How to Become a Master Pokemon Trainer
In 1998, the Nintendo Corporation released the first installment in a line of games that became the Pokemon phenomenon. Players were whisked away to an alternate version of earth—one inhabited by sometimes playful, sometimes aggressive, but always mysterious creatures called Pokemon. These lovable characters come in all shapes and sizes and in no time everyone, young and old, from all parts of the world set out to complete the task that the subheading demanded—“Gotta catch ‘em all!”
The most recent versions of Pokemon are known as Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire. In these two new games, players find themselves in a new region of the Pokemon world known as Hoenn; however, the plot remains the same. After choosing either a boy or girl as a playable character, players begin their journey. They must travel throughout Hoenn, catching different Pokemon as they go, and challenge Master Trainers, known as Gym Leaders, from each town. Once players defeat a Gym Leader, they will receive a Gym Badge that proves their skill and allows them to proceed to the next Gym. After collecting all the Gym Badges, a Pokemon Trainer can challenge the Elite Four in an effort to become the new Pokemon Champion. Slowing down their journey, players will occasionally be delayed by Team Aqua or Team Magma (depending on the color of their game). This notorious group of Pokemon trainers is out for world conquest and the player must help to see that their evil plan is not carried through. To those first starting out, just catching and training Pokemon may seem overwhelming, let alone challenging gyms or foiling evil plans, but relax. Simply follow this step-by-step guide and you too can become a Master Pokemon Trainer.
Before you can become a Pokemon Trainer, you must have some Pokemon to train. To collect Pokemon, you must know two things—where to find Pokemon and what to do when you find them. The first Pokemon you can call your own will require no work. A friend of the family, Professor Birch, decides to give you one of the three Pokemon he owns, and allows you to make the choice between the three. There are no major advantages to any one of the three, so just choose the one that catches your eye. Now that you have a Pokemon to call your own, you are ready to catch even more. But, finding Pokemon can be tricky. Pokemon live in tall grass, in water, in caves, or in the desert, depending on what type of Pokemon they are. However, even when you find one of these places, it may take a while before you spot any Pokemon. The key is to be patient and simply continue to walk through the area. It may take minutes or it may take seconds, but eventually a Pokemon will jump out and attack. When this happens you will have any opportunity to catch it, so you have to know how to be prepared.
Once you find yourself in battle, the most important preparation is to make sure you have some Pokeballs in your bag. Pokeballs are containers that store Pokemon until it is time for them to return. They work to catch Pokemon like a digital net. If you do have Pokeballs then you’re prepared to catch the Pokemon you’re facing, but if you don’t, it might be a good idea to run. However, just having Pokeballs is not enough because Pokeballs are not 100% accurate. You have to weaken the Pokemon first, but don’t worry he’ll be fine once he’s in the Pokeball! To weaken the opposing Pokemon your Pokemon has to do what Pokemon do best—battle. Battles work by having Pokemon take alternating turns attacking until one of them faints. This is the same way battles work in defeating Gyms, but we’ll talk more about that later. In this situation, you don’t want the Pokemon to faint; instead you want him to get close to fainting. You will be able to tell how close he is to fainting by watching his Hit Point meter. This meter is the green bar above the Pokemon’s name. As you attack, the meter will empty and change color. When the meter color turns to red, this indicates that the Pokemon is weak enough to be caught. Once the Pokemon is weakened, throw the Pokeball. While it is in the air, it will open and the Pokemon will get sucked in—if he is weak enough he will not be able to escape and tada! you have another Pokemon member of your family. Give your Pokemon a special nickname, and get ready to train.
O. K., so now you have some Pokemon, now what? Before you start to train, you have to get to know your Pokemon—their likes, their dislikes, their abilities, their natures, their type. You see, all these things affect the way Pokemon grow, learn, and battle. How well you know your Pokemon will determine how good of a trainer you can be and how much your Pokemon like you. The first thing you need to know about your Pokemon is what type they are. The type of a Pokemon effects whom it can battle the easiest. For example, Electric Type Pokemon have an extreme power advantage against Water Type Pokemon; therefore, if you had a Tentacruel, which is Water Type, you wouldn’t want to challenge a Pikachu, which is Electric Type because your Tentacruel would get beaten quickly! Having this knowledge about your Pokemon’s type will make it easier to battle Gym Leaders since Gym Leaders use only one type of Pokemon. So, if you know Wattson, the Gym Leader in Mauville, uses all Electric Types, then you know to steer clear of using Water Types, and use Ground Types instead.
