change to take advantage of these new mechanics.

The story is also different from the usual gym battles and victory road. It showcases Pokémon as powerful, dangerous, and unknowable creatures. As you progress through the story, you help the region’s people see Pokémon in a new light, which can feel incredibly rewarding as you fill out the Pokedex and complete sidequests.

Ultimately, while Pokémon Legends Arceus is fantastic for old Pokémon fans and newcomers, an extra year or two in development could have worked wonders for the overworld and gameplay. Still, this game is worthy of thorough consideration and a detailed breakdown, which is what we’ll go into next. 

An Entirely New Gameplay Experience

Get ready to catch ‘em all! This game’s progression and new mechanics mainly revolve around capturing Pokémon for the Pokedex. It’s how you progress the story and unlock new regions to explore, where you can catch even more Pokémon.

However, you don’t just walk into the tall grass for a Pokémon to jump at you. The Pokémon travel worldwide, interacting with each other and the environment. It’s up to you to decide how to approach and capture them. You can sneak through the tall grass, chuck a Pokeball at their backs, or take a page out of the Safari Zone and stun or distract them.

While you don’t have to start a battle to capture the Pokémon, you still have the option to weaken the Pokémon through battle before capturing them. Along with new Pokeballs and items, there’s an entire crafting system in the game where you can gather items in the overworld to craft other specialty items to help you get that rare and difficult capture.

Catching Pokémon is fun, but battling has a different spin. Now turns are based on a Pokémon’s speed stat. If your turn comes up, you are in the turn order. Agile moves prioritize speed over power, while Strong Style moves prioritize strength.

This allows you to pull off some sneaky tricks, like using a fast move in Agile Style to get your turn up next. Then, if you use a more robust, slower movement in Strong Style to knock out the Pokémon, the rival Pokémon won’t even be able to attack before you win. 

These moves aren’t just limited to players. The Pokémon and Trainers of the region can pull the same tricks, so you must plan your battle carefully.

Alpha Pokémon is another new addition to the Pokémon Legends Arceus world. You happily trek across the map until you come across a red-eyed, massive beast that one-shots you back to camp. Alpha Pokémon are aggressive, assertive, and challenging to capture. They add an extra element of danger to exploring and are especially rewarding to catch.

You’ll have to do more than capture one of each Pokémon to fill out the Pokedex. Each Pokémon has unique challenges to work towards a full Pokedex entry, like capturing multiples of the same Pokémon, evolving the Pokémon, or battling with or against them. You’ll spend more time with the same Pokémon to learn about them.

This new method of gameplay provides an extra layer of challenge to completing the Pokedex that is welcomed by Pokémon fans. Not only do you have to capture one of every Pokémon, but you also have to battle, travel, capture multiple, or witness certain behaviors to understand them truly, making Arceus like a real-life field experience.

Unreasonably high levels, aggressive attacks, and higher-level Pokémon provide quite a bit of stealth and battling challenge, at least at the beginning. The increased difficulty level is also a welcomed change to the Pokémon formula. 

Each area’s field bosses provide catching and battling challenges that you’ll have to attempt multiple times to complete, and beating them can feel like conquering a tough gym. These new difficulty levels make the game especially enjoyable for fans who have already beaten the other Pokémon games before trying Arceus.

Pokémon Like You’ve Always Imagined

The heart and soul of this game are the Pokémon. Battling and capturing are exactly how you think they’d be in real life. Watching the Pokémon in the wild, strategizing how to catch them, or watching two Alpha Pokémon you led to each other tearing themselves apart in battle provides a level of authenticity to the world of Arceus that other games may lack.

While the Pokémon don’t have the same depth and behavioral mechanics as Pokémon Snap, it’s still rewarding to see them in the wild. Just be wary of how many aggressive Pokémon are around you when you send your Pokémon out to fight. Horde battles can and will happen, and your Pokémon will face steep odds.

