Top Tips to Start Your Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Adventure

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX has arrived for Nintendo Switch, bringing back a different type of Pokémon adventure that a lot of Pokémon fans might not be familiar with. This game has you—as a Pokémon—exploring ever-changing dungeons, rescuing Pokémon, battling enemy Pokémon, and collecting treasures.

This guide will help you with choosing the perfect partner, preparing for battle, determining effective tactics, and anticipating environmental hazards, like dangerous trap tiles, varying terrain, and extreme weather conditions.

At first, the gameplay might seem somewhat simplistic, but as the topics mentioned above suggest, there's quite a bit of depth here. Basic strategies might get you through the early stages of the game, but you'll soon find yourself struggling if you don't improve your technique. Follow these useful tips to get started down the right path so you and your rescue team can save the day. Maybe you'll even discover what's behind your transformation into a Pokémon.

Choosing Your Partner

When the game begins, your answers to a brief series of questions will determine which Pokémon you will play as during the game (though you can choose a different one, if you like). You'll also be given the opportunity to choose another Pokémon who will join you on your quest. Now, you could just choose your favorite Pokémon from the available selection to be your teammate, but you'll have a much easier time of things if you select a Pokémon whose type complements that of your character.

You certainly don't want to have a rescue team composed of two Pokémon whose types have the same weaknesses. You should also consider choosing a partner who is strong against Pokémon types that have an advantage over your character. For example, the Fire-type Charmander is vulnerable to Rock-type attacks, so a Water- or Grass-type Pokémon would help counter that weakness.

All that said, don't sweat it if you don't get your initial Pokémon pairing exactly perfect from the start. As you play, you'll end up recruiting other Pokémon to your rescue team, and your expanding roster will provide even more chances to optimize your team for the challenges you'll face.

Preparing for Dungeons

Heading into a dungeon is kind of a big deal. Unless you use an Escape Orb, you can't leave a dungeon until you complete your objective or until you're knocked out (bonus tip: you don't want that to happen). You'll find useful items within dungeons, but due to the randomly generated nature of these areas, don't count on coming across the item you need when you need it. Since you can never be sure what you're in for, it's extremely important to make sure your rescue team is ready for any situation before entering the fray.

Always swing by Pokémon Square to stock up on supplies before heading out on a job. Money (called Poké) that you've collected on previous outings should be used to purchase supplies for the journey ahead. Items to heal negative status conditions can be crucial, and drinks that boost your stats can give you a solid advantage. You can also stock up on damaging items to throw at enemies from afar. Don't forget to snag some Max Elixirs—given the number of enemies you'll encounter, there's a very real possibility of running out of PP on some of your more powerful attacks. A Max Elixir will restore that PP so you're not stuck using weaker attacks just as you delve into the deeper levels of a dungeon, where the danger increases.

Also be aware that you must keep yourself well fed during your journey. If your Pokémon's Belly gets empty while you're in a dungeon, you'll begin to lose health fast. Bring some food along to nosh on as you explore. Every now and again, you'll come across a small shop run by Kecleon in a dungeon. There's a good chance you won't have found enough money in that dungeon alone to purchase anything, so you might want to bring some extra money into the dungeon with you just in case you need it.

One of the quirks of dungeons is that if you're knocked out in one, you will lose any items and money that you were holding at the time. Depositing goods and money in Pokémon Square's Kangaskhan Storage and Felicity Bank will protect them while you're off adventuring, with the trade-off that, well, you won't have access to them if you need them. You must balance risk and reward when deciding what to bring and what to leave behind when you start a quest—but never enter a dungeon unprepared.

Positioning Your Team

It might not be immediately apparent when you start your adventure, but Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a turn-based game. Every time you take a step, use an item, or make an attack, it counts as a turn. Then, your teammates make their moves, and finally, any enemy Pokémon on the dungeon floor you're currently exploring do their thing. Each turn you take also decreases the amount of food in your Belly. Because of all this, it's important to learn how to skillfully move around in dungeons to preserve precious food and to maneuver your partners into position to attack enemies.

You'll also need to be aware of how your teammates follow you around the dungeons. When you want them to be in a precise position, press the + Button anytime (even during a battle) to control a different teammate. Note that this won't work with Pokémon who have just joined your team in the course of your current dungeon trek. Alternatively, hold the B Button while moving onto another Pokémon's space to switch positions with them. This can be handy when you're trying to get someone to step on a stat-normalizing Wonder Tile. It's also useful when you encounter an enemy in narrow corridors. If your partner is facing a Pokémon to which they are vulnerable, you can quickly swap places with them to pull them out of immediate danger. Likewise, you can use this trick to put your friend between you and the enemy if you need a little breathing room or if you have a long-range attack at your disposal.

Knowing Your Combat Range

You'll encounter plenty of enemy Pokémon lurking about as you explore dungeons. You'll likely have to battle them, of course, and you'll be much more effective if you take advantage of your attacks' ranges. Each of your moves affects a set number of spaces around you, and if your enemy is in one of those spaces, they'll take a hit. Many attacks simply hit the space directly in front of you, but that's not always the case.

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There are long-range attacks that can hit a target multiple spaces away directly in front of you, while other moves will hit spaces adjacent to your character. There are even moves that will affect every enemy in the room. Remember that attacks that hit multiple adjacent spaces at once are much less effective when used in narrow corridors between rooms, so be careful not to waste them there.

