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Guide and Walkthrough by KeyBlade999

Version: v1.50 | Updated: 02/22/2016
FAQ of the Month Winner: October 2015

Winner of GameFAQs's FAQ of the Month award for the month of October 2015! A huge thanks goes out to those who contributed to this guide and made it possible!

For the best possible viewing experience of this FAQ, it is highly recommended that you scroll to the bottom of this webpage (or tap "End" on your keyboard) and click on "View as Single Page", which will prevent the need to switch between pages! Also do not forget the Table of Contents, which can be found in the blue header by clicking the three parallel lines, and the option to search for terms, items, and names throughout the whole guide, found by clicking the magnifying glass above!

  • Game: Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon (ポケモン超不思議のダンジョン, Pokémon Chou Fushigi no Dungeon)
  • Console: Nintendo 3DS
  • File Type: Formatted Shift-JIS FAQ/Walkthrough
  • Author: KeyBlade999 (a.k.a. Daniel Chaviers)
  • Version: v1.50
  • Time of Update: 11:57 PM 2/21/2016


While I do write all of my guides for free, it does take a lot of time and effort to put them together. If you're feeling generous and want to show your appreciation, I am gladly accepting donations. I don't know exactly what the donations will be used for, but just know that you would definitely be helping me make more quality FAQs! Even the smallest donation amounts are appreciated, and they are a great way to say how much you appreciate the work I do. If you do decide you'd like to donate, please send the donations through PayPal at the e-mail address listed below. Thank you so very much for at least considering this!!

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Hello, and welcome to my latest FAQ.

So, we finally come to it again. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. My favorite game series of all-time. A series I've valued since I was but a child of about 10 years of age. That was a time in my life that I was heavily in love with what remains some of my favorite games of all time: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger... Nothing seemingly could shake me from the belief that these games were perhaps among the best of the best. Then I watched an episode of anime that aired on Cartoon Network: the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon special. The concept rocked my world at the time: imagine a game where you could play AS the Pokémon. It surprised me ever further to learn that the anime was derived from a game of the same name. Thus, I came to own Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team.

The game was a shocker, to say the least. I have enjoyed roguelikes all my life (at that time, I was also loving Dark Cloud 2), but this game was on a completely different level. Mainly, the story. The story is the reason why I have always played Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. The gameplay could be terrible (and, indeed, fell short with Gates to Infinity), but I would still play it, just because the amazing story. It was the first game that made me legitimately cry in sadness at the end of it. Even when I replay it now, I still do. The impact of the story is so heavy, because there is much to relate to, to connect to. In a mere 40 hours, I knew that I would be playing this game for a long time. And so I did. The day I got my Nintendo DS, I also got Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness, and then Explorers of Sky some time thereafter in 2009. Then Gates to Infinity, after a long wait, in 2013.

A chain of three great games I've played (discounting the alternate versions and the Adventure Squad games). Gates to Infinity met with criticism for its lack of Pokémon, and so, it seems ChunSoft and Game Freak are here to do right by the series again. Now, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is releasing, two years after Gates, and it plans to live up to the name of "Super". More Pokémon than any other Mystery Dungeon title thus far. A brand-new story, hopefully living up to the emotional swells of the previous titles. More dungeons than any other PMD entry (over 120!). 3D graphics! Epic soundtracks! It seems like a game that will live up to the large, renowned title of a Pokémon game, much more worthy of the title of "Super" ... a game that could not disappoint.

Needless to say, I have been hyped for this game's release since it was announced some months ago. ... "Hyped" is an underwhelming word for it. I honestly don't think I've ever been so wanting for the days to fly by that I could play this game. Well, it's here. It's ... finally here.

All of my mindless babbling aside, I hope you enjoy my FAQ!

A Quick Note

What I cover throughout this basics section is mostly some important stuff. There is some strategy in this section, and some stuff that is simply very important to know. I didn't cover everything because some more of the (honestly more intuitive) stuff (such as controls) is in the game's e-manual. Be sure to view it...

Mystery Dungeon Overview

When you're in a dungeon, you will be walking alongside your allies in most circumstances. Throughout the course of a dungeon, you will also encounter other Pokémon. Each Pokémon has a "type". Types are like elements; Grass is weak to Fire, and Fire is weak to Water, for example. Some Pokémon have two types as well. When attacking with a move, your move's own type is factored in the damage calculation: thus, Water Pulse (Water-type) works well on a Charmander (Fire-type), but not another Water-type like Piplup. You can look here to find info on how Pokémon types correlate with each other in that manner. Each Pokémon can have four moves, so it's best to choose wisely! Pokémon can learn moves via TMs and by leveling-up (which occurs as you gain EXP. from beating foes). It is usually best to keep two "STAB" moves on-hand. ("STAB" refers to the "Same Type Attack Bonus" earned from using a move that is the same type as the Pokémon.) It also helps to provide "coverage" moves (those that allow you to hit other types of Pokémon, like you could have Pikachu learn Brick Break to take care of additional types of Pokémon). Sometimes, even status moves have their own benefits worth using, so be sure to check them out.

