Pokémon Sun and Moon Guide: Hints, Tips, and Every Detail

Pokémon Sun and Moon Guide: Hints, Tips, and Every Detail

Here's everything you need to know about Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, including tips, hints, guides, team suggestions, and other details.

Pokémon games always drum up a good deal of excitement, but last summer's Pokémon GO phenomenon has done a lot to fuel anticipation for Pokémon Sun and Moon. This Pokemon Sun and Moon guide will give you all the info you need to become a master Pokemon trainer.

That's because Pokémon GO introduced a whole new audience to the wild world of Pokémon, and while some people undoubtedly deleted the app after wondering what the fuss is about, there are certainly new Mareeps in the flock (welcome!). If you want even more Pokemon Sun and Moon, you're un luck as Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon are coming later in 2017.

What is Pokémon Sun and Moon?

Pokémon Sun and Moon are the seventh generation of the mainline Pokémon games. This time you're tasked with catching 'em all in beautiful Alola, an island that emulates Hawaii with its climate, its culture, and even its biodiversity.

Pokémon Sun and Moon released worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS on November 18. Buy Pokémon Sun and Moon from Amazon.

Like Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon Sun and Moon are 3D adventures with fully-animated battles. As a whole, Sun and Moon don't make any wild changes to the basic Pokémon formula: You catch Pokémon, you unleash them on opponents (both live and programmed), and you fill out your PokéDex while you learn more about your surroundings and the people living there. There's even a team of goons that are up to no good. In this instance, Team Skull will stymie your attempts to celebrate love and friendship through Pokémon.

Regardless of the similarities between Pokémon Sun and Moon and its predecessors going back to the very first Red and Blue, this Alolan adventure changes its single-player campaign a bit. For one thing, Gyms and Gym leaders are replaced by islands and Trial Captains who expect you to earn your badge by surmounting challenges and tasks.

What new features are in Pokémon Sun and Moon?

Ride-On Pokémon (Poké Rides) -- Pokémon Sun and Moon replaces Hidden Moves (HMs) with ride-on Pokémon capable of helping you overcome obstacles. For example, instead of teaching an Onix "Strength" to help you knock down obstructing boulders, you're gifted with a Tauros you can hop on and order to knock down obstacles. Similarly, you fly from place to place with a Charizard, swim between islands with a Lapras, and use a Mudsdale to walk across rocky areas.

Note that these Pokémon can't fight with you; you can only summon them to help you with navigation. Regardless, not having to use a move slot on an HM changes up Pokémon Sun and Moon's single-player campaign quite a bit.

Island Challenge Trials, Grand Trials, Totem Pokémon, and Kahunas -- The people of Alola are outdoorsy and prefer island challenges to the Pokémon series' traditional Gym battles. When you take an island challenge, the challenge's captain asks you to perform a task, e.g. taking pictures of certain Pokémon or finding certain items.

When you finish, you go up against a Totem Pokémon. Totem Pokémon are large, powerful versions of traditional Pokémon, and they can summon allies into battle.

Once the Totem Pokémon is felled, you're allowed to take on the Grand Trial, which has you fighting against the island's Kahuna. When you win, you're allowed to progress to the next island and the next set of trials.

Battle Royal -- Battle Royals are four-way Pokémon battles wherein four trainers pit their very best against each other. Multiplayer Pokémon battles have traditionally been one-on-one, so this new feature adds quite a bit of excitement to Pokémon's old fighting formula.

Picture-taking -- Pokémon Sun and Moon let you take pictures of Pokémon scattered throughout the Alola region (finally, a sequel to Pokémon Snap for the N64! Sort of!). You can upload your pictures to an Instagram-style message board where other characters can leave points and comments on your photos.

Hyper-Training -- Hyper-training gives Pokémon players a chance to upgrade the stats of a Pokémon that's reached level 100. A special item, the bottle cap, is necessary to perform hyper-training. Like Battle Royals, this is another new feature that changes the nature of Pokémon battles between live players.

What are the differences between Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon?

As is tradition in Pokémon games, there are differences between Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. They're largely the same game, but there are still notable differences between the two:

Different wild Pokémon between the two versions -- Some wild Pokémon can only be caught in Sun or Moon. Anyone who's serious about filling out their PokeDex needs to trade between the two versions of the game. For instance, the monkey-like Passimian Pokémon can only be found in Pokémon Sun, whereas its counterpart, Oranguru can only be found in Pokémon Moon. Similarly, the games' Legendary Pokémon are exclusive to their respective versions. The lion Pokémon Solgaleo is exclusive to Pokémon Sun, and the bat Pokémon Lunagala is exclusive to Pokémon Moon.

Night and day -- The events of Pokémon Sun happen according to your Nintendo 3DS's clock. The events in Pokémon Moon, however, are set twelve hours ahead of your Nintendo 3DS's clock. So provided your clock is set properly, playing Pokémon Moon at 3 PM means the in-game events happen at 3 AM.

Different Totem fights -- Some Totem Pokémon differ between Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Different evolutions -- A game version can impact how certain Pokémon evolve. In Pokémon Sun, Rockruff evolves into the wolfish Midday Form of Lyanroc. In Pokémon Moon, it evolves into the bipedal, werewolf-like Midnight Form of Lycanroc.

What are Pokémon Sun and Moon Starter Pokémon?

Again, as per tradition, you get your choice of one of three starters in Pokémon Sun or Moon: The Fire-type Litten, the Grass / Flying-type Rowlet, and the Water-type Popplio.

