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Best Starter Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Evolutions detailed and does the choice matter?

The initial choice of Pokemon feels like a really tough one, but is it worth agonising over?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Starters header image
Image credit: Nintendo

You're near the start of Pokemon Scarlet or Pokemon Violet and you are presented with a seemingly impossible choice? Which Pokemon do you want as your starter? Is there a best Starter Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, does the choice matter, and should you just go with the one you think looks cutest? We answer those questions right here in our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Best Starter Pokemon guide.

We decide which of the three starter Pokemon is the best.Watch on YouTube

What is the best starter Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet?

A lot is often made of the choice of starter Pokemon, but in truth the starter you pick in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet doesn't matter all that much. For one, it's not as if you're going to be battling every battle throghout the whole game with this one Pokemon, and two, saying one is better than another is like saying still water is better than sparkling; it's a matter of personal choice.

Having said that we definitely feel that Quaxly is the best starter Pokemon. Because it’s a duck. It looks super cool. We also like the fact that it uses a gel to smooth over its feathers, like it’s in the TV show Happy Days. We suggest you go with your heart on this one, but if you want to make a choice based on actual information, we've got a little more of that for you below.

What are the starter Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?

As is tradition in Pokemon games, you have the choice of three Pokemon to start your adventure with in Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet. We’ve detailed them for you here so you can see the basic info, such as type and ability.

Pokemon: Category: Type: Height: Weight: Ability:
Sprigatito Grass Cat Pokémon Grass 1'4" 9 lbs. Overgrow
Fuecoco Fire Croc Pokémon Fire 1'4" 21.6 lbs. Blaze
Quaxly Duckling Pokémon Water 1'8" 13.4 lbs. Torrent
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter pokemon
Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly | Image credit: Nintendo/Game Freak

Next up we've got more info on each of the starters in Scarlet and Violet, including key moves and what each Pokemon evolves into.

Sprigatito - Moves and Evolution

According to Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, Sprigatito is “Capricious and attention seeking.” It sounds like it gets jealous pretty easily and is prone to sulking if its trainer gives another pokemon some attention. I mean, it's a cat, right? It very much is trading in those sassy-but-cute cat stereotypes.

In raw Pokemon terms, however, Sprigatito is your typical grass-type starter Pokemon. Like any starter, it evolves twice, and gains a secondary sub-type as it does so:

Sprigatito Evoltions

  • At Level 16 Sprigatito evolves into Floragato, which is still a pure grass-type.
  • Level 36 Floragato evolves into Meowscarada. This is where things get interesting, where it becomes a Grass and Dark-type Pokemon.

Sprigatito Starter Key Moves

A key element of deciding which starter you want is how they play in battle, of course. The Sprigatito evolutionary family of Pokemon is a pretty standard-issue grass-type, working with moves like Magical Leaf and Seed Bomb, providing a good spread of naturally-learned moves. While most of their moves are Physical, there are a handful of non-physical attack moves, too. Here's a few highlights:

  • Flower Trick is this evolutionary line's signature move, learned upon evolving into Meowscarada. It's a decent-power move that never misses and always lands a critical hit - making it a real killer.
  • Night Slash is probably the best of the Dark-type moves Sprigatito can naturally learn, though more are available via TMs.
  • Leaf Storm is the single most powerful move these Pokemon can get, but it comes at a cost, as using it lowers its Sp. Attack stat for the rest of the battle.

Fuecoco - Moves and Evolution

We could have guessed from its photo, but Nintendo confirms that Fuecoco is “laid-back and does things at its own pace.” If you thought, “that creature loves to eat,” you’re right, it does, and runs towards any food it sees. This is your fire-type starter, and though it might not look it in this baby form, when it evolves it'll become clear that it's based on a crocodile.

Fuecoco Evoltions

  • At Level 16 Fuecoco evolves into Crocalor, a pure fire-type still
  • At Level 36 Crocalor evolves into Skeledirge, the full-croc, complete with Ghost as its secondary type.

Fuecoco Key Moves

As a fire starter (a twisted fire starter), you can expect access to the traditional fire-type moves like Ember right from the get-go. Other traditional Fire staples return, but as you get into higher levels, a handful of quite powerful Ghost-type moves are unlocked - plus some Normal and Dark-types. This means you can build quite a varied move list from relatively early on. Here's a few key moves:

  • Torch Song is the enw signature move for Fuecoco and family, learned when you evolve up to Crocolaw. It's a powerful move in its own right, but also raises Crocolaw's Sp. Attack stat, meaning the next time you use it, it'll be even stronger still.
  • Shadow Ball, learned at level 38, is probably your go-to Ghost-type move - unless you want to load up on TMs that inflict status effects and use Hex instead.
  • Will-O-Wisp remains massively underrated - sure, it doesn't do damage, but it almost guarantees a burn, which can debilitate an opponent for the rest of a battle.

Quaxly - Moves and Evolution

What else needs to be said other than Quaxly is one cool looking duck? Well, the fact that it’s a serious little thing and dislikes getting its head dirty, no doubt for fear of ruining that amazing hair. Quaxly if your water-type starter, and is sure to be a favorite, as it's one cool duck. And its evolutions are sure to send furries everywhere into fits. If that's your thing, like. No judgement.

Quaxly Evoltions

  • At Level 16 Quaxly evolves into Quaxwell, a classic middle child evolution that remains a pure water-type.
  • At Level 36 Quaxwell evolves into Quaquaval, an impressive-looking final form that's secondary type is Fighting in a manner that to me feels like the Water-based counterpart of old starter evolution Blaziken.

Quaxly Key Moves

It wouldn't be a Water-type without Water Gun, Pound, and so on - but hey, there's no Hydro Pump in sight here! This evolutionary line only learns a couple of Fighting-type moves, but they're strong ones. Given this is a bird, there's even a couple of Flying-type moves in for the bargain, letting you cover a few different bases at once. Here's a handful of moves of note:

  • Aqua Step is the Quaxly Evolutionary line's signature move, learned as soon as you evolve to Quaquaval. It hits hard, but also raises your Speed stat, appropriately for a bird.
  • Low Sweep is your earliest-learned Fighting-type move, but you'll also get the mega-powerful Close Combat later on. Close Combat can be a great opener, followed up with your Water-type moves.
  • Air Slash is one of a handful of flying-type moves, but this ios the more interesting one as it has a chance to make the target flinch, forcing them to miss their turn.

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