Following in the tradition of previous games in the Pokémon series, players choose one of three special Pokémon to be their first partner. These are among the first Pokémon players will encounter in the game. In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, players will be able to choose between the newly discovered Grass- and Flying-type Pokémon Rowlet, Fire-type Litten, and Water-type Popplio.
For a Pokémon Trainer, knowing the Pokémon types and how they match up against one another in battle is vital. Grass-type Pokémon are strong against Water types, but weak against Fire types. Fire-type Pokémon are strong against Grass types and weak against Water types. And Water-type Pokémon are strong against Fire types, but weak against Grass types.
The first of the potential partners is the highly adaptable Grass Quill Pokémon, Rowlet. This Pokémon can fly silently through the skies, sneaking up on its opponent without being noticed. It can attack its opponents using powerful kicks, and it can also attack from a distance using the razor-sharp leaves that form part of its feathers. Rowlet can survey its environment and turn its neck nearly 180 degrees from front to back, so it can see directly behind itself. When in battle, Rowlet turns its head to face its Trainer when waiting for instructions.
The cool-headed Fire Cat Pokémon, Litten, is the next choice for a first-partner Pokémon. Litten's fur is rich in oils and is immensely flammable. It constantly grooms itself by licking its coat, collecting loose fur into balls. It then ignites these hairballs to create fireball attacks. When the time comes for Litten to molt, it burns off all of its fur in one glorious blaze.
The third possibility is the acrobatic Sea Lion Pokémon, Popplio. Popplio can create balloons made of water from its nose and utilize them to create a variety of different strategies and attacks in battle. This Pokémon is better at moving in the water than on land, and can swim at speeds over 25 mph. On land, it uses the elasticity of the balloons it creates to perform jumps and acrobatic stunts.