  • Litten -- Litten is a black-and-white cat with a fiery personality. It evolves into the Fire-type Torracat, and in its final evolution it becomes the bipedal Fire / Dark-type Incineroar.
  • Rowlet -- Rowlet is a little bow tie-wearing owl. It evolves into the Grass / Flying-type Dartrix, and in its final evolution it becomes the Grass / Ghost-type Decidueye.
  • Popplio -- Popplio is a cute seal Pokémon. It evolves into the Water-type Brionne, and in its final evolution it becomes the Water / Fairy-type Primarina.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Guide

How to Find and Catch a Ditto in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to find and catch a Ditto.

Where to Get Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's where to find and capture the four guardian Tapu Pokémon.

What Pokémon to Import with Pokémon Bank in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's a guide to the best Pokémon to import into Sun and Moon with Pokémon Bank.

Where to Find All the Z-Crystals in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to find all the Z-Crystals in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

How to Get Munchlax, Snorlax, and Snorlium Z in Pokemon Sun and Moon Here's how to get your very own Munchlax and Snorlium Z in Pokémon Sun and Moon, and how you can evolve Munchlax into Snorlax.

Where to Find QR Codes adn How to Scan Them in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to use the QR code scanner in Pokémon Sun and Moon, how to find QR codes, and how to use the Island Scan feature.

Where to Find Fire Stones, Ice Stones, and Other Evolutionary Stones in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to find the evolutionary stones in Pokémon Sun and Moon that'll give you your very own Alolan Pikachu and Alolan Exeggutor.

How to Evolve Alola Raichu and All New Pokemon in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to evolve Alola Raichu, as well as the rest of the new Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

How to Catch the Ultra Beasts ad Necrozma in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to hunt down and find the Ultra Beasts in Pokémon Sun and Moon, as well as how to find and catch the legendary Pokémon Necrozma.

Where to Find Zygarde Cells and Cores in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's where to find the Zygarde Cells and Cores scattered around Alola in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Best Pokemon in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's a listing of Alola's cream of the crop to help you build up the best team in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

All Pokemon With Alola Forms in Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's a list of all the Alola forms in Pokémon Sun and Moon, plus their new types.

How Do Z-Moves and Z-Crystals Work in Pokemon Sun and Moon?
Here's everything you need to know about Z-Moves and Z-Crystals in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

How to Transfer Ash's Greninja From the Demo to the Full Game of Pokemon Sun and Moon
Here's how to get Ash's Greninja from Pokémon Sun and Moon's demo into the full game.

Build the Perfect Team in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Here's how to start building your dream team for Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Best Starter in Pokémon Sun and Moon
Litten, Rowlet, and Popplio: Which starter Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon is the very best? Here are their base stats and evolutions.

USgamer's Articles, Features, and Podcasts on Pokémon Sun and Moon

Professor Kat's Pokemon Journal: How is the Post-Game Content?
A look at what Pokemon Sun and Moon have to offer after the credits roll.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Review: Aloha, Alola
Pokémon Sun and Moon dishes out plenty of sun, surf, and fun for Pokémon fans.

It's Time to End Our Obsession With the Gen One PokeDex
Are you aghast at modern Pokémon made out of trash bags, ice cream, and keychains? Don't be. Game Freak knows what it's doing.

Will Z-Moves Make an Impact?
Pokemon Sun and Moon's newest mechanic is flashy, but is it useful?

The Pokemon TV Show is the Most Successful Adaptation of a Video Game Ever
Game Freak's marketing juggernaut owes much of its success to its television spinoff. And it's still going.

How Do the Alolan Forms Change Pokemon?
Our resident Pokémon master shares her thoughts on the Alolan Forms after encountering them in the wild.

Why Pokemon is Stronger Than Ever
Even the decline of Pokémon Go isn't enough to keep the iconic series from rolling into its latest generation with a ton of momentum.

Pokémon Direct Confirms Pokémon Sun and Moon and Invites China to Play
Nintendo's short presentation covers new Pokémon, old Pokémon, and quietly reaches out to Chinese players. Get ready to make thousands of new friends!

How Exactly are Pokémon Red and Blue and Yellow Going to be Compatible with Sun and Moon?
Game Freak has some interesting technical hurdles to overcome in making Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow compatible with the newly-announced Sun and Moon.

Nintendo Reveals the Adorable Starters for Pokémon Sun and Moon
A fire cat! A clown seal! An owl with a leaf for a bow tie!

Nintendo Reveals New Pokémon Sun and Moon Trailer Plus Additional Plans for E3 2016
The new Legend of Zelda is still Nintendo's main course at E3 2016, but Pokémon, Dragon Quest, and other Nintendo 3DS games are side-dishes.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Battle Royale Has My Attention
But not for the reason you might expect.

Latest Pokémon Sun and Moon Video Reveals New Pokémon, Hyper Training Mode
Make pals with the new Pokémon and ponder if Hyper Training will change the competitive battling scene.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Evolves Gyms, Adds Alola Forms
Trial Captains and challenges replaces the basic Gym system, as Sun and Moon show off more new Pokémon.

Pokémon Sun and Moon Are Set 12 Hours Apart, Feature Chubby Raticate
None of the new features compare to a Raticate living the good life.

The Struggle Between Rattata and Yungoos in Pokémon Sun and Moon is a Neat Bit of World-Building
Alola, Yungoos, and Dark-Type Rattatas: A tale of fragile ecosystems that's based on the real world.

Pokémon Sun and Moon to Weigh in at 3.2 Gigabytes
Pokémon Sun and Moon are not lightweight downloads. Clear out your memory card.

Pokémon Sun and Moon's Final Starter Evolutions Revealed, Red and Blue Return
Here are the final forms for Pokémon Sun and Moon's starters, plus read about the return of Red and Blue!

USgamer's RPG Podcast is Excited about Pokémon Sun and Moon
Kat and Nadia talk about all the good stuff Pokémon Sun and Moon offers fans.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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