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Which starter is best in Pokémon: Scarlet and Violet?

The age-old starter Pokémon decision is back again.

pokemon scarlet and violet starter pokemon
Image: Pokémon

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have arrived on the Nintendo Switch, begging the question: which starter Pokémon should you choose for your journey?

Picking a starter Pokémon is the first exciting step on any journey through a Pokémon game. Your starter Pokémon is crucial to your success, at least through the game’s early stages.

Like most other Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet offer three different starter options. As always, there’s a grass-type, water-type, and fire-type on offer. So which one is best for you?

Which starter Pokémon should you choose?

Short answer: Whichever one sounds best to you

It’s hard to find the right answer to this question. Each starter Pokémon has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the player to decide which sounds best.

Instead, we’ll check out each starter Pokémon individually to help you decide. Your starter Pokémon is your first catch in the game, so you should make the decision that’s best for you.

The three different Pokémon that you can choose from are Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. Sprigatito starts as a grass-type, Fuecoco starts as a fire-type, and Quaxly starts as a water-type.

Why choose Sprigatito as your starter Pokémon?

pokemon scarlet violet sprigatito
Image: Pokémon

Sprigatito starts the game out as a grass-type Pokémon. Like many grass-type, Sprigatito starts out a little weaker than the other options in the early game.

However, Sprigatito’s final evolution is Meowscarada, which adds dark-type and increases both the Attack and Speed stats by quite a bit.

Adding dark-type to its stats gives Sprigatito even more strengths against opposing Pokémon. A fully evolved Meowscarada has an advantage against ghost, psychic, ground, rock, and water Pokémon.

But it also has a lot of weaknesses. It’s weak against seven types: bug, fairy, fighting, fire flying, ice, and poison.

pokemon scarlet violet sprigatito 2
Image: Pokémon

And weakness against bug type is doubled, which means Meowscarada will take four times the damage from bug attacks.

Meowscarada’s strengths and weaknesses make it good against three of the eight gym leaders in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Those aren’t the best stats, but power isn’t always the most important factor.

Grass-type starters are historically weak in Pokémon games, and this one is no exception. But you’ll have opportunities to catch much more powerful Pokémon on your journey, so your starter doesn’t need to be the best.

If you’re a fan of grass-type starters and like the way Sprigatito looks, go for it. You’ll have no problem getting started on your journey with Sprigatito.

Why choose Quaxly as your starter Pokémon?

quaxly
Image: Pokémon

Quaxly is the resident starter water-type Pokémon this time around. It has a sweet hairdo and is a little more powerful than Sprigatito.

Quaxly’s final evolution is into Quaquaval, which adds fighting-type to the Pokémon. That additional type will be crucial, as there aren’t many gyms where water-type Pokémon stand out in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

With fighting type, Quaquaval becomes strong against two of the eight gyms in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. That’s the least amount of advantages for any starter Pokémon, but gyms aren’t the only aspect of the game.

pokemon scarlet violet quaxly
Image: Pokémon

Fully-evolved Quaxly is strong against seven Pokémon types, including fire, ground, rock, dark, ice, normal, and steel. It’s weak against five types: fair, flying, psychic, electric, and grass.

Quaquaval’s strengths and weaknesses are spread out nicely, thanks a lot to that added fighting type. However, there are likely much better water-type and fighting-type Pokémon that you can catch out in the wild.

Again, if you like the look of Quaxly, go for it. Each of the starter Pokémon in the game are powerful enough to get you started, so pick the one that you like the most.

But if you’re looking for the most powerful option, then keep reading to learn more about Fuecoco.

Why choose Fuecoco as your starter Pokémon?

pokemon scarlet violet fuecoco
Image: Pokémon

Following tradition, Fuecoco, the fire-type, is the most powerful starter Pokémon option. It has high attack stats and tons of strengths that will do well against many of the gym leaders in the game.

Fuecoco starts out as a fire-type, which already gives it strength against three of the game’s gym leaders. And its final evolution, Skeledirge, adds ghost-type to the mix, with benefits against two additional gyms.

Once fully evolved, Skeledirge is strong against six Pokémon types: bug, grass, ice, steel, ghost, and psychic. Its five weaknesses include dark, ghost, ground, rock, and water.

pokemon scarlet violet fuecoco 2
Image: Pokémon

It has a pretty decent split of strengths and weaknesses. But beyond that, Skeledirge’s overall attack power is high enough to brute force its way to victory against other types.

This is the obvious option if you’re looking for a powerful Pokémon to start your journey. Its early-game power is great, with strengths against a couple of the first gyms you’ll likely run into.

Again, there will likely be better fire or ghost-type Pokémon that you’ll find along your journey. But if you’re looking for a powerful start, Fuecoco might be the best for you.

The best starter Pokémon is the one you like the most

pokemon scarlet and violet starter pokemon
Image: Pokémon

It’s not easy to say which is the best start Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet unless you’re simply looking for the most powerful option.

But that’s not always what starter Pokémon are about. In every Pokémon game in the past, there have been more powerful alternatives to the starter Pokémon that you find on your journey.

There may even be a time when you take your starter Pokémon out of your lineup in favor of a more useful option. There are hundreds of Pokémon to be caught in the game, many of which are better than any starter Pokémon.

So choose the Pokémon that sounds best to you. If you love grass-type Pokémon, go for Sprigatito. If you’re into Quaxly’s sick hairdo, go that route. And go with Fuecoco if you’re a bit of a pyromaniac.

Whichever starter you choose, you’ll be well-equipped for the journey ahead in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

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Contributing writer with a passion for gaming and tech. Probably getting wrecked by some kids in Rocket League.

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