Note that, during battles, you can get damaged yourself. While your goal is to attack your opponent and lower their HP, it is also theirs to lower your HP. If it hits zero for the party leader, and you have no Reviver Seeds, then you are automatically ejected from the dungeon and have to start over, and you can lose items/money in the process! Always be sure to know when to stay out of or away from combat, and be ready to heal. Also be sure to balance how often you use moves; you have a standard no-type attack controlled by the A Button. It's relatively weak, but consumes no PP, so it's nice to chip away at foes' HP when you think they're nearly KO'ed. Some dungeons can be long, after all, so wasting PP is a bad idea.

NOTE: Co-operation!

Partway through the game, you'll earn the ability to execute a Alliance. When you do a Alliance, you will be able to choose your partners' moves, and your own of course, and then move in on a Pokémon to deal a lot of damage. Damage is somewhat boosted, but most importantly ignores type resistances.

When you KO a Pokémon, at long last, you will earn EXP. and also any item that the Pokémon may have been holding. Unlike earlier games in the series, you do NOT recruit new Pokémon when KO'ing them in battle. Rather, Pokémon are recruited by means of the Connection Orb. I'll give a quicker overview of this in a moment.

During a dungeon, you may also run into various items strewn about on the floor. By walking onto them, you can collect them. These items can be useful and have a wide variety of effects, so they're, too, worth examination. It always helps to keep some Oran Berries (healing HP), Max Elixers (healing PP, which allows the use of moves), and Reviver Seeds (which auto-revive upon KO) when possible. Sometimes, these will be found at a shop, in which case you'll have to pay money for the items. (Trust me, stealing is never a good idea...)

In a Mystery Dungeon, you will be tasked with somehow moving to the next floor. On each floor in a dungeon, there lies a staircase. You are to go to it to reach the next floor, ad infinitum, until the end. Dungeons can have anywhere from 5 floors to over 90, so be sure to prepare ahead of time. You are not tasked with making a beeline to the staircase, however; in fact, that can be a bit of a disadvantage to you since you'll possibly end up underleveled. Particularly in the early portions of the game, it's better to explore floors in their entirety, grabbing all the treasure and the like.

As time goes on, you will notice two primary things happening to you. First, your HP will heal over time. As your Pokémon walk, they regain HP every set amount of steps, with that amount being proportional to their max HP. Secondly, the Belly stat (おなか) will deplete over time. Hunger will decrease with every set amount of steps taken, and decreases slightly faster when you use PP for a move. When it hits zero, you begin to lose 3 HP with every step and cannot recover HP automatically. Thus, it's always a good idea to bring several Apples or the like items with you on your journey.

There are other features in dungeons worth note.

  • Monster Houses: Occasionally when entering a room in the dungeon, a bunch of Pokémon can suddenly appear. Like, at least ten. This is a particular reason to carry multi-target moves!

  • Terrain: The terrain can change. All Pokémon can walk on land, but there are other kinds of areas, too! If somehow forced onto an area where you cannot walk, you warp elsewhere on the floor at random.
    • Walls: Only Ghost Pokémon can go through these, usually.
    • Water: Water Pokémon and Flying Pokémon can go here.
    • Lava: Fire Pokémon and Flying Pokémon can go here.
    • Open Air: Only Flying Pokémon can go here.

  • Traps: There are a variety of traps in this game. When you step on a tile, it may reveal a trap. Traps are usually bad for you and can cause damage, induce ailments, remove items, transform items in enemy Pokémon, summon enemy Pokémon, and more. Be careful!

  • Wonder Tiles: These can remove stat reductions, like if someone uses Growl on you to lower your Attack. However, they also can lower your stat boosts, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons.

Mega Evolution

Throughout the course of your PSMD experience, you'll be able to find Emeras. These are items able to be attached to your Looplets. There is one Emera in particular that can be attached, the Awakening (覚醒) Emera. When equipped, the Pokémon can Mega Evolve! Mega Evolution allows the Pokémon to become significantly stronger, even able to break walls in the dungeon. Its type and ability may also change. Only certain Pokémon species can Mega Evolve, however. Here are the species, types, numbers, and abilities of all the Mega Pokémon.

