Which Is The Best Starter Pokemon For Emerald

Generation III is an interesting time in the Pokemon series. It brought about Ruby, Sapphire, and later Emerald. Don’t forget about FireRed and LeafGreen first, but for now, our focus is on Emerald. Like the games before it, people would wonder which is the best starter Pokemon for Emerald. People will argue one over the other, and sometimes they’ll just choose a starter based on their preferences.

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We are going to dissect and see which one of the three Generation III. The starters are Treecko the Grass-type, Torchic the Fire-type, and Mudkip the Water-type.

We’ll discuss the different factors why you may want to choose one of the three to be your starter. You could always try all of them for multiple playthroughs. We’ll definitely give you an idea who you’ll pick first. All the info and stats will be only based on Emerald or Generation. This means we won’t be including factors to those outside of Emerald.

Best starter pokemon for emerald

What you need to know when picking the best starter Pokemon for Emerald

The Stats

When it comes to stats, we’re going to tackle their overgrowth from their initial form until their final evolution. Regardless, the growth would be the same even if you decide to just keep your starter as it is which is doubtful.

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Treecko and has the highest Speed out of all the starters. It suffers from having low HP, Defense, and Sp. Defense. This means you have to rely on your Treecko to set up moves or hopefully do one-hit kill moves. Unless the opponent relies on priority moves, Treecko or later on Sceptile would be the one attacking first.

Torchic is the heavy hitter of the three with having high Attack and Sp. Attack. This is good because it can be an excellent attacker in your lineup being able to deal good physical and special damage. It suffers from having average Speed and HP and low Defense and Sp. Defense. The catch to Torchic is that you just hope to survive getting hit unless you can hit first and knock out the opponent.

Mudkip has a good balance of both offense and defense. It has the lowest Speed of the three so the trick to Mudkip or later Swampert is that you have to rely on its moves to keep it alive. Mudkip can hit for good damage so it can survive some initial attacks because its speed will hinder it from attacking first. It also has a good HP growth, so it has that going for it.

The Moves

Treecko moves

  • Treecko starts off as a Grass-type and out of the three, it is the only one that fully evolves into one type which is still Grass.
  • Given its type, Treecko later on Sceptile can learn a ton of Grass moves.
  • A lot of the moves it learns have a good balance of offensive types and those that are used as buffs.
  • It is the only one of the three that can learn Dragon Claw which is a Dragon-type move.

Torchic moves

  • Torchic later on Blaziken evolves into a Fire/Fighting-type.
  • This means that a lot of the moves it learns are based purely on offense.
  • A lot of its moves are Fire and Fighting so that’s a nice split if you want to go the physical or special attack route which is Torchic’s specialty.
  • On a side note, it looks like a chicken so it can also learn several Flying-type moves if that makes any sense.

Mudkip moves

  • Mudkip can evolve into Swampert which is a Water/Ground-type.
  • Given its typing, it learns a lot of Water and Ground-type moves.
  • Most players teach Surf to their Mudkip since it is useful outside and it can deal with good damage.
  • They also combine it with Earthquake as a strong Ground-type move allowing the Mudkip or Swampert to be a bit tanky but deal good damage.
  • Plus, it is the only one that learns Ice-type moves.

The Impact On the Story

In this part, we’ll dissect how the best starter Pokemon in Emerald can have an impact or have a hard time during the story. The Gym Leaders are usually the hurdles in the game until the Elite Four.


  • Treecko is a bit in the middle of the road at least in the story’s impact.
  • Being a Grass-type it can sustain itself in the water zones and can survive a lot of those encounters.
  • It can easily defeat Gym 1 and Gym 8 due to them being a Rock and Water-type Gym. 
  • Perhaps you can say, Treecko’s impact in the main story is a bit lost.
  • It appears nothing more than a good Grass-type as it doesn’t have that much of an impact but can be good enough to be in your party.


  • Torchic can be in a bit of a bind here because it can’t perform that well during the Gym Battles unless you do a lot of training with it.
  • In the first Gym alone, you need to evolve Torchic to learn Fighting-type moves if you want it to deal some good damage against Roxanne’s Rock-types.
  • A lot of the zones in the story as well is made up of water so this means that it’ll struggle with a lot of the opponents.
  • If you do have a good and powered Torchic or later on Blaziken, it can easily defeat the Elite Four.


  • A lot of the Gym Leaders will be easy for Mudkip and its later evolutions.
  • Gym 1 Roxanne having Rock-types is easy for Mudkip.
  • Gym 3 Wattson uses Electric-type which can be nullified by the Ground-type of Marshtomp at this time.
  • Gym 4 Flannary’s Fire-types are weak to Water/
  • Gym 6 with Winona’s Flying-types can be demolished by Ice moves that Swampert can learn.
  • Don’t forget as well that Swampert can learn Surf and Emerald has a lot of water zones in the story.

The Pros and Cons of each starter Pokemon

In order to find which is the best starter Pokemon for Emerald, we need to know what makes them tick and fall.

Treecko pros and cons

  • Treecko is the only one that has a single type until its final form.
  • The bad is that it can’t be that versatile when it comes to its kit.
  • The Speed it has is deadly but you need to build a good party of Pokemon around it.
  • You could say that it can stand on its own but relies on the strength of its team.
  • The good is that it maintains its type advantages and disadvantages as well.

Torchic pros and cons

  • Torchic has a pro and that is that it is the strongest Fire-type in the game.
  •  If you don’t choose it, you’ll be able to access Fire-types a bit later on in the game.
  • Being also a Fire-type it suffers from a lot of the Water-type enemies present in the game.
  • You could say that it can be balanced but you need to do a lot of work to grow your Torchic into a powerhouse later on.

Mudkip pros and cons

  • Mudkip can also evolve into a dual-type which is Water and Ground.
  • This provides it with a great con where it will receive four times the damage from Grass-types. That is due to the fact that Water and Ground are both weak to Grass.
  • Having the Ground-type nullifies Electric-type attacks which is good for its Water-type aspect.
  • However, if you are patient enough, the abundance of other Water-types can give you other options other than Mudkip.

Final verdict

In order to summarize and give you an idea of which is the best starter Pokemon for Emerald, it all depends on your playstyle. In the Pokemon games, there is no right starter but something is the best based on how you play. Building your party around your starter of choice is a must because most players won’t remove their starters. It is also how you build your starter such as teaching it moves.

If you want to have a starter that packs a punch and can wipe out waves of enemies, then Torchic is your bet. You just need to grind it up a bit, but it can be really effective later on. Treecko is easy to raise, but its versatility can be limited, but its speed will be its strength. When you like to play aggressively and fast, then Treecko is your choice.

Finally, many people would consider Mudkip as a good starter. A lot of speedrunners use it and its balanced playstyle is good for players that are new to the game. It may not be that fast but it can hit hard and survive longer.

About Taichee

Taichee is the ultimate writer for Pokémon gaming enthusiasts. With extensive experience, he expertly delves into popular Pokemon game series and ROM hacks for GBC, GBA, and NDS, meticulously testing cheats and sharing general gaming strategies on Pokemoncoders.

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