Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS. They are the first installments in the seventh generation of Pokémon games. First announced in February 2016 through a special Nintendo Direct, both Sun and Moon were released worldwide in November 2016, commemorating the franchise's 20th anniversary.
As with previous installments, each game follows the journey of a young Pokémon trainer (and the trainer's friends) as they train Pokémon. This time, the game takes place in the Alola region—based on Hawaii—with the object of the game being to thwart the schemes of the nefarious criminal organization Team Skull, all while attempting to challenge various Pokémon trainers of gradually increasing difficulty. Sun and Moon introduced 81 new Pokémon species, and includes new features such as Alolan forms of previous generation Pokémon, powerful moves known as Z-Moves, new, powerful creatures known as Ultra Beasts, updated battle and training mechanics, and improved polygonal 3D graphics. The games also adopted the previously introduced battle mechanic known as Mega Evolution, which was first introduced in Pokémon X and Y. Although Sun and Moon are mostly independent of each other, both feature largely the same plot, and while either can be played separately, trading Pokémon between the two games is allowed.
Upon release, the game received positive reviews from critics, and shipped over 10 million units worldwide within a week, becoming one of the fastest selling games in Nintendo's history. With 14.69 million copies sold worldwide by the end of December 2016, Sun and Moon are the third-best-selling Nintendo 3DS titles.
Pokémon Sun and Moon, like their predecessors, are presented in fully three dimensional (3D) polygonal graphics, allowing for more interactivity with the overworld and more dynamic action during battles. Players are also able to customize their Pokémon trainer's appearance, choosing gender, skin tone and hair color at the start of the game, and can later acquire outfits and accessories to change their character's look. Joining the previous generations of Pokémon are all new species, such as the new Starter Pokémon; Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, and the Pokémon that are, within the fictional Pokémon world, described as legendary, namely Solgaleo and Lunala.
Concept art shown during the initial announcement of the games indicated that Pokémon Centers and Poké Marts would receive updates to their respective designs. IGN and Kotaku noted an abundance of vehicles in the concept art, including a fire engine, a pickup truck, and an ambulance, some of them ridden in by Pokémon. Pokémon Sun and Moon is the first entry in the series to be available in Chinese, both Simplified and Traditional, along with English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and Korean, for a total of nine playable languages. In a video centered on the games on May 10, 2016, the games' starter Pokémon were revealed as Rowlet (Grass-Flying), Litten (Fire), and Popplio (Water). The packaging artwork for each title was also unveiled, depicting the legendary Pokémon, named Solgaleo and Lunala. A later video revealed certain Pokémon having different forms to adapt to the climate of Alola, changing appearance, typing, and abilities, known as "Alola forms".
On August 1, 2016, a new type of move known as Z-moves was announced as a powerful move that can only be used once during battle. On September 6, 2016, a new feature was revealed, the "Poké Finder" allows players to take photos of their Pokémon, similar to Pokémon Snap. In addition, the two games' clocks are set 12 hours apart from each other, with Sun operating on the 3DS time, and Moon 12 hours ahead. It was also revealed the two games would feature creatures known as "Ultra Beasts". Character customization as previously seen in X and Y returns in Sun and Moon. A new "Pokémon Refresh" feature, which allows players to care for and feed their Pokémon was also announced. Mega Evolution, a concept first introduced in X and Y returns in Sun and Moon. During a Nintendo financial briefing on October 27, 2016, a Pokémon League was announced allowing users access to the Battle Tree, which allows them to battle or team up with past Pokémon Champions.
The games take place on the tropical islands of the Alola region, composed entirely of islands. Joe Skrebels of IGN describes it as "Pokémon's take on Hawaii". During an interview at E3 2016, Shigeru Ohmori noted that Game Freak staff took trips to Hawaii to conduct research for Sun and Moon.
The leading scientist in the Alola region is Professor Kukui, whose name comes from the kukui, also known as the candlenut, the Hawaiian state tree, continuing the trend of Pokémon professors being named after trees. Team Skull is the name of the villainous group for Alola. The Aether Foundation is an organization which studies Ultra Beasts, mysterious creatures from another dimension. Professor Oak does not appear in Sun and Moon, his cousin Samson Oak taking his place.