#English NameJapanese NameTypePossible Abilities
#003-MMega VenusaurメガフシギバナGrass/PoisonThick Fat
#007-MMega Charizard XメガゼニガメーXFire/DragonTough Claws
#007-MMega Charizard YメガゼニガメーYFire/FlyingDrought
#009-MMega BlastoiseメガカメックスWaterMega Launcher
#015-MMega BeedrillメガスピアーBug/PoisonAdapatability
#018-MMega PidgeotメガピジョットNormal/FlyingNo Guard
#065-MMega AlakazamメガフーディンPsychicTrace
#080-MMega SlowbroメガヤドランWater/PsychicShell Armor
#094-MMega GengarメガゲンガーGhost/PoisonShadow Tag
#127-MMega PinsirメガカイロスBug/FlyingMold Breaker
#130-MMega GyaradosメガギャラドスWater/DarkMold Breaker
#142-MMega AerodactylメガプテラRock/FlyingTough Claws
#150-MMega Mewtwo XメガミュウツーXPsychic/FightingSteadfast
#150-MMega Mewtwo YメガミュウツーYPsychicInsomnia
#181-MMega AmpharosメガデンリュウElectric/DragonMold Breaker
#208-MMega SteelixメガハガネールSteel/GroundSand Force
#212-MMega ScizorメガハッサムBug/SteelTechnician
#214-MMega HeracrossメガヘラクロスBug/FightingSkill Link
#229-MMega HoundoomメガヘルガーFire/DarkSolar Power
#248-MMega TyranitarメガバンギラスRock/DarkSand Stream
#254-MMega SceptileメガジュカインGrass/DragonLightning Rod
#257-MMega BlazikenメガバシャーモFire/FightingSpeed Boost
#260-MMega SwampertメガラグラージWater/GroundSwift Swim
#282-MMega GardevoirメガサーナイトPsychic/FairyPixilate
#302-MMega SableyeメガヤミラミDark/GhostMagic Bounce
#303-MMega MawileメガクチートSteel/FairyHuge Power
#306-MMega AggronメガボスゴドラSteel/RockFilter
#308-MMega MedichamメガチャーレムFighting/PsychicPure Power
#310-MMega ManectricメガライボルトElectricIntimidate
#319-MMega SharpedoメガサメハダーWater/DarkStrong Jaws
#323-MMega CameruptメガバクーダFire/GroundSheer Force
#334-MMega AltariaメガチルタリスDragon/FairyPixilate
#354-MMega BanetteメガジュペッタGhostPrankster
#359-MMega AbsolメガアブソルDarkMagic Bounce
#362-MMega GlalieメガオニゴーリIceStrong Jaws
#373-MMega SalamenceメガボーマンダDragon/FlyingAerialate
#376-MMega MetagrossメガメタグロスSteel/PsychicTough Claws
#380-MMega LatiasメガラティアスDragon/PsychicLevitate
#381-MMega LatiosメガラティオスDragon/PsychicLevitate
#384-MMega RayquazaメガレックウザDragon/FlyingDelta Stream
#428-MMega LopunnyメガミミロップNormal/FightingScrappy
#445-MMega GarchompメガガブリアスDragon/GroundSand Force
#448-MMega LucarioメガルカリオFighting/SteelAdaptability
#460-MMega AbomasnowメガユキノオーGrass/IceSnow Warning
#475-MMega GalladeメガエルレイドPsychic/FightingJustified
#531-MMega AudinoメガタブンネNormalHealer
#719-MMega DiancieメガディアンシーRock/FairyMagic Bounce

Pokémon Recruitment

Just as in the regular Pokémon games, it is disadvantageous to go through the game using the same Pokémon over and over. In previous Mystery Dungeon titles, you'd just knock the living crap out of the foe and hope that it suddenly respects you enough to want to join the party. The Connection Orb shows a web of all the Pokémon you have connected with in some fashion, and the Pokémon connected to them, and so on; when you find one you've connected to, you might have a mission you need to complete for the Pokémon in question. Recruited Pokémon can be used in dungeons not a part of the main storyline.

Depending on the Pokémon in question, you will have to do some sort of task:

  • Complete a mission - you can speak to them in the field for this or use the map on the Connection Orb. Multiple missions can be taken on at once.
  • You can connect to it through other Pokémon.
  • Ranking up in the Expedition Society makes more connections!
  • If it has an "!" above it in the field, they might join outright!

Status Ailments

Some moves have the special characteristic of inhibiting the target somehow. These moves might make the user take periodic damage, worsen their damage output... It all depends, really. Below is a list of the main ailments you'll see in the game.

AttractedThe Pokémon may not attack for a while.
BurnedThe Pokémon takes periodic damage, and the damage they deal by means of physical attacks is halved.
ConfusionThe Pokémon moves in directions which they cannot choose, and their attacks spread off in random directions, possibly hitting allies.
EmbargoThe Pokémon cannot use items for a time.
EncoreThe Pokémon must repeatedly use the same move for a time.
EndureThe Pokémon cannot be KO'ed for a bit, surviving with one HP.
FrozenThe Pokémon cannot move for a while.
HungerThe Pokémon's Belly is at 0. Non-controlled Pokémon just stop moving. If it's you afflicted, then you lose HP with every step.
ImprisonedYou cannot use a move known by the one doing the imprisoning.
ParalyzedThe Pokémon only moves every second turn until the status wears off.
PoisonedThe Pokémon takes periodic damage. If Badly Poisoned, the damage increases over time.
Repressed AbilitiesThe Pokémon's abilities are ignored for a while.
SleepThe Pokémon cannot move for a while.
Stat BoostThe Pokémon's stats have increased.
Stat LoweredThe user's stats have been lowered.
TauntedThe Pokémon cannot use status moves for a while.
TormentThe Pokémon cannot use the same move in succession for a while.


In this game, weather plays a prescence just as it does in competitive Pokémon. There are a number of different weather types, each with varying effects. Keep in mind that certain abilities play along with weather effects; for example, you get a power boost when its Sunny and you have Solar Power.


