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Very Quick Tips: A Pokemon X and Y Guide

12:00 PM on 10.21.2013 // Chris Carter

Gotta catch 'em all!

[Also, feel free to check out my full Pokemon X and Y trading guide.]

While I recently created a mini-guide for how to make the most out of your trades in Pokemon X and Y, I figured a completely separate tips guide was in order to cover everything else.

This is a massive game after all, and there are a ton of ways to help kickstart the process of catching all 454 Kalos-region Pokemon.

[Please note that this guide does not contain spoilers until the very end, in which I detail how to capture all of the legendary Pokemon in the game.]

General tips:

  • Once you earn your Pokedex, the first thing you'll want to do is save your game, press Start+Select+L+R to reset it, then go to Mystery Gift, and "Wi-fi." You'll earn a special Torchic, which can be obtained by the delivery person to the left of the counter at any Pokemon Center.
  • Here's the best way to earn money: use the Amulet Coin on your front-loaded Pokemon the entire game. Whatever boost item you could possibly use instead won't be needed, and every trainer fight will earn you double coins. You can get the Amulet Coin at Parfum Palace, between the first and second gyms.
  • Additionally, you can save money by not purchasing a lot of potions. For the most part, you will not need them. Instead, opt to ride back to a Pokemon Center and heal for free, and use your cash on more pertinent items, like Pokeballs. My rule of thumb is to have at least 50 of the best Pokeball available in your inventory.
  • If you don't care about your starters, choose either Froakie or Chespin, as you can get your Torchic to cover fire. Then pick Bulbasaur or Squirtle to complete your Grass/Fire/Water trifecta. Eventually if you put the time into the GTS system, you can easily pick up all six starters.
  • Are you dropping Poke-Puffs all the time in Pokemon Aime? It sounds odd, but you have to hold the puff in front of your Pokemon's face to have them eat it. Otherwise, it drops it on the ground, and it looks like they didn't want the Puff.
  • The more Pokemon you capture, the higher rate you'll unlock for a "Critical Capture," which can instantly bag a Pokemon after throwing a ball at it.
  • What exactly are O-Powers? The game doesn't do a great job of explaining them, but they're relatively simple. All you do is open up your PSS menu on the bottom screen, and select O-Powers -- then you can bestow special abilities to your local or online friends. Use them generously if you see someone online, as your O-Power energy recharges over time.
  • Different patches of grass host different Pokemon -- or at the very least, different encounter rates. For instance, an Eevee may be a rare encounter in green grass, and a common one in yellow. If you feel like you've caught all the Pokemon in a given area, try a different patch of grass. Additionally, the Old, Good, and Super Rods all have different encounters, as do water surfaces when surfing on them.
  • To evolve an Inkay, hold your 3DS upside-down when he reaches level 30 in combat. To be safe, it's best to just hold it upside-down the entire fight.
  • EXP Share (EXP All) is new and improved -- do not turn it off. Now, all six held Pokemon gain additional experience at no detriment to anyone.
  • Curious as to how you unlock Mega Evolutions? That happens later in the story, after the third Gym battle. Once you complete the appropriate story fight you'll be able to use them immediately in every battle, once per scrimmage.

    Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Alakazam, Gengar, Kangaskhan, Pinsir, Gyarados, Aerodactyl, Mewtwo, Ampharos, Scizor, Heracross, Houndoom, Tyranitar, Blaziken, Gardevoir, Mawile, Aggron, Medicham, Manetric, Banette, Absol, Garchomp, Lucario, and Abomasnow all have Mega Evolutions. Charizard and Mewtwo have special X- and Y-exclusive evolutions.

    In order to use these forms after picking up the story item, they must have a specific Mega Stone equipped as their active item. Mega stones are picked up either by way of story mode, or from a character at the Stone Emporium at Lumiose City after completing the game.
  • After finishing the game, you will be able to access a special "Safari Zone" tailored to people on your 3DS friend list. In order to unlock the potential to catch more unique Pokemon, add more friends via the Friend Code system. Even people who do not own Pokemon X or Y can unlock special Safari areas.
  • The Kalos region Pokedex is broken down into three portions, totaling 454 Pokemon that can be captured within the confines of X and Y. If you want all 618, you'll need to use the Safari Zone, acquire the special Torchic, and use the transfer and bank app after December 27th.
  • Fairy is a new type in Pokemon X and Y. It's applied to both existing and new Pokemon. It takes half damage from Fighting, Bug, and Dark types, maintains immunity towards Dragon types, and it takes double damage from Poison and Steel types. It does double-damage to Dragon, Dark, and Fighting types.
  • New to Pokemon X and Y, Electric Pokemon cannot be paralyzed, and Grass Pokemon cannot be hit with spore moves or sleep powder.
  • To get a Tyrunt (Tyrantrum), opt for the Jaw Fossil during the course of the story. If you want an Amaura (Aurorus), get the Sail Fossil. You will need to trade for the other one.
  • Do you need a strong Pokemon relatively early in the game? Hawlucha can be picked up as a common encounter on Route 10. He doesn't evolve, and starts out very strong. If you're looking for an early Sky Battle elgible Pokemon, Solrock or Lunatone can be obtained in the cave east of Ambrette Town.

How to catch all of the legendary Pokemon:


  • Xerneas -- Midway through the story you'll encounter your Legendary case-cover creature -- for Xerneas, you need to own Pokemon X. All you need to do is capture him to win, and as a general rule, he's very easy to nab, so do not use your Master Ball. If you accidentally defeat him you will get another chance to capture him, but just to be sure, save the game first.
  • Yveltal -- Midway through the story you'll encounter your Legendary cover creature -- for Yveltal, you need to own Pokemon Y. All you need to do is capture him to win, and as a general rule, he's very easy to nab, so do not use your Master Ball. If you accidentally defeat him you will get another chance to capture him, but just to be sure, save the game first.
  • Mewtwo -- After completing the game and beating the Elite Four, head to the Pokemon Village, south of Snowbelle. All you have to do is go around the village, surf north, and head into the Unknown Cave next to the waterfall. Mewtwo is a great candidate for the Master Ball, but you can also catch him with a Dusk Ball and some patience. Need Quick and Dusk Balls? Try the shop in Snowbelle City.
  • Zygarde -- Like Mewtwo, it's extremely easy to find. All you have to do is head into Terminus cave (northeast on the map) and go to the end. You'll find Zygarde just chilling there with his back turned. Save the game, and try using a Quick Ball to bag him early. If that doesn't work, whittle him down and try to use Dusk Balls on him.
  • Moltres, Articuno, Zapdos -- You can only get one legendary bird in each playthrough. If you pick Froakie, Moltres is your bird -- Chespin has Articuno -- Fennekin has Zapdos. Hit up the Pokedex and find your appropriate legendary, then view the entry to find out what route they're currently on.

    Roam around that area and you may randomly run into one of the three -- they'll immediately run away without a chance to capture them. Do this 10 times, and then they'll permanently appear at the Sea Spirit's Den (north on the map). You must trade for the other two, but if you do a heads-up trade bird-for-bird, you can eventually cycle through all of them.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
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Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

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