Pokémon Masters EX: Level Caps, Sync Grids, Move Level, Evolution, and More

In Pokémon Masters EX, you'll explore the artificial island of Pasio, teaming up with famous Trainers to compete in 3-on-3 battles that take place in real time as you work toward becoming the champion of the Pokémon Masters League (PML) tournament. On Pasio, each Trainer pairs up with one trusted Pokémon at a time—this partnership is known as a sync pair, and it's the foundation of your Pokémon Masters EX team. Building a diverse roster of sync pairs, developing their skills, and pairing them in teams that highlight their strengths are the keys to being successful in your journey.

You'll need to pull out all the stops to help your sync pairs become powerful enough to take on tough foes like those you'll find in the Battle Villa, the Legendary Arena, or the Champion Stadium. We'll break down the qualities that make each sync pair unique and teach you how to get the most out of each.

Pokémon Masters EX is now available for download on the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Sync Pair Basics

Each sync pair has several qualities that never change. They know a unique set of four moves, possess one to three passive skills (think Abilities in the Pokémon RPGs), have a single Pokémon type that determines the type of their powerful sync move, and have a single Pokémon type weakness that they'll take additional damage from.

Each sync pair also has a role—strike, support, or tech. Strike sync pairs tend to have higher Attack or Sp. Atk but lower HP. Support sync pairs are on the opposite end of the spectrum—they usually have higher HP, have lower offensive stats, and learn moves that restore HP or increase their teammates' stats. Tech sync pairs tend to focus more on affecting the battle indirectly with tricky tactics like inflicting status conditions.

Each sync pair also has a level and six stats: HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed. The stats function similarly to how they do in other Pokémon games. HP represents how much damage a sync pair can take; Attack determines the power of physical moves, which can be guarded against with Defense; Sp. Atk and Sp. Def are similar to Attack and Defense but for special moves; and Speed affects the rate the move gauge fills. You can increase a sync pair's level by giving them level-up manuals or by winning battles while they're on your team. Each time a sync pair levels up, their stats increase.

In addition to gaining experience, a sync pair can also become more powerful through five more complex methods: increasing their level cap, increasing their potential or ★s, increasing their move level in order to strengthen their moves, activating tiles on their sync grid to improve their stats and capabilities, and teaching them a lucky skill.

Increasing Your Sync Pairs' Level and Level Cap

You can level up your sync pairs to their initial level cap as soon as you scout them, but to make them even more powerful you'll need to increase their level cap. You'll need to invest some items each time you do this, and the items you need will vary depending on the role of the sync pair you're enhancing.

Early in the main story, you'll receive special area info for the Training Area. The items you need to increase the level caps of your sync pairs can be obtained in the Cap-Unlock Area of the Training Area. But be warned—the battles here are recommended for sync pairs that are already Lv. 100, Lv. 110, or even Lv. 120, respectively! To unlock Lv. 125, you'll need some additional items that can only be obtained in Cap-Unlock Area 2. Once you've obtained the necessary items, you can increase your sync pair's level cap by pressing the Sync Pairs button in the Pokémon Center and then selecting Unlock Level Cap.

Once your sync pair's level cap is unlocked, you can then level up the sync pair as you did before. The Level-Up Area of the Training Area is a great source of level-up manuals to make this faster. Additionally, level-up manuals and the items needed to increase the level caps of sync pairs are often available during events.

Maximizing the Potential of Sync Pairs

Each sync pair has an initial potential denoted by its number of ★s. Sync pairs gain stats as their potential is increased. A sync pair's potential will never increase on its own, but you can increase it with rare power-up items.

You'll need to give a sync pair twenty 3★ Power-Ups to increase their potential from 3★ to 4★ and then twenty 4★ Power-Ups to further increase their potential from 4★ to 5★. You can also increase the power of a 5★ sync pair by giving them up to twenty 5★ Power-Ups, but they won't immediately be promoted to 6★ when you do. If the sync pair in question has 6★ EX unlocked, you'll need to use Champion Spirits to increase their potential to 6★ EX and receive their EX Style and powered up sync move. Each time you increase a sync pair's potential, their stats will increase, even if they don't attain another ★.

The most common means of obtaining power-up items is by scouting a sync pair that has already joined your team and already has their move level maxed out, but power-up items are often also available via events. You can also exchange common power-ups for rarer power-ups in the Exchange Items section of the Shop menu.

Increasing Sync Pairs' Move Level

One of the most impactful ways to increase your sync pair's performance is to increase their move level—the number that ranges from 1/5 to a maximum of 5/5 in the Potential & Move Level section of the Sync Pair menu. Each time your sync pair's move level increases, their attacks and sync move will deal more damage. You'll also need to increase the move level of most sync pairs to get the most out of the sync grid (more on that in a moment).

The most common means of increasing a sync pair's move level is by scouting that same sync pair again after they have already joined your team. You'll probably find it's pretty easy to increase the move level of common 3★ sync pairs, while rarer 5★ sync pairs can be very difficult to power up unless you scout them repeatedly while they're featured in a Spotlight Scout or Poké Fair Scout. Sync pairs that join your team during the story can't be scouted at the shop, but you'll sometimes be able to increase the move level of such sync pairs during events.

The other means of increasing a sync pair's move level is by using extremely rare move candy items that are sometimes available during events. There's a different item for each role and initial potential. If your Red & Charizard had a move level of 2/5, giving them a 5★ Strike Move Candy would increase their move level to 3/5. Note that it's the sync pair's initial potential that determines what move candy to use to increase their move level—a Skyla & Swanna that started at 3★, for example, would still use 3★ Support Move Candy to increase their move level even if you've increased their potential to 5★.

