Almost every mainline Pokémon title has had the same main plot of collecting all the gym badges, becoming the league champion, and thwarting some nefarious team or organization along the way. That tried and true formula has been tossed to the wayside for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which takes us back to the distant past of the Pokémon world where the relationships between wild monsters and trainers were still being figured out. Gyms haven’t been established yet, let alone any organized leagues for battling. Instead, the entire plot of this game is all about studying and researching Pokémon.
The ultimate goal for your trainer in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is to help gather enough data to create the very first Pokédex. This legendary tool has been a part of the Pokémon world since the first game, helping you keep track of all the different monsters you’ve encountered, details on their stats, lore, and anything else you would want to know about them. Because you’re building it for the first time, just encountering a Pokémon won’t automatically fill in the entire Pokédex. You will need to complete research tasks, but this system has a few layers that may not be apparent right away. Here’s a full breakdown of how research tasks work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus so you can make history by completing the very first Pokédex.
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A brand new feature to Pokémon Legends: Arceus are research tasks. These are essentially little objectives you need to complete for each Pokémon in the Pokédex to fully complete their entry. Every single Pokémon in the game has its own list of tasks, though many will repeat, such as capturing a certain number of them, observing them using a move a number of times, evolving them, and more. Research tasks can also have multiple levels. This allows you to level up that Pokémon’s research level by repeating a task multiple times. Some research tasks even require you to complete Requests related to that Pokémon.
To view any Pokémon’s research tasks, simply open up your Pokédex and find the Pokémon you want to view the tasks for. Once there, press down on the D-pad to flip to the tab showing the list of tasks, as well as how much progress you’ve made toward completing them. The bottom of the page shows the current research level for that Pokémon. They will all start at 0, and while they can level up higher than 10, 10 is the highest level you need to reach to count their entry in the Pokédex as “complete.”
Most research tasks are self-explanatory, but checking your Pokédex is the best way to get a hint at what you need to do to level up your research levels. Number caught shows up for nearly every Pokémon, and often can be repeated a few times. Use tasks like this that can be done multiple times to help when other tasks are more difficult or random. Since you only have to get them to level 10, not every task needs to be maxed out or completed if you can substitute other ones. Each task can be done up to 5 times for at least 5 research levels.
Also, pay attention to the red arrow icons on the left side of the tasks. If a task has this symbol, completing that task will give you two levels rather than just one. If you see a task like number caught or number defeated with these arrows, then maxing out all 5 of those tasks alone can give you enough research levels to complete that Pokémon’s entry.
A great quality of life feature that Pokémon Legends: Arceus includes is that you don’t need to have caught a Pokémon before it starts tracking your progress on completing their tasks. That means that if, for example, you have yet to catch a Pokémon, but defeated it in battle a few times, gave it food, and seen it use all of its moves, all that will be tracked in the Pokédex. Even if you manage to complete enough research tasks for a Pokémon to technically complete its Pokédex entry, it won’t count as complete and will show as research level 0 until you capture it at least once. Pokémon is about catching them all, right?
Every research task you complete, and thus the more research ranks you go through, will all earn you points towards your Star Rank. You can see your current amount of research points, current Star Rank, and how many more points you need to get to the next rank on the cover of your Pokédex. Your Star Rank is your main way to track your progress through Pokémon Legends: Arceus, with each rank unlocking new items, access to new areas, and the ability to catch higher-level Pokémon. Once you have enough research points to get a new Star Rank, you need to talk to Captain Cyllene in the Galaxy Hall to officially rank up.
There are 10 total Star Ranks you will progress through in the game, and each one has its own rewards, but also will require more total research points to unlock. Here’s a quick breakdown of each Star Rank:
- First Star: Unlocks Heavy Balls, crafting recipes for Heavy Balls and Revives, and ability to control Pokémon up to level 20.
- Second Star: Unlocks Feather Balls, crafting recipes for Feather Balls and Super Potions, access to the Crimson Mirelands, and the ability to control Pokémon up to level 30.
- Third Star: Unlocks Great Balls, crafting recipes for Great Balls, access to the Cobalt Coastlands, and the ability to control Pokémon up to level 40.
- Fourth Star: Unlocks Leaden Balls, crafting recipes for Leaden Balls and Hyper Potions, access to the Coronet Highlands, and the ability to control Pokémon up to level 50.
- Fifth Star: Unlocks Wing Balls, crafting recipes for Wing Balls, access to the Alabaster Icelands, and the ability to control Pokémon up to level 65.
- Sixth Star: Unlocks Ultra Balls, crafting recipes for Ultra Balls and Max Potions, and ability to control Pokémon up to level 80.
- Seventh Star: Unlocks Gigaton Balls, crafting recipes for Gigaton Balls, and ability to control Pokémon of any level.
- Eighth Star: Unlocks Jet Balls, crafting recipes for Jet Balls and Full Restores.
- Ninth Star: Unlocks 10 Rare Candies and 20 Grit Pebbles.
- Tenth Star: Coming Soon.
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