Ever since the second generation, every entry in the main Pokémon series has had some sort of little gadget that helps you navigate the world of tall grass and impossibly hardy shrubs. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire are no exception to this rule, and bring back the classic PokéNav from the original third generation games, but with a significant upgrade; these are largely due to the additional screen and extra power available to the 3DS. Please be aware that this is not a conclusive list of features, and there may be changes for better or worse in the final release of the games.
This mode displays a map of the entire Hoenn region in a style very reminiscent of the original map from Ruby & Sapphire. You can use this map to see the Super Secret Bases you've made, any berry trees you've planted that are ready to be harvested, and information on specific routes and towns, such as facilities and what Pokémon are roaming around for you to catch.
Arguably the most important feature of this mode is the returning Trainer's Eye function. With this you can see what trainers are in the area and whether or not they're itching to have another battle with you.
The most basic function on the PokéNav. Little more than a selection of TV shows to watch whilst running around that detail events and happenings in Hoenn. When you begin you'll only have a handful of available programmes to watch, but as you StreetPass other Pokéfans who own the game you'll start seeing more and more appear.
This mode is basically the three features that were introduced in Pokémon X & Y; Pokémon Amie (which allows you to bond and play with your Pokémon), Super Training (a simpler method to raise the Effort Values of specific monsters), and the Player Search System (the way to communicate with other players nearby and throughout the world for battles, trading and more). The features are – as far as we can tell – unchanged in this version, but there may be one or two new tweaks we've yet to see.
The kingpin in this lineup. DexNav allows you to scan Pokémon whose tails are poking out of the tall grass in order to see their ability, the first move they learnt, their level, and their 'potential'. The potential stat is new to the series, and one would assume it judges all of the Pokémon's stats in order to see whether or not it will become a Pokémon worth battling with. This mode will let you know if a Pokémon has a rare move as well, which is a move a Pokémon has from birth which it should not, such as a Poochyena knowing Fire Fang, which it cannot learn through standard evolution.
As you use the NavDex more and more, you can increase its level, which will increase the likelihood of rare moves and better stats in scanned Pokémon, so there's plenty of incentive to use it as much as possible. If you've already caught a particular Pokémon, you can use the DexNav to specifically search for that kind, which makes things easier if you're looking to make a breeding pair or simply want an army of Zigzagoons.
You can also use the DexNav in order to register Pokémon in your Pokédex without encountering them in battle. All you need to do is find one of these monsters milling around in the over world somewhere, much in the same way Ash could in the anime series.
The PokéNav seems to shaping up to be one of the best uses of the touch screen yet, so which function do you think you'll be using most? Let us know in the comments.