Manipulating Your Moves

You'll be able to learn new moves as you play through your adventures. As in the main series of Pokémon RPGs, new moves will become available to you as you level up, and you can learn new moves with TMs. TMs are available for purchase at Kecleon Wares, but you'll also come across them in dungeons.

Another way to customize your Pokémon's moves is by linking them. Visit the Gulpin Link Shop in Pokémon Square or use the Link Box item to connect two or more of your moves together, allowing you to use a string of moves in a single turn. It's a great way to activate a stat-altering move while also getting an attack in on your opponent. Try to link moves that have the same range and a similar amount of PP to get the best use out of them. A downside of linking moves is that your Belly will empty more rapidly when you use linked moves. Also, you'll use up PP for all linked moves at once whenever you use them. Make sure you've brought along plenty of food to refill your Belly and Max Elixirs to refill your moves' PP!

Teammate Tactics

Although your teammates will follow you and attack on their own, you can direct their actions by adjusting their tactics, accessible by selecting Tactics Meeting from the X Menu. These are basic commands that your friends will follow. By default, your teammates' tactics are set to “Let's go together,” but you can issue other orders, like “Follow me,” “Don't use moves,” “Go after foes,” “Go the other way,” “Wait there,” and “Run away from enemies.”

You can alter tactics at any time, and issuing the proper commands to your team will make them better battlers and help keep them out of danger. It's easy to leave your teammates set to the default, but experimenting with different tactics can be very useful and rewarding throughout your adventures.

Beware of Trap Tiles

Dungeons are filled with peril, and there are few trickier situations to navigate than treacherous trap tiles. These deceiving obstacles are normally hidden from sight, disguised as floor tiles. Hidden, that is, until you step on them. There is a wide variety of traps with all sorts of negative effects; some simply cause damage, while others inflict a negative status condition, such as Sleep or Poisoned.

More-devious traps will summon a swarm of enemies, seal off one of your moves, lower the PP of one of your moves to zero, or prevent you from using an item in your inventory. There are plenty of other trap tiles as well, and they usually spell bad news.

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Fortunately, you do have defenses against traps. The Trap Scarf item prevents traps from activating if a Pokémon steps on them, and the Trapbust Orb destroys all traps on the current dungeon floor. Tread carefully to keep your rescue team from suffering any unnecessary consequences.

Learn the Terrain

In addition to trap tiles, there are other environmental elements within dungeons to watch out for. Terrain and weather by themselves may not harm you, but they will affect how you maneuver through each dungeon. Take note of your surroundings and adjust your strategies.

There are a few different types of dungeon terrain: Ground is the standard terrain that you'll find in most dungeons. Any Pokémon can travel on this, of course. Water is common, but Water-type Pokémon typically don't need to worry about it, as they can cross it with ease. Likewise, magma will block the way for most everyone but Fire-type Pokémon.

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Most Pokémon that fly or hover above the ground have the advantage of being able to cross over water and magma, although magma will burn crossing Pokémon if they aren't Fire type. Ghost types can even travel through terrain, but their Bellies empty faster while they're doing so. There are also certain dungeon walls that can be broken with the move Rock Smash.

Regardless of how you chart your path through the dungeons, consider having a team that can deal with any kind of terrain you might face.

Know the Weather Forecast

Weather doesn't prevent your rescue team from moving, but it can hinder certain attacks and occasionally do damage to you, your teammates, and even enemy Pokémon. Usually, dungeons will have clear weather, which has no effects, positive or negative. But you will sometimes enter a dungeon floor that has one of the following weather conditions, which should look somewhat familiar if you've played the main series of Pokémon RPGs.

  • Sunny: Increases damage from Fire-type attacking moves but decreases damage from Water-type attacking moves. Pokémon won't get Frozen.

  • Extremely Harsh Sunlight: Increases damage from Fire-type attacking moves but nullifies effects from Water-type attacking moves. Pokémon won't get Frozen.

  • Hail: Unless you are Ice type, you cannot restore your HP naturally and will keep taking damage.

  • Sandstorm: Unless you are Rock, Ground, or Steel type, you cannot restore your HP naturally and will keep taking damage. Boosts the Sp. Def of Rock-type Pokémon.

  • Rain: Increases damage from Water-type attacking moves but decreases damage from Fire-type attacking moves. Prevents explosions from traps and moves like Explosion.

  • Heavy Rain: Boosts Water-type attacking moves and nullifies the effects of Fire-type attacking moves. Prevents explosions from traps and moves like Explosion.

  • Strong Winds: Eliminates all the Flying type's weaknesses.

There are certain moves, items, and Pokémon Abilities that can manipulate the weather, which can be used to your advantage if you have access to them. There are also items like the Weather Band or Abilities like Psyduck's Cloud Nine that will prevent the effects of weather.

As you can see, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a much deeper game than it might initially appear to be. Start using these tips right away, though—the game can get very difficult very quickly, and if you don't start thinking strategically early on, you might be overwhelmed as the adventure progresses. But don't stress out too much. Even if you get knocked out in a dungeon, another rescue team can come to your aid, or you can always give it another go. Just be prepared, play thoughtfully, and maybe you'll solve the mystery of these tricky dungeons!

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