How do you decide how to heal your Pokémon? Is it better to buy potions from a Mart, or stock up on drinks from the department store? Would it be more beneficial to raise a lot of berries and use them outside of battle? Each method of healing your Pokémon has advantages and disadvantages, and this guide will explore both.
Please Note: I do not have any games from DPP, HGSS, or Black and White. I assumed that the locations in GSC are still present in HGSS; other than this, there are no item locations in DPP or Black and White. If anyone knows of a useful location to add, or spots an error anywhere, please let me know.
|Super Potion||50 HP||$700|
|Hyper Potion||200 HP||$1200|
|Max Potion||All HP||$2500|
|Full Restore||All HP +condition||$3000|
Potions are the most convenient way to heal your Pokémon. They can be purchased in bulk at any Mart in any game. The Potions that heal more HP are found in later cities; potions like Max Potion and Full Restore can only be purchased at the Marts farthest in the game, like at the Indigo Plateau or Evergrand City. This isn't inconvenient, though; you won't have a use for the better Potions until later in the game.
Unless your Pokémon have around 300 HP, even 400 HP, or more, buy Hyper Potions instead of Max Potions. If your Pokémon don't have that many hit points, then you'll be paying more than twice the price for an item that is not much more effective than the cheaper option.
The greatest advantage of drinks compared to Potions is their cost. They are much cheaper than the Potions; for example, a Super Potion and a Fresh Water both heal 50 HP, but a Super Potion costs $700 and a Fresh Water costs $200. If you choose to buy drinks over Potions, you will save a lot of money in the long run.
However, despite the large cost advantage, drinks have several convenience issues. They are often found in only one or two locations in the game. The most common location is the game's major department store, such as in Celadon in RBY/FRLG and in Lilycove in RSE. They also can only be purchased one at a time, making it tedious if you want a lot. Soda Pop can be purchased one at a time in the shack on Route 109 in RSE - it is a little bit quicker buying a lot of them here. There are a very few places in a few games that they can be bought in bulk: all three can be bought in bulk on Two Island in FRLG and all three can be bought in bulk on Mt Moon in GSE and HGSS. However, these locations are not widespread enough to make up for their overall inconvenience.
Even if you do decide to buy drinks, it's still a good idea to buy Hyper Potions. They heal much more than a Lemonade, making them useful when your higher-level Pokémon are almost defeated.
Moomoo Milk costs $500 and heals 100 HP. While it shares the price advantages of the drinks, it also shares their inconvenience of location. It can be purchased one at a time in the ranch house on Route 38 in GSC/HGSS and in bulk on Two Island in FRLG. A wild Miltank in any game will be holding a Moomoo Milk. While Moomoo Milk is a nice item to have, they are not common enough to be used frequently.
Berries are also a very useful healing method. Oran and Sitrus berries heal hit points, but it's better to grow lots and use them in between battles than try and use them during a battle, especially if your Pokémon has a lot of hit points. Oran Berries heal 10 hit points and Sitrus Berries heal 30. This may not seem like a lot, but they don't cost anything. You simply have to plant them and water them. Also, if a Pokémon holds these berries, they'll be able to use the berry themselves, unlike Potions and drinks.
There are many other kinds of berries as well, such as ones that will heal status conditions. Your Pokémon can use these on their own also.
The cumbersome thing (and at the same time, the nice thing) about berries in GSC is that they cannot be grown. You can only pick one a day, but at the same time, you're guaranteed one every day because the plants never die.
If you're in a pinch for money and don't want to spend the time buying drinks or growing berries, then you can use roots and powders. An Energy Powder costs $200 less than a Super Potion and heals the same amount; Energy Root costs $400 less than a Hyper Potion for the same amount of HP. However, they are uncommon. They can be purchased in GSC/HGSS in the Goldenrod City underground and in Lavaridge Town in RSE.
An additional drawback of herbs is that they lower your Pokémon's happiness. But unless you use the move Return or are trying to evolve a Pokémon through happiness, this is not a big deal if you're not too sentimentally attached to pieces of gaming code. =P
Persim berries, Yellow Flute
There are several different items that heal your Pokémon's status conditions, like Antidote, Awakening, Burn Heal, Ice Heal, and Paralyze Heal. These are available early in the game and the different kinds cost between 100 and 250 dollars. These are fine to buy early in the game, but once the Full Heal is available, you may want to consider buying them, instead.
Full Heals cost $600 and they heal any of the status conditions. You might think this isn't worth it, but to buy one each of an Antidote, Awakening, Burn Heal, Ice Heal, and Paralyze Heal would cost $1050. By buying a Full Heal, you are saving $450. It's also more convenient; instead of guessing what kind of conditions your Pokémon will encounter, you'll have one item that can take care of them all.
In RSE, if a Full Heal is too expensive for you to buy in bulk, then consider the alternative. A Lava Cookie can be bought at Mt. Chimney after you've cleared out Team Magma/Aqua. Lava Cookies only cost $200, but they have the same drawback as the drinks do; you can only buy them in Mt. Chimney, one at a time, and the woman who sells them really likes to talk. =O If you have the time and not the money, then go for Lava Cookies. If you have money and no time, then you might as well just buy Full Heals. They are a lot more convenient and not much more expensive.
Full Restores will fully restore your Pokémon's health and status condition. They cost $3000. This is slightly cheaper than both a Max Potion and Full Heal. This item is useful in tough battles because it will only take one turn to use instead of two. If you have enough spare money, buy just a couple to use in tight spots; never use them outside of battle if you have other supplies, like Full Heals or drinks, that will do the same thing but slower. Outside of battle you have plenty of time; in battle is when you want to fix things fast.