The Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Tera types and Terastallizing feature explained

Pokemon Scarlet Violet tips tricks
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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Tera types and Terastallizing lets you change your Pokemons' types to their Tera Types, and power up those moves too. Basically, it's a way to change your Pokemon's weaknesses and strengths mid-battle, and can make a big difference to how you beat Paldea's biggest challenges overall. That's why just below we'll explain the full effects of Terastallizing, how to use and unlock it, where to get Pokemon with unique Tera types in the wild and in Tera Raids and even how to change Tera types of your Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet. There's a lot to cover, so we'll start with the basics.

How to use Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Terastallizing

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Tera types raids terastallization change

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Where to go first in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Pokemon Scarlet Violet where to go first east west naranja uva academy

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Wondering where to go first in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet? We can help you decide!

To unlock Terastallization for your Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet, players need a Tera Orb. You can get one of these early on in the game - head to the Naranja Academy as part of the game's tutorial, and Nemona will provide you with one when you first encounter Team Star.

From that point on, assuming it's charged, simply open up the Move menu while in Combat and hit R to activate the Pokemon's Tera type - then pick the move you want to use. Your Pokemon will transform as part of the attack, and won't use your turn to do so.

Oh, and keep in mind that not long after this you'll have to make a choice about Where to go first in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - and this page can help you decide.

How to get Pokemon with special Tera types

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Tera types raids terastallization change

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Most Pokemons' Tera types match their regular type, or at least the primary one. For example, a Grass/Flying dual-type Tropius will usually just have a Grass Tera type (there's no such thing as dual Tera types).

However, there are chances to catch Pokemon with unique or strange Tera types that don't match their regular ones. Here's the main two options.

  • Wild Terastallized Pokemon. Wild Pokemon usually can't Terastallize themselves without a trainer, but every now and then you'll see glowing gold Pokemon in the wild. These Pokemon are automatically Terastallized when the battle starts, and usually with a random, unconventional Tera type (i.e., a Poison Psyduck or a Fire Diglett). You'll have to reduce their health to red to break the Terastallization and be able to catch them (careful not to wipe them out completely!), but once their form breaks, you can try to catch them as normal.
  • Tera Raid Battles. While exploring, you'll see pillars of light, and symbols on your map that represent certain Pokemon types - Fire, Water, Grass, and so on. Go to one of these to find a big crystal, the chance to do a Raid Battle with a Pokemon of that Tera Type (the actual Pokemon is random). You can play these online with three other trainers, or alone with three NPCs. Either way, if you can beat the Terastallized Pokemon, you'll get a chance to catch it, as well as get some Tera Shards of its Tera type (more on those in a moment). These are also a big part of the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet online coop, as up to four players can do Raids together!

How to change types with Tera Shards in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Tera types raids terastallization change

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To change your Pokemon's Tera type in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, players need to do the following:

  1. Beat Larry the Normal type Gym Leader in Medali (more info on him in our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet gym order page).
  2. Acquire 50 Tera Shards of the type you want to change it to.
  3. Approach the chef behind the counter in the Medali Gym.
  4. He'll ask what Pokemon you want to change the Tera type of, and consume 50 Tera Shards of that type to do so. 
  5. This will permanently change that Pokemon's Tera type.

The difficult part of that is getting all those Tera Shards, and be warned - this is a grind. To get Tera Shards, players have to beat Tera Raid battles like those mentioned above, and specifically of the type you want. So to get Grass Tera Shards, you need to win against Grass Pokemon in Tera Raids - and each one will drop 5 Tera Shards at the very most, usually less. Occasionally Tera Shards can also be found in the world as random items, but there's no easy way to farm them.

Effects of Tera types and Terastallizing in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet explained

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Tera types raids terastallization change

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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Terastallizing is a power wherein your Pokemon's Tera type replaces its normal typing, and strengthens attacks it makes of that type. Here's an example to explain it.

  1. Trainer Herb sends out a Fuecoco (a Fire-type, and arguably what you should go for if looking for the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet best starters), a Fuecoco with the special Ghost Tera-type, while fighting another Trainer's Mankey.
  2. Trainer Herb triggers Terastallization from the attack menu. After the transformation, Fuecoco is no longer a Fire-type at all - it is now a Ghost-type, with its Tera-type replacing the standard typing! (at least during this battle)
  3. The Mankey uses Scratch, to no effect. It would usually do regular damage against a Fire Pokemon, but because Fuecoco is now a Ghost Pokemon, it doesn't do anything! After all, Normal-type attacks like Scratch don't have any effect on Ghost Pokemon.
  4. Fuecoco uses Shadow Claw, which it learned from a TM earlier. This attack is Ghost-type - and because Fuecoco is currently Terastallized into a Ghost Pokemon, it does massively more damage, roughly twice as much as normal. 
  5. The Mankey then uses the Dark-type move Payback to do huge damage on Fuecoco. Against a Fire Pokemon, this would usually do regular damage, but because Fuecoco is now a Ghost Pokemon, it has all the weaknesses of one too. Uh-oh!
  6. The Terastallizing transformation lasts until either the battle is over, or Fuecoco faints. Even if revived in the same battle, Fuecoco will come back in its normal form - and because you can only use the Tera Orb once before it needs recharging, there's no way to Terastallize it again in that battle. 
  7. After the battle is over, Herb recharges the Tera Orb at a nearby Pokemon Center. They recharge Orbs for free when you heal your Pokemon. It can also be done by visiting the glowing crystals throughout Paldea that mark Tera Raid battles.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet tips

Scarlet Violet

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Learn the basics of Paldea with our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet tips!

Clearly Terastallizing has its advantages and disadvantages. The fact that it can only be used once between visits to the Pokemon Center or Raid Battles means you should be careful about when you trigger it, and on which Pokemon you use it on. However, knowing how to change your weaknesses during the battle means you can potentially save your Pokemon from a type disadvantage, and powering up certain moves is a great thing to have too.

To check your Pokemon's Tera type, simply go to its Summary, where it'll be listed below the regular types. Obviously none of this can work if you don't have a good Pokemon Scarlet and Violet type weaknesses chart - but there's a great one at the link provided!

All Tera Type crystals and forms

Flying Terastal Pikachu in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

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When a Pokemon Terastallizes, its new type is revealed by a crystal on its head - specifically the shape of it - though the game won't reveal information beyond that and actually explain what the shape means. If you need help identifying all the Tera type forms, here's a quick cheat sheet.

  • Large white diamond between two smaller diamonds: Normal
  • Lit Candles: Fire
  • Water spout: Water
  • Flowers: Grass
  • Lightbulb: Electric
  • Snowflake: Ice
  • Huge red fist coming out of blue swirl: Fighting
  • Purple skull and crossbones: Poison
  • Top half of a planet: Ground
  • Balloons: Flying
  • Purple eye: Psychic
  • Butterfly antennae: Bug
  • Temple surrounded by boulders: Rock
  • Sad spirit: Ghost
  • Blue dragon head with red wings on a castle: Dragon
  • Jagged shape with a scary face: Dark
  • Metal axe: Steel
  • Winged heart: Fairy 
Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.