Seeking Stardom in Super Contest Shows

Show Off Your Pokémon and Test Your Rhythm Skills

After all that Fossil digging and Pokémon Hideaway exploration, it’s time to wash away the dirt of the Grand Underground and glam up—your next destination is the Contest Hall in Hearthome City! Super Contest Shows are an entirely optional feature of the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl games, but they do provide a fun distraction and a new way to bond with your favorite Pokémon.

Collaborate for Super Contest Show Success

Super Contest Shows have changed a lot since the Pokémon Super Contests of the original Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games. For one thing, they’re no longer a strictly competitive event. Your Pokémon will be joining three other participants to perform together as a group. If the collective performance adds up to a success, the Contest Hall will earn hall points and eventually level up, allowing you to put on even more impressive productions. But in the end, only one contestant—consisting of a Trainer and their Pokémon— will earn the title Star of the Show, so in this section we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that the winner is you.

The Super Contest Show Flow

Enter the Contest Hall and speak to the clerk at the central reception desk to register for a Super Contest Show. She’ll ask you to choose from one of five categories: Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, or Toughness. Make sure to choose a category that suits the conditions of the Pokémon you wish to enter (see the sidebar for more details). Next, you’ll select an available rank out of the full rank list that’s ordered from easiest to hardest: Normal Rank, Great Rank, Ultra Rank, and Master Rank. But before you can shoot for superstardom, you’ll need to start at Normal Rank and work your way up to unlock more difficult challenges.

You’ll also be asked to choose a Pokémon, its Contest Move (selected from its known moves, all of which provide some form of benefit to your performance), and the Ball Capsule assigned to its Poké Ball. Finally, you’ll choose a style for your own Trainer to wear. You’ll be given a snazzy new outfit when you first enter the Contest Hall, but you can also change into any outfit you’ve purchased from Metronome Style Shop in Veilstone City. The style you choose is purely cosmetic and has no effect on scoring, so feel free to dress up however you like!

The main event of any Super Contest Show is a rhythm game called the Dance Evaluation. Each time one of the Poké Ball–shaped notes that flow from the right side of your Nintendo Switch system’s screen overlaps with the line on the screen’s lower-left side, you’ll need to tap the A Button. For extended notes, you’ll need to hold down the A Button until the note ends. Once during each contest show, you can fire off your chosen Contest Move by pressing the X Button. Try to time this for when other entrants are performing their own moves so that you can create a Move Chain that nets more points for everyone involved. Using a Contest Move will temporarily clear the notes from the screen, so you can also use your move as a sort of panic button for when you’ve lost the rhythm or need a quick breather.

The bad news is there’s not much we can do here to help you ace the Dance Evaluation. You’ll simply have to learn the music. Each category has a different song, which will be the same across each rank—practice timing your button presses for a higher score. The good news is that there’s plenty of prep you can do to improve your scores in the Visual Evaluation and Move Evaluation.

Climb the Super Contest Show Ranks

At the end of each Super Contest Show, the event will either be declared a success or a failure. Successful contest shows earn hall points for the Contest Hall, allowing for more lavish productions in the future. After that, individual points will be tallied for the Visual Evaluation, the Dance Evaluation, and the Move Evaluation. The contestant with the most total points will then receive the title of Star of the Show. Along with bragging rights, the Star of the Show receives a Sticker matching the category that they entered and will be granted permission to complete in the next-highest rank.

In the lower ranks, the only rewards given to the Star of the Show are Stickers and the ability to challenge a more difficult rank. In the final Master Rank, they’ll earn a Mastery Ribbon for that contest show’s category. If a Pokémon has received a Mastery Ribbon for all five contest show categories (Coolness Contest, Beauty Contest, Cuteness Contest, Cleverness Contest, and Toughness Contest), it will be able to enter a sixth category called Brilliant Contests in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Contests in Pokémon Shining Pearl. This final category features remixed music and offers a Twinkling Star Ribbon for the Star of the Show, but it will only become available after you’ve defeated the Sinnoh Elite Four and entered the Hall of Fame.

