The latest Pokémon games are here, and with this open-world design, there are plenty of things for players to do.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet include a new feature called Tera Raid Battles, which are yet another way for players to take on Pokémon. Unlike the normal fights, however, this is a four-on-one challenge, where players choose one particular Pokémon that they'll be using in a team to defeat a Terastallized Pokémon.
If you're thinking of taking on these new types of fights in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, we've got you covered with our Tera Raid Battle guide. Here's what you need to know.
No matter how you choose to play, alone or in a party, there are crystal-covered powered-up Pokémon to take on in the latest editions of the long-running franchise. Choose your version then start catching them all!
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: What are Tera Raid Battles?
Tera Raid Battles are a feature that's been introduced with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. When exploring the open world, players will encounter dozens of large crystals. These crystals are easy to see from a distance and are also marked on the player's map, which can be brought up at any time by pressing Y.
Upon interacting with these crystals, players can choose to go it alone — you'll get three AI allies if you're playing by yourself — or they can party up with their online or local friends. Either way, they'll be challenging a Terastallized Pokémon. The computer companions do not battle nearly as well as real-life players tend to, so it's best to team up with people who know what they're doing if you can. This is a crystal-coated Pokémon with enhanced abilities, and it'll take all four Trainers working together to defeat it before the time limit runs out.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: Tips and tricks
Tera Raid Battles aren't too difficult early on, but as you find more and more challenging versions, you'll need to be more careful. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Fully prepared: To start off, don't worry about topping off your Pokémon's health or PP before a fight. It'll automatically be refilled before the battle begins, and after you are victorious, it'll be refilled a second time. This is a great way to save on resources if you happen to be far away from a Pokéstop.
Type weaknesses and Star level: You'll also get an outline of the Terastallized Pokémon when you select the crystal. The color of the crystal — and icon on your map — will inform you just what kind of Tera type you're dealing with, and you should plan accordingly. If, for example, you're dealing with a Fire Tera type, maybe don't choose a Grass-type Pokémon. Additionally, this will let you know how difficult the battle will be. The more stars on the raid, the harder the Tera Type opponent.
Team member roles: Next, it's important to understand that Tera Raid Battles work a little differently than regular battles. If you're fighting in a team of four with your friends, you'll want to consider designating roles, having Pokémon that can deal heavy damage while also having some with positive status effects for the team, or even negative status effects for the boss.
Use status effects: Poisoning and other damage-over-time effects are naturally highly valuable, but the exact Moves to use will vary depending on exactly what Pokémon you're dealing with. You'll also be on a time limit, and while that doesn't matter too much in the 1-star and 2-star Raids, it'll be trickier as things get more difficult with 5-star through 7-star raids since these harder Pokémon protect themselves with an extra layer of defense near the end of the battle. Keep hacking at them with their Tera Type weakness using a strong Pokémon and you'll take them down.
Cheer your team on: In addition to telling your Pokémon different moves to use, you can use special "Cheers" during a Tera Raid Battle. You can cheer to boost the damage of the team, the defenses of the team, or have everyone heal up. Try spacing these out, we've found that using three attack moves followed by a cheer tends to be a good ratio. It's also important to keep in mind that Cheers are capped at three uses per battle, so don't just spam them! Instead, think carefully about what the team really needs.
Bring plenty of Balls: Always remember to have some spare Poké Balls with you whenever you go into a Tera Raid Battle, something more substantial like Ultra Balls are preferred for harder raids. If you're successful, at the end of the raid when the crystal coating shatters, you'll have a chance to catch the Pokémon you've been battling. You'll only ever need to use one Poké Ball, so don't worry about having a stockpile on your hands like when you go Shiny hunting
Battle in Tera Raids to help level up: If you are successful, you'll gain a variety of rewards like candies and ingredients, so if you find yourself running low on either, a Tera Raid Battle or two is an excellent way to stock back up.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: How to unlock 5-star and 6-star Raids
Early on, most of your Tera Raid Battles will be one or 2-star affairs, but this will change as time goes on, with 3-star and 4-star battles opening up later in the game. Accessing the extremely difficult (and rewarding) five-star, six-star, and rare seven-star battles is fortunately quite straightforward.
To unlock 5-star Tera Raid Battles, you just need to finish the main story of the game, and these battles will start to populate the world. The rare 6-star battles open up after you complete the tournaments that are unlocked post-campaign. It's also worth noting that there will only ever be one 6-star battle available at once.
Five and 6-star Tera Raid Battles vastly increase the rewards you unlock, including Herba Mystica, a legendary sandwich ingredient. Herba Mystica can be used to create sandwiches that increase certain perks like increasing the chances of catching Shiny Pokémon when combined with the proper ingredients.
Extremely rare 7-star Tera Raid Battles are also available, but these are special events that will be announced by The Pokémon Company. Needless to say, these are the absolute toughest Tera Raids Scarlet and Violet have to offer, so you'll want to seriously consider type weaknesses and bring your very best Pokémon to the fight.
Challenge yourself in the world
Even though technical issues may keep Pokémon Scarlet and Violet from being in the best Nintendo Switch games of 2022, they are still fun RPGs that help to move the mechanics of the franchise forward. A part of that is in Tera Raid Battles, with these encounters offering great variety that shakes up the usual gameplay. If you're finding the regular fights tedious as you're collecting all 400 Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet, get some friends together and look for some crystals across the map!
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Once you've grabbed your copy of the latest Pokémon games, you'll be able to dive into an open world filled with adventure. There are Titans to tackle, camps to demolish, and Raid Battles to undergo. You can choose to go it alone or play with up to three friends.
Samuel Tolbert is a freelance gaming writer who started working for iMore and its sister sites Windows Central and Android Central in July 2019. He handles news, previews, reviews, and exclusive original reporting, and has also been featured on TechRadar.
With a background studying engineering before he shifted his focus to gaming journalism, he's skilled at identifying technical advantages and disadvantages provided by different hardware. If he’s not writing something, he’s off playing video games, spending time with his pets, exercising, or reading. He's also fond of trying to draw things with his iPad.
- Rebecca SpearGaming Editor