Description: The standard weather type with no special characteristics. However, it is the only one in which you automatically regain HP as you walk. It can be initiated some time after the use of a weather move or ability (once it wears off, in other words), or by Rayquaza's Air Lock.


Description: Initiated by means of Drizzle or Rain Dance. This weather powers up Water moves and lowers the power of Fire moves by 50% each, and also makes it such that Thunder and Hurricane always hits. It also lessens the power of Synthesis and Moonlight to 1/4 recovery, and makes Solar Beam charge for one more turn.


Description: Initiated by means of Drought or Sunny Day. This weather powers up Fire moves and lowers that of Water moves, each by 50%. Thunder and Hurricane are reduced to 50% accuracy, but Synthesis and Moonlight are increased to 2/3 recovery. Solar Beam also can be used immediately, without charge.


Description: Initiated through Sand Stream or Sandstorm. This weather boosts the Sp. Def. of Rock-type Pokémon by 50%. Furthermore, Pokémon not of the Ground, Rock, or Steel types will take periodic damage while walking. Synthesis and Moonlight are lowered to 1/4 recovery, and Solar Beam charges an extra turn.


Description: Initiated through Snow Warning or Hail. This weather periodically damages all Pokémon not of the Ice type and assures that Blizzard will hit. That's about it.


Description: Think of it as being Clear weather without the special HP restoration. Furthermore, Ice-type Pokémon get two moves. It's triggered environmentally.

Intensely Sunny

Description: Initiated by Primal Groudon's ability in Desolate Land, and it's not able to be overridden except by Primal Kyogre's and Mega Rayquaza's respective abilities. This weather works just like Sunny weather, but now Water moves will never do any damage.

Oppressively Rainy

Description: Initiated by Primal Kyogre's ability in Primordial Sea, and it's not able to be overridden except by Primal Groudon's and Mega Rayquaza's respective abilities. This weather works just like Rainy weather, but now Fire moves never do any damage.

Strong Winds

Description: Initiated by Mega Rayquaza's Delta Stream ability, it is not able to be overridden except through Desolate Land and Primordial Sea. This ability makes it so that Pokémon of the Flying type lose part of their weaknesses. For example, a Normal/Flying Pokémon is now no longer weak to Ice, Rock, or Electric. However, if it was doubly-weak to something, such as Talonflame (Fire/Flying) having a double-weakness to Rock (4x damage), the damage is still halved (so now it hurts for double damage). This only applies to Flying Pokémon, however; Glaceon, an Ice-type, will still take double damage from Rock moves.

Some Important Terms & Definitions

Just in case you're confused about something.

  • Ability: Every Pokémon has 1 to 3 Abilities it may have. An Ability is a trait that a Pokémon has that gives it some kind of advantage or disadvantage in battle: some allow for extra damage, some reduce damage, some allow avoidance of attacks...

  • Accuracy: The preset hit rate each move has for itself that determines how likely it is to hit. In general, this can be seen as a percentage: for example, Stone Edge has 80 Accuracy so it could be seen as having an 80% hit rate. A move with a 100% hit rate is generally always going to hit. However, this is only when you assume that your accuracy has not been changed by certain moves or your foe's evasion. Certain moves - usually status moves, but a niche few others - will ignore accuracy and evasion entirely, and always hit.

  • Attack (Atk.): Attack is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Attack will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, physical moves. Physical moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Physical moves will use the user's Attack and the target's Defense in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Belly: Belly is a stat that decreases over time. It starts at 100 and depletes with every few steps you take, and faster when certain actions are taken. When it hits zero, you will lose 1 HP for every step you take as you will be in a state known as "Hunger". Eats Apples - or something! - to refill your Belly!

  • Class: Class is an attribute given to moves: it determines the move's own nature and what stats its damage is based on. There are three classes: Physical, Special, and Status. Physical moves usually are based on the user's Attack and the target's Defense; Special moves are usually based on the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def.; and Status moves use neither, but instead affect various other things.

  • Contact: Contact is a characteristic of moves that will determine whether the user actually touches the target. This usually has no use. However, there are certain applications of it, such as contact attackers possibly being paralyzed by Pikachu's Static ability.

  • Critical Hit (a.k.a. Critical or just Crit): An attack that does 50% more damage than normal. When an attack is critical, it will be openly declared as such by the game. Most moves have an initial critical-hit rate of 1/16 (6.25%), but this can be raised through various means. Also take note that critical hits will ignore the boosts in Defenses of the target and the decrements of the user's Attack (barring items/abilities/Burn), and will also bypass Light Screen and Reflect.

  • Defense (Def.): Defense is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Defense will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, physical moves. Physical moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Physical moves will use the user's Attack and the target's Defense in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Evolution: When a Pokémon meets certain conditions - usually reaching a certain level, though the methods vary - the Pokémon will evolve. This is usually accompanied by stat boosts, a better set of moves to learn, and so on. The exact conditions for evolution for every Pokémon can be seen in the Evolutions Methods section.

