(Pocket-lint) - Pokémon Scarlet and Violet haven't been out long but they're smashing records in terms of sales for Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
To find out more about the games and see some trailers, check out our article on them right here.
If you're one of the millions who have headed into the new land of Paldea to explore and complete their Pokédex, or if you're planning to do so very soon, you might be looking for some hints to help you have a better time. Here are some tips and tricks to remember as you play.
Don't neglect a story path!
Pokémon Violet and Scarlet drop you into Paldea with the intriguing option to follow three different story strands at once, after a brief introductory section.
You could head to each gym in turn to earn the right to become Pokémon Champion as encouraged by your pal Nemona, or go around vanquishing Team Star's bases full of nasty truant students, helped by the mysterious Cassiopeia. Finally, there are Titan Pokémon to investigate with another student, Arven.
Our advice would be to do all three in step with each other - don't just push through to the end of one strand without the others. This will offer the best experience in all three, with battles that make sense level-wise, and will guide you around the land nicely, too.
Go on Tera Raids
As you explore the large open areas in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, you'll quickly spot big clusters of crystals that have a glowing spotlight effect making them even easier to notice.
These are Tera Raids - they transport you into a co-op battle against a terastallized Pokémon that'll be tough to beat. Manage to vanquish it and you'll get the chance to catch an often rare monster.
These are great fun, and you don't need pals online to do them. Choose to go alone and three AI companions will join. Seek these out if you want to fill out your Pokédex more, as some Pokémon can seemingly only be found through them.
The open areas in Paldea are really quite sizeable - especially once you start to explore the land a bit more widely.
Therefore it's always worth paying attention to your surroundings and properly exploring each area - you'll find a lot of extras dotted around.
There are loads of items to pick up, Tera Raids to enjoy, and trainers to pick a battle with, all of which will help you level your party up, and you might just find new areas or caves to explore, too.
Pay attention to Tera Types
In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet there's a new mechanic called terastallizing, which transforms your Pokémon into a crystalline version of itself.
It only works once per rest at a Pokémon Centre, and can turn the tide of a battle if you time it right. It can also change the type of your Pokémon - but the new type won't be a mystery.
Check their details in your party and you'll see both what type or types your Pokémon currently is, and what type it'll be when terastallized - the latter is in a spikier box to the right of the regular types.
Pokémon Violet and Scarlet have more built-in co-op than most Pokémon games before them, letting you run around the overworld together, complete Tera Raids and more besides.
It's ideal if you're a parent whose kid is playing the game, but also great fun for groups of friends experiencing it together. Give it a try by heading to the yellow circle by any Pokémon Centre and following the steps as directed.
Pay attention to levels
As you explore Paldea there will be occasions where you get a little ahead of where you're "meant" to be - according to how the designers expect you'll probably play.
The easiest way to tell if this has happened is to judge it by where the wild Pokémon around you sit in terms of their levels - if they're significantly more powerful than your party, you might have a better time elsewhere.
Find Titan Pokémon to get more movement options
As you find Titan Pokémon with Alven as part of one story strand in Violet and Scarlet, you'll unlock new ways to move around the world, from dashing to climbing - these are really useful techniques.
So, to make sure you can access every location fully, it's worth prioritising these Titans when you see one near you on your map.