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Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: All Paldea starters and which to choose

pokemon scarlet and violet starters

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet brings players the Paldea region, a crop of new starters, and their evolutions, but which one is the best?

Picking out the right starter Pokemon can set the tempo for an entire playthrough. Depending on what other Pokemon are available to catch, what types are used by early gym leaders, and what trainers have for story battles, players might find themselves in an uphill slog or a downhill sprint based on their starter. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are no different.

Despite some controversy surrounding the buildup to and launch of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, fans were generally positive regarding Sprigatito, Quaxly, and Fuecoco. This applied to both the mainline games, as well as their arrival in Pokemon GO. But which of the Paldea starters is best for a casual playthrough? Here’s the breakdown.

All Paldea starters’ evolutions, types

The final evolutions of Sprigatito, Quaxly, and Fuecoco are Meowscarada, Quaquaval, and Skeledirge, respectively.

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Starters
Quaquaval, Skeledirge, and Meowscarada

As is tradition in Pokemon, each starter in Scarlet and Violet is a three-step evolutionary line. Each Pokemon evolves at level 16, then evolves again at level 36.

While Pokemon Sword and Shield had starters that maintained pure typing, that’s not the case in Scarlet and Violet. The gen-nine Pokemon games gave each starter a secondary type, and used the same set of types as Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Unlike Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the secondary typing in Scarlet and Violet gives each starter a type advantage over both of the others.

Here are the types for all the Paldea starters’ final evolution:

PokemonType 1Type 2
MeowscaradaGrassDark
SkeledirgeFireGhost
QuaquavalWaterFighting

Best Paldea starter Pokemon to choose in Scarlet and Violet

Fuecoco is the best starter to choose at the start of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

The early story battles in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet include bug, grass, and electric gym leaders, rock and flying-type Titan Pokemon, and dark and fire-type Team Star bosses. With the sole exception of the rock-type Titan Pokemon, Fuecoco has a type advantage or neutral matchup against every early challenge.

Offsetting that one troublesome opponent, players have multiple solid grass and water-type Pokemon they can catch in Smoliv, Shellos, Bounsweet, Azurill, and more. There are serviceable fire-type Pokemon that can be caught in the early game including the likes of Fletchling, Growlithe, Salandit, and Charcadet, but not all of them are easy to evolve or have immediate impact.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet give players the freedom to work around that regardless. If players want to have smooth sailing through Paldea, Fuecoco is the best starter Pokemon to choose. This is also the case for Nuzlock Challenge attempts, as Skeledirge’s typing and bulk make it the most durable option of the three.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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