The Five Pokémon Conditions

Select Pokémon from the game’s X menu, select a Pokémon from your party, choose Check summary, then flip to the Conditions tab. There you’ll see a graph displaying how that Pokémon is ranked in five categories: Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, and Toughness. These conditions all correspond to a Super Contest Show category for each rank. Initially, most Pokémon will have roughly equal stats in each condition, so it’ll be up to you to make them excel in one or more chosen conditions.

The most straightforward method to boost your Pokémon’s conditions is to feed them Poffins (more on this later), so the best way to determine which condition to focus on is by checking their food preferences. On the Description page of a Pokémon’s summary, you can check its favorite flavor out of five Poffin varieties: spicy, dry, sweet, bitter, or sour. Note that some Pokémon will happily eat anything, which means that all flavors are more or less equally capable of raising their respective conditions. As you can see in the chart below, each flavor preference corresponds with a condition and a color. (Items which affect that condition, like Poffins and scarves, will usually match the corresponding color.) Pokémon have the most potential to excel in the contest show category that matches their tastes, so if you’re hoping to raise a Coolness Contest champion, a fan of spicy foods would be your ideal candidate.


Aiming for Visual Success

When you’re ready to get cooking, visit the Pokémon Fan Club just east of the Poké Mart in Hearthome City to receive your very own Poffin Case. Once it’s tucked neatly into your Bag’s Key Items pocket, head to Amity Square or the Poffin House located west of Hearthome’s Poké Mart. From there, you’ll be able to start cooking Berries into Poffins. These tasty treats can be fed to Pokémon to permanently boost their conditions, which translates to more points received during a Super Contest Show’s Visual Evaluation.

Making Poffins

There are three ways to earn a higher score in a Super Contest Show’s Visual Evaluation. First and foremost is to raise your Pokémon’s relevant condition by feeding it Poffins. The second method is through Capsule Decoration—using Stickers to decorate and assign a Ball Capsule that prominently features the relevant condition. Finally, you can give your Pokémon a scarf to hold that will slightly boost a specific condition. We’ll go through each of these methods one by one.

When selecting Berries to cook, use the Check tag option to see each Berry’s flavor, and use Berries with flavors that match the condition you want to raise. Just don’t use two or more of the same Berry in your Poffins, or you’ll end up with a nearly useless Foul Poffin.

When selecting Berries to cook, use the Check tag option to see each Berry’s flavor, and use Berries with flavors that match the condition you want to raise. Just don’t use two or more of the same Berry in your Poffins, or you’ll end up with a nearly useless Foul Poffin.

When you select a Poffin from your Poffin Case, look for the diagram of five circles—the highlighted circles will indicate which conditions the Poffin will improve. You can then select a Pokémon to feed it to. Pokémon will eat any flavor of Poffin, even ones that aren’t to their taste—including Foul Poffins. Each Poffin a Pokémon eats will add to the sheen bar listed below its conditions. Note that the amount of sheen gained by eating a Poffin is determined by its level of quality (AKA smoothness). Once the sheen bar is completely full, that Pokémon will refuse to eat additional Poffins, so don’t waste your time by feeding it bad Poffins. Sheen never goes back down, so once the bar is all filled up, that Pokémon’s Poffin-eating days are over.

Accessorizing with Scarves

The elaborate accessory system from Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl has been revisited and scaled down, but you can still give your Pokémon a small boost for the Visual Evaluation by having it hold an appropriately colored scarf. All five scarves are available in a house near the east exit of Pastoria City. Simply speak to the resident there with an especially cool, beautiful, cute, clever, or tough Pokémon at the top of your team list to receive a scarf that, when held, will boost a Pokémon’s corresponding condition.

Making Your Poké Balls Brilliantly Shine

The final way to boost your Pokémon’s conditions is through Capsule Decoration. Once you unlock the Sticker option in the X menu, you can apply the Stickers you’ve collected on your travels onto Ball Capsules. Assign a decorated Ball Capsule to one of your Pokémon’s Poké Balls to give it an extra shot of pizazz when you send out your Pokémon. Keep in mind that Stickers aren’t just cosmetic—each Sticker applied to a Ball Capsule will slightly boost your Visual Evaluation score for a certain condition. You can take an educated guess at which Stickers boost which conditions, but it isn’t always clear without some guesswork. At least you’ll know what condition will be augmented by the Stickers received as prizes from contest shows, so we recommend using as many of those as you can.