Victor has been playing video games for a long time, and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences to help other players.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus has introduced the joys of exploring the Hisui region and actually making a player feel like a Pokémon explorer. Learning the in-and-outs of capturing Pokémon, as well as battling, has been an eye-opening experience.
However, it is very different from the previous Pokémon games. While there are many similarities, there are also significant differences that change not only the way that you play, but how you approach challenges.
While I enjoy capturing Pokémon and acting as a researcher, there were some struggles along the way that, if I had known about them before, would have made the game significantly easier.
Whether it is being more efficient or not wasting resources, these are the tips that I would share for first-time players.
Items Are Thrown in an Arc
When you first start out, throwing items seem to travel in a relatively straight line. You are not too far from Pokemon when you start out, and aiming at a Pokemon through the crosshair target appears to be simple enough.
This changes when the Pokemon is farther away, or you are trying to distract a Pokemon by throwing Berries/Cakes to grab their attention. Throwing a Poke Ball or an item as if you throw in a straight line is a great way to not only waste your throw, but alert the Pokemon and make them aware of you.
It is important to note this for some Pokemon, who can notice you from a distance and flee quickly, such as Abra. Throwing items from a distance will be important to learn, since positioning can be affected and you will have to make these throws as you progress.
When Pokemon are farther away or you are trying to make the most out of your bait, aim upwards, above the location you are hoping to reach. If you are aiming at a Pokemon, move your crosshairs just above the target. That will increase the chances of your item reaching the Pokemon, allowing you to catch/bait the Pokemon and avoid wasting an item.
Your Satchel Space Quickly Runs Out
As you start exploring, there are a few items that you can grab in the area such as Apricorns and Oran Berries. Your satchel will have enough room for the items that you encounter, and as you can carry large amounts of a single item (ie. you can carry 100+ Poke Balls, Apricorns, etc.), you won’t have much of a space problem.
This changes when you start exploring areas in-depth, fighting Pokemon and opening new areas. You will quickly find more items than your satchel can hold, and you will find yourself having to let go of precious items such as Grit Dust or Exp. Candy S because you didn’t think you would encounter them in the wild.
You may have to resort to discarding items (which gets rid of them permanently) or using up items before you would normally use them. All to make space for an item that you are hoping will be useful in the future.
Fortunately you will encounter Bagin, who will approach you about expanding your inventory space before it becomes a problem. He will offer to expand your satchel space (through advanced packing techniques) for a price. While that price only unlocks an additional slot at a time and the price increases per slot, it is a price worth paying.
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It can be easy to underestimate the need to expand your satchel space, especially when the price goes up. But each satchel slot is worth its weight in gold, and uninterrupted gathering (as well as being able to bring more items home) will be invaluable for your exploration.
Craft as Much as You Can, Then Buy Items
Pokemon Legends: Arceus has many ways for you to spend your money, but there are only two ways to earn money. Turning in survey reports (which involve catching Pokemon) and selling valuable items.
However, you will have to constantly catch Pokemon for survey reports to be valuable and the price of buying items from stores will catch up eventually. While this may not be a significant problem early on, it can be if you are trying to expand your satchel space or buy some rare item sets.
You are taught early on how to craft items, and the Hisui region has resources for the taking at every turn. The respawn rate for these resources is also quick, meaning you won’t have to wait too long for a resource to be harvested again.
Crafting will be essential to stay on top of costs, especially early on when you aren’t making that much money from survey reports or are spending money to buy other items.
While spending money will inevitably happen (especially as some areas have more of a particular resource than others), your first instinct should be to craft first, then buy if you don’t have enough. Spending money isn’t shameful, but you can’t spend what you don’t have.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings to Hide
You are introduced to hiding in tall grass when you need to catch Pokemon that run when they notice your presence. Tall grass is effective at hiding your presence and will prevent Pokemon from noticing you as long as you are crouching.
Tall grass will always be your go-to hiding place, but there will be times where you meet Pokemon who will run/become aggressive when they see you and tall grass is not present.
While crouching can buy you a bit of time, you can choose to hide behind trees or rocks, walk in the shadows of objects or if you’re desperate, crouch in a shallow stream. If you are on a cliff, you can even drop to a lower level to have the change in distance hide your presence.
It may not be tall grass, but it will be the best way to throw off a Pokemon’s line of sight towards you. This is especially true when a Pokemon turns aggressive and notices your presence, as hiding in tall grass becomes ineffective as they can see you.
Hiding behind objects will not only break a Pokemon’s line of sight, but it will also intercept attacks, something that tall grass isn’t able to do. While Pokemon will still try to search for you and re-establish their line of sight, you can still evade them and get out of a nasty situation as long as you hide properly.
You Can Battle More Than One Pokemon at a Time
This may not be apparent at the beginning, but Pokemon battles are no longer limited to the 1v1 standard that most people are used to from other games.
While you are out in the field, it is possible to fight more than one Pokemon at a time. Unfortunately, you are not always able to even the odds, which means you can be fighting a 2v1, 3v1 and sometimes a 4v1 situation if you are unlucky. This can happen in Mass Encounters or space-time distortions, but also when you interact with a regular group of wild Pokemon.
Early on, this can be difficult to manage since you are dealing with multiple attackers at once. Without being able to rely on other Pokemon, this can quickly lead to a situation where even your best Pokemon are KO’ed and you are forced to run.
Later on you can take advantage of this happening if you are prepared, but seeing it for the first time when you are unprepared can ruin even the best preparations.
Requests Don’t Always Show on the Map
Requests aren’t important to completing the game, but they can give you access to great items and even some Pokemon that you wouldn’t normally encounter at that point in the game.
While you are told that people will have an icon above their head indicating that they will have a request, some NPCs will not have an icon from the start. Some don’t even have an icon at all.
Talking to everyone has never been more important in Pokemon, even if generic villagers seem to have nothing to offer. Some villagers will only talk about the request that they have once you inspected the blackboard in Professor Laventon’s office.
Some requests are also only available at certain times of the day. Check during night time to see if any villagers need help, and if the request board has been updated because a request can only be done at night.
Requests Are Not Available All at Once or In Order
For someone aiming to complete the whole game, trying to make sure that they don’t miss out on requests or tasks that can be completed, it can be frustrating running all over town trying to find the missing gap in your request list.
What you are not told is that this is perfectly normal. Not all requests will be available to you right away. Some require previous requests to be completed, while others will be easier to complete once you have made progress.
This will mean that you have to be okay with a jump in numbers (ie. going from Request #8 to #11) and having faith that you will pick up the requests in the middle. You will, it’s just they aren’t available yet, and you haven’t missed anything important.
Have a Smoother Exploration Than I Did
Some advice given here may be obvious to players, or even a beginner might have picked something up from the trailers.
I still think it’s important to keep some of these tips in mind, especially with the requests, as some experiences can still catch players by surprise.
If something from this list helped you prepare for your trip into the Hisui region, then it is worth the struggles and the missing satchels.
© 2022 Victor Tan