The First-Timer’s Guide to the Alola Region

Welcome to Alola, a region full of adventure and awesome Pokémon to catch! If you're visiting the Alola region for the first time with Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon, you're in for a treat! There are so many places to visit and activities to do beyond the main adventure that it's easy miss out on some of the most exciting and fun activities. So we've put together a big list of activities in the Alola region that are technically optional, but we think you just wouldn't want to miss.

If you've already explored the Alola region in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, or you just want to see everything that Alola has to offer, be sure to check out our companion guide to many of the new activities that have been added with the launch of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.

Alola Resident Events

One of the most important things you can do as you explore the Alola region is talk to everyone you come across. That's because many folks will have little ways to help you on your adventure, including giving you items or money. But it won't always be easy—a lot of people will ask you to run an errand for them, such as catching a particular kind of Pokémon, or to prove your skill by showing off your Pokédex progress. The extra effort often pays off with even greater rewards. These sub-events can be especially useful early in the game when money and resources tend to be a little scarce.

Battle Royal

Play in Battle Royal matches, a fun new way to battle in the Alola region. In Battle Royal, four Trainers duke it out in a chaotic free-for-all! After one Trainer's Pokémon have all been knocked out, the remaining battlers are ranked depending on a number of factors, including who has the most Pokémon remaining and who knocked out the most Pokémon. You can play against computer opponents at the Battle Royal Dome on Akala Island, or against three human friends by choosing Link Battles in Festival Plaza. You'll earn Battle Points at the end of every single-player match in the Battle Royal Dome, which you can spend on great items.

Pokémon Refresh

Even the toughest Pokémon appreciate a little care after a tough battle. Use Pokémon Refresh to clean, comb, and dry off your partners. You can even use Pokémon Refresh to remove various status conditions that would otherwise hang around after battle, such as paralysis and burns. Even better, taking care of your Pokémon will increase their affection toward you, making them more likely to surprise you with extra effort in battle! Be sure to pet your Pokémon and feed them Poké Beans during Pokémon Refresh, which will also increase their affection toward you. If you do your best for your Pokémon, they'll do their best for you!

Battle Styles

Make your presence known when you start a battle with some real style! Talk to an older gentleman named Gester near the Recycling Plant in Outer Cape near Malie City to learn cool new moves that you'll see when you throw a Poké Ball into battle. But you won't learn them all right away—you'll have to prove you're a worthy Trainer to learn all Gester's awesome moves. These battle styles don't affect anything in battle, but they do show your level of dedication and personal flair.

Festival Plaza

Festival Plaza is an incredible place packed with activities that let you connect with other Trainers, help your Pokémon, collect hard-to-get items, and much more. The more time you spend and the more people you encounter in Festival Plaza, the more you can develop it, letting you add even more activities to the bustling locale. Festival Plaza is also where you can join global missions, which are hosted at the Pokémon Global Link, as well as download Battle Spot regulations so you can challenge other Pokémon Trainers in all new ways. And Festival Plaza has added even more new features with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, as you'll see in our returning visitors guide.

Learn more about the Festival Plaza in our comprehensive coverage!

Poké Pelago

Beyond the main islands of Alola is Poké Pelago, a small string of islands that each have fun little things for your Pokémon to do. Here you can harvest Poké Beans to feed to your Pokémon to increase their affection, grow large crops of useful Berries, hatch many Eggs at once, treat your Pokémon to boost their friendship, train your Pokémon's base stats, and send your Pokémon out on adventures by themselves to find valuable treasures. As with Festival Plaza, the more you develop Poké Pelago, the more you'll be able to do here. Take a look at our deep coverage of Poké Pelago.

Battle Tree

Looking for an advanced challenge with your team of well-trained Pokémon? Head to the Battle Tree on Poni Island, where your skills as a Trainer will be seriously tested. Take on team after team of Pokémon and see how many battles you can win in a row. Along the way, you might encounter a variety of famous people from other Pokémon regions, including Colress, Cynthia, and the main characters from the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games. Your success in the Battle Tree won't just be for bragging rights—you'll also earn precious BP that you can spend on rare and useful items, and you'll even earn new stamps for your Trainer Passport.

Battle Buffet

Go for the delicious food but stay for the fun at the Battle Buffet! In this entertaining activity, you have to snag the tastiest and most popular food coming from the kitchen to become the most satisfied diner at the Battle Buffet. You'll need to talk to the customers and pay attention to the dishes that are consumed the quickest to figure out which ones are the most popular. But you won't be able to chow down as soon as you select a dish—you'll have to take down another customer in a Pokémon battle to score your desired delicacy. Once your meal is complete, you'll get a nice treat at the end—one of several items you'll find useful.

PGL Battle Features

Discover more ways to battle at the Pokémon Global Link (PGL). The PGL offers the Battle Spot—several ongoing battle ladders so you can practice, test your team, and find out where you rank among other players around the world. You can also register and play in Online Competitions that often feature quirky rules and regulations that challenge even the most veteran Trainers. You can also download teams raised by other Trainers to spar with friends and test out interesting strategies without having to develop the team yourself. Sign up at the Pokémon Global Link and register your copy of Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon to get started. You'll score a Master Ball just for signing up!

Hyper Training

If you're looking to get your Pokémon into peak battling shape, the Hyper Training feature is a must. After you've completed the main story, seek out Mr. Hyper in the Hau'oli City Shopping Mall. He'll get you on track with his Pokémon boosting regimen that increases the potential of your Pokémon's stats. But he won't train just any Pokémon—he'll only accept Pokémon that have topped out at Lv. 100. Plus, his training program will cost Bottle Caps, which are somewhat hard to get your hands on (try the lottery shops in Festival Plaza and progress through the Battle Agency, for starters). Once fully trained, your Pokémon will be in peak condition and ready for your next serious battle, whether it's in the Battle Tree or against other Trainers in online and live competitions.

The amazing thing about the Alola region is the incredible diversity of fun things to do during your journey. Try all of the activities to discover which ones you like the most! Also, be sure to check out our list of newly added places and features arriving in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. And keep checking for in-depth coverage of the Pokémon TCG and video games.

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