Pokémon Emerald Starter Guide: Which Pokémon To Choose

Pokémon Emerald Starter Guide: Which Pokémon To Choose

Every installment in the Pokémon series presents trainers with a tough decision right from the beginning: choosing their first partner, their starter Pokémon. This choice shapes your early-game experience and influences your team’s composition and strategy throughout the entire game. In Pokémon Emerald, you have three starter options: Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip. Each has its unique type, advantages, and disadvantages. In this Pokémon Emerald starter guide, we compare and contrast these three Pokémon. We’ll delve into their evolution, learned movesets, strengths, and weaknesses and provide example teams you can build around each.

The Pokémon Emerald Starters


A screenshot of the starter Pokemon Treecko fighting Lotad.

Treecko is the Grass-type starter in Emerald. It evolves into Groyvle at level 16 and its final form, Sceptile, at level 36. Unlike the other two Pokémon Emerald starters, all three Treecko evolutions remain a single type.

Treecko’s advantage lies in its high Special Attack, which allows it to deal significant damage with offensive moves like Leaf Blade and Giga Drain. It’s an excellent choice if you prefer a balanced team that resists Water and Electric-type moves.

Notable Learned Moves: Treecko starts with moves like Pound and Leer and can learn powerful Grass-type attacks like Leaf Storm and Energy Ball as it evolves.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Treecko boasts high Speed and Special Attack stats. Grass-type Pokémon are effective against Water and Ground types, which are common in the Hoenn region. Sceptile, the final evolution, is a swift and agile attacker. However, its straight Grass-typing makes it vulnerable to Fire, Ice, and Flying types.

Example Team

Naturally, you want to consider pairing Treecko with Pokémon that shore up its weaknesses. A Water-type like Walrein can handle Fire types, and a Flying-type like Swellow can deal with Bug types that Treecko struggles against.

  • Sceptile (Grass)
  • Swellow (Normal/Flying)
  • Manectric (Electric)
  • Walrein (Ice/Water)
  • Hariyama (Fighting)
  • Aggron (Steel/Rock)


Torchic is the Fire-type Pokémon Emerald starter. It evolves into Combusken at level 16 and attains its final evolutionary form, Blakizen, at 36. As it’s a cute little bird Pokémon, you might assume that Torchic would grow into a Fire/Flying-type, but its evolutionary forms are Fire/Fighting-type, which makes for an interesting combo.

Torchic is an excellent choice if you prefer an offensive, fast-paced playstyle. Its Fire/Fighting typing makes it versatile against various opponents, but its Fire/Fighting moveset makes it especially useful against Grass, Bug, Normal, Rock, Ice, Dark, and Steel types.

Notable Learned Moves: Torchic starts with moves like Scratch and Growl and can learn strong Fire-type moves like Blaze Kick and Flare Blitz, as well as Fighting moves like Close Combat.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Torchic’s Fire typing gives it an advantage against Grass, Bug, and Ice types. Blaziken, the final evolution, boasts a high Attack stat and the Fighting type, which grants it coverage against many types. Its Fire typing weakens it to Water, Rock, and Electric types.

Example Team

To compensate for Torchic’s weaknesses, consider adding Pokémon like Ludicolo to handle Water types and Aggron to tackle Rock types.

  • Blaziken (Fire/Fighting)
  • Ludicolo (Water/Grass)
  • Flygon (Ground/Dragon)
  • Gardevoir (Psychic/Fairy)
  • Swellow (Normal/Flying)
  • Aggron (Steel/Rock)


A screenshot of the starter Pokemon Mudkip fighting Zigzagoon.

Mudkip is the Water-type Pokémon Emerald starter, and like Torchic, it attains a hybrid typing after it evolves into Marshtomp at level 16 and Swampert at level 36. Its evolutionary forms are dual Water/Ground-type, presenting some unique moveset advantages.

Mudkip is a well-rounded choice for trainers who want a sturdy Pokémon. Its Water/Ground typing provides excellent resistances and access to a nice array of powerful moves. Swampert can handle most challenges, making it a dependable “all-rounder” starter pick for your team.

Notable Learned Moves: Mudkip starts with basic moves like Tackle and Growl and can learn powerful Water-type moves like Muddy Water and Hydro Pump. It also learns some useful attacks like the Ground-type move Earthquake and the Fighting-type Hammer Arm, giving it impressive offensive versatility.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Mudkip’s Water typing grants it an advantage against Fire and Ground types. Swampert, the final evolution, becomes a bulky Water/Ground type with excellent overall stats. In its evolved forms, its Water/Ground typing leaves it vulnerable to Grass and Electric types.

Example Team

Mudkip can benefit from Electric-type support to counter its weaknesses. Pokémon like Manectric can handle Flying types, while a good Fire-type like Torkoal can cover Grass and Ice types.

  • Swampert (Water/Ground)
  • Breloom (Grass/Fighting)
  • Manectric (Electric)
  • Salamence (Dragon/Flying)
  • Metagross (Steel/Psychic)
  • Torkoal (Fire)

Choosing the Best Pokémon Emerald Starter

Generally speaking, there is no definitive “best” starter in most Pokémon games, and Emerald is no exception. Choosing the best starter in Pokémon Emerald ultimately depends on your preference and playing style. All three starters are excellent choices; each one offers unique advantages and presents its own challenges.

The choice may likely boil down to what other Pokémon you want to have on your late-game team. It’s important to consider the overall balance of your battle lineup and how your starter will fit into it. Your decision should align with your preferred playstyle and the type of roster you plan to build. Depending on your strategy, Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip can all lead you to victory.

To recap:

  • Mudkip is a solid choice with good defensive capabilities if you prefer a balanced and versatile starter.
  • Treecko can be a great option with its high Speed and Special Attack if you enjoy a fast and offensive playstyle.
  • If you favor a powerful attacker with unique typing, Torchic’s Fire/Fighting combination in its final evolution, Blaziken, is an excellent pick.

In Pokémon Emerald, your starter is not just a fighter but your first companion and a cornerstone of your adventure. Remember that Pokémon is about more than just raw power; it’s about building a team that complements each other’s strengths and covers each other’s weaknesses. Each starter brings advantages that will shape your entire journey. The decision is yours, and there is no wrong choice. Consider your preferred playing style, team composition, and the types you enjoy battling with the most. Feel free to mix and match Pokémon as you progress through the game, and don’t be afraid to explore various strategies and tactics to become the true Pokémon Champion of the Hoenn region.

To top