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The Pokémon Company unveiled the Terastal phenomenon as a new mechanic for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet during a Pokémon Presents livestream on Wednesday. Like the Mega Evolutions, Z-Moves and Dynamax Pokémon of the past, this will be the primary battle gimmick for Generation 9.
Every Pokémon in the game will have the ability to Terastallize in battle. Doing so will cause them to take on a shiny, crystallized form and gain a boost to certain moves. This mechanic effectively gives the Pokémon an extra same-type attack bonus, without adding any weaknesses on the defensive side.
According to a July leak from Centro Leaks, nearly every important non-playable character will make use of the Terastal phenomenon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. As a result, mastering this mechanic will likely be crucial to successfully navigating through the game.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduce 3 new mechanics / gimmicks.
– The crystalization, seems to be the main gimmick of the region. All Pokémon can use it and most NPCs use it in-game. It's activated by a new ball-like item. pic.twitter.com/Kt99hyLonD
— Centro LEAKS (@CentroLeaks) July 13, 2022
More about the Terastal phenomenon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Every single Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet has a Tera type that affects their Terastal form. This Tera type determines what type of moves get a boost, as well as the kind of crystallized item will sprout above their head.
Serebii Update: The Terastal phenomenon lets Pokémon Terastallize that can provide a boost to its moves. Some even change forms based on there Tera Type https://t.co/NWlAdn57aQ pic.twitter.com/Z1py75TZ5t
— Serebii.net (@SerebiiNet) August 3, 2022
For the most part, it seems a Pokémon’s Tera type will be the same as one of its traditional types. However, trainers can find Pokémon with rare Tera types, allowing them to boost different kinds of moves. These kinds of Pokémon are more common in a new co-op activity called Tera Raid Battles. Tera Raid Battles are not turn-based, meaning trainers can attack and heal on their own timing independent of their allies.
In addition, players who pre-order Pokémon Scarlet or Violet can obtain a special Pikachu that won’t be available in the game. This Pikachu will have Flying as its Tera type. This will also boost the unique move it knows, Fly.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.