12 Tips to Strengthen Your Pokémon Masters Game
Tips and strategies you can use to get better at Nintendo's newest mobile game.
With the drop of Pokémon Masters on August 29th, it's been pretty hectic in the Pokémon fandom. Players have been excited to start building their teams and racing to be the best of the best—heck, it'd feel pretty great to beat both legends, Red and Cynthia, in the same tournament, don't you think?
The game is based in the man-made island of Pasio, where a tournament called the Pokemon Masters League (or PML) makes its debut. Trainers from Kanto to Alola have all converged onto this island to compete in this highly prestigious tournament, including you!
The game itself has a bit of mobile fighter (think Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat, and Marvel: Tournament of Champions) and a bit of classic turn-based feel that Pokémon and other JRPGs are known for. I've been playing since its launch (granted, that launch wasn't too long ago), and I hope I can share some tips and strategies that you may or may not have already thought about.
1. Be quick!
The game stresses this during the intro—be quick! You'll notice the other team may not be so quick either way, but you'll strengthen your game and also your in-game confidence when you practice your speed.
A lot of this has to do with knowing your team and how you want to approach the next battle. You may be impatient and want to attack with brute force, but this won't always work. Sometimes spamming status moves while waiting for the gauge to power up is a good idea, and will also either strengthen your own team or weaken the other when your moves are powered.
2. Sometimes smaller moves work best
If you've been playing for a while, you'll notice that sync moves are super useful for getting you out in a pinch. I can't count the amount of times when I was pretty sure I'd bit off more than I could chew in a battle and then BAM!— I just powered up a sync move and won the battle (with one single HP left, ah ha ha...).
Thing is, you can't use sync moves unless they've been powered up, and unless you're using Rosa's Let's Get Energized, you likely won't get there too quick with just two-bar or three-bar moves.
Status and one-bar moves are great when you notice that your stronger moves aren't doing anything to the main powerhouse. They let you get some moves in and help power up that strong sync move that'll help you regain the upper hand in battle.
3. Pay attention to type advantage
I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. Pokémon is based on recognizing type disadvantages and taking advantage of them. This Pokémon game may be a little different than the ones we're used to, but the idea is the same: If you can take advantage of the type, do it.
4. If you can't fill the team with a type advantage, find some Support or Tech types—or potions!
I recently ran into this problem where I could only fill one slot for the type advantage. It may leave you thinking you're in a bit of a pickle, but fear not—there are solutions.
You have a couple of options when this happens. You could add Supports and/or Tech on either side, or you can look for sync pairs that carry potions. If you can keep your main sync pair healthy and overpowered, you can still come up on top with relative ease. If you can also weaken the other team with your Tech types, that's great too.
Of course, if you don't have the type that you need at all, you can try using a powerhouse you have that isn't weak against the attacker's Pokémon type, and strengthen that sync pair up. This may be a little harder and may take a little longer, but it is also possible.
Normal type sync pairs are also an option as long as you're not up against Fighting types. They aren't my favorite, but in this situation, they could prove useful.
5. Don't forget Support and Tech types!
Support types and Tech types are way more important than you may initially think! I know this thought process pretty well too—when I play the games, I usually focus mostly on moves that can attack best when I need them.
Let me tell you that does not work in this game!
The idea behind Pokémon Masters and sync pairs is that you need your pairs to work together, and with design of the characters' abilities and their roles in the game, this mechanic is executed quite well. Boosting your Strike types with status moves from your Support types, while also weakening the other team with your Tech types will greatly help your strategy in the long run.
I'll repeat that for future reference: Support types are meant to help strengthen your team; your Tech types are meant to help weaken the other team. Strike types hit hard.
Full Strike teams may have worked in the beginning of the game and could also work in classic Pokémon games, but when it starts to get harder, you are going to need way more than just powerhouse moves. Support and Tech types also tend to have more less-cost-heavy moves, like one-bar moves and status moves, which can help with your sync move countdown.
6. If your main adversary is in the second wave, try taking out the sides first.
This advice can be a little tricky with the presence of sync moves, but hear me out.
In each battle, there is usually a main adversary—the one who talked to you first and challenged you. They are going to be the strongest pair that you fight in the battle, and will also usually have the most HP. If you can take out the sides first with one hit each, you won't have to worry about them also doing supplementary damage to you, and you may have a better chance at taking out the middle attacker.
