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Your biggest Pokémon Legends: Arceus questions, answered

A FAQ for the new, open-world Pokémon game

Artwork from Pokémon Legends: Arceus featuring various Hisui region Pokémon and trainers on the beach Image: Game Freak/Nintendo
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Stepping into the Hisui region in Pokémon Legends: Arceus can be daunting, as it’s so different from any other Pokémon game. To help you, we’ve compiled some of the questions that we wish we had the answers to when playing. Our Pokémon Legends: Arceus FAQ will answer any burning questions that you may have as you play the game.

What makes Pokémon Legends: Arceus different from other Pokémon games?

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an open-world game that focuses less on battling trainers and more on catching and learning about Pokémon. Rather than going on a set journey to earn gym badges, you explore vast lands, sneaking around and catching Pokémon and eventually battling against powerful Noble Pokémon. And when we say battle, we don’t mean a Pokémon battle — we mean putting up your dukes and dodging their attacks as they try to kill you.

The game is filled with side quests and huge areas filled with Pokémon that make for a great open-world exploration game.

What’s the gameplay loop for Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

You head out to a specific area, investigate Pokémon, and report your findings to the professor. As you learn more, your Pokédex fills up, and you earn points. Points increase your star rank, allowing you access to better items, stronger Pokémon, and things that are usually locked behind gym badges in regular Pokémon games.

Rather than just catching one of everything, you need to see Pokémon use a variety of moves, defeat them in battle, and evolve them to complete your Pokédex entries.

How long is Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

It took us about 25 hours to beat the main story of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, though we spent lots of time exploring, doing side quests, and figuring things out. This does not include the post-game story.

(As of writing this, we’re around 40 hours in and still haven’t 100% completed the game.)

Arceus stands between Dialga and Palkia in the background as four trainers stand heroically in the front Image: Game Freak/Nintendo

Why aren’t side quests/requests appearing for me?

If you notice your request numbers jumping and skipping ahead, you might not have the required Pokémon to unlock the side quests. Requests on the Galaxy Hall board appear to unlock once you catch the relevant Pokémon. For example, request #21, “Back-Alley Mr. Mime,” did not appear on our board until we caught a Mr. Mime.

Some side quests might be locked behind progress. As you unlock new areas, the local shops will have requests to expand their inventory, but they’ll only get a new one after you complete their previous request.

Also, for some reason, request #10 requires you to talk to the guard right outside of Galaxy Hall with the Wurmple. There was no new request marker on him or anything. We don’t know why.

How many side quests/requests are there in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

94. including the bonus requests you get for having Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Sword and Shield save data on your Switch.

How do I climb cliffs?

Early on, you can use your Wyrdeer to get up some shallow cliffs, but if you want to hike up bigger cliffs, you’ll need a Sneasler mount. You get this in the Coronet Highlands toward the end of the game.

How do I break rocks?

Throw your Pokémon out at the cracked rock, and they’ll permanently break it.

How come my Pokémon aren’t learning new moves?

They are, but you need to manually set their new moves rather than getting prompted to every time they learn one. You can set their moves by selecting the Pokémon from your inventory and picking “change moves.”

Can I nickname my Pokémon?

Yes. Similarly to the moves, you have to choose the Pokémon from your inventory and select “change name.”

Why isn’t my Pokémon evolving?

If you’re meeting all the requirements for Pokémon evolution, then you should be able to evolve the Pokémon by selecting it in your inventory and hitting “evolve.” Pokémon no longer automatically evolve.

Can I mass release Pokémon? I’ve caught so many Wurmple, and releasing them one at a time stinks.

Yes. While we’re not sure exactly when, after we caught a few pages worth of Pokémon, the lady at the Pokémon ranch gave us the ability to release multiple Pokémon at once.

Pokémon Legends Arceus spoiler warning image Graphic: Dace Tach/Polygon | Source images: Game Freak/Nintendo

[Ed. note: Minor spoilers for Pokémon Legends: Arceus below.]

What level should I be by the end of Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

By the time you’re at the story’s climax and approaching Dialga and Palkia, the enemies will be around level 65, so you should be there or higher. It’s entirely possible to beat the game at a lower level, but it’ll be harder.

For post-game, you should be at level 70 or higher.

Do I get to catch both Dialga and Palkia?

Yes. You get one, then the other, depending on which clan you side with toward the end of the game.

What does finding all the Unown get me?

A completed and perfect Pokédex entry for Unown. That’s it.

What does finding all the Wisps get me?

For every 10 wisps you find, the little boy in Jubilife Village will give you a reward, ranging from Grit Pebbles to evolution items like Reaper Cloth. At the end, you’ll get to catch Spiritomb.