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POKÉMON SUN and MOON’s 7 Coolest Secrets

POKÉMON SUN and MOON’s 7 Coolest Secrets

Calling all Alola trainers! Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are finally available on the Nintendo 3DS. We expect that means you’ve been doing your best Ash Ketchum impression and catching ’em all. For those looking to become the very best, we’ve put together this list of seven tips to help you through your Pokémon Sun and Moon adventures. Keep in mind there are a lot of spoilers here, so make sure to either proceed with caution or come back once you’ve completed the main storyline. Okay, you’ve been warned!

QR Codes


You may be asking, why the hell is there an option to scan QR codes? This strange addition to the game is actually quite important. Every 20 hours you’ll have the chance to scan 10 Pokémon QR codes (found online), which will give you all the information of the pocket monster you scanned, including the location at which you can catch it, if at all possible in your version. But more importantly, this gives you an Island Scan, which makes one rare Pokémon appear for an hour. This method has yielded otherwise uncatchable pocket monsters, including the second generation starters. For example, scanning Melemele Island has already given me a Chikorita. Many players are finding other starters, so make sure to keep scanning those QR codes.

There’s a Second Cosmog


One of the major plot points in Sun/Moon has Cosmog (the little cloud looking Pokémon in Lillie’s bag) evolve into the legendary monster featured on the box cover of whichever game you grabbed. The fully evolved form decides to join you on your quest through Alola. This ‘mon is powerful as is, but what if you could train your very own “Nebby” (a.k.a. Cosmog) from a lower level? Well, if you return to the Altar of Sunne/Moone (name switches depending on version of the game) and travel through what looks like a rip in space into the “alternate dimension” (you have to go during the day in Moon, and during night time in Sun), then make your way to the Lake of the Moone/Sunne, a cutscene will start to roll. And as you probably guessed, you get a second Cosmog when the scene is over.

This little critter evolves at level 43, then again to the cover legendary at 53. As of right now, it appears like Cosmoem (Cosmog’s second evolution) will only evolve into the legendary on the game’s cover, giving you a total of two of the same legendary; Sun players get Solgaleo, while Moon players get Lunala. I’ve been attempting different times and circumstances to try and get the opposite legendary, but so far no cigar. On the bright side, this gives you a chance to trade with a friend without losing your beast. And it does look like the second legendary you get through the alternate dimension can learn the Splash Z-move, Z-Splash. Read on for more on why that’s a big deal.



Zyrgarde, the strange green legendary Pokémon from X and Y, is obtainable in Sun/Moon, but it’s not easy. During the game’s campaign you’ll meet Lina and Dexio who give you the Zygarde Cube. This allows you to collect Z-Cells and Cores that are scattered throughout Alola. They will appear on the screen as green and red glittery spots. Nab them whenever you find one because the only way to get Zygarde is by collecting these items. You can form this battle partner when collecting 10, 50, or 100 cells, with each version being more powerful. When you’ve collected the cells and cores, head over to route 16 right next to the Pokémon Center to find the lab where the cells can be combined. It’s a pain, but well worth the effort.

Shiny Starters


Those who enjoy the hunt for shiny variants of their favorite Pokémon will be pleased to know that none of the starters are shiny blocked. The bad news is that the cutscene to get your starters takes about two minutes to get to the point where you’ll know whether you got a shiny version or not, so the soft resetting method is still going to take quite a long time. Also keep in mind that the adorable starter you choose will not appear shiny during the cutscene, so you’ll have to wait until you reach the point where you are asked if you want to enter a nickname. This can take hundreds of soft resets, but at least you’ll have an even more special starter as a result.

Guardian Pokémon


Four islands make up Alola, and if you followed the narrative in the story, you’ll know that each one of these spots has its own guardian Pokémon. All four are actually catchable once you’ve become Champion. The game hints at the possibility at the end when it forces you into an encounter with Tapu Koko. That said, it’s easy to forget that three other islands have their own guardians because they don’t make an appearance during the main narrative, unlike Tapu Koko. All you have to do is find each island’s respective ruins spot, and touch the statue located on the altar to make the respective guardian appear. Just prepare yourself for a tough fight; I spent many Ultra Balls trying to catch these legendaries.

Another Ultra Beast/Legendary in Melemele


Once you’ve become the champion and the end credits have rolled, you’ll get some side-quests to capture Ultra Beasts. There are a total of five missions to complete, but then Looker (one of the characters introduced) will tell you about spotting a black beast flying over Melemele Island. Not knowing exactly what he saw, Looker assumes it was actually nothing. But he was wrong. Necrozma, the monster who’s not actually classified as an Ultra Beast within the game (despite its similarities to the other ones), is waiting for you at Melemele’s Ten Carat Hill in the Furthest Hollow. Necrozma will appear through a random encounter in the tall grass. It shouldn’t take too many attempts for this level-70 monster to rear its head. As with the guardians, prepare for a tough fight, because Necrozma is not easy to catch.



Believe it or not, the Z-Splash may very well be the most powerful move in Sun/Moon. Splash has been known as the most useless move in the Pokémon world, usually used by the weakest Pokémon in the series: Magikarp. All of that changes with the Z-Move version of the awful attack. When performed, Z-Splash will be accompanied by the message, “But nothing happened.” But after further inspection, you’ll find that the move ends up boosting a Pokémon’s attack +3 in one swoop. Something tells me this will lead to some crazy good combinations.

I sincerely hope these facts help you along your journey to become the best there ever was. Make sure to let us know if you’ve uncovered any other Alola secrets along your adventure. Who’s your favorite new legendary Pokémon? Which starter did you go with, and did you have enough patience to get a shiny version? Drop your super effective thoughts in the comments section below.

Images: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

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