Elevating Sync Pairs with the Sync Grid

The most involved and impactful method of increasing a sync pair's power is through their sync grid. Each sync pair can get at least some stat increases through their sync grid, but it's the sync pairs with expanded sync grids that shine brightest. Most newly released sync pairs have expanded sync grids, while older sync pairs gradually have their sync grids expanded through events. Some particularly powerful tiles on the expanded sync grids of certain sync pairs are locked until the sync pair's move level is increased to 2/5 or 3/5.

In order to activate tiles on a sync grid, you'll need to spend sync orbs, which you can get from the Sync Orb Area of the Training Area as well as from most events. Before you can spend sync orbs, you'll need to convert them into sync orbs that are specific to the character you're enhancing. Each sync pair's sync grid is different, but on each sync grid you'll find powerful bonuses like stat increases, move power increases, “MP Refresh” effects (which sometimes allow you to use moves with limited uses more times in battle), and passive effects that trigger on certain battle conditions.

A fully developed sync grid vastly increases the power of a sync pair. Collecting all of the necessary sync orbs is a big investment, but it's a great way to ensure your favorite sync pairs can take on the toughest foes!

Teaching Sync Pairs Lucky Skills

Winning battles in the Battle Villa will sometimes reward lucky scrolls and lucky cookies. These items are the key to teaching your sync pairs lucky skills, which are essentially additional passive skills with a variety of effects. Each sync pair can have only one lucky skill.

To teach a sync pair a lucky skill, you'll need to give your sync pair lucky scrolls to unlock their lucky skill slot (sync pairs with higher initial potential will need more lucky scrolls than those that start with lower initial potential). Once a sync pair's lucky skill slot is unlocked, you can give them a lucky cookie, via which they'll receive a random lucky skill based on the type of cookie you gave them. If you'd prefer a different lucky skill, you can give the sync pair another lucky cookie and then pick which of the two lucky skills you'd like to keep.

There are four types of lucky cookies, each tied to different kinds of lucky skills. Crunchy Lucky Cookies will teach your sync pairs lucky skills mostly related to attacking. Creamy Lucky Cookies will help against stat-lowering effects. Crispy Lucky Cookies counter status conditions and certain other conditions. Finally, Chewy Lucky Cookies teach lucky skills that protect sync pairs against attacks of a certain type. Most lucky cookies also have a rarity, with 3★ lucky cookies having a greater chance of rewarding a higher-level skill.

Evolving Pokémon in Pokémon Masters EX

Certain sync pairs can gain a small power boost through Evolution! Evolved Pokémon don't receive the large stat boost in Pokémon Masters EX that they do in most other Pokémon games, but if a Pokémon can evolve, you'll need to fully evolve it to maximize the power of its sync move.

The first sync pairs with Pokémon you can help evolve are likely to be those with first partner Pokémon from past games—sync pairs such as Barry & Piplup and Rosa & Snivy, for example. Each of these sync pairs will need to be at least Lv. 30 to evolve the first time, at which point you'll obtain area info related to their Evolution. You'll also need Evolution materials, which you can earn in the Evolution Material Area of the Training Area.

Once you have the necessary items, you'll need to complete a special sync pair story battle unique to that sync pair. But be ready for a tough fight if you run off to battle the moment your sync pair reaches the minimum level required—the opponents in these bouts are no pushovers! If you win the battle, however, the Pokémon in your sync pair will evolve.

Raising Pokémon from Eggs

If you're looking to power up a hatched Pokémon to pair with the main character, it's important to note that many of the normal methods either won't work or work differently. You can't scout Eggs, hatched Pokémon don't have a sync grid, and since Eggs hatch at only 1★, you'll have to do some extra work up front to bring their stats up to the same level as the sync pairs you scout.

Hatched Pokémon also have something called “affinity”—an exclusive means of improving their stats that works similarly to potential. There are only three 20-point affinity levels, which can be increased by giving your hatched Pokémon treat items like Berry Tarts. Also exclusive to hatched Pokémon are 1★ and 2★ Power-Up items; you'll need 20 of each to raise a hatched Pokémon up to 3★ so they can use the same power-up items as other sync pairs.

In order to increase the move level of a hatched Pokémon, you'll need to give it Egg Move Candy. While hatched Pokémon don't have a sync grid, they're able to learn a lucky skill just like any other sync pair.

Parting Thoughts

There's a lot to learn about sync pairs and battling on Pasio, but you'll quickly get the hang of making your sync pairs stronger and stronger. In addition to improving the strength of your roster, there are a few other things to keep in mind as you're starting out.

Don't forget to log in each day to get log-in bonuses and to complete daily missions, which will net you some easy items and gems. You can also do a limited number of Training Area battles each day, so don't forget about them. You can never get enough sync orbs!

Each sync pair has a sync pair story that gives you some background about your new allies. They're a lot of fun, and you'll get some easy rewards for completing them, too. This is also where to go to evolve your Pokémon.

Finally, it's a good stretch goal to work toward earning gear from EX Plaza co-op battles to increase your team's stats in battle. EX Plaza co-op battles will sometimes reward both 1★ and 2★ gear of each type, which you can power up with additional copies of the same gear and specific items like thread and cloth. A full set of Lv. 15 2★ gear will grant 50 HP, 40 Attack, and 40 Sp. Atk to sync pairs of a matching type; those additional stats can be just enough of a boost to survive a powerful attack or to defeat an opposing sync pair before they can launch a sync move. Try to start out by getting a full set of gear that matches the type of one of your favorite strike sync pairs.

Enjoy your journey toward the Pokémon Masters League tournament, Trainers! Have fun and check back soon to Pokemon.com/Strategy for more tips about Pokémon Masters EX and other Pokémon video games.

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