Picking a starter is always one of the most important decisions in any Pokémon game because it’s what you’ll end up building the remainder of your team around.
In Sword and Shield, you’ll be picking between Scorbunny, Sobble, and Grookey to start your adventure in the Galar region. Each of them brings something different to the table and will change the way you prepare your team for the challenges ahead.
There isn’t a wrong choice—there never is when it comes to picking your favorite starter. But if you need some help on deciding which of the generation eight trio to pick, here’s some information on each one.
Should you choose Scorbunny, Sobble, or Grookey?
Scorbunny made a late surge to become the top pick for most players—and for good reasons. The fast little fire rabbit is going to hit like a truck and outspeed most things that come your way.
It has a bit of a weird evolution line. It evolves into Raboot at level 16 but then hits Cinderace at 35, which is one level before most Pokémon tend to reach their final form—although it seems like all of the Galar starters do this. By that point, it might have moves like Blaze Kick and High Jump Kick that would make it a powerful physical attacker.
The entire line is pure Fire-type, so it’s easy to build around. Just make sure you have a few Pokémon that can take a hit and a special attacker, and your team should be solid.
Just like Scorbunny, Sobble isn’t going to be tanking too many hits in the late game once it becomes Intelleon. But it should have good potential to be a mixed attacker for your team.
Like most Water-type starters, making sure it has a strong Water move is your first priority while filling out its other slots should be easy. Ice-type and Normal-type attacks should come naturally for it, but you might find some cool Poison-type or Dragon-type moves that it can learn to really help it take on some weird matchups.
You also probably shouldn’t overestimate its speed stat since Game Freak doesn’t like having multiple fast starter Pokémon in the same batch. If anything, just be careful when deciding what your other core Pokémon should be so you can balance out your team.
It also might have the biggest personality change from base to final form of any starter considering it goes from a shy and tempered little chameleon to what looks to be a suave and somewhat sassy spy.
Do you want to tank a hit and then hit someone with a tree trunk? If so, then Grookey is the pick for you since it’ll become a gorilla with a high defense stat and a lot of health.
It’s still unclear just how hard Rillaboom will hit, but it should be obvious that a gorilla like that is going to be a physical attacker—likely with a cool sound-based Grass attack to use based on its theme. Taking that into account, you probably shouldn’t rely on it hitting anything from the special side unless it’s absolutely necessary.
You’ll be able to live a few more hits than the other starters, though, which means the late game won’t be as dangerous for you as long as you don’t just completely ignore bad matchups. If you can get a good Rock-type to go with your Grookey, you should be set to handle whatever comes your way.
All of the starters are meant to be good options for new trainers as they begin their journey. And if one is calling to you based on its personality, just roll with that because there isn’t a wrong answer here. There might be a statistical advantage to picking one over the others, but for your first playthrough, just pick the one you want to travel with and have fun.