When you first start up Pokémon X & Y, you'll be given the option of which language to play through the game with. Then, after being shown the title screen, you'll be greeted by Professor Augustine Sycamore, the Pokémon Professor of the region.
He welcomes you to the world of Pokémon and, after some discussion, asks whether you're a boy or a girl, asks what you look like (more customization is available later on in the game), and then asks your name.
Trainer names can now be up to 12 characters long, which is a huge step up from the previous limit of 7.
After that, Professor Sycamore will take you into the world of Pokémon!
You'll find yourself waking up from bed, still in your pajamas, because sleeping in your traveling clothes is so last generation. You can change out of your pajamas by pressing A while looking over at the mirror on the right side of the room.
Doing so will change your appearance into your travel outfit, which is what you'll need to do before going downstairs.
Downstairs, you'll find your mother. The two of you will talk about how you just moved in and she'll suggest that you go meet your neighbors.
Conveniently, your neighbors are already waiting for you directly outside your house. They'll introduce themselves as Serena (or Calem if you're playing as the girl; I will refer to the rival character as Serena throughout this walkthrough) and Shauna.
Those two talk about Professor Sycamore and then say they're going to go get a Pokémon in the town to the north. You should go with them, of course, but not before taking the time to see the sights of Vaniville Town.
Remember, you can run by holding in the B button thanks to your Running Shoes, which you have by default.
Other than some dialogue in town, there's nothing for you to do except head to Route 1 to the north of town.
In order to get to Aquacorde Town to the north, you have to pass through Route 1, although Route 1 is a straight path north with no deviation, so just head north until you arrive in town.
When you arrive, your neighbors will call you over to where they're all sitting, over on the western part of town. Try to go anywhere else and you'll be stopped, so head on over to where they're at and then have a seat while they introduce themselves to you.
Serena and Shauna will introduce you to two of their friends, Tierno and Trevor. Tierno suggests that the group call you by a nickname, and after some discussion about it, they'll eventually offer a few suggestions that are a variation of your Trainer name, although you can also manually select a nickname you'd rather them call you (including your Trainer name).
After you've selected what everyone should call you, you'll be able to choose your starter Pokémon. Your choices are the Grass-type Chespin, the Fire-type Fennekin, and the Water-type Froakie.
Once you've selected your Pokémon, you'll be prompted to give it a nickname. It's up to you whether you want to name your Pokémon.
Shauna will choose the Pokémon whose type yours is strong against, while Serena will choose the Pokémon whose type yours is weak against.
Now that you've gotten your Pokémon, Trevor will give you a gift from Professor Sycamore: the Pokédex! As he explains, the professor wants the lot of you to go on a journey to complete the Pokédex. Tierno also gives you the Prof's Letter, which you need to take to your mother before you're able to go on a journey.
With the Prof's Letter in hand, you should head back to Vaniville Town, but as you leave, you'll be challenged by Shauna in a Pokémon Battle!
Your starter Pokémon comes equipped with three moves, one of which is super effective against Shauna's Pokémon. Both your starter and hers are at level 5, but your type advantage should result in a decisive victory, so use either Ember, Water Gun, or Vine Whip, depending on your Pokémon.
After your victory, you'll receive 500 Poké Dollars. Shauna will even heal up your Pokémon afterwards, too. Now that you've fought in your first Trainer battle, it's time to head back to Vaniville Town to deliver the Prof's Letter.
Head back to your house when you return to Vaniville Town and deliver the Prof's Letter to your mother. She'll read it, comment on the fancy handwriting, and then agree to let you go on your adventure.
She'll give you the Town Map before you depart, which you can use to look at the Kalos region.
As you leave, the Rhyhorn chilling in your yard will come over to say goodbye. Like your mother says, the Rhyhorn will miss you, as it's known you as long as you've been born.
That being done, return to Aquacorde Town so you can continue your journey as a Pokémon Trainer!
Back in Aquacorde Town, you can now check out more of the town, heading north and down the steps to reach a nice little plaza area.
There's a man directly to the right of the stairs that will give you a free Potion when you talk to him, which heals 20 HP in battle.
You can only buy Potions and Poké Balls in Aquacorde Town, and they're sold in two separate shops.
The shop to the east of town sells Potions for $300 each.
The building with the red awning above the Potion shop heals up your Pokémon for free.
In the west part of town, you can buy Poké Balls for $200 each. Keep in mind you will soon receive 10 of them for free.
Go ahead and buy a Potion or two so you have some healing available to you, and some Poké Balls surely don't hurt. You'll soon be receiving 10 free Poké Balls from Serena when you arrive at Route 2, though, so don't worry about being without.
When you're all set, head north. The Hiker by the bridge will stop you and warn you about wild Pokémon and the tall grass, but no matter, just head north to Route 2!
