Pokémon 101: 5 Tips from a Poké-Champ

Can't tell a Pikachu from a Pokéball? Don’t worry! Here are 5 tips from a Poke-Expert that will have you up and Pokemon-ing in no time.


2016 is the year of Pokémon! First, Pokémon GO took the world by storm this summer—and then, just in time for the holidays, there was a whole lot more excitement for Poké-lovers. On November 18, two all-new games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, launched for the Nintendo 3DS, and they then became two of the hottest gifts for your kids this past holiday season.

Still don’t know your Pikachu from your Pokéball? Don’t worry! 16-year old Calgary native and North American Pokémon champion Bennett Piercy is here to save the day!

Whether you (or your kids) are already catching Pokémon in the Alola Region, or they are newbie Poké-lovers, here are 5 Poké-tips from Bennett to set you up for victory.

Just start playing!

Pokémon games, including Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, do an excellent job of teaching you how to play – and how to use of the game’s many functions and features – right from the get go. Don’t be afraid to dive right in and start your journey and let the in-game guide… be your guide!

As a bonus, the in-game tutorial at the beginning of each Pokémon game is a great way for younger kids to practice their reading!

Catch, catch, catch.

If you’re heard of Pokémon, you’ve likely also heard the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” phrase. That’s because catching Pokémon is a key component of the game – not to mention a big part of the fun. As you roam in the games, you run into wild Pokémon that can be caught using a special item called a Pokéball. The wild Pokémon you catch then join you on your adventure, and become an important part of your team.

Sometimes, Pokémon can be tricky to catch, so if you’re having trouble, try engaging them in battle before you try and catch them. This will weaken the Pokémon, and make them easier to catch.

Don’t know how to battle? Onto the next tip!

Battle wisely.

In the games, you’re called a trainer. Part of your role as trainer is to put together a team of six Pokémon that you put into battle against wild Pokémon or other trainers’ Pokémon.

Each Pokémon is either a grass-type, fire-type, or water-type Pokémon – and each has a “rock-paper-scissor relationship” with one another. This means that different moves will be more powerful depending on the Pokémon that you battle, which is something you should always keep in mind.

What’s cool about the new Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon games is that you’re actually able to see how effective your moves are before you use them!

Train with a purpose.

Each time you put your Pokémon into battle, you’re training them to get stronger. In essence, every battle is a training ground for your Pokémon!

When training, it’s important to remember that your Pokémon take on some of the attributes of any Pokémon they beat, so you should look for Pokémon that can help to strengthen your team. Trying to make one of your Pokémon really fast? Look for Pokémon in the wild that are also fast and do battle against them.

Have fun with friends and family.

Practice makes perfect. But you and your kids don’t have to do it alone! Having others to share tips with—and play against—will not only make the game more fun, but it will also help you to learn and improve.

Whether it’s playing with friends or together as a family, Pokémon is a fun social activity—not to mention a great way for parents to bond with their kids.


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