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Temtem has just begun its foray into Early Access with only around half of the creatures planned for the final release, but there are still plenty to pick and choose from. If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to know the best starter Temtem to choose and the creatures you should catch and train beyond that. We’ve put together a guide of the best Temtem to look out for, with an emphasis on early-game Tems to get you off to a good start. Temtem up!
Best starter Temtem: Crystle
It’s the first and most important decision of any monster-collecting game: which starter do you pick? While all three have their pros and cons, you’ll benefit the most early-game from choosing Crystle. Surprise surprise, it’s a Crystal type, which gives it resistance against Toxic, Electric and Mental, and a weakness to Fire, Melee and Earth. Crystle evolves into Sherald at level 30.
Unlike the Pokémon games, you can actually catch the starter Temtems later on in the game. Crystle can be found in the Mines of Mictlan, but it’s a rare spawn so you’ll have to keep trying until one appears.
Kaku & Saku
Kaku is a pretty cute Temtem, and evolves into the equally adorable Saku after advancing 11 levels since capture – so you can get a strong second-gen Tem nice and early in the game. Both are effective in battle, though Saku particularly so – both in the early game and later on.
Kaku is a Nature type, making it resistant against Water, Electric, Earth and other Nature – a useful range of resistances for Temtem you face early on – but weak against Fire and Toxic. Evolving into Saku adds Wind into the mix, which makes it resistant to other Wind and extra resistant to Earth while nullifying your resistance to Electric.
Not only are its resistances good, but Saku also has a few useful moves up its green sleeves. Urushiol is a Toxic attack that can synergise to add poison (and is actually super effective against other Kakus and Sakus!), while Sharp Leaf and Wind Burst deal a good chunk of Nature and Wind damage respectively. Kaku is easily found across multiple areas of Deniz, whereas Saku is in The Gifted Bridges and a couple of areas in Omninesia.
Ganki & Gazuma
Ganki and its evolution, Gazuma, are honestly pretty OP as of this time of writing – at least at the start of the game. Whether they’ll be rebalanced over the course of Temtem’s development remains to be seen, but for now, you’d be daft not to take advantage of them. As an Electric and Wind type, they’re both resistant to Wind and vulnerable to Crystal – though if your Ganki has the Botanophobia trait, it’ll also be weak to Nature.
Ganki and Gazuma are useful because of their Wind and Electric attacks that offer advantages over Toxic; and Water, Mental and Wind types respectively – ideal for the first gym and early areas in general. A very high SP ATK stat makes these moves extra-powerful. Chain Lightning is an interesting technique, attacking three in a row – including one of your own!
Ganki is prolific across Deniz from the Thalassian Cliffs onwards. It evolves into Gazuma at level 27, though it’s a powerhouse in its own right up until that point.
Nessla is another Temtem that’s asking for a nerf at some point. In the meantime, try and find this powerful beastie in the lake of the Thalassian Cliffs (you’ll need a surfboard). It’s Water and Electric-type, meaning it’s resistant to Wind, Fire and other Water, and weak to Nature, Toxic and Crystal. Find one with the Electric Synthesize trait, however, and being hit with Electric attacks will actually heal it.
What’s worth bearing in mind is that you can even attack your Nessla on purpose to heal it. A fantastic combo is to use Chain Lightning to attack both of your opponents and let the third in the chain heal your Nessla. Outrageous.
While elemental attacks are often the sexier options in a Pokémon-like game, you still can’t go wrong with an all-rounder Neutral type. And that’s just what Tateru is at the beginning of the game. No elemental resistances, but only a weakness to Mental to worry about.
Tateru is fairly hardy with good attack stamina. Its attack Heavy Blow lets it deal a decent amount of damage from turn one, while the Earth move Sand Splatter gives you an advantage against Fire, Electric and Crystal. Tateru are found all over the first island and don’t have any evolutions.
In the Airborne Archipelago, pigs truly can fly – and they’re called Pigepics. These loveably rotund Temtem are Wind type, so they take half damage from Earth and other Wind but are weak to Electric. You can find them commonly amongst the Thalassian Cliffs and The Gifted Bridges, and they don’t currently have any evolutions.
Pigepics look big and solid, and they don’t disappoint. They’ve got high defence against both physical and elemental attacks, so are a reliable party member – and not only do they hold their own in the beginning, but they even remain useful as you progress through the game.
Oceara is a rare Temtem that’s nonetheless worth the effort to try and find. It’s currently only available in the Aguamarina Caves accessed by surfing northeast from Briçal de Mar, and even there it only rarely appears. As a water type, it’s resistant against Fire, Earth and other Water, but weak to Nature, Electric and Toxic.
Oceara’s move set is an interesting mix of synergistic attacks, from High-Pressure Water that burns when with a Fire ally, to Tsunami that does extra damage and inflicts Cold when with Wind, and Flood that slows the enemy team down when combined with Earth. Whether it’ll evolve in the future remains to be seen, but currently, Oceara is a single-gen Tem.
Another rarity is Barnshe, only available on the roof of Windward Fort, and appearing very infrequently. It took me a lot of attempts to find one, but pretty much the only other Tems you’ll find up there are Ganki, so try and steamroll through those with Crystal and Earth attacks until a Barnshe appears. Barnshe is Wind and Mental, making it resistant against Neutral (very useful!), Earth, Melee and other Wind, but vulnerable to Crystal, Digital and extra-weak to Electric.
Barnshe is currently a single-gen Temtem with no evolutions. Its early standard attacks consist of solid Earth and Wind moves, plus Mental techniques that let it avoid damage. As a bonus, finding a Barnshe lets you complete a side quest on the Thalassian Cliffs.
Skail & Skunch
Skail is a bit of a slow starter thanks to its lack of powerful moves it can use in turn one – Scratch and Sand Splatter being its main two options for a while. But the latter move is Earth, which makes it handy against Fire, Electric and Crystal. It’s a Neutral type, so has no resistances but does have a weakness to Mental. It’s an unremarkable but still potentially useful Tem.
It’ll take you gaining 17 extra levels after capture, but Skail then turns into Skunch, gaining a nice boost to its stats. Skunch also adds the Melee type, for resistance against other Melee but extra weakness to Mental – so stay well away from psychics. You can barely move a few metres in the starting island without finding a Skail, so you can ensure to find one with good SV stats and your choice of trait – I like the sustain-boosting Scavenger that heals 20% when another Temtem is knocked out.
James loves a deep action-adventure game, RPG or Metroidvania. He can often be found in The Indie Game Website’s review section casting his critical eye over the latest indie games.