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Pokémon: 10 Ways You're (Unintentionally) Making The Game Harder On Yourself

The Pokémon games have changed and evolved with time, but they all have a consistent theme running throughout and some of the mechanics remain very much the same. Those who've played one, have usually played a few and can agree that aside from different regions, Pokémon to catch, and ever-improving graphics, the base concept of the games is similar.

There are some ways — across all games — that trainers often make some stages unnecessarily hard on themselves. Here's how not to do that. The games are extremely fun but if you start to get stuck or the leveling becomes a chore, the game can become boring or even difficult.

RELATED: 10 Games That Are Utterly Impossible To Play On Hard Mode

10 Focusing Too Much On Your Starter

pokemon starters

Your starter Pokémon is your baby. Your absolute pride and joy. You picked them to be your first Pokémon and you're obsessed with them.

But if you focus on training your starter, you're going to have one very strong type and nothing else. Say you picked the fire type. Sure, your fire type might be level thirty by gym two, but what if gym two is rock? That won't help you too much. It's tempting to focus every ounce of your attention on your first love, but make sure some other captures get a look in.

9 Blowing Your Money

The Pokémon games often have plenty of places to blow your money. Some even have 'game corner', where you can play slot machines for the chance to buy items or even Pokémon, such as Abra or Dratini. But you can get so caught up in spending money on the frivolous things that when it comes to a particularly difficult battle or gym leader, you can't buy enough potions and revives. Don't forget, every time you lose, your money is halved; lose twice to a gym leader, and you have a quarter left than what you started with. Account for this and don't blow your money on the distracting things!

8 Not Exploring Every Area

pokemon sword route one

Sometimes, NPCs can be pretty useless and you wander into their home expecting something cool and leave disappointed.

Sometimes, they have awesome things, like Pokémon for trade. Sometimes, they even have necessary things, like HMs.

The rule of thumb is, when in a new town or city, you should visit every house and talk to every person. The worst that can happen is a wasted few minutes, but you're bound to find at least one thing per place that makes your journey easier.

7 ...And Not Tracking The Ones You HAVE Explored

It's also good to keep track of the places you have explored on your map. That way, when you're lost with no idea where to go next, you can look at the map and see where you've already been. The Pokémon regions will never just be in a straight line of travel, so it's good to see which route you should be traveling through next.

6 Not Taking Your Rival Into Account

You can look through all the gym leaders, prepare for their teams, but nothing can really prepare you too well for your rival, who's customized to you — at least in terms of the starter, since they'll have the one your starter is weak against. You should always make sure you have a strong Pokémon to prepare for this. For example, if you picked the fire starter, you should also have a strong grass because your rival will have water. See? Don't forget about these battles, because they're some of the hardest.

5 Not Having A Diverse Enough Team

It's so easy to get caught up in aesthetics. Sure, you want a Vulpix, Rapidash, and Arcanine, but that's three fire Pokémon taking up your main party. Don't get too caught up in how cool a Pokémon looks, but try to play it tactically so you can never be caught in a fight where you don't have an appropriate monster to help you win.

4 Spreading Your Attention Thin

pokemon sword shield new pokemon compares prior games

Above, we may have said not to focus too much on your starter but as much as this is true, do not spread your training attention over twenty Pokémon at once. Otherwise, they'll gain one level for every week you play, and this isn't a good enough rate to advance in the game.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Pokémon Would Make A Great Open-World MMORPG (& 5 Ways It Wouldn't)

Try to find that nice balance. Focus on a few, not a lot.

3 Too Many Traded Pokémon

Traded Pokémon will level up more quickly, but they're also much more likely to disobey you (much like Ash's infamous Charizard), so you have to keep that in mind if you have many on your team.

Of course, once you earn certain gym badges, any Pokémon up to a certain level has to obey you. But in the beginning, it's a good idea not to pile up a party of six traded Pokémon in case they all decide to throw a rebel party.

2 Not Using Max Repels

This isn't so much making the game hard on yourself as it is making the game annoying but if you're not trying to catch Pokémon, then it's going to move much more quickly if you throw down some max repels. These keep low-level, annoying Pokémon in the grass away so you can take more than three steps without having to pause to hit 'run away'. It isn't the end of the world to keep pressing 'run', but it'll get you places much faster if you can avoid it.

1 Not Carrying An Escape Rope EVERYWHERE

The caves in Pokémon can be deep and terrifying, and you're often left blind in them. If you get lost, it's always handy to have a bunch of escape ropes in your bag, because they can take you straight back to the entrance. There's nothing worse than getting deep into a cave without flash and then realizing you have no idea how to find your way out. Many-a-trainer have abandoned games for years because of getting stuck in this exact predicament...

NEXT: 10 Tips For Levelling Up Your Pokémon Fast

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