  • Experience Points (EXP.): When a Pokémon defeats another in battle, it will earn EXP. By earning enough EXP., the Pokémon will level up and become stronger.

  • Forme (sometimes incorrectly as "Form"): Some Pokémon have two or more different Formes. The actual purpose of having different Formes can vary. For example, with Pikachu and Venusaur, it is merely a visual thing. However, with Rotom, Giratina, Aegislash, Arceus, and Mega Pokémon in general, the choice of one Forme over another can have drastic consequences on the flow of battle. Formes can cause changes in stats or abilities or even type, so be sure to experiment!

  • Gender: Whether a Pokémon is male or female. If it is male, it will have a blue circle with an up-right-pointing arrow in its status screen. If female, it will have a pink circle and a down-pointing cross in its status screen. Pokémon without a gender (or an identified one) will have neither. This usually isn't important, except for breeding and certain Pokémon evolutions.

  • Hit Points (HP): This refers to a Pokémon's health. HP can go down via a number of means, primarily attacks though certain weather conditions and ailments and even the Pokémon's own moves can also cause loss of HP. As HP is above 50%, the HP bar is green; from 50% to 25%, it is yellow; and from 25% down it is red. These colors indicate the danger the Pokémon's health is in: when it hits 0 HP, the Pokémon is fainted and cannot act, except for the use of HMs in the field. Be sure to keep Pokémon healed with Potions and the like!

  • Hold Item: An item that is intended to be held by a Pokémon to derive its benefits. See the Item Listings section for more.

  • Item: An item in the Pokémon series has one of two uses, generally: to be used for an immediate effect, or to be held by a Pokémon for an in-battle use of some sort. See the Item Listings section for more.

  • Legendary Pokémon: A Pokémon whose in-game plot creates some kind of god-like aura about it. For example, Arceus is known as the Pokémon God because he created the universe, therefore he is a legendary Pokémon; Mew is known as the ancestor of most modern Pokémon and can learn any move desired, and therefore is a legendary Pokémon; Groudon is known as the one who rose the continents, and therefore is a legendary Pokémon. A Legendary Pokémon has a storyline behind it that often is the focus of a single game or of a special Nintendo Event, or sometimes even the subject of one of the Pokémon anime's movies. Many times, these Pokémon are strong -- however, do not confuse the label of Legendary Pokémon with strength! Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi, for example, are considered legendary, but they are not particularly strong: it's the plot behind them driving that "legendary" label.

  • Level (originally "L", now "Lv."): The general level of a Pokémon's strength. It rises as EXP. is earned, and can range from 1 to 100, where 100 is the strongest that the Pokémon can get.

  • Mega Evolution: Mega Evolution of Pokémon is a characteristic that came about with the release of Pokémon X/Y in 2013. The main intent of Mega Evolution is to take advantage of a Forme of a Pokémon that is stronger in some way and may also have a new Ability and type. Most Pokémon will gain stat boosts when Mega Evolving.

  • Move: An attack a Pokémon can use. Most moves are used to deal damage in some way, and others can be used to boost stats or affect statuses, and many of both kinds have additional special affects. See the Move Details for more regarding their usage in combat.

  • Physical: A move Class that considers the user's Attack and the target's Defense to calculate damage.

  • Pokémon (a.k.a. Pocket Monster): Pokémon are the creatures who live alongside us in the world of Pokémon: as partners, as pets, as friends, as family... At least in the core series of games, but in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, they're in a world apart from our own. Pokémon are the central creatures of all Pokémon games. There exist 721 Pokémon species with a vast variety of traits and characteristics for you to discover, each as unique as the last.

  • Power (a.k.a. "Base Power" or "BP"): This is the Power stat attributed to a move: the higher, the better for the user of the move.

  • Power Points (PP): PP are like currency for the use of a Pokémon's moves; think of them as the MP from other RPGs like Final Fantasy. By using a move, you will use up 1 PP for that move, or 2 PP if your foe has the ability Pressure. When a move has 0 PP, it cannot be used; if all of your moves hit 0 PP, then the Pokémon is forced to use the move Struggle or their basic A Button attack, which is relatively weak and damages the user heavily. PP-restoring items are thankfully buyable and can be carried around!

  • Primal Reversion: For all intents and purposes, this is the same as a Mega Evolution: it just has a special plot connection with those that can use Primal Reversion (Kyogre and Groudon) because they are ancient and all that jazz. They nonetheless still need to hold a species-specific item (the Blue and Red Orbs, respectively).

  • Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB): When a Pokémon uses a move that is the same type as itself, the damage of the move is by default increased to 50% higher than normal. For example, Pikachu (an Electric Pokémon) using the move Thunderbolt (an Electric move) will deal 50% extra damage. This is a very significant boost and especially critical in the choice of moves a Pokémon will have. For example a super-effective move might do 120 HP of damage, which will only KO weak Pokémon HP-wise, but with STAB that move can be boosted to 180 HP of damage, which KO's the average Pokémon in competitive play!

  • Special: A move Class that considers the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. to calculate damage in most cases. The exceptions to this rule include various fixed-damage moves, Psyshock, and Psystrike, which will use the target's Defense.

