Pokemon Sword and Shield

Which Starter Pokemon Should You Choose?

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This page details the difference between the three Starter Pokemon in the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for details about our recommendation for which Starter Pokemon to pick, and tips for acquiring the perfect Starter Pokemon, as well as the Starters' evolutions.

Which Starter Pokemon Would You Choose?

Grookey 31
Scorbunny 26
Sobble 27

Which Starter Pokemon Should You Choose?

starter pokemon

Pokemon Advantage
Sobble ImageSobble - Learns Water Pulse at Level 12
- Its final evolution Inteleon has high Speed
Scorbunny ImageScorbunny - Learns the powerful exclusive move Pyro Ball
- Its final evolution Cinderace has high Speed
Grookey ImageGrookey - Has the highest Base HP of all Starters
- One of only a few excellent Grass-type Pokemon

We Recommend Choosing Sobble

Game8 recommends Sobble as our top pick completing the story. As it learns the valuable Water Pulse from Level 12, a 60-power attack with a chance of confusing its target, Sobble will be strong in the early part of the game.

Use a Rookidee to deal with Grass types

When selecting the water Pokemon Sobble, players will have a harder time dealing with Grass types, including the Gym Leader of the game's first Gym, Milo. Be sure to train up a Rookidee, a Flying type, to handle pesky Grass types.

But choosing your favorite isn't so bad either

Although we recommend choosing Sobble, there won't be any major problems with simply choosing your favorite of the three. The difficulty of the story won't be significantly affected by your decision.

Also, since you can always trade with other players after unlocking access to the Y-Network, you have the option to trade online with other players to obtain the other starters as well.

Resetting Your Game to Get the Perfect Starter

Steps for Getting the Perfect Starter

1. Continue the story until the point where you choose a Starter Pokemon.
2. Turn off the game's Autosave Feature.
3. Save your game before choosing a Starter Pokemon.
4. After the battle with Hop, confirm the Stats and Nature of your chosen Pokemon.
5. If you want to try again, press the Home button on your Nintendo Switch.
6. Click the X to turn off the game.
7. Start up the game again and proceed from your previously saved File.

It will take about 15 minutes of regular gameplay to reach the point where the Starter Pokemon are available. Check our walkthrough for advice on proceeding through the start of the game.

Getting to the 1st Gym (Part 1) - Walkthrough

Things to watch out for

Autosave Option.jpg

Be sure to turn the Autosave Option to Manual

Before selecting your Starter Pokemon, be sure to turn off the Autosave Option from the menu screen. This is automatically set to On at the start of the game, and as the game will automatically save after obtaining your Starter Pokemon, you will need to completely erase your Save Data in order to choose your Starter Pokemon again.

Recommended Natures for each Starter Pokemon

Recommended Nature
Grookey ImageGrookey
Scorbunny ImageScorbunny
Sobble ImageSobble

Because of the different characteristics of each Pokemon, we recommend different Natures for each one. By reverting to your previous Save File after obtaining a Starter Pokemon, players who receive a Starter Pokemon with a less than ideal Nature can try again to receive a Pokemon with a different Nature.

For the Pokemon with a high Attack stat, Grookey and Scorbunny, we recommend the Adamant Nature, which improves Attack and lowers Special Attack, and for the Pokemon with a high Special Attack Stat, Sobble, we recommend the Modest Nature, which improves Special Attack and lowers Attack.

Avoid Natures which decrease Speed

Natures which decrease Speed
Brave Relaxed Quiet Sassy

Having a Nature which hurts a Pokemon's Speed is unadvisable in any situation. We'd especially recommend avoiding any of these Natures in your Starter Pokemon.

Starter Pokemon Evolutions

The table below lists all the evolutions of each Starter Pokemon.


Grass Starter Evolution - Grookey
Starter Evolution - Grookey.png
Lv. 16
Starter Evolution - Thwackey.png
Lv. 35
Starter Evolution - Rillaboom.png


Fire Starter Evolution - Scorbunny
Starter Evolution - Scorbunny.png
Lv. 16
Starter Evolution - Raboot.png
Lv. 35
Starter Evolution - Cinderace.png


Water Starter Evolution - Sobble
Starter Evolution - Sobble.png
Lv. 16
Starter Evolution - Drizzile.png
Lv. 35
Starter Evolution - Inteleon.png

Starter Pokemon Final Evolutions

Grookey, the Grass Starter

Starter Evolution - grookey_flags.png
Type Grass Type Ability Overgrow

Its Attack is significantly higher than the other two Starters

Grookey leads the pack in Attack with its excellent Attack Base Stat. Its Speed may be slow compared to the others, so be sure to balance this out when training it, and Grookey can prove to be an essential asset on your team.

Grookey's final evolution, Rillaboom

Starter Evolution - Rillaboom.png

Grookey's final evolution, Rillaboom. As a solely Grass-type Pokemon, it has a few weaknesses to deal with, but with its well-rounded Base Stats, it's guaranteed to be fairly reliable and easy to use on any team.

Scorbunny, the Fire Starter

Starter Evolution - scorbunny_flags.png
Type Fire Type Ability Blaze

Its Attack and Speed combination soar ahead

Scorbunny learns the valuable Nitro Charge at Level 19, a move which both deals damage and increases the user's Speed. As a Fire type, it's super effective against the first Gym Leader, Milo, which makes it a highly useful Pokemon for proceeding through the start of the game. Its Attack and Speed both increase rapidly, so as long as its Level is at least as high as the opponent's, it can quickly burn through an enemy team.

Scorbunny's final evolution, Cinderace

Starter Evolution - fully-evolved-scorbunny.jpeg

Scorbunny's final evolution, Cinderace. Its exclusive move, Pyro Ball, has an extremely high power of 120, with no clear disadvantages.

Sobble, the Water Starter

Starter Evolution - sobble_flags.png
Type Water Type Ability Torrent

Water Pulse is a savior in the early game

Sobble is able to use Water Pulse, an attack with 60 power and a chance of inflicting confusion. Aside from the difficulty of clearing the first Gym, we recommend Sobble for his consistency throughout the early part of the game.

Sobble's final evolution, Inteleon

Starter Evolution - fully-evolved-sobble.jpeg

Sobble's final form, Inteleon. With a combined high Special Attack and Speed, Inteleon is a rare pure-Water type within a commonly-mixed type. Its role as a straight shooter of Water moves make it a useful ally we can gladly recommend adding to your party.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Related Links

Beginner Tips and Guides

Top Page
Getting a Good Start
Things to Know Before Starting Pokemon How to Adjust Screen Size
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Galar Starters
Which Starter Pokemon Should You Choose? How to Get All 3 Starters
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How to Run Away -
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Catching Legendary Pokemon -
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How to Stop Evolutions How to Release Pokemon
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How to Battle and Trade with Friends How to Max Raid with Friends
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Useful Information
How to Get Money (Poke Dollars) Fast Things to Do Every Day
Useful Characters and Their Locations List of Unrepeatable One-time Events
List of All Mystery Gift Codes How to Get BP
New in Sword and Shield
Differences Between Dynamax and Gigantamax Access Pokemon Boxes on the Road
How to Get Sweets Removed Features


2 Sobbleisbestabout 3 years

Yeah but sobble flush scorbunny down the toilet

1 Anonymousabout 4 years

Scorbunny master race!!!


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