The player starts off moving to the Alola region's Melemele island with their mother. They meet Professor Kukui, who tells them that the island kahuna is willing to give a free starter Pokémon to any trainer. However, when they reach the kahuna's residence in Iki Town, but they find the town square empty. Professor Kukui asks the player to go and check if the townspeople are around the ruins that honor the island's guardian deity, Tapu Koko. The player meets Lillie and despite not having any Pokémon, helps protect her special Pokémon, a Cosmog nicknamed Nebby, from a flock of Spearow. However in trying to defend the player and itself, Nebby destroys the bridge leading to the ruins, causing the player to fall. However, they are promptly saved by Tapu Koko, who leaves a mysterious stone on the ground for the player to find. Back in Iki Town, the player meets and gets their starter Pokémon from Kahuna Hala, and then meets and defeats Hau, the grandson of Hala. After a festival where the player once again defeats Hau, the player travels to Professor Kukui's lab, where they are then given a Rotom Dex by the Professor. He then procedes to tell the player and Hau about island challenges, and asks them to visit the Trainer's School. The player then reaches the Trainer's School and defeats the four top students and teacher, then meets Ilima, a trial captain. After leaving the Trainer's School and meeting with Ilima again, the two are challenged by Team Skull, who are promptly defeated by the player and Ilima. The player then travels around to the opposite side of the island and completes the first trial and obtains their first Z-crystal.
After informing and battling Hala, the player, Lillie and Hau travel to Akala Island. There, they complete the second trial and battle Team Skull's enforcer, Gladion. The player then fights several more Team Skull members and completes more Trials eventually leading them to visit the Aether Paradise, where they meet the Aether Foundation's president, Lusamine, and battle the first Ultra Beast, UB-01 Symbiont (later revealed to be called Nihilego). The player leaves the Paradise and completes another Trial on Ula'ula Island before meeting and battling Plumeria and Team Skull's leader, Guzma. Following another trial, Team Skull attacks a house and steals a Pokémon, leading the player to travel to Po Town, a town completely taken over by Team Skull. After defeating Guzma again and returning the Pokémon, the player learns that Team Skull kidnapped Lillie. Hau and the player team up with Gladion against the Aether Foundation, which is revealed to be working with Team Skull. They then rescue Lillie and battle the true mastermind Lusamine, who reveals that Lillie and Gladion are her children before using Nebby's power to summon Ultra Beasts. The player defeats her, but Guzma and Lusamine both escape through the portal Nihilego appeared in, while each respective Kahuna and their Tapu battle Ultra Beasts that appear on each island.
While under the strain caused by Lusamine, Nebby evolves and becomes unresponsive. Due to this, Lillie and the player journey to Poni Island to visit the game's respective altar; The Altar of the Sunne/Moone. When they arrive, Lille and the player play the Flutes of the Sunne and Moone, causing Nebby to evolve into the game's mascot, Lunala for Moon or Solgaleo for Sun. Using the power of the legendary Pokémon, the player and Lillie travel to Ultra Space to stop Lusamine and Guzma. The player and Lillie encounter Guzma, who informs them of the full scope of Lusamine's evil after he was chased and attacked by a Nihilego he tried to catch. When she is encountered, Lusamine -in an act of defense- allows a Nihilego she caught to take over her, turning her into a terrifying hybrid monster, the "Mother Beast", in a last-ditch attempt to destroy Lillie and the player; after she is defeated, Nebby intervenes and causes Lusamine and Nihilego to un-merge and the former collapses. The heroes, Guzma, and Lusamine (now returned to her normal self) then return to Alola. Lillie then gives the player the chance to capture Nebby. After the defeat of Lusamine and the Aether Foundation, the player climbs to the top of Mount Lanakila on Ula'ula Island and defeat the Elite Four at Professor Kukui's request. The player subsequently battles Kukui and wins, becoming the first-ever champion of the Alola Region. Everyone the player has met on their joinery celebrates the occasion, though Lillie and the player sneak off to meet Tapu Koko, and the player is given a chance to battle and capture it. The next day, Hau informs the player that Lillie is leaving Alola. At Hau'oli City ferry terminal Lillie tells her friends that she wants to head to Kanto, to meet a person who went through the same experience of merging with a Pokemon to help Lusamine get better, and also to become a better Trainer.
After becoming the champion, the player is contacted by two members of the International Police: Looker and Anabel (the former head of the Battle Tower in Pokémon Emerald). The two contract the player to assist with capturing or subduing the remaining wild Ultra Beasts—Nihilego, Buzzwole/Pheromosa, Xurkitree, Kartana/Celesteela, and Guzzlord—to protect Alola
Best Teams for Pokemon Sun and Moon
Incineroar, Raichu, Ribombee, Toxapex, Palossand, Lucario