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Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

Pokémon Rumble Rush is the latest in a line of Pokémon Rumble games, where players are tasked to battle through short stages with their pint-sized buddy Pokémon, attacking hostile 'mon along the way in the quest to catch ‘em all.

Despite this not being the first Pokémon Rumble game, it’s the first to come to mobile. Much like most of the other Nintendo mobile games, it’s a generous free-to-play title with optional micro-transactions, and as with any series that’s adapted for mobile, there are certain nuances that even veteran players may not be accustomed to.

Whether you’re already playing Pokémon Rumble Rush or are yet to get on-board, we’ve got you covered with some top tips on progressing through this hack-n-slash-style adventure.

We’re not going to go over the basics that you’ll be familiar with after playing the tutorial, rather a few things you may have missed – or that aren’t highlighted at all – to get you progressing through the various stages and worlds without spending a penny.

Sending Pokémon To The Adventure Club

As you will be aware, each Pokémon you send to the Adventure Club will net you 1P, the vital currency that you’ll need for upgrading Summon and Ability Gears. Before going on a Pokémon waste disposal spree, make sure that you’re first checking the ability and stats on each of your Pokémon.

Each Pokemon’s ability has a star rating and type. You’ll notice that even though you may have caught multiples of the same Pokémon, they may have vastly different abilities. Just like in the mainline series of Pokémon games, some types are more or less effective against one another. Fire-type is still super effective against Grass-type, for example.

Keeping a wide range of ability types of the same Pokémon will ensure that you have the best chance of dealing 'super effective' moves against the trickier Super Bosses. The star rating of each ability signifies its strength – the higher the star rating, the more powerful the ability. We’ve only come across star ratings from one to four so far, so if you nab a Pokémon with a four-star ability, you’re probably best holding onto it.

As well as their ability, each Pokémon also has a set of base stats: Overall CP (Combat Power), Base CP, Attack, Defense, Hit Points, and Critical Rate. When deciding between sending one, two, or more similarly ranked Pokémon to the Club, consider which you want to keep a hold of based on these stats. You may also notice, some Pokémon have two slots for Power Gears, whereas others may only have just one. These make a huge difference in boosting their overall power.

Getting To Grips With Ores

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Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

Gears are crucial tools for making the most of the Pokémon you’ve caught. The only way to collect Gears is by refining Ores that you’ll sometimes find once completing a stage. As with most free-to-play mobile games, timed crates vary in how long they take to open – Pokémon Rumble Rush’s ores are no different.

The longer the ore takes to refine, the more plentiful the goodies inside. Tapping the info button on a selected Ore from the Ore screen will show you the kinds of Gears you’ll find inside and the likelihood of collecting the rarest Gears.

Try to avoid spending premium currency to refine these Ores faster, as towards the start of the game you’ll seldom need their help. Whilst you can only refine one Ore at a time, it’s important to be patient. If you have a rare Ore that takes 10-hours to refine, then set that work before heading off to bed. Whereas with the 30-minute or 3-hour ores, you can set those throughout the day. To make the most of your time, ensure you have notifications switched on in the settings menu so that you’re notified when an Ore has finished refining.

Take It Up A Gear

When equipped to your Pokémon, Gears can drastically improve your overall performance in battles. Summon Gears allow you to tag-in a Pokémon mid-battle to deal some serious damage once you’ve charged the meter, whereas Power Gears can boost specific stats or abilities. All Gears can be upgraded, by spending P and the relevant Upgrade Kits, exactly like how spending Stardust and Candies boosts a Pokémon’s CP in Pokémon GO.

The only way to collect Upgrade Kits is by refining ore, or by sending unused Gears to the Club. Sending a Gear to the Club earns you three Kits for that specific Gear type (apart from Move Gears that return just one Kit). Remember, Gears can be equipped and unequipped as many times as you like, so if you have a lot of identical Gears that are sitting around doing nothing, make sure you send them to the Club. This means you’ll have the highest number of available Upgrade Kits as possible, ready for when you want to upgrade your most useful Gears.

