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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Tera Types, explained

Learn how to master Terastallizing, the major new Pokémon mechanic

A Terastal Eevee with a fire-type crystal crown in a dark cave. From Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Every new Pokémon game seems to introduce some new battle mechanic. For Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it’s Terastallizing, the equivalent of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Dynamax and Gigantamax features. It’s a way to switch up how battles work in certain scenarios, and it’s one of the more interesting parts of battles in Scarlet and Violet.

That’s because a Pokémon’s Tera Type doesn’t have to match it’s actual type — meaning that a fire-type Pokémon can have a water Tera Type, changing up its type strengths and weaknesses when the mechanic is used. In total, there are 18 different Tera Types any Pokémon can have, which makes for a huge number of potential combinations.

quaxly in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet in its Terastal form Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

What are all the Tera Types?

  • Bug
  • Dark
  • Dragon
  • Electric
  • Fairy
  • Fighting
  • Fire
  • Flying
  • Ghost
  • Grass
  • Ground
  • Ice
  • Poison
  • Psychic
  • Rock
  • Steel
  • Water

How to find Tera Type Pokémon?

All Pokémon have a Tera Type, which means you can find Pokémon that Terastallize anywhere. You’ll also see Pokémon in the Paldean overworld who sparkle and glow; these are basically just harder wild Pokémon fights — you’ll have to knock down these Pokémon to remove the effect before catching them. These seem to be set encounters around the world, and you’ll definitely see them.

You’ll find Pokémon with Tera Types that don’t match their actual type through Tera Raid Battles. In the Paldean world, these are signified by big, glowing crystals that have a huge glowing tower you can see from a while away. These are marked on the Paldean map with a little star denoting the Pokémon’s Tera Type.

The Paldean map in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

In the map above, for instance, there are three Tera Raid battles marked, respectively, in yellow, green, and blue. An easy way to get to these is to fly to the nearest PokéStop and cruise over from there.

To kick off these battles, you just collide with the crystals. The Tera Raid Battles you’ll find in Paldea range from one to five stars, with five-star raids being the hardest. (They’re nearly impossible by yourself — unless you’re rocking maxed-out levels — due to the bad NPCs. You’ll want to do these with friends!) You can also join Tera Raid Battles through the Poké Portal, accessible through the game’s main menu when you hit the X button.

A yellow, glowing Terastal crystal in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

How do Tera Raid battles work?

Tera Raid battles set up four trainers against one powerful Terastal Pokémon. If you’re entering the raid alone, you’ll get assigned three other NPCs to battle with. These teammates are fine for easier Tera Raids, but are useless for five-star ones; they don’t have any conception of type matchups, and typically do almost do damage. (Five-star Tera Raids will be very hard alone unless your Pokémon are close to Lv. 100.) You’ll also be given the option to choose what Pokémon you want to use, too.

With friends, you’re able to make much quicker work of Tera Raids, especially if folks work together to address type matchups. You’ll all attack the Terastal Pokémon in turns, and they’ll attack back for you. At some point, the Pokémon will get stronger and you’ll have to Terastallize yourself to do much damage. But in these raids, you can get knocked out and have to respawn after an increasing amount of time — first five seconds, next 10 seconds, and so on. You’re on a time limit, and you can only use the mechanic once per raid, so use it wisely. You just keep attacking with your one allotted Pokémon until you win or run out of time.

You can’t use items to keep you alive, but there are three options for “cheering,” which increases damage, defense, or heals you and your friends. This replaces your move for a round. Once you’ve knocked the Pokémon out, there are two options: Catch or don’t catch.

Once that’s through, if you win, you’ll be awarded a whole bunch of items.

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