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Do you keep your starter?

Generally, do you keep your starter in your in-game Pokémon teams?

  • Yes, I keep my starter for the whole game

    Votes: 92 82.9%
  • Yes, but I box them part-way through the game

    Votes: 6 5.4%
  • No, I box them as soon as I can

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • I do something else (let us know what!)

    Votes: 11 9.9%

  • Total voters


Virtual Duck Enthusiast
Staff member
When playing through a Pokémon game, do you typically keep your starter in your team and use them throughout the game, or do you box them and pick another Pokémon instead? Does it vary by game, or by the starters available?

I personally nearly always keep my starter, at least for the first time I play a game. It helps that recently I've quite liked a lot of them, so it's not been a case of choosing whether to keep a starter I don't like the look of. If I replay a game (or play the other game in a pair), I'm more prone to not using a starter simply because there's so many other critters out there to choose from.

Let us know – you can vote in the poll, but I'd love to hear your full opinions posted below too :)
I always keep my starter. The only exception is when I last ran through Leaf Green. Never did a no-starter run before, so I caught a Pidgey and ran with that instead.

Shiny Motley

2016 Singles Football
During my first playthrough, I always keep my starter. They tend to get rather overpowered for me so yeah XD after that I like switching my teams up, so unless I got another starter I get a starter-less team.


Hero of Pizza
Staff member
I voted for "I do something else" because I have a few different ways that I play. :)

When first playing through a new region, like with Kalos and then later Hoenn during Gen VI, I'll always keep the starter that I chose for sentimental reasons. On my second and third plays through each region however, this can sometimes vary. I'll either choose a different starter and just keep it, or I'll choose a different starter and immediately swap it out for one that I've IV bred/bred egg moves onto. For example, I'd choose Fennekin and still use that species but instead raise a Fennekin that I bred (possibly a shiny version to boot).

Even if I don't often battle competitively I appreciate having Pokemon that are bred well, or have nice egg moves, by chance the opportunity arises. I also like keeping my starter's species consistent with what the professors originally gave me so that their eventual comments akin to "I remember when you first started your journey with _______" still match up (even if it's technically a completely different Pokemon :angel:). Sometimes the games show off artwork and such in the credits that highlight your starter choice, so I tend to take note of that as well. I may enjoy changing things up but still prefer it when the story matches up. ^^

Finally, once I've exhausted all three starters available in a certain region I'll often swap them out entirely for another starter from a different region. My most recent example of this was my playthrough of Black 2. Since I'd already trained Oshawott, Snivy, and Tepig between Black and White, and trained a second Oshawott for my playthrough of White 2, I decided to change it up entirely and raise a Chimchar as my "starter" instead. I grew attached to it the same way that I would with my original starter, and it was very refreshing raising a Chimchar again as I'd only ever done so once before. I'm a daydreamer/writer at heart, so even if I don't stick with my original starter I'll still build a story in my head regarding why mine is different. :)

To date, the only time that I didn't raise one of our traditional starter Pokemon was during a run through of Pearl. I'd gone for a Flying-type monotype team instead, which left no room for the usual Fire/Water/Grass triangle. Doduo was my starter instead! And I loved it very much. ♥
I always do. Sorry, always wanted to say that. Ever since I got my first Pokémon Game Ever, Pokémon White and chose Tepig as my first Pokémon ever, I've always kept my starter in my Team. I've got a level 100 Swampert and Delphox in some other games and a level 91 Emboar.
It depends. Much like everyone else, I'll use the starters for the first run or two at least. But I do like mixing things up after I've beaten the game once or twice. Sometimes I'll just swap the starter out in exchange for something I'd consider a good alternative (such as in Pokemon Y, I swapped the starter out for an Azurill to get an Azumarill, and it became one of the strongest members of my team, taking it all the way to the post-game). Sometimes I'll do a mono-type run with or without them. I've done a few wonderlockes where I've received starter Pokemon during the trades, so I guess they count.

Really depends on the rule-set used, I suppose.

Doctor Oak

Staff member
Unless I'm doing a run where I've bred up a specific set of Pokemon to use through the game, I pretty much always keep my starter throughout. The fact is that they're usually one of the best examples of that type/type pair in the game anyway, so there's not much point in not keeping it in active use.

When it comes to late/post game and making an actual team, they absolutely get boxed, but throughout the main game itself they're more useful than not, so there's just no real value in getting rid.
I mostly keep the starter. Like most people I will try to use each starter each generation for at least 1 playthrough. Then unless I really, really like them, I will pretty much box any starter I get whenever I get the chance to not use them, can be difficult when there's such lousy slim pickings at the start of the game, and I won't purposely try and screw myself over, but I have been known to wonder trade my starter just for giggles =)
I keep my starter for the whole game and box it as soon as I beat the E4 and Champ. I have almost every starter for the Dex. Who needs starters when yo have Melloeta and a shiny Cresselia.. :p
im keep starter to the whole game becase we share a bond and ist impossible to break im aways delete and restart my pokemon games but know im will never restart my games becase choosing your starter pokemon is the best thing to do


Expert FPS Player
Staff member
I always keep my starter throughout, I probably wouldn't pick it if I didn't intend to.

