The goal of every mainline Pokémon game is the same: to travel the region (this time, Hoenn) in the hopes of becoming the Pokémon League Champion.
To become the Champion, you must defeat each of the eight Gym Leaders , scattered around the various towns and cities of Hoenn, and acquire their Gym badge.
Once you have all eight, you can then proceed to the Pokémon League and battle the Elite Four and, finally, the reigning Champion, for a chance at his or her title.
While you do this, you are also encouraged to catch as many Pokémon as you can, to fill in your Pokédex . In Hoenn alone there are over 200 Pokémon; worldwide, the current total stands high above 700. So basically you’re in for a busy time!
Before we discuss anything else, let’s start with yourself: a humble Pokémon trainer. Even though it’s your first day in Hoenn, you’ll be thrust straight into an unknown journey with your Pokémon.
Fortunately, for a healthy youngster like yourself, getting around Hoenn isn’t too difficult, for the most part. You can use the Circle Pad or D-Pad to walk or, if you need to get places quicker, run with the B button held down.
If you happen across something interesting or suspicious, you can try to inspect it with the A button . If it’s an item ball, you’ll receive the item inside; otherwise, it could be a trigger for a puzzle or perhaps a clue for how to proceed.
Likewise, if there are other people around, you can press the A button when facing them to strike up a conversation. Don’t be a stranger; sometimes you may be rewarded with items or hints to help your adventure.
Throughout your journey, you will visit numerous locations, ranging from towns, cities, connecting routes, mountains and even the vast seas.
Quite often, where you need to go next isn’t immediately obvious. If in doubt, check the AreaNav app on the bottom screen to view a general map of the Hoenn area.
To begin with, try heading for the next nearest town, since that’s where a Gym Leader may be found. If that line of thought doesn’t work, simply try heading to any place you haven’t been before. (Obviously, if you follow our guide, you won’t ever get lost.)
The actual locations themselves vary in content and aim, but they can usually be classified into one of two types:
- Town/City : An area of human residence, where battles are generally few and far between. Here, there is usually a Pokémon Centre where you can rest your party and occasionally a Gym.
- Route/Dungeon : An undisturbed area, home to many wild Pokémon, as well as Pokémon Trainers eager for battle. Most of the time, these areas connect two different towns/cities.
Naturally, you can’t call yourself a Pokémon trainer without some Pokémon under your belt. Before you can properly leave your home town and adventure beyond, you’ll be given one of three starter Pokémon of your choice to accompany you.
Your Pokémon are your greatest assets for more reasons than one.
Firstly, the Hoenn region (and the Pokémon world in general) is a rather unforgiving place to be, full of dangerous wild Pokémon and Pokémon Trainers eager for battle - totally unsafe without a Pokémon by your side.
At the same time, if you wish to triumph against the Gym Leaders and the Champion, you will need to rely on your Pokémon in battle - and the best way to improve your bonds is through battling.
Furthermore, certain obstacles on the field, otherwise impossible to clear by yourself, can be surpassed with the help of your Pokémon partners.
At this point, we can hardly ignore the Pokémon battles themselves.
We’ll discuss the actual battles in depth later as they’re integral to the games, but in general battles are between two Pokémon - yours and either the wild Pokémon or another trainer’s Pokémon.
During such battles, trainers pick moves for their Pokémon to execute and, to cut a long story short, whoever has the superior Pokémon and strategy wins.
Successfully winning battles earns you experience for your Pokémon, making them stronger. In addition to this, when you battle wild Pokémon, you can catch them using Poké Balls to expand and strengthen your team.
To actually initiate a battle you have to do one of two things:
- Wild Pokémon : You need to walk/run around tall grass or other locations where Pokémon might live. Doing so will randomly trigger a battle with a random Pokémon found in the habitat.
- Pokémon Trainer : You can either speak to him/her or walk into their line of sight. For the latter, if the trainer is willing to fight, an exclamation mark will appear over their head and they will walk up to you.
Keeping Your Pokémon Healthy
Participating in Pokémon battles will likely reduce your Pokémon’s HP and PP. HP (Health Points) reflect your Pokémon’s stamina–once it reaches 0, your Pokémon will faint and become unable to battle.
PP (Power Points) are the number of times a Pokémon can use a particular move. Each move has its own maximum PP value; typically the stronger the move, the less PP it has.
You can restore HP and PP by using items such as Potions or Ether, which you can buy from Poke Marts or find on the floor, or for free by visiting the nurse at the front of the Pokémon Centre.
Saving Your Game
Last but not least, whenever it’s time to take a break or if you’re right before (or just finished) something important, remember to Save your game progress!
Saving couldn’t be easier; simply press the Y button on the field to open the menu, then navigate to “Save”. You can also save time by pressing the pen and notepad icon along the bottom of the bottom screen, which does the same thing.