It would be putting it lightly to say that Pokémon Quest is a little weird. It isn’t turn-based, all the Pokémon have been transmuted into pixelated blocks, there are no Poké Balls, and teaching your Pokémon new moves is a lot more complicated than previous games.

Some of these changes, like the blocky design, are just superficial, but figuring out the system for teaching new moves is a little more complicated. If you’re struggling, here’s a guide to help you get started.

How moves work in Pokémon Quest

In Pokémon Quest, your Pokémon can only equip two moves at a time, which is half the amount you’re probably used to if you played the core Pokémon games. This includes both offensive and defensive techniques.

That’s kind of a bummer, but remember, this combat is in real-time. All your Pokémon are attacking at once and you’ll have to juggle their abilities constantly. It also means that moves with other Pokémon sync up. Your team can seriously jack up some enemy Pokémon by stacking attacks.

If you want to teach your Pokémon new moves, go to Edit Team, select the Pokémon you want to train, then hit Training tab on the right. From there, you can select a move from your Pokémon’s potential learning pool, but there’s no guaranteed way to get a specific skill. It’s up to luck, but here’s the tough part. . .

If you want a new move, you have to scrap a Pokémon

Yep. In order to teach a Pokémon a new move, you have to sacrifice another Pokémon. Cold-blooded, I know. If it makes you feel better, you aren’t killing any Pokémon, you’re just kicking them out of your stable.

The type of move your Pokémon can learn is determined by the type of Pokémon you sacrifice, and it’s kind of cannibalistic. Sacrificing a Pokémon of similar species and type as the learning Pokémon is more likely to result in it learning new moves.

Think three dimensionally

Your Pokémon are very generally categorized as long-range and short-range. As you can guess, the long-range Pokémon have less health than the short-range ones. Ideally, you want to keep your long-range Pokémon dishing out damage from afar while the short-range Pokémon soak up the damage. Spacing was rarely a consideration for previous games in the series, but because this one is 3D, it’s essential.

Consider equipping (or keeping) a knockback move for one of your long-range Pokémon. That way you can send out a burly minion like Snorlax to tank for more fragile, damage-oriented members of your team.

Use Move Stones to power up your abilities

Your Pokémon also have Power Charms, which are slots that you can fill with Power Stones and Move Stones to make them stronger. You can put three Move Stones into one special move. So if you have two special moves, you can add a total of six Move Stones.

You can find Stones during your expeditions or buy them using hard currency. Remember, The Pokémon Company described Pokémon Quest as “free to start”. That means you could conquer all the obstacles you face and get all the skills you want for free with enough time and luck, but the randomized mechanics are designed to incentivize spending.

It’s your call, but I will always advise the buyer to beware.

We also have guides on how to use the cooking system to attract new Pokémon and how to level up and evolve your Pokémon. So be sure to check them out.

Photos via Nintendo, Game Freak