Choosing your starter in a Pokémon game can be like hitting a brick wall. What you decide, right there and then with almost no information, will determine how the rest of the game plays out. Pokémon Sword and Shield’s starters are no exception, you’ll have to choose a companion for the rest of the game and the potential for getting one you don’t gel with can be a paralysing moment.
To help you decide we’ve put together a guide to Pokémon Sword and Shield’s best starters, taking into account their type and how the game plays out. Of course, you can simply go with whichever one you prefer the look of – those of us who battled through Red and Blue’s gruelling first few gyms with Charmander will attest that it can be worthwhile – but if you want to know which pokémon gives you the most optimised journey, read on!
Grookey is your grass-type pokémon and they, like all of the starters in Sword & Shield, are absolutely adorable.
This pokémon learns some powerful physical attacks and by the end-game will have the highest HP potential out of all your starters, making them a walking tower of meat if you put the time into them.
Evolving into Thwackey at level 16 then Rillaboom at level 35, Grookey is a tough little grass monkey that can soak up damage.
This molten little rabbit is your fire-type starter, who as they evolve will become leaner and meaner each time.
Scorbunny has the highest special defence out of all three starters in Pokémon Sword & Shield, meaning they can reduce the damage they take from special attacks – especially useful in the later game. They also have a high attack and speed stat, making them a great choice if you want to pile on the pain.
They evolve at level 16 into Raboot and then Cinderace at level 35. If getting your fight done quickly is your goal, Scorbunny might just be the starter for you.
Sobble is a tearful little water-type starter in Pokémon Sword and Shield, one who looks like a cross between a sad newt and a wet lizard. In a good way; they’re a heartbreaker.
Their special attack stat is the best out of the three Pokémon Sword and Shield starters,making them a powerhouse in terms of dealing out attacks – especially water attacks. As they evolve their HP and defence don’t quite keep up, but that won’t matter so much as you fire off special attacks, destroying your opponents.
At level 16 they evolve into Drizzile and then Inteleon at level 35. Sobble is a strong choice for anyone who wants to see their special attacks excel.
Best Pokémon Sword and Shield Starter
Overall it depends what your goals are when you’re choosing the best starter in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Iin terms of pure stats, here are our choices:
- Early Game: Grookey will have an easier time at the start, as they’ll take less damage in the first gym and will excel in the second.
- Late Game: Scorbunny, with their high special defence and speed, will balance staying in the fight and dealing damage into the late game.
That said, of course, please choose the pokémon you feel your heart pull you towards. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them, and you should always make sure you love your pokémon before anything else.
Which Pokémon is your choice in Pokémon Sword and Shield? Why not head over to our community forum and let us know.