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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s 6-star raids have some of the toughest fights in the game

Keep grinding for killer endgame rewards

The Trainer Terastallizes a Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo via Polygon

Tera Raid Battles are the new raid format in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, offering up a challenging battle where trainers can capture powerful Pokémon with unique Tera Types — not mention a ton of reward items, especially if you run six-star raids.

If you’ve been playing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, you’ve seen these on your Paldean map and around the world itself. They’re marked on your map with little type icons, and in the world, there’s sparking crystals shooting light up into the sky. You’ll unlock higher-level raids as you progress through the game, but where things start getting tricky is with six-star raids. (Seven-star raids are currently reserved for events, like the Charizard raid.)

Looking for ’em but can’t find them? Our six-star raid guide will show you how to unlock six-star raids, and offer advice for success.

What are six-star raids in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

They’re raids that are rated with six stars according to their difficulty. You can find most Pokémon and Tera Types in these raids — they aren’t Pokémon-specific. They’re like every other raid, but harder and with better rewards. If you catch these Pokémon, they’ll be at higher levels than those in lower-star raids, too.

How do I unlock six-star raids in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

You can’t just jump into six-star raids in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. In fact, you’ll have to beat one storyline, The Way Home, which unlocks when you’ve finished each of the three main storylines. Once you’ve done that, you have to go through all the gym leaders again. This time through, all the the gym leaders are leveled in the mid-60s.

Next, join the Academy Ace tournament at your school. Here, you take on four different students or faculty, up to around level 70. Once you beat that, you’ll get a call from Jacq mentioning super—hard raids — but they won’t be available yet. It’s really a hint that you should head out and do plenty of harder raids. So do that — participate in enough five-star raids to get another call from Jacq, where he’ll warn you about even harder raids. These are the six-star raids.

I don’t know exactly how many five-star raids to complete, but it’s fewer than 10. (I wasn’t counting while playing! I know, bad guides writer.) Some folks are saying four-star raids count, too, but I can’t confirm that — I just did five-stars. You can move around your map and check out raids, but there’s no way to tell what level a raid is before getting to it, so it requires a lot of travel. But you can find five-star raids in the Tera Raid Battle menu in the Poké Portal, which speeds things up considerably. It’s still a time-consuming process, though: Everyone wants to get into the five-star raids, so there’s a lot of denied entry, made worse by slow loading screens.

Now that I’ve unlocked them, where do I find six-star raids?

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Paldea map pulled open to highlight a six-star raid. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

Thankfully, six-star raids are differentiated on the map by a glowing pink border. (You can see it above.) Head over to those to host a six-star raid. In my experience, there’s only one on the map per day. But like five-star raids, you’ll find them under Tera Raid Battles in the Poké Portal, but they’re only available for players connected to the internet. These are even more desirable than five-star raids, so be ready to wait.

How the heck do I beat six-star raids?

Six-star raids are exceptionally hard, especially if you’re playing solo with NPCs. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s NPC trainers clearly don’t understand how to counter Pokémon types. You have to bring in very strong Pokémon to get through these, but it’s not impossible. It’s a mixed bag with actual players, too, but it’s a lot better than NPCs. The best way to do these is with a full party of friends who have that team synergy.

But if you don’t have that, here’s some tips. Of course, you’ll want to counter Pokémon types, but there are a few Pokémon that work really well. Iron Hands, a Paradox Pokémon, is one of those — it’s powerful on its own, but with Belly Drum and Drain Punch, you can pack a punch and heal yourself. Belly Drum is a move that deducts half the user’s max HP and, in exchange, maximizes its attack stat. If you do this at the start of the raid, you can really do a lot of damage. Drain Punch does damage and restores HP, too.

Polygon senior copy editor Kallie Plagge recommends using Azumarill with the Huge Power ability alongside Belly Drum. Her Azumarill also holds a Sitrus Berry to recover HP. She suggests having a teammate fire off a few Screech moves before you use a powerful attack in order to one-shot a raid boss (or close to it), something like Liquidation or Play Rough. To make your Azumarill even better, you can perfect its nature, IVs, and EVs, too.

On YouTube, a Pokémon player named Unedited has a nice guide with stats, items, and moves that can be applied to a number of different Pokémon. It runs through, step by step, how to choose moves during a six-star raid battle. Another idea, presented by Reddit user aeshnoidea, is to roll with a Chansey that’s trained up in HP and defense, and holding the item Eviolite — this boosts defense and special defense for Pokémon that aren’t fully evolved. With the hidden ability Healer, Chansey can cure allies of status conditions, too.

Beyond these specific strategies, you’ll want to consider the Pokémon’s Tera Type and its move set when you’re choosing a Pokémon to battle with. “Bringing Azumarill to a dark Revavroom raid is a bad idea even though Play Rough will be supereffective because Revavroom can destroy Azumarill with steel- and poison-type moves,” Kallie said.

But what about six-star Ditto?

If you come across a six-star Ditto raid, don’t do any of this. The raid boss will transform into the host’s Pokémon, which means it’ll have that Pokémon’s stats. Instead of bringing a legendary like Koraidon, you’re better off choosing something like Magikarp if you’re the host — let everyone else do the work while you cheer.

What are the rewards from six-star raids?

You’ll get more and better rewards from completing six-star raids. In particular, the draw is more Herba Mystica, a rare sandwich ingredient that can help you find more shiny Pokémon, among other things. There are five types of Herba Mystica: Bitter, Salty, Spicy, Sour, and Sweet.

You can get Herba Mystica from five-star raids, but you’ll get more in six-star ones. (Of course, if you’re unlucky, you might not get any. If you want a lot of Herba Mystica, you’re going to have to do a lot of high-level raids. If you want to go in-depth, Serebii has a list of all six-star raids and drop rates for items, including Herba Mystica.

You’ll also get other items like an Ability Capsule, bottle caps, feathers, Tera Shards, and XP-boosting candies, and six-star raids are the only raids that reward the rare Ability Patch. TM-making resources are readily available in these battles, too.

Beyond these, Pokémon in six-star raid battles will have five perfect stats and potentially its hidden ability.

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