10 Pokemon Legends: Arceus tips to know before you start

You may well want to take a few Pokemon Legends: Arceus tips into Hisui with you, because this is such a change from the traditional formula. After all, this isn't your average Pokemon adventure, with you tasked with making the region's very first Pokedex. No Elite Four, no gyms, and very few Pokemon trainers in sight. So with that in mind, here are our 10 top Pokemon Legends: Arceus tips to get you started.

1. Use your Pokemon in the world but remember who’s in the top slot

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Having all of your party available to launch into the world at a moment's notice is really useful. You can aim them at trees, rocks, crystals, and other elements to have them gather resources for you, with the option of doing so with multiple Pokemon consecutively. But you might want to be careful with which Pokemon you've got in your lead slot, as that will always be the one that gets released first if you initiate a battle. That's usually okay, but if you're raising up a lower level Pokemon to finish that 'dex, just make sure you're not just throwing away your first crucial move. 

2. Evolving and learning new moves works differently to other games

How to evolve Scyther into Kleavor in Pokemon Legends: Arceus using Black Augurite

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

If you're a Pokemon pro, you will no doubt notice some big changes when it comes to evolution and how your Pokemon learn new moves in this title. Firstly, your Pokemon will no longer automatically try to evolve once it hits a certain level or fulfils a specific criteria. Instead, your crew will let you know when they're ready to evolve and then it's up to you when you decide when it happens. You do that by selecting the Pokemon you want to evolve in your party menu and then hitting X. 

It's the same deal when it comes to your Pokemon learning new moves. They'll still unlock new moves at certain levels, but rather than having to choose then and there which moves to retain and which to forget, new moves are just added to a move library of sorts. Go to your Pokemon, hit A to open the menu, and then tab down to 'Change Moves'. In here you'll find all the moves your Pokemon has learned so far and can switch them out at will, any time you like. Super handy for finessing your team's moveset. 

3. Buy new recipes from the Craftworks

The Craftworks storefront in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

While you'll unlock new recipes by moving up the Survey Corps ranks, don't forget that others can be obtained from the Craftworks shop in Jubilife Village. It's a shop I forgot even existed after the opening few hours because you can craft everything yourself on the go, but it's got some seriously useful recipes like Max Revive and even Star Pieces for sale. 

4. You can't fast travel between areas

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

While you can fast travel to various points you've visited within an area, like base camps and other points of interest, you sadly can't fast travel from one area to another. So if you wanted to move between say, the Crimson Mirelands and the Obsidian Fieldlands, you're going to have to go via Jubilife Village. You can take a look at the different areas on the map whenever you like by zooming in and out, but fast travel isn't fast at all. 

5. Don't forget to use Grits to boost your Pokemon

Using Grits to boost Pokemon effort levels in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Although feeding your Pokemon something that's described as "mysterious gravel" might feel a bit like abuse, but Grits are actually super helpful. Available in various forms, you can use these to boost the "effort" of your Pokemon in different stats: HP, Attack, Defense, Sp.Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed. Levels go from zero all the way up to 10, and the effects can be seen in each Pokemon's summary. It'll help make your Pokemon the best they can be in battle, so don't forget to boost their stats using Grits when you can. Here's how the work: 

  • Grit Dust - Boosts effort levels to 1, 2, and 3
  • Grit Gravel - Boosts effort levels to 4, 5, and 6
  • Grit Pebble - Boosts effort levels to 7, 8, and 9
  • Grit Rock - Boosts effort to level 10

6. Keep hoarding medicinal leeks when you find them as they're not always plentiful

Finding medicinal leeks in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The initial zone, Obsidian Fieldlands is absolutely teeming with medicinal leeks, and they're possibly the most useful resource in the game when it comes to revives and other craftable healing items. But, as you move through to other areas, you'll find they appear a lot less. So whenever and wherever you can, stock up on the green goodness, because there's nothing worse than being caught without a stock of revives when an angry Alpha attacks. 

7. Look out for shaking trees and rocks for hidden Pokemon

Riding on Wyrdeer in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Some trees and rocks will be seen doing something rather strange in Hisui - wiggling. Well if you spot one, throw a Pokemon at it because some Pokemon can only be found hiding in trees and other objects. So if you do want to catch 'em all, make sure to keep looking out for those wobbly trees. 

8. Alpha Pokemon can be caught without battles… if you're quick


(Image credit: Avatar Nick, Nintendo)

When you first go up against an Alpha Pokemon in Hisui it's a daunting experience, but as your Pokemon get stronger and you obtain better quality Pokeballs, it is actually possible to catch an Alpha without battling it. Just make sure you sneak around them, either just desperately avoid their eyeline or using the tall grass, and don't do anything to alert them to your presence, like interacting with the world or catching another Pokemon nearby. When you're close enough just let that Pokeball fly and cross your fingers. 

9. Strong/Agile Style moves don't always change the turn order

Qwilfish using a Strong Style move in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The general rule of thumb when using Agile or Strong Style for your attacks is that Agile moves are less powerful but let you chain two moves together, while Strong Style moves are more powerful but will make you forgo your next turn. However, that's not always the case. It might be that your Agile move now will earn you an extra move later on, or not at all, and the same with Strong moves too. So keep an eye on the Action Order screen on the right hand side of the screen (make it appear/disappear by pressing Y in battle) to make sure you know what affect your Style switching will have on the turn order. 

10. XP works in different ways

Eevee in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon Legends: Arceus lets your Pokemon earn XP in a number of ways, with it working a little differently to previous titles. Firstly, your entire party (unless any of them have fainted) will earn XP from catching and defeating other Pokemon. In a trainer battle, you'll have to defeat the entire opposing party before you can bank the XP though, which isn't great if you're left with one Pokemon standing if you want the entire party to benefit. 

Pokemon you use to interact with the world, though, will earn individual XP, for example if you use a Pokemon to break a rock or shake a tree. You will also find Exp. Candy items by exploring the world, catching and defeating Pokemon. These come in S, M, or L sizes and can be fed to individual Pokemon in your party for an additional XP boost. 

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.