Temtem starters: who should you pick?

Temtem Starters, Crystle Smazee and Houchic
(Image credit: Humble Bundle Inc)

Wondering which of the Temtem starters to pick as you begin your adventure? As is tradition in the monster battler genre, you'll be forced to decide between a selection of three adorable critters before you make your way out into the world. Fortunately, you won't be making this decision alone. 

Currently available in early access on PS5 and PC, Temtem has been a breath of fresh air for the genre. As an MMO, Temtem allows you to seamlessly battle alongside (and against) friends as you cultivate your team of beloved critters. Once the game leaves early access on September 6, it will also be available on Xbox Series X|S as well as the Nintendo Switch

However, no matter your choice of console, you will face a difficult dilemma: which one of these three adorable Temtem will you choose as your starter? Fret not, for we have collated every ounce of available information to help you make the most informed choice possible. Stats, evolutionary lines, and Temtem types have all been assessed below to help this most taxing of decisions a little easier. 


Temtem starters: your complete guide

Temtem starters: taking your pick

Temtem starters, the three starters in pens

(Image credit: Crema)

When you begin your adventure, you'll have three starters to choose from, each representing different elemental types. As you begin your journey, Professor Konstantinos will ask you to choose between Crystle, Smazee, and Houchic, representing the Crystal, Melee, and Mental Temtem types, respectively. 

While you'll swiftly capture more creatures and soon learn in how to hatch eggs, your initial choice of companion will seriously affect the opening through hours of your experience, so choose wisely. 

You'll also be given a Tuwai, which is a versatile Wind Temtem capable of evolving into six different species, each with different type affinities.  

Temtem starters: Smazee

Temtem Starters guide, melee starter anime

(Image credit: Crema)

Smazee is a Melee type Temtem, possessing strong Speed and Attack stats but lacking when it comes to Special Attack and Special Defense. As a Melee type, Smazee is vulnerable to Mental and Digital attacks, but resistant to Melee techniques. Smazee eventually evolves into Seismunch, a Melee and Earth type hybrid.  

Smazee starts with the Fever Rush Trait, which gives it an Attack buff whenever it's afflicted with a Status Condition. This includes positive conditions, too, so keep your eyes open for potential combos. 

Despite its plucky exterior, Smazee has the most lackluster Single Value (SV) stats, meaning that his rate of stat growth is lower than might be desired. This means they are a slightly weaker choice from a competitive perspective. However, if you're a fan of adorable simians, then Smazee may well be the choice for you. 

Temtem Starters: Crystle

Temtem Starters guide, crystal starter anime

(Image credit: Crema)

Crystle is, you guessed it, a Crystal type Temtem, possessing very impressive defense, as well as strong Attack and HP stats. However, as you might expect from a turtle-based Temtem, its speed is far from impressive. Being a Crystal type, Crystle is resistant to Electric, Mental and Toxic attacks, but vulnerable to Earth, Fire and Melee moves. Crystle eventually evolves into Tortenite, a Temtem with Crystal and Toxic affinities. 

Crystle also starts with the Amphibian Trait, meaning it enjoys a speed and attack buff after being affected by a Water Technique. Though useful when it triggers, it can be hard to take advantage of this particular Trait. 

From a competitive standpoint, Crystle has the best selection of SVs found in any starting Temtem. Its Defense SV is a whopping 38, which, for a beginner Temtem, is nothing to sniff at. It's true what they say: slow and steady wins the race. 

Temtem Starters: Houchic

Temtem Starters guide, mental starter anime

(Image credit: Crema)

Houchic is a Mental type Temtem and boasts very impressive Speed and Special Attack, as well as considerable Special Defense. As you might expect from a more cerebral Temtem, however, Houchic's HP leaves much to be desired. As a Mental type, Houchic is resistant to Melee and Neutral attacks, but vulnerable to Electric, Digital and Crystal Techniques. Houchic eventually evolves into Nagaise, a Water and Mental type Temtem. 

Houchic begins with the Soft Touch trait. This Trait not only increases damage against sleeping opponents by 20% but ensures that its attacks don't wake their targets. This is a very useful Trait that can put your foes in a serious bind if they're not careful. Use the Hypnosis Technique (learned by Houchic at level 3) on your opponents and you'll be laughing.

When it comes to PvP, Houchic's SVs are nothing special. Like Smazee, Houchic is a slightly weaker choice from a competitive standpoint. However, it easily makes up for this with its surprisingly powerful starting Trait.

Temtem Starters: Tuwai

Temtem Starters guide, wind starter anime

(Image credit: Crema)

Tuwai is an extremely versatile Temtem with decent Speed, Attack, and Special Attack. In addition to the choice between Smazee, Crystle and Houchic, new tamers are also given a Tuwai by Professor Konstantinos. When the good professor entrusts Tuwai into your care, he hints that the Temtem might change if bought to a "relevant place of power." 

Take your Tuwai to one of the elemental shrines out in the world, and it'll evolve into one of six elemental variants. Tuwai's evolved forms combine the Wind type with another type corresponding to the Shrine where you evolve it. These are the shrines at which you can evolve Tuwai:

  • The Water Shrine at Dabmis' Rest
  • The Fire Shrine at the Altar of the Inner Flame
  • The Crystal Shrine at the Sons of the Crystal
  • The Earth Shrine at Aisha's Hearth
  • The Digital Shrine at the Digital Kami Shrine
  • The Melee Shrine at Chieftain's Barrow

Congratulations, you now know everything you need to about the Temtem starters. You're ready to begin your journey to true Temtem mastery.  

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.