While there's plenty more to the story of Pokémon Masters that you won't want spoiled for you, one of your goals from early on in the game's narrative is to form a team strong enough to compete and win the Pokémon Masters League. The top tournament on the human-made island of Pasio is supposed to feature the best of the best and isn't going to let you enter just on your charm and plucky, can-do attitude. You'll need to prove your mettle by collecting five PML Badges, which are handed out by experienced trainers spread across different parts of the island. They aren't going to hand them over unless you impress them first, and because this is a Pokémon game, that means a battle or five.
All of the PML Badges can be found by completing different chapters of the Main Story mode, so let's arm you with the knowledge you need to collect them with a minimum of difficulty.
Where can you collect PML Badge #1, the Tranquility Badge?
The first PML Badge awaits at the end of Chapter 4, From Bud to Blossom, where you'll need to defeat a trainer named Erika and her Vileplume. To beat her, you'll want to use a team with at least one strong Fire-type Sync Pair, backed up by an Electric-type.
Erika and Vileplume are especially vulnerable to the Burn status effect, which can be applied by the following Moves:
- Fire Blast
- Fire Punch
- Flame Wheel
Where can you collect PML Badge #2, the Freedom Badge?
The Freedom Badge is distributed by a trainer named Skyla who forms a Sync Pair with a Swanna, who you'll meet in Chapter 5, The High-Flying Girl. Along with her teammates, they dish out strong physical moves while buffing their own defense and debuffing yours. To form the best possible team to take them down, it's best to have a Rock-type as the centerpiece and at least one Grass-type as well.
A good tactic against Skyla is to slow her with Paralysis. Interestingly, no Rock-type attack can paralyze -- but the Grass-type move Stun Spore does, so a good tactic is to have a Sync Pair like Erika and Vileplume on your team. Use the Stun Spore to paralyze Skyla, then switch and use Rock-type attacks to do extra damage.
Where can you collect PML Badge #3, the Patience Badge?
This is the first PML Badge to throw you a bit of a curveball. The trainer in charge of the Patience Badge is Norman, the father of another trainer you'll meet during your adventures. He's waiting in Chapter 7, Bravery is Half the Victory, and you'll have to defeat him to have a shot at the badge. There's a catch, however, and while we don't want to spoil the story by giving it away, suffice it to say that you'll have additional battles to fight even if you get by Norman.
The good news is that you can form the same kind of team for the entire chapter, one that features one or two Fighting-type Sync Pair reinforced by a Water-type duo. In the boss battles, you'll want to beware of Paralysis and Burn status effects, as well as abilities that slow down your team.
Where can you collect PML Badge #4, the Harmony Badge?
Pryce, also known as the Ice Trainer, can be found in Chapter 8, fittingly titled A Cold, Harsh Winter. He forms a Sync Pair with a Seel, and his gimmick is that you must defeat him twice to earn enough of his respect to earn the Harmony Badge: Once when he's taking it somewhat easy on you (insert your "this is not my final form" joke here) and once when he's going all out. For both battles, you'll need a team headlined by Electric-type Pokémon, backed by a Rock-type for best results.
Pryce's team uses the Hailstorm status effect to make attacks like Blizzard and Ice-type Sync Moves hit even harder. You'll also find they like to freeze your Sync Pairs to leave them temporarily unable to act, and Pryce himself has a Sync Move that can damage your whole team. Be ready with heals, take out his wingmen first, and pay careful attention to any members of your team who might be frozen so you can get abilities ready for someone else.
Where can you collect PML Badge #5, the Pride Badge?
You're almost there! After another break in Chapter 9, the final PML Badge is up for grabs in Chapter 10, A Matter of Pride. The trainer in charge of handing it out is Hapu, the Island Kahuna of Poni Island in the Alola region. Though you do have to battle Hapu, the Pride Badge is actually given out before facing off with her, in a boss battle against some of the toughest Team Break Sync Pairs you've faced to this point in the Main Story.
You'll want at least one and preferably two Dragon-type Sync Pairs to defeat the final team, as well as a Grass-type. This Team Break squad doesn't have any particular weaknesses other than its types, but it does have access to strong physical moves and abilities that boost its critical hit rates.
Do the PML Badges actually do anything?
Not really, at least in gameplay terms. They're really more symbolic than anything, signifying that you've proven yourself worthy of entering the Pokémon Masters League, an important part of the game's story.
Wait, there are no rewards for collecting all the PML Badges?
Now let's not get too outraged here, because completing the set of PML Badges also gets you five more Sync Pairs to add to your roster, as you're able to convince every trainer handing out a Badge to join you for the competition (at least you'll eventually get to the PML ... someday). Everyone is a three-star team, so they aren't initially as powerful as you might expect, but they do help you round out your roster with a nice variety of types.
Here's who you'll have access to once you've completed all five chapters with the PML Badges:
- Chapter 4 - Erika and Vileplume - Grass-type
- Chapter 5 - Skyla and Swanna - Flying-type
- Chapter 7 - Norman and Slaking - Fighting-type
- Chapter 8 - Pryce and Seel - Ice-type
- Chapter 10 - Hapu and Mudsdale - Ground-type
How can you collect each of the 5 PML Badges?
As we've explored, all you need to do to earn all five PML Badges is to keep playing the Main Story mode and complete all the content (save for some optional areas after the final boss battle in a few chapters) through Chapter 10.
Let's quickly summarize where each badge is found and who you need to defeat to collect each one:
- The Tranquility Badge is in Chapter 4 and can be earned by defeating Erika and her team.
- The Freedom Badge is in Chapter 5, and you'll have to defeat Skyla and company to make it yours.
- The Patience Badge is in Chapter 7, where you'll need to get past Norman and a surprise extra battle to claim it.
- The Harmony Badge is in Chapter 8, waiting for you to defeat Norman not once, but twice.
- Last but not least, the Pride Badge in Chapter 10, and Hapu will award it to you for defeating several strong units of Team Break members.
Any more questions about PML Badges in Pokémon Masters?
You should be well on your way to adding all the PML Badges to your collection and taking your rightful place in Pasio's big event. But just in case you've got more queries, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Happy badge hunting!
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