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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet best starter: which one should you pick?

Choosing a Starter Pokémon isn't easy, so we've laid out all the facts to help you decide on your partner

Picking which Starter Pokémon is an important choice for any trainer. Those of us who remember picking our very first “back in the day” will remember the everlasting bond. If you’re a long-time fan picking which new kid on the block you like, or a brand new fan choosing your very first Pokémon, it should be meaningful to you.

You can choose purely based on appearances if you want, but some people like to look a little deeper and know how much bang for their buck they’re getting. We’ll explain how good we think each starter is at the challenges Scarlet and Violet will put you through.

Note that, while we won’t be showing images of the evolved forms, we will be discussing things like their secondary types and abilities – just in case you want to avoid those spoilers.

Sprigatito - Grass-type

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Sprigatito starts off struggling a little, but will eventually grow into something great. With the first couple of gyms (based on our recommended gym order guide) being Bug and Grass-type, it may struggle without good backup. Bugs will chew through it all too easily, so you’ll definitely want to catch something else.

However, its final evolution is a Grass/Dark-type, which is extremely useful against the later gyms which use powerful Ghost and Psychic Pokémon. If that wasn’t enough, it also has Protean as a hidden ability, meaning its attacking moves will always get a Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB).

Fuecoco - Fire-type

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Fire is a lot more useful right out of the gate, as it will burn right through the first couple of gyms. It may struggle a little in the mid-game, as you’ll be facing Electric and Water-types, which Fire is useless for. However, it circles back around as when it evolves it becomes Fire/Ghost, giving it advantages against the last three gyms in the game. Its hidden ability is Unaware, which lets it ignore opponents’ stat buffs when they attack it.

Quaxly - Water-type

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Finally, this duck stands full of pride, and with good reason. While it doesn’t get a lot of type advantages in terms of gyms, it does become quite a powerful attack as it gains the Fighting-type when it evolves. This is backed by the hidden ability of Moxie, which boosts its Attack stat every time it lands a KO. You’ll need to use a bit more strategy to make effective use of Quaxly, but you’ll have a fun time with it nonetheless.