Pokémon Scarlet and Violet - Best Gen 9 Starter Pokemon: Which Starter Should You Choose?

WARNING: THIS PAGE CONTAINS MID AND FINAL EVOLUTION IMAGES

A guide on the best starter Pokemon to choose in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Included are details on which starter Pokemon to choose at the start of the game, the strengths and weaknesses of each starter Pokemon, evolution stages, and stats.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Best Paldea Region Gen 9 Starter Pokemon: Which Starter Should You Choose?

Best Paldea Gen 9 Starter Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Best Paldea Region Gen 9 Starter Pokemon: Which Starter Should You Choose?

At the start of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s story, you must select one of three starter pokemon. Choosing which one is best for you can be difficult, so it is important to understand each pokemon’s unique features and abilities.

For a list of all new, regional, and returning Pokémon in the game, visit our Paldea Region Pokémon List:

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Paldea Region Pokémon List

For a list of new Pokémon that will debut in the game, visit our New Pokémon List:

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet New Pokémon List

For a list of Pokémon with new Paldean Forms, visit our Paldean Pokémon List:

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Paldean Pokémon List

For the Overall Best Pokemon for clearing the Main Story, read our guide:

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Best Pokemon for Main Story Clearing

For the Overall Best Pokemon for clearing the Tera Raid Battles, read our guide:

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Best Pokemon for Tera Raid Battle Clearing

Paldea Region Gen 9 Starter Overview

Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly are the three Pokémon from which you can choose your first partner. Get to know these starter Pokémon including their basic features:

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Gen 9 Pokémon List

Sprigatito, the Grass Cat Pokémon

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Sprigatito, the Grass Cat Pokemon

“Its fluffy fur is similar in composition to plants. This Pokémon frequently washes its face to keep it from drying out.”

Best Stats Abilities
  • Mid HP and Special Attack
  • High Attack
  • Highest Speed
  • Overgrow: Powers up Grass-type moves when the Pokémon’s HP is low.
  • Protean: Changes the Pokémon’s type to the type of the move it’s about to use.

Fuecoco, the Fire Croc Pokémon

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Fuecoco, the Fire Croc Pokemon

“It lies on warm rocks and uses the heat absorbed by its square-shaped scales to create fire energy.”

Best Stats Abilities
  • Mid Attack and Speed
  • High HP and Defense
  • Highest Special Attack
  • Blaze: Powers up Fire-type moves when the Pokémon’s HP is low.
  • Unaware: When attacking, the Pokémon ignores the target Pokémon’s stat changes.

Quaxly, the Duckling Pokémon

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Quaxly, the Duckling Pokemon

“This Pokémon migrated to Paldea from distant lands long ago. The gel secreted by its feathers repels water and grime.”

Best Stats Abilities
  • Mid Defense
  • High HP, Special Attack, and Speed
  • Highest Attack
  • Torrent: Powers up Water-type moves when the Pokémon’s HP is low.
  • Moxie: The Pokémon shows moxie, and that boosts the Attack stat after knocking out any Pokémon.

Paldea Region Gen 9 Starter Comparison

Detailed below are the Gen 9 starters’ general advantages and disadvantages in the game:

Starter Pokémon Best Qualities Worst Qualities
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 906 Normal Sprigatito IconSprigatito (Grass)
  • Effective as a Utility Pokémon (for status effects, terrain changes, etc.)
  • Can make up for its multiple type weaknesses due to Protean but is dependent on its usable moves during battle.
  • Low Defense and Special Defense.
  • Low HP Pool.
  • Weak against Gym Leader Grusha (Ice) and Mela (Fire).
Pokemon Legends: Arceus - 909 Normal Fuecoco IconFuecoco (Fire)
  • Effective in Solo Battles due to Unaware.
  • Strong against Gym Leader Grusha (Ice) and Brassius (Grass).
  • Low Attack and Speed.
  • Will experience difficulty against Armarouge (Fire/Psychic) and Ceruledge (Fire/Ghost) since both are Fire-types.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 912 Normal Quaxly IconQuaxly (Water)
  • Effective in Team Battles due to Moxie.
  • Can fight off Armarouge (Fire/Psychic) and Ceruledge (Fire/Ghost) since both are Fire-types.
  • Low Defense and Special Defense.
  • Mid HP Pool.
  • Low HP growth.
  • Weak against Gym Leader Brassius (Grass) and Iono (Electric).

