One change to make Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl harder

With Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl the latest Pokémon games not to have any difficulty settings, players are once again looking for self-imposed rules like Nuzlocke challenges to make things harder. What many don’t know is that there’s an easy way to ratchet up the difficulty in the game’s menu.

Present in most Pokémon games, including Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, is a setting called “Battle Style” which is on “Switch” by default.

The Battle Style setting determines what a player can and can’t do once they KO an opponent’s Pokémon.

On “Switch” players are told what Pokémon the other trainer is going to use next and gives them the chance to switch out to a more advantageous Pokémon for the matchup.

The “Set” Battle Style removes this option so that trainers will be stuck with their active when a new Pokémon comes onto the field.

Despite this setting being around for so long most players don’t know it exists. This is partly due to the games never telling you it exists and also because most players don’t go into the menu except maybe to change the text speed.

While this may seem like a small change it can have a huge impact on gameplay and the difficulty of battles. Needing to leave your active Pokémon out indefinitely can change up how people play and taking away your free switching does increase difficulty.

Another benefit here is that the Battle Style can be switched back and forth whenever you like, so if players want to use the more difficult Set option for most of the game but then change it over to Switch for something like the Elite Four, that is possible.

The Switch and Set Battle Style should not be confused with “Battle Styles”, a classification in the card game (and the name of an expansion) which is broken down into Single Strike, Rapid Strike and Fusion Strike.

This can also be confused with Strong Style and Agile Style, a new videogame mechanic for Pokémon Legends: Arceus.


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