Dimensional rifts and new Pokémon forms are also included in the game, adding different flavors to the Hisui region. Dimensional rifts allow you to access old forms of Pokémon, Pokémon that you can’t typically find in the area, and unique items that you can use to evolve your Pokémon.

Many classic Pokémon receive new forms and evolutions in Arceus, including the final forms of the three starter Pokémon: Rowlet, Oshawatt, and Cyndaquil. Basculin, Stantler, and even Scyther have new unique evolutions for you to discover, giving some love to the first generation of Pokémon.

You can also ride Pokémon to help you explore the region, eliminating the need for HMS, so you don’t have to teach Cut to your starter. Moreover, you can control each Pokémon’s movements while flying, riding, swimming, and climbing throughout the region. 

There are no set paths or obstacles to your exploration, so if you like exploring worlds in-game, Pokémon Legends Arceus is a fantastic choice.

An Empty Overworld: Not Much Besides Pokémon

While the graphics are a little better in the handheld version than in console mode, the fact remains that the Pokémon populate world looks horrible, especially compared to pretty open-world games on the same console. 

The overworld is empty and ugly. The textures are bad, the water seems downright bizarre (doubly so if there are water Pokémon swimming in it), and objects pop in and out of reality at will. Unfortunately, besides the Pokémon themselves, there’s not much to explore.

It would be nice to see a fully realized world for the Hisui region, but we’ll have to wait and see if Pokémon Scarlet and Violet improve on the open-world design of this game. For this game, it’s a very significant negative. 

The game is still playable and enjoyable, but putting more development time into the game would have undoubtedly improved the repetitive gameplay in the latter half of the game after the novelty of the new game mechanics has worn off.

The Good, The Bad, The Pokémon: A Major Series Mix-Up We Want More Of

Pokémon Legends Arceus is an excellent Pokémon game. Game Freak completely revolutionized the catching and battling mechanics to bring us a fresh Pokémon experience. Everything from the gameplay to the story feels fresh and is excellent for hardcore Pokémon fans and newcomers to the series. 

The rushed development of this game has led to an empty overworld and a repetitive loop in the story’s latter half. Once you’ve caught the Pokémon and beaten the first half, there’s little else to keep Pokémon fans engaged, and the open world favors exploration over the storyline.

Pokémon Legends Arceus is a great game, foreseeably in the top-ten all-time, arguably the top five games to date. We’ll have to see if Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sticks to the open-world premise that Pokémon fans can spend days exploring or deliver the more established, fully fleshed-out closed-world games with a proven track record and appetite from fans.

Pokémon Showdown: Pokémon Battle Simulator Guide

Contents

Pokémon Showdown

Official competitive Pokémon leaves a lot to be desired. Breeding Pokémon to get the perfect IVs, fighting the same kind of Pokémon for several hours to build up the right EVs, plus ensuring your Pokémon has the proper nature. Getting a competitive Pokémon team takes hours of hard work in-game, which turns off a lot of players.

Recent generations have tried to streamline this process by introducing several new mechanics like the Reset Girl and Nature Mints so you can train faster, but it’s still far from ideal. It takes a lot of work just to get a whole team. Forget the learning and experimentation that comes with entering the competitive Pokémon scene.

However, there’s an easier way to jump into competitive Pokémon and learn the sport. Pokémon Showdown is a competitive Pokémon Battle Simulator where fans can build teams and jump into battle.

What is Pokémon Showdown?

Created by Zarel in October 2011, Pokémon Showdown is an open-source online battle simulator with a thriving community behind it. It’s used by thousands of Pokémon fans worldwide, and 2,000 battles are going on at any time, so you can jump on, choose your tier and format, and get battling.

Its open-source code is entirely transparent, so you can understand the simulator and how it works. Its online components mimic the Wifi battles of yesteryear but with far more versatility and customization options than the original Wifi, the battle function could ever dream of.