  • Special Attack (Sp. Atk.): Special Attack is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Special Attack will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, special moves. Special moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List - Battle Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Special moves will use the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Special Defense (Sp. Def.): Special Defense is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Special Defense will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, special moves. Special moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Special moves will use the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Status (1): A move Class that does not deal direct damage. It instead says that the move will do something else, based on the move itself.

  • Status (2): Refers to a status condition that often inhibits the afflicted Pokémon; also known as an ailment. You should see the Status Ailments list for full details.

  • Technical Machine (TM): An item you can use to teach a Pokémon the move contained on the TM, if the Pokémon can learn it. There are 100 in all, so collect 'em all!

  • Type: Every move in the game will have a type attached to it, and every Pokémon will have one or two types given to it simultaneously. Types are like elements in Pokémon: they determine what is super-effective or resistant to what. For example, you can see Fire moves doing lots of damage to Grass Pokémon, right? And also see how the same Fire-type move would likely deal less damage to a Water Pokémon? While not all type-effectiveness relationships are so simple, they are nonetheless important to learn! There are eighteen types in all: Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric, Ground, Bug, Dark, Psychic, Ghost, Flying, Rock, Ice, Dragon, Fighting, Poison, Steel, and Fairy.

  • Weather: Weather is a meteorological event that can occur on the battlefield, and has a number of beneficial effects to the point that certain teams as a whole will try to use this to their advantage. For full details on the effects of all weather and weather-like conditions, see the Weather section.

Expedition Team Ranks

Starting in Chapter 6, you will become a member of the Expedition Society, similar to the Rescue Team organizations governing previous games. Once in Lively Town, you will become a full member of the Society and can go on missions by means of the Connection Orb. As you continue to do more and harder missions, you will gain points. More points and you Rank Up. You Rank Up, you get stuff. You get stuff, you get happy. Thus, you do missions, you get happy. =P

Whenever you get enough points to get a Rank Up, you can examine the orb on the second floor of the Expedition Society headquarters in Lively Town -- it's not automatic anymore, so be sure to upgrade when offered!

RankPoints to Next RankTotal Points OverallPokémon GivenAdditional Rewards
Rookie Rank2000Bisharp, Drilbur, Fearow, GabiteAllows six Team Presets
Normal Rank640840Binacle, Helioptile, Machamp, Goodra, DruddigonCan hold 40 items. New dungeon unlocked (has Cobalion).
Silver Rank1,5002,340Combee, Combee Female, Beedrill, Vespiquen, LickitungNew dungeon unlocked (has Mesprit and Regigigas).
Gold Rank3,0005,340Tympole, Seismitoad, Poliwag, Trubbish, PoliwrathCan hold 48 items. Allows 7 Team Presets. Dungeons unlocked for Mewtwo and Genesect and two more beyond that.
Platinum Rank3,9009,240Hippowdon, Heracross, BaltoyDungeons for Entei, Manaphy, and Articuno, and two more beyond that.
Diamond Rank4,50013,740Scyther, CrustleDungeons for Kyurem and Giratina, and two more beyond that.
Ace Rank5,00018,740Exeggutor, DittoAllows 8 Team Presets. Dungeons for Darkrai and Rayquaza, and two more beyond that.
Ultra Rank6,00024,740Golett, Solosis, LitwickTwo new dungeons.
Hyper Rank7,00031,740WailordAllowed 9 Team Presets. Unlocked dungeons for Reshiram and Zekrom, and two more beyond that.
Master Rank8,00039,740Carracosta, Xatu, CelebiUnlocked dungeons for Kyogre and Groudon, and two more besides.
Grandmaster Rank10,00049,740Nuzleaf, BeheeyemAllowed 10 Team Presets. Allowed dungeons for Zygarde and Yveltal, and two more besides.

General Strategy Notes

  • Moves & STAB: In Pokémon games, it is instinctive to give Pokémon moves that are all the same type, which is the same type of the user as a result in some cases. This is beneficial in some ways, since you now have a set of powerful moves, but the problem lies in the fact that Pokémon can really only fight the Pokémon weak/neutral to those moves. Take a Charizard with Inferno, Fire Blast, Heat Wave, and Overheat. It can definitely take out Ice, Steel, Bug, and Grass Pokémon with ease. ... What about Onix (Rock/Ground)? Kabuto (Water/Rock)? Or even Pokémon with Flash Fire (Houndoom) that are immune to Fire? While you cannot prepare for every such eventuality, it is key to vary your moveset somewhat. Not to the level of previous Pokémon games' competitive level (four offensive moves of each type), but definitely not all STAB moves. In general, this is the set you should work with whenever possible; of course, if you can't get them all, just try to vary the types.
    • One STAB move.
    • One long-range move.
    • One multi-target move, room-wide if possible. For example, Discharge for hitting the whole room. Great for Monster Houses.
    • Some kind of coverage move. Maybe something for Alliances, or just type coverage.

