Pokémon Legends Arceus: which starter should you choose?

Pokemon Legends Arceus's three started stare at the player
(Image credit: Pokemon Company)

Deciding which starter Pokémon should accompany you on your adventure is always a challenge whenever a new game in the series lands. Pokémon Legends Arceus is certainly no different. 

The latest installment maintains its age-old formula by offering you a choice between a Fire-, Water- and Grass-type starter Pokémon. However, instead of introducing entirely new species to choose from in the new Hisui region, Pokémon Legends Arceus gives you a choice between three starters from previous games: Johto’s Cyndaquil, Unova’s Oshawott, and Alola’s Rowlet. 

To help you make an informed choice, TechRadar has put together a full guide below on everything you need to know about each starter Pokémon. That includes their movesets and new Hisuian final evolutions. If you’re a completionist, don’t worry - no matter which starter Pokémon you choose, you’ll have the chance to get your hands on the remaining two later in the game. 

Pokémon Legends Arceus starters - Cyndaquil

Cyndaquil's three evolution in Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Pokemon Company)
  • Type: Fire-Type
  • Effective against: Bug, Grass, Ice, Steel
  • Weak against: Ground, Rock, Water
  • Resistant to: N/A
  • Best stat: Special Attack and Speed

As has been historically true of Fire-type starters, Cyndaquil doesn’t have many type advantages at the beginning of the game. That said, it rewards you in the latter stages due to its final evolution’s massive attacking potential. 

Unlike previous games, the echidna-like Cyndaquil takes slightly longer to evolve into Quilava - at level 17 as opposed to level 14. However, once Quilava reaches level 36, it can evolve into the never-before-seen Hisuian form of Typhlosion. This gives it a slightly-changed appearance and a powerful Fire/Ghost dual-typing that makes it immune to Normal- and Fighting-type attacks. 

Hisuian Typhlosion has a high Special Attack and Speed stat as well as a comparatively low HP. If your attitude is ‘attack first, ask questions later’ with moves like Overheat and Shadow Ball, then this is the one for you.

Pokémon Legends Arceus starters - Rowlet

Rowlet's three evolutions in Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Pokemon Company)
  • Type: Grass/Flying-Type
  • Effective against: Ground, Rock, Water, Bug, Fighting, Grass
  • Weak against: Fire, Flying, Ice, Poison, Rock
  • Resistant to: Ground
  • Best stat: Attack

Rowlet is a Grass/Flying starter Pokémon that hails from the Alola region featured in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Rowlet evolves into Dartrix at level 17 and into Hisuian Decidueye at level 36. 

What makes Decidueye’s regional form special is that it replaces its typical Grass/Ghost dual-typing with Grass/Fighting, giving you a good opportunity to capitalize on the Pokémon’s high Attack stat with a flurry of physical moves.

Similar to Cyndaquil, Rowlet trainers may struggle a bit in the beginning as it won’t prove to be very effective against many Pokémon encounters found in the early stages of the game. However, it’s another good choice in the long run, particularly if you’re a fan of powerful attacks such as Leaf Blade and Brave Bird. 

Pokémon Legends Arceus starters - Oshawott

Oshowott's three evolutions in Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Pokemon Company)
  • Type: Water
  • Effective against: Ground, Rock, Fire
  • Weak against: Grass, Electric
  • Resistant to: N/A
  • Best stat: Attack and Special Attack

Don’t be fooled by Oshawott - despite its adorable appearance, it’s arguably the most balanced attacker of the three starter Pokémon. Both Hisuian Typhlosion and Decidueye have stronger Special Attack and Attack stats respectively, but Oshawott’s final evolution Samurott is a jack of all trades with impressively high figures for both. 

Oshawott evolves into Dewott at level 17, before reaching its final form at level 36. Once fully evolved, Hisuian Samurott becomes a Water/Dark dual-type, gaining powerful moves such as Dark Pulse and Hydro Pump along the way.

Overall, Oshawott is a solid choice throughout the duration of the game, particularly given that its higher HP stat will allow you to endure attacks from Alpha and Noble Pokémon slightly better than the other two starters.

Ilyas Kanapyanov

Ilyas is a freelance writer and technology communications specialist based in London, United Kingdom. On the rare occasion that he’s not working, you can find him either binge-watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe or doom-scrolling on Twitter. You can reach him anytime at ilyas@snackable.tech.