When you arrive on Route 2, you'll first have to pass through some tall grass, where wild Pokémon may attack you. If you bought Poké Balls in Aquacorde Town, you can catch Pokémon here, but otherwise just head north until you find Serena and Shauna.
Serena will show both you and Shauna how to catch a Pokémon, using her level 5 Fletchling to weaken and eventually catch a level 2 Bunnelby. She advises you to weaken wild Pokémon first before attempting to catch them with a Poké Ball.
After her demonstration, she'll give both you and Shauna some Poké Balls. 10 to be precise, which is a great start for your Pokémon catching profession.
Now that you have some Poké Balls and the knowledge to catch Pokémon, put your resources to the test and head into the tall grass, where you'll find a variety of Pokémon there.
Wild Pokémon on Route 2
Uncommon. Pokémon Y only.
Uncommon. Pokémon X only.
As you can see, there are quite a few Pokémon to be found. A bird Pokémon such as Pidgey or Fletchling would be helpful to you, given the type of the upcoming Gym, but feel free to catch any of these Pokémon.
If ever you get weakened, you can return to Aquacorde Town where you can heal inside of the northeastern building with the red awning. Do this from time to time to keep your Pokémon's HP high.
At the very end of the route, you'll have to fight against Youngster Austin, who uses a Zigzagoon L5.
He shouldn't be too tough, but Zigzagoon can hit hard if it gets a critical hit, so watch out for that. Ideally, you should use your starter Pokémon's elemental attack to fight Zigzagoon.
Once you've beaten Austin, you'll receive some prize money and will be able to enter the Santalune Forest.
Santalune Forest separates Aquacorde Town from Santalune City to the north. As you enter the forest, your friend, Shauna, shows up and tags along with you. She doesn't fight in any of the battles, but she'll heal your Pokémon whenever you talk to her, saving you a trip to the Pokémon Center.
Wild Pokémon in Santalune Forest
Uncommon in Pokémon X.
Uncommon in Pokémon Y. Pokémon Y only.
Uncommon in Pokémon Y.
Uncommon in Pokémon X. Pokémon X only.
There's a Potion sitting on the ground near the entrance of the forest. If you head over to the west, you'll find a dead end, although there's a Potion and an Antidote for you to pick up should you feel so inclined.
Over to the east you'll find the rest of your friends, with Trevor searching for wild Pokémon in the tall grass and Tierno challenging a Youngster to a battle. As you head past them, Shauna will find a Paralyze Heal (gone are the days of Parlyz Heal!) in the tall grass and give it to you.
Up ahead, there's Youngster Joey for you to fight. He doesn't have his trusty Rattata, but instead uses a Scatterbug L3 and a Fletchling L3.
Keep following the path until you run into Serena. Talk to her and she'll give you a free Poké Ball. Right after her is Lass Anna, who uses a Pikachu L5. You'll likely be pleasantly surprised when you hear her Pikachu exclaim "Pika-pika!" when it enters the fight — a nice touch indeed. Be careful around that Pikachu if you started with Froakie.
South of her is Lass Lise, who uses a Weedle L2 and Bunnelby L4. To the east of her is a Poké Ball, which you might have seen off in the distance from earlier in the forest. Head to the west, pick up the Potion in the grass, then head north, where you'll become the first of your friends to reach the end of the forest.
They'll all meet up with you, then you'll all head together out of the forest onto Route 3.
After hearing what plans your friends have in the immediate future, Serena will give each of you the Adventure Rules Key Item, which essentially just lists some very basic tips for being a successful Trainer. Very basic.
Head to the north and get ready to fight some more Trainers, as well as find some more Pokémon in the tall grass.
Wild Pokémon on Route 3
There are some Preschoolers right by the tall grass. The first, Preschooler Oliver, uses a Caterpie L2 and an Azurill L4. Preschooler Ella uses a Pichu L5.
Past them and down the steps, you'll find a bush blocking your path. Unlike past generations, where a measly shrub somehow prevents you from passing without using Cut, this bush is incredibly prickly and has thorns. Either way, you'll need Cut to get past it, so don't worry about it for now.
Further south, you'll find Schoolgirl Bridget. She uses a Bidoof L6. South of her is Schoolboy Brighton, who uses a Pansage L3, Pansear L3, and Panpour L3. Neither are particularly deadly, but keep in mind your starter Pokémon's elemental attack will be resisted by two of them, so you may want to use this opportunity to fight using your other Pokémon.
Past Brighton, you'll find a Super Potion, which heals a juicy 50 HP. You also can't buy these just yet, making this one helpful in a pinch (although most of the time around here a Potion will be sufficient).
Head to the north and you'll arrive in Santalune City, the home of the first Gym you can challenge.
Santalune City is a city famous for its BENCHES, of course. There are several benches scattered throughout the city, and while they won't unlock any special items, it is definitely relaxing to sit on them after a long run through the forest.
