As we mentioned at the beginning, Pokemon Black and White are massive games and, although we could definitely do it, we wouldn’t want to create a 100 page thesis on how to play Pokemon before we start the main walkthrough.
Pokemon veterans have little to worry about. But, for newcomers, battling, catching and exploring your way through Unova can be potentially overwhelming or fraught with difficulties. If there were only 5 tips we’d tell you, they would be…
1. Catch Them All!
You must have heard the slogan at one point: “Gotta Catch ’em All!” True, it’s partly a marketing slogan to encourage children to buy all the Pokemon games and merchandise (much to their parents’ chagrin), but the message it conveys is actually very helpful to the games.
Ideally (funds permitting), you should aim to catch every new Pokemon you encounter. At first, this will help you build up your aspiring Pokemon party so you can stand your ground better against the early trainers. Later, as your team develops, you can use new catches to cover weaknesses or missing roles.
2. Fight Them All!
First we encouraged you to enslave all the Pokemon you see; next, we’re going to tell you to beat down every Pokemon trainer crazy enough to stand in your path. (Or are we the crazy ones?)
As you travel across Unova, you will find many Pokemon trainers desperate for a Pokemon battle. Almost too many, in fact. And, for some, the temptation can be strong to just avoid these trainers and get to the next area ASAP.
However, doing so will deprive you of your easiest source of experience (and income!), as trainer battles earn you considerably more experience compared to wild battles.
3. Study Type Match-Ups
We can’t stress enough the easiest way to win your Pokemon battles: by manipulating Type Match-Ups to your advantage. With up to 6 Pokémon in your roster and up to 24 moves between them, it’s not hard to incorporate one move from each of the 17 Types.
Then it’s just a matter of how to get more bang for your buck. At one point in your life (or more), this will likely require studying the Type Match-Up Chart so you know what Type is good or weak against what. It’s not massively exciting, but the payout is immense.
4. Share the Love (Ahem… Experience)
Building a good Pokemon party isn’t always an easy task. At the beginning, there’s always the risk of using your starter Pokemon too often and not finding any good opportunities to train your lesser Pokemon.
The disadvantage of having only one or two strong Pokemon is when they faint beyond your control–for example, when you face a Pokemon of a type they’re weak against–you’ve got nothing left to fall back on.
To make training easier, be sure to grab the Exp. Share item from the top floor of the Battle Company building in Castelia City (after the 2nd Gym). A Pokemon holding the Exp. Share earns a portion of the battle experience even if they don’t participate in battle. Easy!
5. False Swipe
As you progress through the game and encounter stronger and stronger Pokemon, all the way up to the fabled Legendary Pokemon, you may find catching them gets significantly harder.
One good tip is to use the False Swipe move, which can be obtained from Professor Juniper back in Nuvema Town after seeing 30 different types of Pokemon. This unique move cannot KO a Pokemon, leaving it with at least 1 HP, so is a very reliable way of knocking down a Pokemon’s HP without fainting them.