Be really careful with this advice, however! Everyone in the middle position can use their sync move, including the sync pair before the main adversary—so spending too much time on the sides can cause an opposing sync move against you. If you are a good level for the battle, it shouldn't be much problem to take out the sides in two moves or less. If you can't do that, then it's going to be a really tough battle because pairs in the middle are going to be even stronger.
Sometimes, you may find it a better strategy to take out the middle first, and that's okay! It eliminates the sync move! But remember the sides will also attack. The purpose for this advice is to lessen the amount of attacks that come at you at once. The opposing sync pairs have to take their turns too, and if there are less players on the playing field at once, it'll be harder for them to do significant damage.
7. Remember to unlock your level caps!
Nothing is more frustrating than leveling up a sync pair and realizing they can't go any further because their level cap is not high enough. It's even more annoying when you use the manuals, only for the game to say "Max Level."
This is why it's so important to keep a conscious eye on your sync pairs' level caps. If you don't pay attention to a sync pair's level cap and you use manuals or use the character in battle, any experience they could have gained will be lost. It sucks. I wasted a few manuals doing this because I wasn't paying attention.
It may not seem so important when you're first starting out (because level 35 feels so far away), but trust me—you'll regret it if you don't.
8. Use the Level Up Training to strengthen your lower-level characters.
For the first few levels, try to use the Level Up Training to boost your sync pair levels up—you'll get a few manuals out of it, and you'll also notice that your lower levels will bump up a lot of levels at once.
It may still take some grinding, especially when you've reached the higher levels, but hey, you're still getting the experience for your sync pairs along with some training manuals, which will be incredibly helpful when you want to make a sync pair reach the ideal level with much less effort.
I am also suggesting the Level Up Training because you'll find that the other kinds of training don't offer as much experience in battle—only the Level Up Training will give you the most efficient amount of experience when grinding out levels.
9. Look out for Supercourses!
Supercourses are a way for Training to be a lot less grinding and boring—you get three chances to challenge the daily sync pair, and your first win will reward you the same any first win will: with gems and extra items, depending on the type of Supercourse.
They are timed too, so they switch up all the time, meaning you'll keep gaining rewards and more gems through training. They're fun and challenging, and once your sync pairs become stronger, you'll be able to challenge the harder battles in the Supercourse plots and also gain better rewards. They're also the best way to gain better items through training.
10. Save pearls for Daily Missions.
Unless you really need those coins right that second (which, trust me, you actually gain enough on your travels to not), you can probably wait a bit and use them to complete your daily missions.
You'll come across pearls in multiple different ways: sometimes you'll find them in supplementary quests, sometimes in Coin Supercourses, or one of your sync pairs will give them to you in the lobby.
One mission is to exchange items, and another is to get 1,000 coins. Getting coins other ways beyond pearls can require a lot of grinding—some battles give you around 200 coins, while some can give you as little as 25.
You also usually need coins to exchange items in the store, so if you're grinding out 75 coins per battle but anything worthwhile is 1,000 or more coins, you will need to do even more grinding.
As if Pokémon wasn't centered around grinding enough as is.
If you exchange one pearl in the store every day, you will accomplish both of these tasks with very minimal effort. Of course, if you do need those coins, you can use more of those pearls as this isn't an absolute rule that needs to be followed. As with everything on this list, it's merely a suggestion.
If you manage to complete the three tasks every day (the third one is to battle three times, which isn't really that bad), then you get 30 gems—a currency worth much more than coins are, and why I think waiting to sell those pearls is totally worth it.
11. Talk to your sync pairs!
I find sync pairs randomly give me more items when I talk to them more. It could just be me—but I do talk to Lt. Surge more often and he's given me about three times the amount of items as everyone else has (it may seem weird, but I think I kind of just like hearing the guy who voices Laxus from Fairy Tail, Germany from Hetalia, and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat talk more optimistically. It's pretty amusing).
It's also interesting to hear the characters talk about their lives. It can get a little boring if you don't like the character, but learning about them can give you a better outlook on the story and the game itself.
12. Enjoy it!
Games kinda suck if you're not having fun. Like any game—board game, video game, sports game, etc.—make sure you're having fun. Don't grind through the main story too quickly; enjoy the game and all its aspects, from the Sync Pair Missions, to Co-op, to Training, to Events. There are all sorts of game modes in Pokémon Masters to explore, so make sure you check them all out!