Sure, the world of Pokémon is kind and charming…but that doesn’t mean you can’t step your game up a little while playing. You wanna be the very best, like no one ever was, right? We’re here to help you with that.

Here are some things you should do or keep in mind while playing Pokémon X & Y. Some are general Pokémon tips. Some are more X & Y specific. I hope they help!

Play With Whatever Pokemon You’d Like

There are over 700 Pokémon. That’s a TON of choices. Technically not all these Pokémon are competitively viable, but for the sake of the single-player adventure? Most/any will do the trick, provided you’ve leveled up enough. There’s no reason not to play with the Pokémon you think are cool or cute, that’s the point of having so many of them in the roster! Granted, you can still be smart about using your favorite Pokémon.

Side note: since this game gives you two starters—one from the new generation, and one from the original generation—you might want to coordinate between them. If you have your eyes set on Charizard, for example, it might not make sense to pick the fire starter at the beginning of the game!

Which brings us to…

Be Smart About How You Use Those Pokemon

Tips For Playing Pokémon X & Y

The key is diversifying. You can do this on a team level and on a moveset level too. All Pokémon belong to different types of groups—some of that is based on an element, like water or fire, and others are based on their characteristics, like flying creatures. If you have a move that matches your Pokémon’s type—say, a fire move on a fire Pokémon—it’ll be more powerful than moves of a different type. Pokemon veterans call this bonus “STAB,” same type attack bonus. Despite that bonus, you don’t want to have a Pokemon with 4 moves of the same type—a fire Pokémon with 4 fire type moves, for example. The less you have to switch a Pokémon out to match the various types of enemies, the better—and having a Pokémon with a few different move types helps with that. So as an example: my Sliggoo is a dragon type, and it has one dragon move, one water move, one electric move, and one ice move. It’s not the best spread, but it lets me take care of a good number of Pokemon. If Sliggoo had 4 dragon type moves, or even 2 or 3 dragon type moves, I limit the number of Pokémon I can be effective against. Not the best situation!

Tips For Playing Pokémon X & Y

You also gotta make sure you’re using the right category of moves: if your Pokémon has a high special attack stat, you should use more special moves, and if they have a high attack stat, you should use physical moves. Here’s what the page that shows you your stats looks like (yours will have different numbers, depending on your Pokémon):

Read on