The game begins for real in Postwick, a quaint little farming town in the southern-most part of Galar. They call it a "town", but far as we could see, there are only two houses here… Anyway, your character is chilling in their living room, presumably watching the exhibition match from earlier. When suddenly, their friendly neighbour, Hop, comes barging in.
As it happens, Hop is the younger brother of the current champion, Leon. Not only that, but his big brother is on his way home this very second. Without a moment to waste, Hop dashes off outside to find Leon–and he wants you to do the same. Well, it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do! Before that though, you need to grab your things and look smart.
Once Hop disappears, press any direction on the analogue stick or a button to get your butt off the couch. Admire your swanky living room if you want, then go right and carry on in that direction through your house. You’ll go past the entrance, the kitchen where your Mum is, before finally arriving at your bedroom. Grab your bag and hat off the floor, next to your bed.
That’s it! You’re all prepared for your little adventure! The game will also helpfully give you some adventuring tips. When you’re controlling your character, press the X button to access the main menu. From here, you can open up your bag (where your items are stored), save your game (important!), view the town map and change your game options.
Actually, you may want to go through and fiddle with the options real quick. Most of the options are pretty self-explanatory, so we don’t really need to explain them.
An Optional Note
Among the options, "Battle Style" is probably the most important. By default, if an opponent has more than one Pokémon, you’ll have the chance to switch Pokémon after they declare their next Pokémon but before they send it out. This is recommended for beginners or those who want an easy ride. Choosing "Set" removes this option and makes the game slightly harder (and is the default in multiplayer).
There are also two new options that we should point out. "Autosave", as its name suggests, automatically saves your game when changing areas etc. If you often forget to save and trust the game to do it for you, keep this on. "Casual Controls" changes the control scheme so you can play with only one Joy-Con controller. It’s called "casual", but it actually feels kind of tricky, at least to begin with.
In any case, head left, back towards the entrance (between the living room and kitchen). Go down, past the small red rectangular mat to exit your house. Outside, Hop will wave to you from the bottom of the steps. Hop down the steps to meet him. After a little chinwag, Hop will run off towards his house. Go right and follow him. Go across the small bridge and you should see another house coming into view–that’s Hop’s.
Stride through the open gate at the front of the house, then continue right to reach the door. No need to knock because you’re chums; just go inside! Hop will ask his Mum if Leon has already arrived, but it turns out Hop is too early. Your best chance of finding Leon is by going to the train station at Wedgehurst, the next town over.
Feel free to take a look around Hop’s house; there’s even an upstairs! Once you’re ready, exit the way you came. Back outside, go left to return to the main path. You should see Hop further up the path. Catch up to him and he’ll warn you about wild Pokémon in the tall grass up ahead. You don’t have any Pokémon to protect yourself with, so you can’t enter the tall grass right now (Hop will shout at you, if you try).