Not long after heading off on your journey into Pokémon Sun and Moon, you’ll unlock Festival Plaza. It’s not only the means of getting immediate access to online battling and trading, but also a way to quickly acquire items and EV train Pokémon at any time. Unfortunately, it’s not the best way of socializing with other people, but it’s still a place everyone should be stopping my as often as possible to get extra items for their Pokémon, raise their allies’ stats with Bouncy Houses, or collect rare items from certain spaces.
Festival Plaza is run by Sophocles, one of the Alola region’s captains. He’s there to give you new shops and bonuses for leveling up and interacting with the area. Which are things you absolutely want. The lesser bonuses always involve introducing a new shop or attraction to the area, while major ones at level four, eight, ten, twenty, and so on offer bigger alterations like offering people missions to play, get store recommendations from other people, order clothing from visitors, and change the plaza’s name.
Getting to that point involves acquiring Festival Coins. These let you use all of Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Festival Plaza facilities, get shop introductions from visitors, and buy clothing items off of guests of the same gender as you. If you’re offline, there will be default characters there asking you personal questions that reward you with 8 FC and ask for recommendations for 4C. Going online offers the opportunity to do those things with the avatars of people whose nametags are red, as well as participate in missions at the cost of one Festival Ticket per day. (You get three tickets per day just for logging in.)
The Festival Plaza missions are perhaps the most unreliable means of earning Festival Coins. At least, at this point in Pokémon Sun and Moon’s lifespan. Many of the missions involve finding people in your plaza who speak a certain language or have specific Pokémon on their teams. You’re only guaranteed to up 30 coins if other people are online participating in the mission with you, as there’s no way you’ll have enough applicable people in your plaza to boost your score past one star.
Which is a shame, because someone really investing time in Festival Plaza has the potential to build up an amazing resource. Depending on the version of Pokémon Sun and Moon you own, as well as your gender, different outlets may set up shop. As an example, I have a Stomp-Stomp Bouncy House, Team Green Dye Shop, Pokémon House Fortune Teller, Trick Room Haunted House, Rare Kitchen Restaurant, Soft Drink Parlor, General Store, and Big Dreams Lottery Shop. Of those, only Gold Rush is one I acquired through a recommendation. The others appeared as a result of leveling up. And, since I’ve been using the Rare Kitchen so much, for its level boosting properties, it’s even gone up to two stars. The more stars, the more possible items will be available for sale, so being a regular can only help your situation.
Two of the best shops don’t get better with time. The Haunted Houses and Lottery shops are two of the best resources. Any of the three Haunted Houses is good, as each one offers bottle caps (for Hyper Training IVs at Melemele’s mall), heart scales, and Sacred Ash as possible rewards. For Lottery shops, you want Big Dreams or Treasure Hunt. The former has Master Balls and Rare Candy as its top rewards, while the latter offers gold bottle caps and standard bottle caps as its top two. Each one will make your catching and adventuring in Pokémon Sun and Moon easier.
The giving also extends to things like Festival Plazas’ GTS and Wonder Trade systems. It’s possible to get some great Pokémon, even early on. I’ve been sending out level 40+ creatures over Wonder Trade while I can. (If you’ve received Boldores named Dumboldore, Cottonees named Cottonee Gin or Machokes named My Champ, that was me and you’re welcome.) Though, much of Wonder Trade is a sea of basic Pokémon as people find their footing. GTS is the real gold mine now. People in need of some starters should get themselves a male Eevee, turn it into Sylveon, and browse Akala in search of female Salandits. The male Sylveon’s Cute Charm will make it easier to attract opposite gender Pokémon, and you could very easily get a starter for one. Though, if you’re far enough along to find Jangmoo’o or Mareanie, they’re also an easy way to get pretty much any Pokémon you want via the GTS.
There’s a downside Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Festival Plaza, though. It isn’t easy to engage in passive sharing with people on your friends’ list. I haven’t been able to find my Nintendo 3DS friends there, even on occasions when we’ve made a point to both be online at the same time. It seems the best way to guarantee they’ll appear is to purposely engage in a Link Battle or Trade when you’re both online, add each other as VIPs, and then page each other in the plaza. It’s incredibly frustrating and unintuitive.
Still, Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Festival Plaza is a way to improve your own adventure. With a few taps, you’re instantly able to battle or trade no matter where you are. You’re also given a chance to help boost stats with certain places, get rare items like Master Balls and gold bottle caps, and acquire clothing you might not have found on your own. It would be nice if it’d have been easier to interact with our actual friends’ avatars, but this is still a good resource for boosting our own inventories.
Pokémon Sun and Moon is now on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan and North America. It will arrive in Europe on November 23, 2016.