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Temtem beginner’s guide

Getting started with this Pokémon-like game

Three creatures in Temtem Image: Crema/Twitter
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

In Temtem, you’ll be creature-battling your way across the Airborne Archipelago, collecting new fighters and constantly pitting your squad against rival tamers. Temtem is more than a Pokémon clone, though, so there’s enough to confuse newcomers and vetrans alike.

In this guide, we’ll help you get started with a few tips we learned during our first 10 hours with the game.

Pick the starter that’s right for you

While you can’t really go wrong when choosing your starter Temtem, we’ve got opinions on why you should choose each of them.

The short version of our thoughts are this:

  • Crystle. Choose Crystle if you want to emphasize defense.
  • Smazee. Choose Smazee if you want a middle-of-the-road option.
  • Houchic. Choose Houchic to emphasize offense early.

You’ll be adding to your TemDeck and squad throughout the game, so you’re always going to be able to swap out your starters. But matching your starter to your style of play will make the first couple hours a little easier.

Buy as much Balm as you can afford

Constantly fighting other tamers and wild Temtems will leave your squad hurt. Temporiums will completely heal them, but it’s not always convenient to get to one.

Instead, buy as many Balms as you can afford from a Temporium. Use them during fights and between encounters to keep your Temtem in fighting shape.

Heal before you move

After a fight, the next encounter can only happen after you start moving. If your next opponent is nearby, you could find yourself jumping from one fight to the next without a break. It’s easy to forget to heal if you get caught up in exploring, too.

Instead, after a fight and before you even move, use any healing items (like Balms) that you need. Get it out of the way so you’re prepared for whatever comes next.

Understand types, strengths and weaknesses, and attacks

Temtem has an elaborate system of strengths and weaknesses based on type. These are like types in Pokémon, with types like Earth, Crystal, Mental. You don’t have to memorize them, though, because we’ve got the list in its own guide.

Since each technique (attack) has it’s own type as well, knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you end fights quicker. We’ve got a guide for understanding the red and yellow attack circles that act as visual clues, too.

Islands and areas emphasize one or two types

Beyond the untamed Temtem you’ll encounter, your opponents across the Airborne Archipelago tend to be grouped by type (or types). For example, the tamers in the Windward Fort or Sophia’s Dojo on Deniz focus on Wind and Water type Temtem.

This means that you’ll need to catch new Temtem of different types all the time, and get them to an appropriate level. Make sure you pick up the Coward’s Cloak to level up new Temtem faster.

Even the Temtem that aren’t useful where you are now might become invaluable in the next area. Don’t neglect them, or you’ll have to spend a while getting them up to speed when you move on.

Explore new areas in stages

Exploring a new island or area in Temtem means fighting a string of opponents. Depending on your level, or the types of Temtem you’re facing, these fights can drain your squad quickly.

Once you’ve defeated an NPC rival, though, you won’t have to (or be able to) fight them again. This means you can leave the area (or use a Smoke Bomb to fast travel back to a safe spot), visit a Temporium, and return with a squad at full strength. You’ll be able to run past anyone you’ve defeated, and continue on to the next opponent.

It slows down the rhythm of the game a little, but taking healing breaks means you’ll be better prepared and less frustrated by defeats.

Move your favorite techniques to the top

When you view your Temtem’s details, you have the option to move around (and swap out) their techniques and attacks.

Move your favorite attacks — the ones you use the most — to the top of the list. This will make them the default choice when you enter battle, and it will save you the trouble (and time) of scrolling through your moves to get to what you use the most.

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