There has been one exception to this: Pokemon Blue on 3DS, where my starter got PC'd around Misty and Pikachu ended up taking its place, since I wanted a Meowth and Blue is the only game in the original three where you can catch it.
I've only ever boxed my starter once, it was a Feraligatr in Silver which I chose in the first place on a whim not because I liked it. Once I boxed it I never used it again.
Generally, my starter does permanently remain on my team.
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The first time I play through a game yes. But after that I tend to Nuzlocke as the default mode of play so whether I use them or not depends on how badly I play the game.
I've always kept my starter. When I've done plays with water starters, I kept them because I didn't want to wait until I got a super rod to get a good water Pokemon - not to besmirch anyone who catches Magikarp early. In my Pokemon Blue playthrough I kept Bulbasaur just because I wanted to do.
* I Do Something Else

Well, it really depends on the game. Most of the time I go through the whole game with my Starter, but recently I just try to have my dream team for that region as I go through the game (meaning I catch them and level them up while the rest go into my PC Box). So I usually don't have my starter on my team unless it's a part of my dream team. Tough way to play, but it's sure fun and a lot easier with Super Training.


Feathered Overseer
Staff member
I usually do keep my starter. I always do on my first play-through of a new Gen, and to be fair I usually do keep them on other play-throughs. The only time I don't is when I'm not keen on any of the starters... such as Gen IV. I played through Diamond with Turtwig, who was the only starter I remotely liked, and even then I wasn't overly keen. So when I played Pearl and later Platinum I ditched the starter :V

Usually though I do keep them, as usually I really like at least on of the starters xD
I keep any starter i get (example i go in to light platinum and get charmander go farther into the game and get totodile get farther in the game and then get treeko go farther into the game and get piplup or turtwig go farther into the game and get tepig) but if i dont keep them i get some pokemon that can wreck through the gyms like spheal for the e4 and last gym and growlithe charizard or eambor for some of the e4 and some others like dratini and all tha stuff
It mostly depends on the game and the starter. I kept using Samurott in Black 2, but I used Sceptile for capturing Pokemon in Alpha Sapphire.
I usually keep my starter - unless it's a runthrough where I've already planned out my team, like if I'm trading eggs over at the beginning of the game. Even with that in mind, most of the time the starters will have useful type combinations, so I'll keep one on anyway. I think the only region where I regularly went without a starter was Johto - the starters there are pretty bland, type-wise.
Yeah, I always keep my starter, even when playing post-game content. The only times I don't use my starters is when I'm shiny hunting, or leveling up/creating new teams.
Besides, I usually grow a special bond with my starter Pokemon, so it would be really hard to just abandon them.
Another reason I keep them is because there is usually at least one starter per Generation that I really like. Venusaur, Typhlosion, Blaziken, Empoleon, all the Unova starters (especially Samurott), Chesnaught, and all of the Alola starters (especially Incineroar) are all great in my opinion and certainly worth keeping.
I gotta keep that starter I picked (most of the time) He almost immediately he becomes my close friend. It's like having a best friend that you can always rely on. The only time I don't keep my starter, is on certain Challenge runs, in which I don't nickname it and release it as soon as possible. No emotional connection, no problem. But for normal playthroughs, the're always a huge part of the team.
I don't think I've every shelved a starter, not even on replays. I always just feel a great connection to the starter and want to see them through to the end. Even on replays, I'd just pick a different starter and roll with that for the game. I think the only 'exception' was when I was running with nine pokemon at the same time during my White2 game and rotated the team frequently to keep their levelling balanced. Technically I'm doing the same thing in Yellow right now, but Pikachu never gets shelved, even for the long spell when he was clearly the teams weakest link. That's changed now of course, but he's still easily the squishiest.
I never ever box my Starter. I keep it, it is usually the Pokemon on my team I am the most attached to, with an exception of Lucario on Pokemon Y. Usually it is the highest level Pokemon on my team, with an exception of some legendaries and mythicals
In most cases, my starter Pokemon is an older brother/sister to the rest of my Pokemon friends. It is one of the more powerful Pokemon on my team, and a reliable team member that I journey with throughout the entire story. It's my first, best friend, one that grows along with me on my quest to become the Champion and defeat the evil bad baddies. And stomp them to bits. >:D

However, there are exceptions to every rule. On my second Nuzlocke run ever, I lost my starter Pokemon before I even acquired my first badge, which made the beginning of that run more difficult than anticipated. Also, I once played a game of Y using only 6 random Pokemon from Eggs my friends gave me, which did not include a starter Pokemon. So, if there are special rules in place, I sometimes cannot use my starter. However, in any normal play through, my starter is a steadfast member of the team that rarely gets boxed.
Only on XY and Sun/Moon did I keep the starter mainly since I loved the starter.
Majority of the time I already plan my team, bred the eggs, so starter stays in the box.
On every Pokemon game I played,I always keep the starter just because they are my powerhouse.The best powerhouse i ever had was my Feraligatr from Pokemon Crystal.He is level 60 now and he is the one that sweeped Lance(Not joking).
I don't just keep my starter for the whole game,i also use it in other games!My Swampert is my best Pokemon,my Venusaur is awesome in using Special attacks and my Infernape is a fast Physical sweeper!
I keep my starter in every game but I don't use them as much once I start trading at the end of the game. They're in boxes or battle teams usually.