Here's Why You Need Friends in Pokémon X/Y
Pokemon X & Y

Pokémon X and Y are being hailed as revolutionary installments in the series for a number of reasons, but one that isn't receiving as much attention as it deserves yet is the Friend Safari. See, every Pokémon installment has a Safari Zone. It's a special place, usually in one of the last towns or post-game, where players can catch Pokémon that aren't available in the rest of the region.

Except, there's always been a catch to past Pokémon's Safari Zones. People had to deal with various obstacles and tests. You'd have a certain number of steps you could take, be given a limited number of special Safari pokéballs, for example, and would have to wear down Pokémon by throwing stones or offering food. If you were lucky, you caught the Pokemon. More often than not, you were left frustrated and wanting.

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Pokémon X and Y, however, offers the best Safari Zone experience ever with Friend Safari. I hadn't heard anything about this feature before I began Pokémon X. I knew the final city held a Safari Zone, but I had no idea it would be a wonderful place that I'd actually want to visit.

It works like this. Every person on your 3DS friends list has his or her own Safari Zone. It doesn't matter if he or she is also playing Pokémon X and Y. Their zone will be there. If they do have the game and have beaten the Elite Four, it just means they'll have more random Pokémon from one particular type in their zone.

When you go in, you get as much time as you want to catch Pokémon. You can use Pokémon in your party to weaken them, and use your own pokéballs to catch them. There are no limitations or fees. You just walk up to the receptionist in Kiloude City, pick a friend, and go hunt for new friends.

Not only that, Pokémon from all generations and games show up in these new Friend Safari zones. Pokémon that wouldn't normally appear in your own version could be there, which means catching 'em all doesn't mean you have to rely on the Global Trading System or friends with the opposing copy of the game.

Pokemon X & Y

Of course, most important is that the Pokémon that appear in Friend Safari are better than ones found in the wild. The games specifically say they can have better Abilities, which means you have a chance of getting a Pokémon with a Hidden Ability. Hidden Abilities are ones that don't naturally occur within certain Pokémon. For example, the Eevees I caught near Cyllage City all had only Run Away or Adaptability, but the Eevee I caught in a Friend Safari had Anticipation.

It may seem small, but it's an amazing step forward for those who really get into Pokémon X and Y. Getting special Pokémon with the best Abilities used to require a lot of searching and effort, sometimes to the point of even attending certain events. Now, it's as easy as making a lot of 3DS friends and searching the Safari Zones for the critters you want. It not only revolutionizes the Safari Zone itself, but will be invaluable for people who get invested in breeding the best Pokémon.

So start making lots of friends, Pokémon X and Y owners. You're going to need them if you plan to play competitively or start raising Pokémon families. Remember, you'd not just be doing this for yourself. You would be doing it for all your friends whom also beat the Elite Four and are heading into the post-game.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
@JMariye

Contributing Writer
Date: 10/17/2013

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