  • Battle Strategy: When in battles, it is very instinctive to use your moves against them. And, in some contexts, that's probably appropriate. However, considering that some dungeons can be pretty extensive and you don't want to stuff your Bag to the limit with Max Elixirs, it will definitely be to your advantage to consider using the basic A Button move. In rooms, if you're only encountering a single Pokémon or two, it will be best to have your team focus on using their regular attack. In a hall, if the ally behind you doesn't have a long-range attack, then a move is worth using. If the enemy is particularly tough, it's definitely worth using a Alliance, but do so sparingly!

  • What Items To Bring?: When you go into a dungeon, there is a general stock of items you should always bring.
    • Apples: Bring one for every 4-5 floors in the dungeon if you like to speed through floors, or every 3 if you're a completionist.
    • Oran Berries: Usually bring 3 of these if you're not going up against a boss, maybe closer to 5-6 if you will.
    • Reviver Seeds: Preferably the regular kind instead of the small ones. They can be used to regain PP and Belly, after all. For most plot dungeons, only 4 really will be needed. I usually bring 8 when possible, though.
    • Max Elixirs: Usually 2-4, one per party member. You should really focus on using your regular A Button attack more than moves for PP conservation.

  • Alliance Strategy: See the next section!

Alliance Strategies

A typical instinctive action with Alliances is to simply spam attacks at the foe; in some cases, that'll work, namely when you are hitting their weaknesses. But there are other ways to make the attacks even more efficient. Here are some effective combos worth consideration; if you have any worth consideration, feel free to let me know!

  • Some Simple Combos:
    • Dragon Rage/Sonic Boom Spam: Dealing fixed amounts of damage a lot. Kinda useful when you're at a low level.
    • Helping Hand: Simply put, Helping Hand will let you definitely make advantage of the attacks since you'll boost their damage by 50%.
    • Agility/Tailwind: Basically moves that boost the party's Speed. Pretty self-explanatory. It's really deadly if you can spam it up to four movements per turn. Prankster (and Gale Wings, in the case of Tailwind) make it all the more deadly by doubling the effects.
    • Round: Another basic combo, Round boosts in damage as multiple allies use it.
    • Odor Sleuth -> ?: Basically let's you hit Pokémon with Normal/Fighting attacks. An obvious one.
    • Miracle Eye -> ?: Basically let's you hit Pokémon with Psychic attacks. Again, pretty obvious.
    • Soak -> ?: Transforms your foe into a Water-type. Better account for it!
    • Trick-or-Treat -> ?: Adds Ghost-typing to your foe. Something that can open up new avenues of attack.

  • Status Combos:
    • Leech Seed, Burn, Poison, Curse: Various combos of these, really. They're just really draining on HP, no need for a particular order.
    • Stat Losses: Similarly, lowering the foe's stats can be an efficient option if you cannot use a good move. Indeed, piling on the stat losses can make it easier to deal damage or otherwise just lessen your own damage intake.
    • Ailments: At the end of an attack (or in the beginning if needed, if it's a lasting ailment), you can bring in an ailment. Paralysis, for example, will halve their Speed, or Burn can lower their Attack, or something like that. It's an alternative for Pokémon that can't really do much else.
    • Ailment -> Hex: Following ailments with Hex has the obvious implication of boosting Hex's damage!
    • Poison -> Venom Drench: You Poison the target somehow, and then use Venom Drench to deal greater damage on them.
    • Poison -> Venoshock: You Poison the target somehow, and then use Venoshock for boosted damage.
    • Sleep -> Dream Eater: Self-explanatory combo. Makes you put the target to Sleep by some means (i.e. Spore) so you can hit them with a nasty Psychic attack that you can also use to regain HP.
    • Flinch Spam: Got attacks like Rock Slide or Air Slash that can flinch? Spam them! Take Air Slash, for example. If it hits once, 70% for the opponent to move. Twice? 49%. Three times? 34.3%. (This can be used for other chance-based ailments, too, like the freeze rate from Ice Beam.)
    • Stat Loss Move -> Haze: Several moves, like Close Combat, Superpower, or V-Create, will make you lose parts of your stats when you use them, making them pretty bad for general use, ESPECIALLY in a boss battle. If you use Haze after it, though, you can get rid of that stat loss after the move is used. (The Haze user must be after the stat-loss-recoil move user.)
    • Encore & Torment: Prevents the target from using the same move twice, but also forces them to continually use the same move, which definitely results in a screw-up, move-wise. =P
    • Boost Stats -> Topsy-Turvy: Basically, you abuse the opponent's ability in one attack to raise their stats somehow, then you use Topsy-Turvy to change those to stat losses.

  • Ability-Based Combos:
    • Beat Up + Justified -> Punishment/Foul Play -> Clear Smog/Etc.: This combo is a bit complex and only works sometimes. When you use Beat Up on a Justified Pokémon, its Attacks are strongly boosted since you just hit it 1-3 times with a Dark attack. You can then get that to work well by using Punishment on them, since it'll be boosted in accordance with the number of stat boosts on your opponent, or Foul Play, since its damage is based on the target's Attack stat (plus boosts). Then you can use Clear Smog or like moves to remove the Attack boost before it can become a significant threat.
    • Beat Up + Justified -> Heart Swap: Pretty basic combo. You boost the target's Attack stat and then use Heart Swap to get the boosts. Heart Swap has other uses, too, like swapping your recoil-lowered stats or stuff like that. Psych Up can also be used to just copy the stats, but that's dangerous since most Justified wielders are good at physical attacks.