Pokémon Showdown is run by Smogon, a website and community specializing in the art of competitive Pokémon battling. It has everything you need to get started, plus a community you can engage with to deepen your knowledge. They have strategy guides, tier lists, and even a Battling 101 program where Smogon can pair you with a tutor to learn the basics of competitive Pokémon battling.

Instant Battles: Skip straight to the good stuff

In cartridge games, you have to go through the process of building your team. And that level 73 Charizard you used for the Elite Four isn’t going to cut it. You need level 100, perfect IV, effort-trained Pokémon before considering starting competitive battling.

Unless you want competitive Pokémon to be your full-time job or hobby, you just won’t have the time. However, Pokémon Showdown lets you customize your Pokémon yourself. No riding a bike for hours on end, no destroying local ecosystems by wiping out hundreds of the same species, and no spending millions on nutritional drinks. You just create the Pokémon, customize their stats and abilities, then battle.

Pokémon Showdown is about battling, learning, and experimentation, not team building and grinding for days. You can choose from a preset team or select the Random Battle format and jump straight into the action. You don’t even have to do this if you don’t want to.

If you want to save your rank and teams, you’ll have to create an account, but Pokémon Showdown is free and always will be. Like any sport, your overall win record is far more critical than individual wins, so rising through the ranks over time is more important than any individual win.

Pokémon competitive battling guide

Most games have a lower difficulty level than the competitive Pokémon scene. Your starter Pokémon will not be feasible in competitive battles, even if it can easily take down the Elite Four.

In the games, you don’t need a strategy, level 100 Pokémon with type coverage for every type and fully maxed EVs and IVs, but you do in competitive battling. A guy who swims as a hobby isn’t going to compete with a professional swimmer in the Olympics.

Ultimately, competitive Pokémon battling is much more complicated than battling in the games. You need to breed and train the perfect stats onto your Pokémon, which can be time-consuming. It’s become easier in recent games to make competitive battling more accessible, but it still takes effort.

IVs are stats a Pokémon is born with, and they can have 31 in each category, Special Attack, Attack, Speed, Defense, Special Defence, and HP. The best way to get these stats is through breeding to obtain Pokémon with perfect IVs.

In recent generations, you can use bottle caps to raise the IVs of Pokémon, making it possible to use the Pokémon you love in competitive play.

EVs are stats earned through battling. A Pokémon can earn 510 EVs, with 255 in a stat. Each Pokémon has an EV it gives when defeated, but you can buy EV boosters in-game to get the stats you want. In the most recent generation, you can wipe EVs away to get the EVs you want on a Pokémon.

Four EVs are equal to one stat point, so you only need 508 EVs with 252 in a category to max the EVs for one stat. Most competitive players concentrate the EVs on two stat categories, usually speed and the stat most important for the role of that Pokémon.

A Community-based battling simulator

One of the best aspects of Pokémon Showdown is its surrounding community. It’s a welcoming, knowledgeable community that loves introducing new players to the sport. You can find people to help build teams, battle, or even trade within the official games.

The community is dedicated to all aspects of competitive Pokémon battling, from breeding mechanics, which only come into play in the game, to damage calculators, built into the battling simulator, and most importantly, move sets and strategies crown champions.

With beginner threads, FAQs, and starter guides, you can get a great foundation and build from there. If you’re experienced, you can learn about the meta as new trends and Pokémon come onto the scene and keep your battle skills sharp.

Official Pokémon tournaments can be few and far between, but Smogon and Pokémon Showdown regularly host tournaments to satisfy even the most competitive players in several different formats.

45 Pokémon Showdown Formats

Little Cup is a popular format showcasing the base form of Pokémon under level 5. It dramatically changes how you battle and the Pokémon you can battle with, and you won’t find it in any official setting.

Suppose you want to play the official tournament format of Double Battle with the usual Pokémon and Item restrictions. You certainly can. Or you can pick a format that changes the game. Ubers features mighty Pokémon you can’t usually use in tournament settings, or you can take it a step further with Anything Goes.

