One of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl's most welcome surprises is how it handles HMs. Historically, HMs have taught your Pokemon important moves that must be used in the overworld to progress past certain points. In Pokemon BDSP, however, HMs do not need to take up a slot in your Pokemon's active moves list unless you want them to, because wild Pokemon will come to your aid with these abilities, rather than your own party.
While it begs the question of how the player character manages to telepathically command undomesticated monsters to do their bidding, it's still a convenient upgrade to an outdated system. What isn't outdated is HM03 Surf, one of several HMs that are needed to complete the main story. Surf is also handy for getting to many hard-to-reach optional areas. Put plainly, you need this thing.
This guide will take you step-step so that you, too, can hop aboard a Pokemon and hit the waves in style in Pokemon BDSP.
How To Learn Surf In Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
Around midway through your tour of Sinnoh on the road to becoming the champion, you're going to come upon a small settlement called Celestic Town. You'll know you're almost there when you've reached Route 210 and helped a few Psyducks by using the Secret Medicine item on them.
After the event, Cynthia will appear. She'll task players with delivering something called the Old Charm to her grandmother in Celestic Town. Now you've got a destination and a narrative purpose for going there.
When you arrive in Celestic Town, a lone Team Galactic member will be conspicuously guarding a cave. Predictably, this goofy grunt will need to put in their place. Once they've been defeated, enter the cave and examine the ancient paintings at the far end. Doing so prompts a cutscene that formally introduces Cynthia's grandmother, who is so grateful you've brought her the Old Charm that she blesses you with Surf just like that.
Why Is Surf So Important?
Having the Surf HM is necessary to beat the game. That's probably the most concise answer to this question, though it's hardly the only answer. Yes, you will need to use Surf to cross a few watery expanses that are mandatory parts of the adventure. But there are also lots of optional spots for Surf to shine in, from small ponds with hidden treasures to entire post-game routes.
Surf is also one of the only HMs that's good in battle. In fact, Surf rules in battle. With 90 base power and a generous 15PP, it can be a cornerstone in your strategies against the Elite Four. It's even been a fixture in competitive play for decades. Rock Climb this isn't — Surf's not just for show.
Maybe updates aren't always a good idea.