Pokémon Quest is a brand new free to play RPG on Nintendo Switch that challenges you to collect your favourite Pokémon and send them out on adventures. During these, they'll battle other Pokémon and gather items you can use to increase their power or discover new Pokémon.

It's a simple affair that hides an awful lot of depth – much like the mobile game, Pokémon GO. Coincidentally, Pokémon Quest will also arrive on mobile at a later date, but you can get a head start by checking it out right now on Switch.

In this guide, we're going to walk you through your first few hours with Pokémon Quest. We'll help you gather new Pokémon, upgrade your existing ones, and help you earn a bunch of cool stuff for free.

Equip your Pokémon with the best Power Stones

As soon as you complete your first exhibition, you'll no doubt receive a bunch of Power Stones. These come in three different forms:

Colour Function
Red Increase Attack
Blue Increase HP
Yellow Alter Skills

When you first start playing, you won't have many slots to place your Power Stones in. You earn these by levelling up, but don't worry about that for now. Select your favourite team of Pokémon, and either equip them with Power Stones that improve them in an area they're weak in, or to double-down on an area in which they're particularly powerful in.

For example, your Charmander may have an excellent attack score, but low HP. You can either increase its attack to deal even more damage, or increase its HP to improve its survivability. The choice is yours but, either way, give it some Power Stones. This is key to increasing your power so you can tackle the tougher expeditions.

Cook to attract more Pokémon

How do I get new Pokémon?! We hear you cry. Well, the quickest method is by cooking up some tasty meals using ingredients you earn during expeditions. You can do this by visiting your Base Camp and tapping on the massive Cauldron in the centre.

Here you can chuck in a variety of ingredients either at random, or following a specific recipe to attract certain types of Pokémon. Pay close attention to the description fo each ingredient for clues as to the type of Pokémon you'll attract.

Replay expeditions to level up your Pokémon

Got a bunch of Pokémon that are too low level to do anything with? Don't despair – just create a team out of them and go and replay expeditions. That way you can level them up enough to unlock a few more Power Slots or perhaps even evolve them.

Progressing through the story is important, yes, as it allows you to unlock new decorations and other cool stuff, but you need the right Pokémon to do it. So take your time, and replay older levels until you're ready.

Unlock decorations to receive bonus effects

Decorations aren't just there to look nice – they actually provide unique effects like increasing your gained XP, the number of items you get when you recycle, or how many Power Stones drop during an expedition.

Having said that, you don't actually have to place a decoration to receive the bonus effects. Simply unlocking or purchasing the decoration will apply the bonus effect. 

You can unlock decorations by defeating a level's boss, or by purchasing them out right from the store using PM tickets.

Check your base whenever you encounter a new Pokémon

Whenever you encounter a new Pokémon during an expedition there's a chance it will visit you at your base. So it's a good idea to keep popping back regularly – particularly after you discover new Pokémon – to see if any are visiting that you can add to your collection. This is a particularly solid method of collecting rarer Pokémon too.

Complete quests to earn rewards

Quests provide some of the best rewards in Pokémon Quest, including recharging your batteries, free PM Tickets, and ingredients you can use to cook and attract new Pokémon.

While not in an expedition, you can check the quests you haven't completed yet to view their requirements. Most are pretty straightforward, requiring you to collect or meet certain type of Pokémon or complete a certain number of expeditions.

It's the rewards you're really interested in though. Find one you want and aim to complete that particular quest ASAP. 

Bring the right Pokémon on expeditions

The Pokémon you face in an expedition are typically all the same type, and you can exploit that by bringing Pokémon strong against that type into battle with you. Early on, you won't really have that luxury, but the more you play and collect new Pokémon, the more you'll be able to use this feature.

Tap on an expedition and you'll see a handy notification that details the type of Pokémon that will have a bonus during it. Prioritise these Pokémon if you can. 

Don't forget to collect your free PM Tickets

Visit the Poké Mart once every 24 hours and you'll get 50 free PM Tickets that you can spend on any item in the store. You can increase the number of free PM Tickets you get by purchasing the DLC.

Got two of the same Pokémon? Pick the one with the best base stats and Power Move slots

At some point, you'll collect two of the same Pokémon in Pokémon Quest. When deciding which one to keep, you're better off picking the one out of the two with the better base stats, but also pay attention to their Power Move slots.

These are determined at random, and can really make the difference between a weak and strong Pokémon. Ideally, you'll have an even balance between attack and HP slots, though if a Pokémon is particularly weak in one area (perhaps it has low HP but very high attack) you might instead want your slots to balance out the weakness.

Not happy with a Pokémon's move? Trade a Pokémon to change it

If you have a Pokémon with great stats but aren't happy with one of its moves, you can train the Pokémon and change its move. You'll have to give up on another Pokémon (or perhaps a few to increase your success rate) and the move changes at random, but this is currently the only way to get a new move.