Anything Goes just that. You can choose any Pokémon, any Items, anything goes. It still has some rules against endless battles and sleep conditions, but other than those, you can design your team however you’d like.

Mega-Rayquaza with Dragon Descent? You can have six plus Assault Vests. But if you want more structure, you can pick the format that best suits you and start playing. Each format has its meta, so you can keep learning and master each format as you play.

Common Rules for all formats

Keeping things interesting is the heart of competitive Pokémon, so anyone can create an innovative team and win. All formats have some standard rules to keep things balanced and moving along. These rules are meant to keep things fair and balanced between players and Pokémon so no one battle strategy dominates over others.

Banned Pokémon

Each tier and format has banned Pokémon. It depends on what tier you’re in and the rule sets in place, but general Pokémon in tiers above the one you are playing in are banned for being too powerful to play in that tier.

If you pick from the lower tiers, you’ll have fewer Pokémon to choose from, so you’ll have to get creative. Meanwhile, in higher tiers, you’ll have access to the Pokémon in that tier and those below in lower tiers. Thus, you have more variety and the option of using Pokémon from lower tiers to spice up your strategy.

Most legendaries and several mythical Pokémon with high stats are banned from every tier, but Ubers and some are even prohibited there. The only format that permits all Pokémon is Anything Goes, but that comes at the cost of most teams comprising the same all-powerful Pokémon with little variety.

Banned Moves

Different tiers have different banned moves. For example, the move Swagger is prohibited throughout the tiers as it has more to do with luck than skill and can take down any Pokémon with the right conditions and a little luck.

The Little Cup has banned the moves Dragon Rage and Sonic Boom, as they each do a set amount of damage that is detrimental to the format. Essentially, each format has banned moves that are detrimental to the meta for that format.

Endless Battle

A battle that goes on forever may not seem feasible, but it’s possible in Pokémon. That’s why moves like Recycle and items like Leppa berries are banned on principle across the board.

Stall tactics like Leech Seed are vital to all formats, but there’s a marked difference between stalling and wasting everyone’s time. Any items or moves that can theoretically lead to an endless battle are banned from all formats.

OHKO (One-hit KO)

Some moves have incredibly low PP and accuracy. However, they make up for it by killing the opponent in one shot, regardless of stat boosts and HP. Naturally, these moves are incredibly broken, especially when paired with moves that guarantee success, like Lock-On.

Moves like Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, and Sheer Cold are all banned from all formats for the sake of the meta and the incredible frustration that comes with having your wall go down in one hit.

We’ll most likely never see any of these moves in any kind of competitive play, both now and in the future, so you’ll have to get your fill of them in-game.

Moody Clause

Moody is an ability that randomly raises or lowers a single stat other than evasion each turn. It mainly relies on luck and random chance than skill, meaning it has no place in competitive play.

While Moody can be fun to use, you should keep it to the mainline games, as it can be incredibly broken in competitive environments, so it’s banned across the board.

If you want to use Smeargle, pick a different ability, or save it for Anything Goes.

Sleep Clause

Nothing is more annoying than an opponent that spams Hypnosis and lands everyone, which is why Sleep Clause is used across most formats and tiers.

Under the Sleep Clause, putting more than one Pokémon to sleep on a team is illegal. So if you put one of your opponent’s Pokémon to sleep, you can’t put another to sleep until that one wakes up.

The exception to this rule is Pokémon that know Rest. If a Pokémon goes to sleep using Rest while another is asleep, it won’t activate the Sleep Clause. So don’t be afraid to build a team where Rest and Sleep Talk is essential parts of your strategy. 

What this does mean is that you can’t build a team around taking advantage of putting your opponents to sleep with moves like Hypnosis and Nightmare. Sleep stats aren’t a sustainable strategy, as it plays quite well with luck.

Species Clause

Most formats forbid you from having two of the same Pokémon on the same team. A generally accepted rule keeps teams and strategies varied, but some exceptions exist.

