Skip to main content

How Pokédex research tasks work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

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.

See more

  • What are Alpha Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
  • How to trade with friends in Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus: How to expand your satchel space

What are research tasks?

A list of research tasks.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.”

How to complete research tasks

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?

How research ranks and Star Ranks work

The cover of the Pokédex.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
How (and where) to trade Poes in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Poes sit near a waterfall in The Legend of Zelda: tears of the Kingdom.

It might take place in the same Hyrule as Breath of the Wild, but Tears of the Kingdom's landscape is radically different from its predecessor. Along with massive floating islands in the sky, there's a sprawling underworld to explore that's filled with secrets to discover and abilities to unlock. One such secret is Poes, which take a very different form than in past Zelda games -- instead of serving as an enemy, they're now an alternate form of currency.

Interested in learning more about where to trade Poes in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and how to find them? Here's everything you need to know about these unique collectibles.
What are Poes in Tears of the Kingdom?
When you first dive into Hyrule's underground area, you'll probably notice tons of blue-and-white wisps scattered around the surface in patches. Those wisps are Tears of the Kingdom's version of Poes. Yes, the classic enemy is now a simple item that you can collect.

Read more
Pokémon Legends: Z-A: release date window, trailer, gameplay, and more
Lumiose City in Pokémon Z-A

On Pokemon Day 2024, we were treated to a sneak peek at a second entry in the Legends series, Pokémon Legends: Z-A. Promising to be an ambitious new adventure in the world of Pokemon, a lot of questions sprung up after the announcement. So far, we still have more questions than answers, but some careful investigation and digging have given us a better understanding of what's in store with this title. It may not be the next full-generation title, but there's a lot to be excited about with this title, so let's dive into everything we know about it thus far.
Release date window

Pokémon Legends: Z-A has a release window of 2025, but that's all we know for now. The only other little detail given is that it will be a simultaneous worldwide release, which we would've expected anyway.

Read more
Pokémon Legends: Z-A brings the series back to Kalos next year
Lumiose City in Pokémon Z-A

The Pokémon Company revealed during today's Pokémon Presents showcase that Pokémon Legends: Z-A will be released in 2025.

The show, which was held on Pokémon Day, the 28th anniversary of this popular RPG franchise, also contained a plethora of announcements about new Scarlet and Violet Tera Raid battles, Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket. and updates for mobile games like Pokémon Go, Pokémon Sleep, and Pokémon Masters EX, Pokémon Cafe Remix, and Pokémon Unite. The most notable announcement from the show was its closer, Pokémon Legends: Z-A.

Read more