Temtem, the new Pokalike from Spanish studio CremaGames, is an MMO that brazenly champions its nature as a complete and utter copycat of Pokemon. There are all sorts of curious creatures dotted across the Airborne Archipelago, and, like Ash Ketchum before you (it even sounds like Temtem), you’ve gotta catch ‘em all.
However, if you still can’t tell the difference between a Bunbun and a Skunch, we’ve got you covered.
Certain Temtems are stronger than others, and there are all kinds of type chart matchups to take into account (some of which are, like the rest of the game, ripped verbatim from Pokemon). Here’s your guide on how to start off on the right running shoe in Temtem, the Pokalike MMO we’ve all been waiting on for decades.
Best Temtem starters
In Temtem, there are three starters to choose from (wonder where they got that from): Houchic, Smazee, and Crystle. The first thing you need to know is that picking Smazee is stupid. Its evolution, Baboong, is the second-worst Melee-type in the game - after Smazee itself - so it’s really a bit useless.
Don’t get me wrong: Melee-types are important, as they’re fantastic Crystal-busters. But, given that there are much better Temtems out there, you’re wasting an opportunity to get a rare Crystal- or Mental-type right at the start.
Houchic, the Mental-type, is an excellent choice. It’s a bit frustrating at the beginning, as two out of your three moves can only be used every second turn, but you can rip Neutral- and Melee-types to shreds while benefiting from a lack of suitable counters to you (namely Crystal-types and other Melee-types). Like Smazee, Houchic and its evolution, Tentai, are pretty weak in relation to other Mental-types, but you won’t encounter most of these - at least not in situations where you can catch them - until later in the game, so it’s handy to have Houchic in your squad for the beginning.
The final starter, Crystle, is also a great choice, so it mostly boils down to personal preference between it and Houchic. That being said, on top of Crystle and its evolution, Sherald, you’ll have another 12 Crystal-types to choose from later on, almost all of whom are stronger than the starter. Crystle is probably a slightly better choice than Houchic due to the fact it provides coverage against two of the most powerful and difficult-to-counter early-game types - Electric and Mental - but honestly, you can just go with whichever one you think looks cooler. However - and this is important - Crystle is the only starter that you can catch in the wild at the moment, and is available in multiple locations when in Tucma, which you'll reach towards the end of the alpha. These include the Mines of Mictlan and the rock-hopping islands south of Quetzal (exact locations shown below). With that in mind, Houchic is probably your best bet.
Just don’t pick Smazee. Ever.
Best Temtems to catch early on
Once you’ve chosen your new best bud and are ready to set out on your brand new Pokalike adventure, you’ll start to come across other creatures in - you guessed it - the tall grass. Instead of PokeBalls, you’re armed with Temcards, which sort of trap all the ants and animals in digitized sheets. At first, the variety of early-game Temtems might seem quite impressive, but you’ll soon realize that these are all you’re going to be coming across for the foreseeable future, so it’s best to play it smart and catch the best ones as soon as possible.
You’ve got five slots left to fill if you want a full squad. Obviously those five lucky candidates are at least partially based on who you chose as a starter - due to type coverage - but the ones mentioned here are solid regardless, especially early on.
Skail is a Neutral-type who you’ll meet almost immediately. It evolves into Skunch, at which point it develops a hybrid Neutral/Melee typing and has a base stats value of 454 - the second most powerful Melee-type in the game. You can catch Skail at level 2-4 right at the beginning, or else wait until you get to Windward Fort about an hour in, where the level jumps to about 11. However, choosing the former will allow you to enter said fort at about level 17 if you’re willing to do a bit of extra training, and having a strong Melee-type on your side (again, not Smazee) will allow you to deal with some pesky Crystal-types when you face evil Clan Belsoto for the first time.
Ganki is an Electric/Wind-type that saved my skin on more occasions than I can count as I went through Windward Fort - although, and this is important, do not replace DC Beam with Chain Lightning, because the latter, although slightly stronger, hits your own team member as well as the opponent. If you’ve got Water, Mental, Wind, or Digital Temtems on your team, a decently-leveled Ganki will wipe them out in a single hit.
Ganki’s hybrid typing also means that almost nothing can hit it super-effectively - although pretty much everything hits it neutrally, so, while you’ll never get wiped out in one, you will take consistent damage from most foes and will need to deal damage quickly in order to make it out without fainting (or “going unconscious” in Temtem terms - that’s how blatant the changes to phrasing are).
Aside from these two, you’ve got some other options that are relatively okay. Tuwai is a Wind-type that you’re given alongside your starter and is good for the first few hours, due to its base stats trumping a lot of first-evolution Temtems you encounter early on. However, it won’t be a mainstay in your team long-term, so don’t do what I did and spend a stupid amount of time levelling up something that’s going to end up in your TemDeck station, aka PC.
Tateru is a Neutral-type that crops up almost immediately and appears to be completely useless, but, despite the fact it doesn’t evolve, it has a base stats value of 474, which is frankly insane. It’s not flashy and it learns absolutely no good moves until level 25, but if you play smart it can become a late-game powerhouse with only one easily-countered weakness (Mental).
Paharu is rubbish, as are its second and third evolved forms. Kaku is not very good either, but can, potentially, be useful in very specific situations. Maybe if you have a single slot left it could be semi-worthwhile. Pigepic has deceptively good stats and only one weakness but, like Tateru, doesn’t learn anything good for a while (level 20 in this case). You won’t encounter any other Temtems until at least after the first Gym, I mean, er, Dojo.
Temtem Type Chart
This is a walk in the park for any Pokemon fan, but just as a refresher: Temtem uses turn-based combat and each creature has one or two types. Certain types are strong against others, whereas others are weak, if not completely useless. It takes a while to learn the ropes, but, fortunately, there are only 12 types overall. It would probably be useful to keep this tab open as a point of reference where all the info is accessible in a single place:
|Temtem Type||Super-effective against||Weak to|
|Fire||Nature, Crystal||Water, Earth|
|Nature||Water, Earth||Fire, Toxic|
|Water||Fire, Earth, Digital||Nature, Electric, Toxic|
|Electric||Water, Mental, Nature, Digital||Earth, Crystal|
|Mental||Neutral, Melee||Electric, Digital, Crystal|
|Earth||Fire, Electric, Crystal||Water, Nature, Melee|
|Crystal||Electric, Mental||Fire, Earth, Melee|
|Digital||Mental, Digital, Melee||Water, Electric, Digital|
|Melee||Earth, Crystal||Mental, Digital|
As you can see, most of the above are easily comparable to their counterparts in Pokemon, but some of the new naming practices might make it a little difficult to parse at the beginning. Regardless, keeping this guide handy will make sure you’re always able to make the right move in any given battle.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about starting out in Temtem. Choose your starter well, prioritize some great, early-game catches, and make sure your team is balanced enough to give you coverage over as many types as possible. Follow those rules of thumb and you’ll be giving Ash Temtem a run for his money in no time.
Now that you've chosen a new best friend, you can check out our Temtem evolution guide here.