It’s been 15 years since the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series first launched, and the time has never been better for new fans to experience it for the first time. As a Pokémon spin-off, there’s a lot here that may seem familiar at first, but you’ll quickly find it’s unlike anything else in the franchise. To help all the newly formed rescue teams out there, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you find your footing in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX and set you on your way to being a great success!
1. Change tactics to fit the situation.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX offers a lot of automation to its players. For instance, using the auto-mode will explore the dungeon for you, or simply pressing A to attack an enemy will automatically use the best move available depending on whom you’re facing. However, if you’re looking for a bigger challenge, or just want more control over how things play out, there are plenty of options available to you.
One way to do so is by setting your allies’ behavior pattern. While you don’t directly control them, you can direct your teammates to behave a certain way. If you’re concerned with quickly exploring the floor, you can tell them to wander off. If you want them to stick close and not attack, you can do it. My favorite tactic is leaving one of your teammates by the stairs if you find them early. Once you explore to your heart’s content, just swap to them and quickly make your way to the next floor, saving yourself the hunger cost of walking back.
You can also toggle your teammates’ ability to use specific moves. In combat, your non-active partners will automatically attack, assuming their behavior allows it. If you don’t want Bulbasaur wasting a turn Leech Seeding an enemy you’re going to defeat next attack, you can just turn it off. This won’t prohibit you from using it if you’re playing as Bulbasaur, and it doesn’t make the Pokémon forget the move, so it’s a great alternative to directly controlling your partners.
2. Take advantage of the keyword dictionary.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX throws a lot of information at you regarding specific moves, status effects, and rare qualities, to the point where trying to remember everything might seem a little overwhelming. Even when these effects are shared with the mainline games, they often include intricacies specific to Mystery Dungeon that may not be obvious to newcomers.
The game makes things easier on explorers by turning these terms into keywords. Appearing in green in descriptive text, highlighting the term and pressing a button will take you to a dictionary page that details the mechanics of the term. Furthermore, this keyword dictionary is also available via the menu, so if you can’t find a specific term in text, you can always search for it manually.
3. Swap your lead Pokémon to stave off hunger.
One of the factors limiting your stay in the mystery dungeons is your hunger. Taking action will gradually increase hunger, and when the meter reaches zero, you’ll be taking damage with every action going forward. One way to combat hunger is, of course, to eat.
There is another hunger management trick that isn’t as obvious though: swapping your lead Pokémon. From your second adventure onward, you can swap your party leader by pressing the plus button. Outside of the benefits of having direct control over that character, observant explorers may notice that only your lead Pokémon gains hunger over time. If your leader is getting low on food and you don’t have anything to help, swap them out and let one of your other teammates take the hit! As the dungeons get longer, this is just one more tactic you can use to stay in the fight.
4. Double dip on your rescue trips.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX only allows you to tackle one dungeon a day. Though this has no real effect on the gameplay, with the amount of time you’ll spend going into and out of dungeons, it adds up to be a bit of an annoyance. Therefore, you’ll want to make your exploration as efficient as possible.
The best way to do this is to do multiple missions in the same trip whenever possible. Even at the beginning of the game, you can accept eight jobs at once. The job posting board is always full, and especially early on when you only have a small handful of dungeons, you’ll often find that many of the missions take place in the same dungeon. If there’s one that is particularly common, grab all of those, head into the dungeon, and make sure not to leave until you’ve completed everything. Not only will this allow you to make the most of your time in that dungeon, but you’ll also be completing a lot more quests, allowing you to rank up and get the corresponding benefits even faster.
5. Don’t be afraid to take items/money with you.
While I find Pokémon Mystery Dungeon to be easier than most roguelike games, fainting still has punishing consequences: You lose all items and money you’re currently carrying. You can be tempted then to never take anything into the dungeon with you, since this exposes yourself to the risk of loss.
It’s important to note, though, that these items are designed to be taken with you. Most items in the game can only be used inside the dungeons, such as berries and apples. Some items can even help in a pinch, such as giving you the ability to purchase the camp you need to recruit the shiny you just found. Even if you were to lose these items, you can always find more. But if they’re just sitting in storage, they’re no good to you.
As much as the items are designed to be used, the dungeons are also designed around the use of items. While this isn’t nearly as evident in the early stages of the game, later dungeons can really test you. For instance, some of the post-story dungeons can have up to 99 floors of fully evolved behemoths — a far cry from the three floors of weakling you fight at the beginning. The length and difficulty of these late-game dungeons practically require you to take items in to ensure you have the best chance of success.
6. Partners should protect each other.
When you first start a game, you’ll be prompted to take a personality test. While this may seem strange at first, its purpose is to assign you your starter Pokémon. If you’re concerned with getting a specific one, there are guides online you can follow to navigate this test. Don’t fret too much if you don’t get what you want though. In reality, this fun little mechanic is nothing more than a suggestion. If you don’t like your result, the game will let you manually pick from the entire group.
I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on picking your starter, since you’ll be able to recruit Pokémon fairly early on. Just go with your favorite of the bunch. Picking your partner, on the other hand, is a different story. The best Pokémon teams are designed to cover each other’s type weaknesses, and in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon this still rings true. For my Bulbasaur, who’s weak to fire, a good counterbalance would be a water-type like Mudkip. This extends to your recruits as well, once you unlock that ability.
Hopefully, you find these tips useful as you begin your adventures as a Pokémon Rescue Team. Let us know if you found them useful, and if you have any more tips, drop them in the comments!