For example, suppose the two Pokémon have different genders, giving them various forms and move sets. In that case, they are considered two different Pokémon, allowing you to bring at least two of the same Pokémon onto a team.

Nidoran is an excellent example of a species with different forms, moves, and abilities, like the newer Pokémon Indeedee. However, this rule keeps you from putting multiples of the same Pokémon into play, such as multiple Charizards capable of sweeping teams.

Another rule similar to this played in some formats is Items Clause. This rule is less widespread than Species Clause but is used in the official competitive Pokémon ruleset. Similar to Species Clause, it prevents you from playing multiples of the same items.

Pokémon tiers: Competitive to comical

The tiers are different categories for Pokémon based on how much use they see in competitive play. For example, the OU category is the most popular and typically used as the standard for competitive play.

The OU tier consists of Pokémon used in a certain percentage of battles, the usage depending on the Pokémon, but typically seen in ten percent or more of all competitive battles. The tier under that consists of Pokémon that fall below a certain percentage and is not used as much. And so on through the tiers.

In addition, some tiers have additional rules set for the Pokémon you can use, like Little Cup and PU tiers. Little Cup, you can only use the base form and level 5 Pokémon, and PU consists of the worst Pokémon you can use competitively.

You can play multiple different formats within the tiers, as the tiers are only meant to restrict the Pokémon, move sets, and abilities you are capable of using. Moreover, while OU is the standard, playing other tiers can help you understand competitive Pokémon on a deeper level and show you exciting uses for Pokémon you would usually never use.

Rankings are considered in each category, not overall, so you don’t need to worry about that fun run in the Little Cup affecting your rank in the Doubles OU category. So don’t be afraid to try a different tier in another format to learn more about competitive battling in that tier or just to have some fun.

Ubers

Ubers consists of the best Pokémon has to offer. Legendaries are required when team building, and you have access to the best for competitive battling. The only Pokémon banned in this category is Mega-Rayquaza, as Mega-Rayquaza is too broken for any meta.

Suppose you want to see the ultimate in Pokémon battling. Even if it’s ridiculously overpowered and overblown, Ubers is the place to go. It’s the most powerful Pokémon available for team building and a broken meta that favors the unpredictable and powerful Arceus.

This tier can be fun, but it’s too powerful and broken to be the leading tier for competitive Pokémon, an honor reserved for the next tier on the list.

OverUsed (OU)

OverUsed, or OU, is the most popular tier on this list. It’s considered the best tier for competitive play, as it bans the most broken Pokémon while still retaining some of the best Pokémon the game offers.

OU consists of many fan-favorite Pokémon, but competitive players will want to read up to see what’s popular in the current meta, whether it’s Landorus Therian form, Garchomp, or Aegislash. Different generations have different metas, so pay attention to the format and generation of the meta to see what’s best.

Typically, the current gen is the most popular, but you can also roll back to find older-gen battles. Before you go all in on OU, you can check out the lower tiers to see what Pokémon aren’t used as much as they should in the current meta of the all-encompassing OU category.

UnderUsed (UU)

If you’re more interested in playing with some Pokémon that don’t quite fit the current meta, check out the UnderUsed tier, UU. This tier consists of powerful Pokémon that don’t quite make the cut for OU. Either because there’s a better option available, a Pokémon with a better move set and typing that fulfills the same role, or just have lower stats that don’t make the tier.

UU has Pokémon not commonly used in competitive battling but offers a host of strategies and underplayed tactics for you to learn and play with. Pokémon like Gardevoir, the Guardian Trio, Weezing, and more, are good Pokémon but not powerful enough to make it into the OU tier.

You can play with favorites, or learn more about the Pokémon of the meta, as some are certainly good enough to be used in OU in combination with OU Pokémon. After all, having an unpredictable team and strategy is key to rising through the ranks and keeping those wins rolling in.

RarelyUsed (RU)

Do you like Flareon? Then this is the tier for you. Most Eeveelutions and Pokémon like Registeel and Flygon make up this tier. This tier is mainly played for fun and has few associated strategies. 

