Pokémon Scarlet Violet Starters 1
Image: Nintendo Life

What's the hardest question of all time? If you said "Which starter Pokémon will you pick?", then you're correct! And Pokémon Scarlet & Violet don't make that decision any easier.

Once again, at the start of your Pokémon journey, you get to pick who your first Pokémon in the Paldea region will be — Sprigatito, Fuecoco, or Quaxly. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, and all three of them evolve into powerful Pokémon who will be essential to you throughout. But which one is the best?

It's not as cut and dry as previous generations, where your only goal is to take on the gyms of the region. Here, you also have Titan Pokémon and Team Star to thwart, all with different typings, and the ability to do them in any order means your starter choice might influence where you start first.

Let's take a look at each of them...

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet - Which Starter Pokémon Should I Choose?

First, let's break down the three candidates and look at their basic strengths, stats, and evolutions. Be sure to skip to the bottom of the page if you want to avoid evolution spoilers.

Sprigatito, the Grass Cat Pokémon

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Starters 2
Image: Nintendo Life

Sprigatito is pretty darn adorable, but its Grass-typing and moves mean it's not going to be a ton of help for the first few gyms (Bug, Grass). However, if you're planning on taking on the Stony Cliff Titan first, Sprigatito will hold the advantage over the Rock-type Pokémon you'll encounter.

Of the three starters, this kitty has the highest base Speed stat, as well as a decently high Physical Attack stat. But it does have the most weaknesses out of the three Starters, being susceptible to Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice, and Poison-type moves.

At level 16 Sprigatito evolves into Floragato, and its final evolution at level 36: Meowscarada. It gains a secondary Dark typing here, meaning it gains access to some strong Dark-type moves, but it also gains weaknesses to Fighting and Fairy-types, and a 4x weakness to the common Bug-type. But Sprigatito is great for the Titan fights in particular — Flying one notwithstanding.

Fuecoco, the Fire Croc Pokémon

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Starters 3
Image: Nintendo Life

A fire-breathing crocodile that likes food, Fuecoco has been the most popular starter according to fan polls, and it's easy to see why, from its goofy grin to its big eyes. Fuecoco's Fire-typing means, if you want to tackle the gyms in the recommended order, it's easily the best pick of the three, as it's super effective against both Katy and Brassius' Pokémon teams. It is, however, weak to the first recommended Titan Pokémon, though it's not weak to any Team Star members at all until it gains its secondary typing.

Fuecoco's stats are pretty evenly spread, though it is the slowest of the three starters. It has the best defensive stats, making it a bulky Pokémon for longer battles.

Fuecoco evolves into Crocalor at level 16, and Skeledirge, its final evolution, at level 36. Skeledirge gains the Ghost-type, meaning it'll become immune to Fighting and Normal-type moves, while gaining weaknesses to Dark and Ghost.

Otherwise, this is the most effective type for the gyms, and maybe the least effective for the Titan Pokémon, so if you pick the fire crocodile, then you'll need to plan for that.

Quaxly, the Duckling Pokémon

Pokémon Scarlet Violet Starters 4
Image: Nintendo Life

With swishable hair, Quaxly is a Water-type with style. This little fella has the highest physical attack stat of all three starters, and it's a solid choice if you want to tackle any of the three paths first, though it comes up against its Grass-type weakness early in Victory Road.

Quaxly evolves into Quaxwell at level 16, and its final evolution, Quaquaval, at level 36. Quaquaval might hit walls thanks to the Fighting-type the evolution brings, mainly when coming up against Psychic and Fairy-type teams, but it's a solid starter for the midgame. It's not as sturdy as Skeledirge, but it has a higher speed stat than the crocodile. Also, while it's a fair bit slower than Meowscarada, it has slightly better defense along with its high attack power.

Essentially, Quaxly is a good all-rounder that might lack any outstanding stats other than attack, but its typing and its moves means it'll be a sturdy pick for most of the game.

So, which is the best Starter Pokémon?

  • If you want to start with Victory Road, we recommend Fuecoco.
  • If it's Titans you're looking to take down, then Sprigatito is a good choice.
  • Or if Team Star ruffled your feathers the most, Quaxly is a great bet.

You can't really go wrong with any of the three starters for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. Because of the open-world nature of the game, you'll find things easier or more difficult depending on what objectives you take first and which Pokémon you choose.

Sprigatito is a good Pokémon if you want something strong and fast, though it has the most weaknesses of any of the three starters. Fuecoco's defensive stats and good Special Attack mean it'll last the longest in battle. While Quaxly is a more evenly-rounded Sprigatito with more strength and defense, but less speed.

So, there you have it. Let your heart win out, or aim for Pokémon supremacy with the starter you think is the best! Best of luck in Paldea, and make sure you check out the rest of our Pokémon Scarlet & Violet walkthrough guides.