Despite all of that excitement, there's still plenty more to do in Santalune City. The Pokémon Center right near the entrance of town is probably a good place to start.
As you enter the Pokémon Center, Tierno will show up and explain to you that you can talk to the lady at the counter to heal your Pokémon, that you can use the PC to the side to switch Pokémon around in your boxes, and you can also buy items in the shop in the top-right part of the Pokémon Center.
The shop on the left only sells Potions and Poké Balls at this point, while the one on the right sells various X items, such as X Attack, X Defend, etc. Even if you're playing Pokémon Y, these items are helpful, particularly the defensive ones, as they effectively raise your Pokémon's stats by 50% when used in battle. You can use those and then heal after you've used a few to become nearly invincible in battle.
On the left side of the Pokémon Center, you'll find a changing room, where you can change your clothes. Remember those clothes your mother said she packed? Well, she wasn't lying; you have a set of extra clothes you can change into, but if you buy or acquire more accessories, you can change into them at any Pokémon Center.
Outside of the Pokémon Center, in the western part of town, there's a house that has a very helpful trade inside. You can trade a Bunnelby for a Farfetch'd named Quacklin'. Quacklin' is at level 10 and comes with the very useful Aerial Ace move. It will be a helpful Pokémon to have for taking on the Santalune Gym, even if you don't use it much afterwards.
The house behind the Pokémon Center also has a guy that will give you a Great Ball, which is more effective than an ordinary old Poké Ball.
If you try to leave Santalune City to the north, you'll be stopped by a lady who is the Gym Leader's sister. She won't let you pass until after you've beaten the Gym Leader, so you'd better get to it.
However, beforehand, stop by the Trainer's School in the middle of town. Talk to the old guy inside and he'll give you 3 X Attacks and 3 X Defenses.
Now, make sure you're ready for a fight, because you'll have to have one before you can enter the Gym. There was a girl on roller skates who blazed past you on Route 3, and now you get to have your revenge against her.
Roller Skater Rinka uses a Zigzagoon L7. It shouldn't be too rough, don't worry. After you beat her, she'll give you some Roller Skates, which you can now use simply by using the control stick to move around rather than the D-pad. They go much quicker than running, too, plus they're not restricted to the 8-way movement.
Further east of the Gym is an exit to Route 22, which is completely optional, but grants you access to a few more Trainers to fight and Pokémon to catch, including Litleo, who may be helpful for the Santalune Gym.
The Santalune City Gym is full of Bug-type Trainers, as the man at the entrance will tell you. Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon are your best bet, while any Rock-type moves they have will work in a pinch (you're not likely to have any of these at this point unless you started with Chespin).
Climb down the string to descend to the lower area of the Gym, where all of the Trainers lurk.
There are a total of three Trainers down here, though you need to fight only one of them. See the web you're standing on? The bright parts of the web are parts that you can step on, while there are broken parts that you cannot cross. There are several ways to get through here; the longest, safest route is by following the little dewdrops on the web. Follow those and you'll get to the Gym Leader, though you can take some shortcuts if you don't mind fighting some Youngsters.
There are two Youngsters that are optional to fight. The first, Youngster David, uses a rather strong Ledyba L10, which is bulky, takes a bunch of hits, and can confuse you. Beware! The second Youngster, Zachary, uses a Spewpa L10.
Finally, toward the back of the Gym, you'll have to fight against Lass Charlotte, who uses a Kakuna L7 and a Combee L9. The Kakuna is capable of using either Poison Sting or Harden, so watch out. The Combee is not too tough either, but it does pack Gust, so watch out for that.
When you reach the end, you'll have to face off against the Gym Leader, Viola, who is a professional photographer and believes the bond between you and your Pokémon is fantastic!
Viola leads with a Surskit L10, which may present some trouble for any Fire-type Pokémon you're planning on using. It is a Water/Bug-type, meaning Fire-type attacks do neutral damage, plus it is able to set up Water Sport to further weaken Fire-type attacks. Flying-type Pokémon, such as Pidgey, Fletchling, or Farfetch'd, are your best bet against her.
After her Surskit is out of the way, she uses her Vivillon L12, which is a fully evolved Pokémon. Tackle is one of its moves and it doesn't do much damage, but it may have other moves capable of affecting you.
An easy way to beat Viola is to use Quacklin', a Farfetch'd you can trade a Bunnelby for, and just use Aerial Ace. Avoid training Quacklin' up too much, though, as being a traded Pokémon, it may disobey.
After you've beaten Viola, she'll relinquish the Bug Badge and give you TM83 Infestation. Infestation is a new Bug-type move that does a moderate amount of damage, but traps the foe and does residual damage each turn, similar to Fire Spin.
You can leave the Gym by heading through the curtain she opens up in the back. With your shiny new Gym Badge, you should set your destination to Lumiose City and show Professor Sycamore, so head on over to the northern part of Santalune City to start your journey.