How To Decide Which Starter Pokémon To Pick In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl

The long awaited remakes of the fourth generation Pokémon games are finally here. Which begs the question we’ve all been asking for the past 20 years every time a new Pokémon game is out, which starters do I pick?


Anyone who’s played a Pokémon game is faced with a difficult choice whenever they start a new game. That choice is all about which starter Pokémon to go on an adventure with. Choosing your starter is the most crucial decision you’ll make in the entire game. After all, you’ll be spending hundreds of hours with this Pokémon. While Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl don’t exactly give you new starters to choose from, being a remake and all, it can still feel overwhelming to decide. Especially for newcomers to the game. So, we’re here to help you decide. Let’s take a look at each of the Sinnoh starters.


Turtwig is the Grass type starter from the Sinnoh region. Out of all the starters, Turtwig is the most balanced and has access to a lot of utility and offensive moves. Once fully evolved into a Torterra, it becomes a dual Grass/Ground type making it an absolute nightmare for Electric types. Despite the strong dual typing, it does make it vulnerable to more weaknesses even being susceptible to Water type moves. Nevertheless, Torterra has excellent Attack, HP, and Defense making it a superb choice for a tanky physical Sweeper. Being able to learn Stealth Rock also makes it a potent entry hazard setter. In terms of the campaign, choosing Turtwig will give you an advantage over a lot of gym leaders, especially Roark, Crasher Wake, and Byron. If you’re looking for a well-rounded playing experience and would prefer strong defenses over offense, Turtwig might be the perfect starter for you.


Fire types are often the most popular Pokémon in the games and that extends to the starter Pokémon. Chimchar is an adorable chimp Pokémon that has access to some of the best physical Fire type moves in the game. Although you might struggle early on considering that the first gym is going to have Rock type Pokémon. If you can manage to evolve your Chimchar to a Monferno before reaching the first gym, then everything will be a breeze. As early as its second evolution, Monferno, this Pokémon becomes a dual type being a Fire/Fighting type. It also learns the powerful priority move, Mach Punch. Couple it with amazing Speed and you have a Pokémon with STAB (same type attack bonus) that can one hit KO most of your opponents. Infernape also has impressive Attack and Special Attack so it can work as a hybrid Sweeper that is strong enough to take out most teams on its own. If you’re looking to play aggressive and like to play fast, you should definitely go for Chimchar as your starter Pokémon. 


Piplup is arguably the cutest out of all three Sinnoh starters. But, don’t let it’s cutesy appearance fool you; this Pokémon packs a punch. Choosing Piplup will test your patience. Despite having an easy time early on, Piplup will really begin to struggle by the 2nd gym. You’ll need to build around this Pokémon to cover up potential weaknesses and it can feel a bit tiring to stick with it all the way to the end. Those that make it to the end with Piplup, however, are treated to a very easy time in taking on the Pokémon League. It’s final form, Empoleon, won’t offer you much utility but has incredibly high Special Attack and Special Defense. It’s guaranteed to deal a lot of damage and can even soldier through a few hits on its own. If you have the patience to stick with Piplup during the hard times, you’ll be rewarded later on in the game. IT has superior stats compared to the other two starters but feels a little lacking in its move pool. Overall, Piplup is a solid starter that will bring out the tactician in you.

Who do I choose?

Choosing which Pokémon to start with ultimately boils down to preference. Each of them have their own distinct strengths and weaknesses that can fit whatever play style you wish to have. If you like having great coverage and utility, go for Turtwig. If you’d like a strong attacker Pokémon with lots of Speed, go with Chimchar. If you’re looking for something a little more nuanced with lots of bulky defense, go with Piplup. Personally, our choice would be Chimchar since it does so well against most of the Gym Leaders and there are a lot of Pokémon that you can include in your team to cover up for its weaknesses.

So there you have it! You shouldn’t worry too much about which starter to pick. After all, it’s all about having fun. Just pick the starter that resonates with you the best and whom you wouldn’t mind spending countless hours with while exploring the Sinnoh region. Have fun!