However, you can see Pokémon you would typically never see played competitively and maybe even find one you can work into an OU or UU strategy. However, if you play this tier, you mostly play for kicks and giggles.

NeverUsed (NU)

Salazzle, Comfey, Vileplume. Pokémon that would usually never see the light of day in a competitive battle call this tier home. If you play this tier, you’re playing for fun. These Pokémon simply aren’t viable in the current competitive meta, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them. This tier forces you to get creative with your options and strategies, and it is a great place to begin competitive battling. Besides getting your feet wet, you can test new techniques and find one that might work in upper tiers while still playing relatively low risk in the NU tier.

PU

PU isn’t an acronym. It means the Pokémon in this tier are stinky, so you won’t be playing for keeps. This tier can be a lot of fun, but you won’t find any viable Pokémon or translatable strategies. But if you want to wreck someone with a Beheeyem, you’re in the right place. You can have fun coming up with silly strategies that wouldn’t work in any other tier and just have fun.

Playing with terrible Pokémon is an art form in and of itself. Learning how to utilize all Pokémon competitively can help you in all forms of play, from the games to tournaments and nuzlocks, if you’re interested in upping the difficulty of regular Pokémon games or playing fan games.

Little Cup

Do you like baby Pokémon ? Then you’ll enjoy the Little Cup. The tiniest tyrants butt heads, and the little warriors utilize everything they have available at level 5 to take down the opposition.

You’ll enjoy this tier immensely if you like the Puppy Cup more than the Superbowl. Pokémon are limited to level five and are the base form of Pokémon. Pokémon with two evolutions are popular in this tier, as you might expect since they’re typically stronger with higher base stats, but all baby Pokémon are welcome to join. 

You have to be tiny, cute, and vital to make it in this tier, but playing at such low levels with such weak Pokémon is utterly transcendental if you’re used to higher tiers. You’re far more limited in the available Pokémon and moves, so this tier relies less on strategy and your predictions and teambuilding, which means this tier is fantastic for building those skills.

Doubles

Doubles isn’t a tier. It’s a format that most competitive battling uses. A double battle is when two Pokémon are sent out at once and battle against two other Pokémon. You can use a much more comprehensive range of strategies than single battles, the most used format in competitive battling.

Doubles is the format that best suits competitive battling, as it requires far more skill than singles. Many moves and their power are only fully realized in double battles. Considering your Pokémon’s moves, support capability, and synergy is just as important as predicting your opponent’s moves and strategies.

Pokémon must fill multiple roles, and keeping your wits about you in battle is essential to victory. Official Pokémon video game tournaments use this format, and double battles are considered the standard in competitive battling. Strategies are more in-depth.

In Doubles, you can only choose four of your six Pokémon to face the competitor in battle, which means predicting the Pokémon they bring and how they’ll play them is a critical part of the battle. Doubles takes the difficulty of Single battles and rachet it up to eleven. 

Pokémon Showdown: Competitive Pokémon Battling

Whether you’re dedicated to improving your Pokémon by battling for official tournaments, in-game battles, or just having fun, Pokémon Showdown is the place to be for competitive Pokémon battles.

Pokémon battling comprises probability management, prediction, strategy, and team building. There are many factors to consider in battle, and learning the ins and outs of competitive battling is rewarding and fulfilling.

And Showdown is entirely free and always will be. It’s the battle simulator for Smogon, the website to go to for anything competitive battling. You can download the applet or go to the website for instant competitive battling with thousands of other users worldwide. You’ll have to create an account to save your rank and teams, but the more you interact with the community, the more fun you’ll have.

Competitive Pokémon battling isn’t for everyone, but everyone is capable of battling competitively. It’s easy to pick up and start, and you learn everything else over time by playing.

So go to the website and start battling to improve your skills as a Trainer today. With the new generation coming out soon, there’s no better time to get started, and soon you’ll be competing at regional tournaments to rank up points to head to the World Championships in no time.