  • Weather Combos:
    • Weather -> Weather Ball: Simple. Change the weather to change the type of Weather Ball and boost its power.
    • Sunny Day -> Moonlight/Morning Sun/Synthesis: Great for a boosted healing!
    • Sunny Day -> Solar Beam: No need to charge for that Solar Beam!
    • Sunny Day -> Fire Move: Boosted damage.
    • Rain Dance -> Thunder/Hurricane: Boost that accuracy!
    • Rain Dance -> Water Move: Boosted damage.
    • Hail -> Blizzard: Same as the Rain Dance combo, but for Blizzard.
    • Sand Stream -> Sand Force + Ground/Rock/Steel Move: Boosted damage.

  • Field Effect Combos:
    • Ion Deluge: Need to make a Normal attack Electric? Here's your move! This can let Pokémon get STAB from other moves and make it easier to deal super-effective damage, not to mention you'll be choosing the attacks used anyhow.
    • Electric Terrain -> Rest: Since Electric Terrain will disable the ability to fall asleep, you can then get free heals off of Rest.

  • Miscellaneous Combos:
    • Belly Drum -> Heal Pulse: Nice to regain some HP after the cost taken for Belly Drum, no?
    • Recoil Move -> Heal Pulse/Haze/Clear Smog...: After a recoil move, you can use Heal Pulse if the damage was in terms of HP or Haze and the like if it was in terms of stat decrements.

Other Topics of Note

  • Travelling Pokémon: As noted earlier, you might find Pokémon wandering in the dungeons. You'll receive a notification when a floor you're in has such a specific Pokémon. When you find it, you can have three outcomes. Speaking with it can yield some sort of healing and a Connection. If you rescue it, you'll need to give it an Apple before the Connection can be made. If it wants to battle, you'll have to attack it; once it is damaged, it'll run for the stairs, so you have to beat it before it gets there to make a Connection.

  • Team Bonuses: When you return from the dungeon and the Expedition Society begins a new day, you can be informed of some kind of bonus, in the vein of the V-Wheel from Gates to Infinity. In this case, you might see triple EXP. or boosted Attack power. There may be others as well. However, this only applies for when you bring three specific Pokémon into the dungeon, encouraging balance among the party.

  • Team Limitations: For the most part, dungeons in this game limit you to THREE Pokémon per party, instead of the usual four in previous titles. Furthermore, sometimes Pokémon cannot join you all of the time. Say you have your starter and partner Pokémon each at Level 15. If the third Pokémon is at Level 16 or higher, you can only take them into dungeons every other time. In other words, you cannot consistently take stronger Pokémon into dungeons.

  • Team Sets: Now you can save presets for your Pokémon! This allows you to quickly save your go-to Pokémon and reload your favorite parties just before you go into a dungeon. There is a limit of five, initially.

Big Notes on the Walkthrough...

If you've ever played a rogue-like game before (Dark Cloud, any "Mystery Dungeon", etc.), then you'll know what's coming, but for those who don't...

For the most part in this game, the floors are randomized. In other words, I cannot offer a step-by-step walkthrough for the dungeons, because the floors are randomized and there's literally no way for me to walk you through them. That's something you'll have to do on your own. I will, however, offer suggestions, as the Pokémon species found within these dungeons are set. Namely, I will list every Pokémon and its type (you can use the type chart in the basics sections for reference on what they're actually weak to), and also give the general trends for the dungeon (like it's mostly "X type" and thus you should bring "XYZ Pokémon"). Similar logic goes for the boss Pokémon. That's the extent of the dungeon walkthroughs. I am able to offer more information regarding the actual progression of the plot, like where you need to go and when ... it's just the dungeon walkthroughs I cannot hand-hold you through.

On a similar note, regarding Connection Orb quests. Basically after the first few in Chapter 6, they go on to the point where, basically, it's "if you fail one that I succeeded on, you will be off-track". In other words, the game's plot begins to progress independently of the actual quests, but there will be days where you basically have nothing to do but those quests or random dungeon treks, which we'll call "filler days" for whenever they pop up. I'll cover, in terms of the nonrequisite ones, up to the one involving Axew, and beyond that you're pretty much on your own. This is not to say I won't have details on the dungeons (and important parts of the quests) when possible. In fact, the dungeons get their overview in Various Side Dungeons.

And a final note on the recommended level bits. You have no need to necessarily follow them. They are moreso a guideline for those who have never played Pokémon Mystery Dungeon before, and are usually found by essentially exploring every floor in every dungeon you visit to its fullest. If you do that much, you should be fine in and of itself. You could probably even go a bit underleveled, particularly if you've played the older ones; I've seen people beat it at under Level 30. It's all about skill, really, and the buffed stats just help that along.