Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX — How to choose your Starter

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Player Character
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Player Character (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is here and so is the iMore Gaming team to help you take your game to the next level. This game is technically a remake of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team for Gameboy Advance and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team for Nintendo DS, but there is plenty of new in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. For starters, there are your Starters! While the same species of Pokémon are available to play as, you can pick and choose exactly who you want to play as and who you want for your partner without having to reset and hope the random number generator graces you with the right options in the Personality Quiz. But which Pokémon are the best to start your Rescue Team?

What Pokémon can I choose from?

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Starter Cyndaquil

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Starter Cyndaquil (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

While there may be almost 900 different discovered Pokémon species, there are only sixteen different Pokémon to choose from for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. All but one of your possible choices has a single type, and there are a lot of duplicate types.

  • Bulbasaur, a Grass and Poison type with Vine Whip, Sludge, Tackle, and Seed Bomb.
  • Charmander, a Fire type with Scratch, Flame Burst, Bite, and Dragon Rage.
  • Squirtle, a Water type with Brick Break, Water Gun, Tackle, and Bite.
  • Pikachu, an Electric type with Fake Out, Electro Ball, Grass Knot, and Iron Tail.
  • Meowth, a Normal type with Scratch, Fake Out, Bite, and Foul Play.
  • Psyduck, a Water type with Scratch, Water Gun, Confusion, and Zen Headbutt.
  • Machop, a Fighting type with Bullet Punch, Brick Break, Karate Chop, and Strength.
  • Cubone, a Ground type with Headbutt, Bone Club, Brutal Swing, and Brick Break.
  • Eevee, a Normal type with Bite, Tackle, Swift, and Quick Attack.
  • Chikorita, a Grass type with Ancient Power, Razor Leaf, Tackle, and Grass Knot.
  • Cyndaquil, a Fire type with Quick Attack, Ember, Double Kick, and Facade.
  • Totodile, a Water type with Metal Claw, Water Gun, Ice Fang, and Scratch.
  • Treecko, a Grass type with Quick Attack, Absorb, Dragon Breath, and Iron Tail.
  • Torchic, a Fire type with Quick attack, Low Kick, Ember, and Peck.
  • Mudkip, a Water type with Mud Bomb, Water Gun, Tackle, and Mud Slap.
  • Skitty, a Normal type with Fake Out, Echoed Voice, Charged Beam, and Grass Knot.

What types are the best?

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Player Character Partner Rechoose

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Player Character Partner Rechoose (Image credit: iMore/Casian holly)

While you could just pick the Pokémon you like best or that you think looks the coolest, what makes the biggest difference in gameplay is a Pokémon's type. Every Pokémon type has strengths and weaknesses, but Pokémon Mystery Dungeon isn't super balanced. There is a pretty heavy lean towards Flying type opponents throughout the various Dungeons. This means that a Grass type or Fighting type, which is weak to Flying types, is going to make the game more difficult; whereas an Electric type, which is strong against Flying types, will make for an easier game. Likewise, some Pokémon have access to moves which are way more useful against the types you're coming up against, while others have moves that leave something to be desired.

So, if you're deciding your Pokémon based strictly on ease of the game, you'll want:

Swipe to scroll horizontally

What about my Partner?

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Partner Choice

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Partner Choice (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Even if you went with the easiest Starter on the list, Pikachu can't take out every opponent you might face. Ground types, like Cubone or Diglett, are immune to electric attacks and deal super effective damage to Pikachu. Fortunately, before you ever set foot in a Mystery Dungeon, you get to pick a Partner Pokémon to form your Rescue Team. Eventually, you'll be able to convince other Pokémon to join your team, but for now, you want to pick the best Partner to complement your Starter by dealing super effective damage to the type(s) your Starter is weak to.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PokémonPartner Type
PikachuWater or Grass
CharmanderElectric, Grass, or Water
MudkipFire or Ground
CyndaquilElectric, Grass, or Water
TotodileFire or Ground
PsyduckFire or Ground
SquirtleFire or Ground
TorchicElectric, Grass, or Water
EeveePikachu or Psyduck*
SkittyPikachu or Psyduck*
CuboneElectric, Grass, or Fire
MeowthPikachu or Pysduck*
BulbasaurElectric or Water
ChikoritaElectric, Water, or Fire
TreeckoElectric, Water, or Fire
  • Normal type Pokémon are only weak against Fighting types. Psyduck has access to Psychic type moves that are super effective against Fighting types, but otherwise, you probably want Pikachu for it's super effective damage to Flying types.

Also, note that you cannot double up. This Pokémon game won't allow your Starter and Partner Pokémon to be the same type. Sorry if you wanted Charmander and Cyndaquil!

But I really need this Pokémon!

Fortunately, the Pokémon you can choose for your Player and Partner can be found elsewhere in the game. With two exceptions, they're also all very easy to convince to join your team. For example, if you just can't imagine going through the game without a Bulbasaur, but also don't want to play the game on hard mode, you can probably convince another Bulbasaur to join your team while you're completing Rescue Missions in the Joyous Tower.

There are two exceptions here. Skitty is somewhat less likely to join your team than the rest, and Pikachu is very unlikely to join your team. Even Pikachu's Baby Form, Pichu is less likely to join your team than the rest of your Starter and Partner options. That's not to say you can't convince a Skitty or a Pikachu to join if you don't pick them, but it will be more difficult than getting a Bulbasaur to join your team later down the road.

Does evolution matter in this decision?

Evolution is one of the coolest parts of the Pokémon world. You get one creature who is cute but tough, and it can evolve into a super-powerful, awesome beast! So, of course, your Starter's eventual evolution might weigh into your decision. Of the lot, Charmander's final evolution, Charizard is probably the most sought after on the list; while Eevee, who is capable of evolving into many different Pokémon of a variety of types, might also be extremely tempting.

However, evolution doesn't work the same way in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon as it does in the core games. In this game, you can eventually evolve, but not until you've completed the entire story! So, if you are really excited about playing as a Charizard, you're going to have to beat the game first, and by that point, you might have found another Charmander to join your team anyways.

Questions about your Starter and Partner in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon?

Do you have questions on how to pick your Starter and Partner Pokémon in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX? Got a killer combination to recommend to your fellow players? Drop us a comment below and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our other Pokémon Mystery Dungeon guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.