Which Starter Is The Best In Pokemon Sword & Shield?

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  • What Are The Starters In Pokemon Sword & Shield?
  • Which Starter Should You Pick?

Choosing your starter is your first major decision in any Pokemon game, and Sword & Shield are no different. In the sprawling region of Galar, you’ll get to choose between Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble to accompany you on your new Pokemon journey.



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All three of these starters are good choices, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can easily beat the game with any of them, provided you also form a well-rounded team of other Pokemon in the region. That said, if you need help deciding, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of choosing each starter to help you decide who to pick.

What Are The Starters In Pokemon Sword & Shield?

sword and shield starters over blurred background

As with every Pokemon game, you will choose one of three Pokemon to start your journey with. In Sword & Shield, these choices include the Grass-type Grookey, the Fire-type Scorbunny, and the Water-type Sobble. All three of these Pokemon retain their mono-typing after evolving, meaning they won’t gain a secondary typing later.


Grookey is the Grass-type starter. It evolves into Thwackey at level 16, then into Rillaboom at level 35. As it levels up, Grookey learns mainly physical Grass and Normal-type attacks like Razor Leaf, Slam, Wood Hammer, and its signature attack, Drum Beating.

While Grookey may not have an advantage over the first Gym, it is strong against the second Gym Leader, Nessa, who uses Water-Type Pokemon. You can catch a wild Rookidee or Blipbug to carry you through the first Gym, then have Grookey for the second, giving you a very strong early-game start.


Scorbunny is the Fire-type starter. It evolves into Raboot at level 16, then into Cinderace at level 35. It is mainly a physical attacker, learning strong Fire, Fighting, and Normal-type moves as it levels up, like Flame Charge, Double Kick, Headbutt, and its signature attack, Pyro Ball.

Scorbunny is a strong pick for the first Gym Leader, who uses Grass-type Pokemon. This means you can easily sweep through the first Gym with just your starter, allowing you to progress quickly through the early game and unlock new areas to catch more desirable Pokemon.


Sobble is the Water-type starter. It evolves into Drizzile at level 16, then into Inteleon at level 35. Sobble’s base stats are evenly split between Attack and Special Attack, but lean more towards Special Attack after it evolves.

As it levels up, it will mainly learn Water-type moves, with a few other attacks for coverage. These include Water Pulse, Sucker Punch, U-Turn, and its signature attack, Sniper Shot.

Sobble doesn’t really shine in terms of type advantages until the third, Fire-type Gym. Then, if you are playing Pokemon Sword, Sobble will have an advantage against the sixth Gym Leader, Gordie, who uses Rock-type Pokemon. Sobble is more of a late-bloomer than the other starters, offering more advantages further into the game.

Which Starter Should You Pick?

scorbunny, sobble, and grookey in starter choice cutscene

So, which starter should you pick? Ultimately, it comes down to which starter you find the most appealing. Grookey, and eventually Rillaboom, is a bulky physical attacker with a decent early-game advantage and scales well into the mid-to-late game. Scorbunny and its evolutions are very strong and fast physical attackers that remain strong throughout the entire game.

Sobble and its evolutions are fast Special attackers, but don’t really learn that many strong Special attacks through level-ups. This can be remedied through TMs and TRs, however. Inteleon is strongest in the late game, putting it roughly on par with Rillaboom.

Choosing the strongest starter really depends on how early in the game you want your starter to have an advantage.

  • For early-game, choose Scorbunny.
  • For mid-game, choose Grookey.
  • For late-game, choose Sobble.

To reiterate, any starter you choose will be strong for the duration of the game. You can’t make a wrong choice here, and you can always trade with another player to get the starters you didn’t choose. Choose the starter that you’ll have the most fun with, and start your journey in Galar!

Next: How Long Does It Take To Beat Pokemon Sword & Shield?

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