The latest Pokémon game is out, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been playing that game non-stop since Saturday while refusing to wear pants. If you’re not like me, well good for you because that means that your soul can be saved. Even though you’ll ascend to a higher plane of existence without a lot of Pokémon knowledge. Lets fix that.

Pick your starter well


In X and Y, you have a chance to not have one, but three starter Pokémon in your party as the game progresses. Sure, they’re from different generations, but that’s besides the point. Just know that if you pick the grass-type Chespin, you’re going to be in for one hell of a difficult start, as the opening towns and cities are not friendly to grass-types.

While professor Sycamore will give you a choice of first-gen starters when you meet him later on, don’t forget to hook up to the wi-fi and grab yourself a special Torchic. That little zinger chickie comes with a piece of mega-evolution attached to him, and is well worth the effort of powering up. So choose your starters wisely, in order to create a balanced team.

Version differences


Did the store manager at your local game shop ask you why you bought two copies of the same game? Then I hope you scoffed at him. TO THE MAX. If you still need to decide which version to buy, here’s a list of Pokémon that are exclusive to each one:

Pokémon X:

  • Mega Charizard X
  • Staryu
  • Starmie
  • Pinsir
  • Mega Mewtwo X
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Poochyena
  • Mightyena
  • Aron
  • Lairon
  • Aggron
  • Sawk
  • Swirlix
  • Slurpuff
  • Clauncher
  • Clawitzer
  • Xerneas

Pokémon Y:

  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Shellder
  • Cloyster
  • Mega Mewtwo Y
  • Heracross
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Electrike
  • Manectric
  • Purrloin
  • Liepard
  • Throh
  • Spritzee
  • Aromatisse
  • Skrelp
  • Dragalge
  • Yveltal

Remember, when it comes to mega evolution, Y gives certain pokémon stat boosts, while X prefers to change types, such as giving Charizard X a true dragon hybrid form. Otherwise, that’s the only real difference between games. Pick whichever one you think has the best box art, and play away.

Levelling up

Early on, you’ll get the EXP Share. It’s newer, better and far more improved than previous versions. Once you have it, never turn it off, because while your main battling pokémon will receive the usual share of experience points after a battle, every single one of your pokémon in your party will get 50% of that kill total added to their growth.

What’s the catch?


For once, battling and catching pokémon is a more rewarding experience. Usually, players had to put in a ton of effort to battle a wild Pokémon to near death faint, but this time, catching a pokémon successfully will also reward you with exp. Gotta catch ‘em all!

Fossil Pokémon


It wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without some fossils making an appearance. As usual, you get to choose between two of them, the tiny T-Rex dragon Tyrunt and the graceful Amaura.

They’ve both got string final evolutions, but the trick to forcing some Darwinian change on them lies in the timing. Tyrunt will evolve from level 39 into Tyrantrum during the day, while you’ll need to train Amaura at night until level 39 if you want an Aurourus.



Trading is a big part of any Pokémon game, but I get you, you’re not ready to part with your Jigglypuff just yet. So what’s a trainer supposed to do? Simple, breed ‘em all.

The easiest way to do that, is to catch a Ditto. Thanks to its dynamic DNA and the fact that it resembles a sex toy, you can breed just about any Pokémon with a ditto, minus a few of the more stubborn ones such as legendries.

To get a Ditto though, you’re going to have to complete the main game itself, and make your way to Pokémon village after the end credits. Otherwise, import one from an older game.

Super training


It’s still early days, but it’s clear that the new super-training mode is going to have a major effect on the more competitive side of Pokémon. There used to be some major maths involved when it came down to training a Pokémon to have the right balance of EV points, but super-training short-cuts that experience for players that aren’t that familiar with the system.

Is it totally necessary though? For casual, regular players, not at all because you can still enjoy the game without even touching it. But serious Pokémon trainers are going to want to invest quite a bit of time and effort into this new feature.

Gym battles

Want to go into a gym battle prepared to counter the specific types on display there? Then here’s a chronological list of the Kalos gyms and the Pokémon types that you’ll encounter inside there:

  • Santalune City Gym: Bug-type Pokémon
  • Cyllage City Gym: Rock-type Pokémon
  • Shalour City Gym: Fighting-type Pokémon
  • Coumarine City Gym: Grass-type Pokémon
  • Lumiose City Gym: Electric and Steel-type Pokémon
  • Laverre City Gym: Fairy-type Pokémon
  • Anistar City Gym: Psychic-type Pokémon
  • Snowbell City Gym: Ice-type Pokémon

Last Updated: October 14, 2013

was reviewed on PC

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