What are Terastal Forms in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet?

The new twist to Pokemon battles.

As of Generation 6, Pokemon games has experimented with generation-specific battle mechanics. First we had Mega Evolutions, then Generation 8 experimented with Dynamaxing, and now Scarlet & Violet have introduced the Terastal Phenomenon.

In short, Terastallizing allows trainers to augment one Pokemon’s power during a battle. Once Terastallized, the Pokemon’s typing will change to its predetermined Tera-Type. For example, if your Pikachu’s Tera-Type is Flying, it will be treated as a Flying-Type Pokemon. This affects what moves will do super-effective damage to you, as well as which of your moves will get a Same Type Attack Boost (or STAB). Unlike Dynamaxing, a Pokemon will stay Terastallized for the remainder of the battle. However, you won’t be able to Terastallize again until you visit a Pokemon Center.

There are many hidden properties to Terastallizing that make it more complicated than it appears. If a Pokemon’s Tera-Type matches one of its original types, it will do bonus damage when using that type’s moves. For example, if Fuecoco has a Fire Tera-Type, it will inflict more damage with Ember than it would normally. Conversely, even if a Pokemon loses types when Terastallized, it will still receive STAB when using attacks that match its original typing. This means a Pokemon’s attacks will never get weaker when it is Terastallized.

How to catch unique Tera-Type Pokemon

Most wild Pokemon will have Tera-Types that correspond to their original types. However, if you see a glowing Pokemon in the wild, it may have an unusual Tera-Type. To catch these Pokemon, you will first have to damage it without holding back to break its Tera-Form. Don’t worry, you can’t knock out a Pokemon in this phase, and you’ll be able to catch it with a sliver of its health remaining. You can also participate in multiplayer Tera Raid Battles to acquire Pokemon with unusual Tera-Types. Eventually, you will discover a way to change a Pokemon’s Tera-Type to whatever you’d like if you have a specific vision for your party in mind.

Terastallizing can be extraordinarily powerful for both its offensive and defensive capabilities. For example, if two Ghost-Type Pokemon are fighting each other, one could Terastallize to Normal-Type to nullify incoming damage while still doing super-effective damage in return. Additionally, since a Pokemon will stay Terastallized for an entire battle, nothing is stopping you from exploiting this to sweep a Gym Leader from start to finish with a Pokemon they are weak to. Just remember that your opponents will be using similar strategies against you, so be on your guard.

About The Author
Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.
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