The next helpful bit of information you need to know about your Pokemon is to know their nature and statistics. These two things are directly related because a Pokemon’s nature determines how its statistics grow and change over time. Each Pokemon has its own unique nature and set of statistics, and no two are alike. Statistics include:
Level—the level of experience the Pokemon is at
Hit Points—the number of hits your Pokemon can withstand before fainting
Attack Points—how powerful your attacks will be
Defense Points—how strong your defense against attacks is
Special Attack Points—the power of specific attacks
Special Defense Points—the defense against specific attacks
Power Points—the number of times you can use an attack
The higher a Pokemon’s statistics, the more effective it will be in battle. As you train your Pokemon, they will gain experience (xp). When they have gained enough xp, they will grow in level and the rest of their stats will automatically be raised. According to what nature they are, certain stats will raise higher and faster than others. One of the ultimate goals of a Pokemon trainer is to train a Pokemon to the point at which their stats and level can go no higher.
Equally important are your Pokemon’s abilities. Pokemon abilities include what battle moves they know, what moves they can use outside of battle, what moves they use automatically in battle, and what abilities they have that make them invulnerable to certain attacks. These are important for obvious reasons. You can’t be confident in a battle, unless you know what your Pokemon’s attacks will do to your opponent! You also can’t get past certain travel obstacles unless you have a Pokemon who knows certain moves that can be used at any time. For example, if you encountered a big boulder blocking your path, you’d want to have a Pokemon who had learned the ability Strength so that they could move it for you. If your Pokemon has an automatic or invulnerable ability, you will have no control over when it is used. It is just a good idea to be aware of these abilities because often times they can give your Pokemon an advantage in battle. For example, a Sharpedo has the automatic ability Rough Skin; therefore, if the attack used by the attacking Pokemon requires them to touch Sharpedo, the attacking Pokemon will lose Hit Points as well. Periodically, your Pokemon will be able to learn new battle moves; however, a Pokemon can only remember four attack moves at once. Your job, as a trainer, is to try a pick the best combination of moves. Each move will give you a description of what it does before you have to choose if you want to learn it or not, but the best way to pick moves is to simply test them out. If you don’t like a move or you want back one you’ve erased, you can trade items to villagers and in return they will restore your Pokemon’s ability. Picking moves takes some time, but once you think you’ve found a winning set—let the training begin!
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with your Pokemon’s types, stats, and abilities, an optional step you can take to aid your training is determining what Hold Items to give your Pokemon. Hold Items are various things that, when held by a Pokemon, will increase a certain stat based on the type of Pokemon. For example, knowing that a Torchic is a Fire Type Pokemon you can give it Charcoal as a Hold Item and this will in turn raise its Attack Points, making its attacks more powerful. Knowing this is the final prerequisite to training Pokemon.
Alright, you’ve done your homework, you’ve learned all about your Pokemon, you know them better than the back of your Pokedex, can you finally start training!?! Yes, you are now prepared to teach your Pokemon to be all that they can be. Step one in training is to find another fledgling trainer and challenge him. A trainer battle works the same as the battle you had with the wild Pokemon you caught, but this time you want the opposing trainer’s Pokemon to faint. Just keep up the attacks until the opposing Pokemon has no more Hit Points, and you win. Once you win the battle, you can move on to step two—repeat step one. That’s right, all the prep work you’ve done before beginning to train is in fact the most important part of training! All you have to do now is continue to battle other trainers or wild Pokemon. But now you’re asking, “What if I lose?” Well, that’s a risk you have to take and even Master Trainers loses battles sometimes. When this happens, simply go back and battle trainers you can beat—they’ll always want a rematch—and continue battling trainers at your level until your Pokemon gain enough xp and grow strong enough to defeat your former opponent. After a lot of battles and a lot of time, no one will be able to match your skill as a trainer. You can then begin to challenge Gym Leaders, and after defeating all eight and receiving all eight Gym Badges, you can take on the Elite Four and finally the Pokemon Champion. Once you can proudly say that you and your Pokemon have conquered these challenges, you will officially be a Master Pokemon Trainer!
After you become a Master Pokemon Trainer, you will find there are still many more adventures to be had in the Pokemon world and becoming a Master Trainer opens the doors to these adventures. Even though you have defeated the Pokemon League and claimed your title as the Pokemon champion, you will still have the opportunity to continue training your Pokemon and accomplishing new goals, such as earning ribbons and battling in tournaments or with friends. Finally, no Master Trainer can be satisfied until they have caught and trained all 456 different Pokemon. Finding, catching, and training that many Pokemon is a difficult task, but now that you’ve learned what it takes to be a Master Trainer all you need are some Pokeballs and a little time! As a Master Pokemon Trainer you will see that there is no task too great for you and your Pokemon! Congratulations on coming this far and good luck in all your future Pokemon endeavors!