Pokémon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl starters Turtwig, Chimchar and Piplup: Which starter is best?

Who will be your first Pokémon friend?

Turtwig, Chimchar and Piplup are the three starter Pokémon for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

The starter you pick will help decide how you play the first hours of the game, especially when it comes to tackling the first Gym. Will you choose to walk through the Gym Leader battle or do you want to take the harder approach?

Below you'll find some insight which will help you decide which starter Pokémon is best for you.

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Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl - Overview Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Who are the starter Pokémon in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Turtwig, Chimchar and Piplup

Choosing your starter Pokémon is one of the most important choices you can make in any mainline Pokémon game. This single selection will help determine the foundations of your team and could even play a pivotal role in your overall strategy if you decide to keep it.

There are always three starter Pokémon to choose from, with each being one of three types - grass, fire or water.

Your choices, for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, are Turtwig, the grass-type, Chimchar, fire-type, and Piplup, a water-type.

Pokemon_Diamond_Pearl_Starter_1
Pokemon_Diamond_Pearl_Starter_3
Pokemon_Diamond_Pearl_Starter_2

Upon reaching their final evolutions, all of these Pokémon will become a dual type; Turtwig eventually becomes Torterra who is grass and ground-type, Chimchar's final evolution Infernape is fire and fighting and, finally, Piplup's last evolution is Empoleon - a water and steel-type.

Pokemon_Torterra
Pokemon_Infernape
Pokemon_Empoleon
Torterra, Infernape and Empoleon are the final evolutions for the starter Pokémon.

Which is the best starter Pokémon in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

Deciding which is the best starter Pokémon in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a very subjective choice, with many long running Pokémon fans preferring a particular type, so it's important you pick the right starter Pokémon for you.

If you've played the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, you may be worried that the game's scarcity of fire-type Pokémon before completing the Hall of Fame has been carried over. Thankfully there are more fire-type Pokémon in the wild. Slightly.

Pokemon_Chimchar
Chimchar.

The Ponyta and Houndour evolution lines will be available in both games, with Shining Pearl players having the additional choice of the Magmar evolution line. This means that, if you don't want to choose Chimchar as your starter Pokémon, then you do have slightly more options available to you in the main adventure.

Still, if Chimchar is the one for you, expect to have a difficult first Gym battle due to it being rock-type themed - one of Chimchar's weaknesses. After this Gym, however, Chimchar does start to pack a punch, especially at the second, grass-type, themed Gym. It will also be incredibly useful in the later stages of the main journey where two gyms are particularly weak to fire-type Pokémon.

Both Turtwig and Piplup are highly effective against rock-type Pokémon, so the first Gym will be no problem for them, but stumble at the second; Piplup is weak against grass-type Pokémon and Turtwig won't be as effective due to being of the same type. Like Chimchar, however, they can both become powerful Pokémon if you continue to train them and have advantages in the later stages of the game.

Pokemon_Turtwig
Pokemon_Piplup
Turtwig and Piplup.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. If you're having trouble deciding, however, we recommend planning out your Pokémon team in advance, so you know what advantages your starter Pokémon will bring. You could also simply pick whichever you think looks the coolest - that works too.

Have fun in the Sinnoh region with your new Pokémon!

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer  |  Stormscribe

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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