Paldea Region Gen 9 Starter to Pick

Best Starter: Fuecoco

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Gen 9 Optimal Best Starter Fuecoco

Fuecoco is an excellent offensive (Special Attack) and defensive (Defense) type Pokémon, especially for beginners. It evolves into a Fire/Ghost-type. Fire-type Pokémon are rarer than Grass-type and Water-types so this Pokémon is an advantage to have early game.

Fuecoco Evolution Line

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 909 Normal Fuecoco IconFuecoco
(Fire)

(Lv.16)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 910 Normal Crocalor IconCrocalor
(Fire)

(Lv.36)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 911 Normal Skeledirge IconSkeledirge
(Fire/Ghost)

Fuecoco Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
67 45 59 63 40 36

Skeledirge Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
104 75 100 110 75 66

As a Fire-type Matchup (Base and Mid)

2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: 1/4 Damage From: No Effect From:
Water, Ground, Rock Fire, Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel, Fairy None None

As a Fire/Ghost-type Matchup (Final)

2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: 1/4 Damage From: No Effect From:
Water, Ground, Rock, Ghost, Dark Fire, Grass, Ice, Poison, Steel, Fairy Bug Normal, Fighting

Alternate Starter: Quaxly

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Gen 9 Optional Best Starter Quaxly

Quaxly’s final evolution is a Water/Fighting Pokémon that can top Normal-type foes. Quaxly, on the other hand, faces stiff competition. Gyarados, a fan favorite due to its excellent stats and ability, and Toxapex are two of the game’s many strong Water-type Pokémon.

Quaxly Evolution Line

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 912 Normal Quaxly IconQuaxly
(Water)

(Lv.16)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 913 Normal Quaxwell IconQuaxwell
(Water)

(Lv.36)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 914 Normal Quaquaval IconQuaquaval
(Water/Fighting)

Quaxly Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
55 65 45 50 45 50

Quaquaval Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
85 120 80 85 75 85

As a Water-type Matchup (Base and Mid)

2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: 1/4 Damage From: No Effect From:
Electric, Grass Fire, Water, Ice, Steel None None

As a Water/Fighting-type Matchup (Final)

2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: 1/4 Damage From: No Effect From:
Electric, Grass, Flying, Psychic, Fairy Fire, Water, Ice, Bug, Rock, Dark, Steel None None

Optional Starter: Sprigatito (Utility Choice)

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - Gen 9 Starter Sprigatito

Sprigatito’s typing makes it especially effective against Water-type enemies, who only have two weaknesses. Sprigatito evolves into a Grass/Dark Pokémon making it extremely vulnerable to Bug-type moves.

Sprigatito Evolution Line

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 906 Normal Sprigatito IconSprigatito
(Grass)

(Lv.16)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 907 Normal Floragato IconFloragato
(Grass)

(Lv.36)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - 908 Normal Meowscarada IconMeowscarada
(Grass/Dark)

Sprigatito Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
40 61 54 45 45 65

Meowscarada Base Stats

HP ATK DEF SP. ATK SP. DEF SPD
76 110 70 81 70 123

As a Grass-type Matchup (Base and Mid)

2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: 1/4 Damage From: No Effect From:
Fire, Ice, Poison, Flying, Bug Water, Electric, Grass, Ground None None

As a Grass/Dark-type Matchup (Final)

4x Damage From: 2x Damage From: 1/2 Damage From: No Effect From:
Bug Fire, Ice, Fighting, Poison, Flying, Fairy Water, Electric, Grass, Ground, Ghost, Dark Psychic

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