Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – Guide to New Features

Check this guide out for all the changes and new features in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire!
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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, remakes of the original games for Game Boy Advance, are out and have been updated considerably. Things like the AreaNav, search function and Soar are completely new, while things like Secret Bases, Pokémon Contests, and the story have some changes.

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For new and returning fans to the series, there are things you should know about the new Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, ORAS for short, games. I’m going to help by pointing out the significant changes to the game and things to look out for.

This guide will cover all the new features and changes in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire including:

  • New features – These are things completely new to this game or the series as a whole.
  • Changes – Things that aren’t new, but have been changed from the previous versions.
  • Special Demo Help – Help with transferring rewards from the special demo and extra info about it.

New Features

One big change is the PokeNav. It now has an AreaNav and DexNav.

  • The AreaNav is basically a town map. It shows a map of the area, what route you’re on, and where on the route you are on the map.
  • The DexNav is one of my favorite new features, it shows the Pokémon you’ve encountered in that area.
    • It will show a shadow of them if you haven’t caught it.
    • If you have it show who the Pokémon is and more info on it. You can also search for that particular Pokémon by selecting search. It will tell you if there are any in your immediate area.
    • You can also tap the screen and it will tell you if you’ve caught all the possible Pokémon in the area or not.

There is a new hidden Pokémon feature. Although there were hidden Pokémon in past games, this is different enough to be called a new feature.

Hidden Pokémon are alerted to you on the DexNav. When this happens move slowly around the area to find it.

  • You can move slowly now and your character will tiptoe. This allows you to sneak up on Pokémon.

There are two kinds of hidden Pokémon.

  • One is the old kind, you’ll see a shadow of a Pokémon that usually isn’t in the area. 
  • The other is a special version of a Pokémon already available in the area. You’ll see part of the Pokémon sticking out of the grass. These Pokémon have a special move that you won’t find on normal wild versions of the Pokémon.

It is important to point out that when sneaking up on these hidden Pokémon, you can still get into a random battle, so always take some repels if you want to make sure you can successfully get to them.

The next feature, Soar, has slight spoilers, so skip to the Changes section if you don’t want to know.

Another cool feature added is the ability Soar. This allows you to fly around a 3D version of the map and land anywhere you want. This si different from Fly because it allows you to actually see the map while flying instead on instantly transporting there. 

There are also sky battles to encounter while soaring so this is a cool new feature. You gain this ability by getting the Eon Flute to call Latios or Latias, depending on which version you have. They will Mega Evolve and take you to the skies.


While Soaring, you can see a flock of wild Flying Pokémon, interacting will start a battle. There are also Mirage Spots. These have legendary Pokémon and you can only get to them by Soaring.


One change is Pokémon Contests. For those that don’t know, Pokémon Contests are alternatives to battle, you can use moves to show off to judges. Think of it as a Pokémon talent show and you choose which category to compete in.

You can use Mega Evolutions in Pokémon Contests now! There are also moves only for contests and a new story for it.

There is also a special Pikachu you get in the main story that has 5 different costumes.

  • These can be used on contests or battles. The costumes also change which moves are available to Pikachu, so be sure to try them all out!

The story has been changed slightly to make the game stand out for the original as well as add Mega Evolutions to it. There are new Mega Evolutions only available in ORAS as well.

Secret Bases are back!

This is something I thought was very cool in the original but it was never added to the later games.

  • Secret Bases are like a housing system, it allows you to pick a base at select locations on certain routes.
  • You can customize it however you’d like.
  • You can also invite people to your secret base and if they accept, they will appear there. You can customize where in the base they will appear.
  • There is a Capture the Flag feature that let’s you raise your Secret Base rank.
  • You can also set battle rules and create your own little Gym.

Pokémon Amie and Super Training will also be added, a feature from Pokémon X and Y.

Special Demo Help

For those that have played the special demo, you can transfer your rewards to the new game.

  • Start the demo and talk to Steven. Choose send to full game to get your rewards. 
  • You can only do this once a day, so choose carefully.
  • To get the reward you sent, start your version of Pokémon and select Pokémon link. Now you’ll get your rewards in the game!

That’s it for my guide to new features and changes to Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. If you have any questions are notice anything I might have missed, please let me know in the comments!

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After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).