Upgrading a Gear can yield some powerful results. Whilst Summon upgrade outcomes can vary, Power upgrades are a little more predictable. Here’s a short guide as to what to expect when upgrading Power Gears:

  • Brawny Gear: +200 HP for each upgrade
  • Snappy Gear: +1% Move Prep Speed for each upgrade
  • Charge Boost Gear: +1% Charged Attack Power for each upgrade
  • Move Gear: +5 Attack and CP for each upgrade
  • Move Plus Gear: +10 Attack and CP for each upgrade

It’s important to note that Move Plus Gears only benefit a Pokémon if you’re equipping them to one that shares the same ability type. If you start coming across Super Bosses that require a higher CP than the base stats of your current highest Pokémon, try upgrading and equipping the Gears you need and you’ll be flying through bosses in no time.

Use Your Guide Feathers Wisely

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Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

After searching for a new stage using a Guide Feather, you can revisit it as many times as you like. However, once you've searched for three locations, the next you search for will overwrite the first of the three you uncovered.

If you want to avoid this, you're able to lock one stage in place so that it doesn't get overwritten. Of the three listed on the bottom left side of the Adventure screen, the stage at the bottom is your most recent, whereas the stage at the top will be the next to be overwritten. To stop any stage being from being overwritten after searching for a new location, all you need to do is tap the stage you want to lock and hit the padlock icon in the top left-hand corner. If you’ve already locked a different stage, the game will ask you if you’d like to replace your locked stage slot, but the original stage you locked won’t disappear straight away.

Locking a stage is useful for replaying higher level stages, allowing you to catch the same Pokémon to increase your catch bonus, or so that you can replay stages in an attempt to catch all the available Pokémon in that particular stage. There’s no limit to the number of times you can replay a stage, but locking one means you can move onto a different stage without worrying it’s going to disappear anytime soon.

Get To Know Your Fellow Trainer

Notice the other balloons on your adventure map? Those are other players that have been playing Pokémon Rumble Rush. If you’re stuck in a rut – catching the same Pokémon over and over again – you might want to give these balloons a tap.

Once tapped, you’ll be able to view that player’s profile which includes a real-world location, their chosen buddy Pokémon, and a greeting. In some instances, you’re able to battle alongside that player’s buddy Pokémon in a recommended stage. Some of these stages can feature Pokémon that you’re yet to capture, so checking these balloons often can be extremely useful.

On your own profile – that you'll find in the Menu – you can set your own greetings, location, as well as a list of recently encountered adventurers. If you battle a stage you'd like to replay from an encountered player whose balloon you tapped, you'll have 60-minutes to replay that stage as many times as you like before it becomes unavailable.

Capsule Colours Have A Purpose

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Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

At the end of each stage, the Pokémon you catch jump enthusiastically out of their corresponding capsule, showing a few key stats for you to take note of. What’s not explained in the game, is that capsule colours indicate rarity.

Red capsules are common whereas blue are uncommon. From what we can tell, the rarity is based on their CP and the strength of their ability. In the Pokémon and Gears menu, the text of the ability also signifies their rarity: grey text will show on commons and you’ll see blue text shown on uncommons.

If you’re incredibly lucky, you may come across a Gold capsule during battles, indicating a rare Pokémon variant. These are Pokémon with four or five-star abilities and are shown with gold text in Pokémon and Gears menu. Throughout the battle, you can actually spot the capsule colour at the top-right of the screen. The outline surrounding the caught Pokémon will be either Red, Blue or Gold so you can see just how lucky you’ve been throughout the stage. Catching a rare Pokémon will also trigger a short animation, signifying your special catch.

Whether you’ve already downloaded Pokémon Rumble Rush or looking forward to getting to grips with this new Pokémon title, let us know if you find these tips helpful or if you have any others you’d like to share by leaving a comment below.