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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl Beginner’s Tips

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of the Gen-4 Pokemon games, with some modern quality-of-life tweaks and enhancements. That means they’re a unique mixture of new and old, so if you’re an old-school Pokemon trainer or you cut your teeth on Sword and Shield, you may be surprised by some of the mechanics and conventions present in these remakes. Read on for tips on how to get started in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Choose your starter… wisely
The classic tradition of choosing from a Fire, Water, or Grass starter is back once again in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but the composition of dungeons and gyms has a big impact on your selection. If you want a much easier time, choose Chimchar, the Fire-based monkey Pokemon. Its combination of Fire- and Fighting-type moves will remain useful throughout almost the entire game, with only a few exceptions when you’re faced with Water-based areas. The other two are relatively evenly matched, but Turtwig is the slight favorite for the hardest experience of the three.

Any of them will have their usefulness and of course, you can always catch and train up other Pokemon to fill in any gaps or weaknesses on your team. But if you want to essentially play Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on easy mode, choose Chimchar.

Get your free rare Mew and Jirachi
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Once upon a time Mew was among the rarest of all Pokemon, only available through special giveaways or nefarious game cheats. Nowadays, Nintendo hands out the adorable little psychic cat a lot more readily, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are no exception. You can claim the mythical Mew and Jirachi by simply having save data from Pokemon Sword/Shield and Pokemon Let’s Go. Sword and Shield saves grant you a Jirachi, while Let’s Go save data will give you Mew.

You can access both of them fairly early, though not right at the beginning. When you reach Floaroma town, you’ll see an elderly couple standing together in a field of flowers to the left of the entrance. Talk to each of them to receive your two free Pokemon.

Hide your Poketch
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The Poketch is your all-purpose Sinnoh smart device, complete with functions you’ll never use like a calculator. But it’s also your shortcut key to Hidden Machine functions. Most of those will trigger automatically when you come to a tree branch that can be Cut or a body of water that can be Surfed, and the Fly function will automatically trigger when using your map and indicating a town you’d like to travel to–as long as you’ve been there before. You can also prompt the Fly or any other Hidden Machines from the Poketch, but it’s not strictly necessary. Since other functions like the pedometer aren’t super useful, you may just want to hold R to dismiss it rather than have a giant block taking up your screen.

Grind in the Grand Underground
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At some point during your adventure, chances are you’ll need to buff your Pokemon. You could roam around the tall grass for a while but after a few minutes you’ll probably have caught just about everything you can from there. Instead, consider visiting the Grand Underground. It opens up once you’ve reached Eterna City and spoken to the Underground Man in the house next to the Pokemon Center, and after that point you can drop down anytime by using the Explorer Kit. The Pokemon in the Grand Underground will consistently keep approximate pace with your level, making them appropriate for grinding. Better yet, the Grand Underground is chock full of Pokemon you can’t find anywhere else, so it’s super helpful if you’re looking for a rare find or just want to catch ’em all.

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