This section is devoted to explaining the differences between this game and the classic hand held Pokémon titles. This section explains the game play, and the battle concepts can be found here.
Your Belly is a very important aspect of the game. It depletes as you walk through a dungeon, and it is very important to keep it from getting empty. If this happens, you will lose 1 HP after every step, and you will be unable to refill your HP by waiting. to fill your Belly, eat things like Apples and Gummis to fill your Belly greatly, or eat Berries or Seeds to fill your Belly by a small amount. You can prolong the Belly from emptying by giving your lead Pokémon a Stamina Band, or you can stop it from emptying completely by giving it the rare Tight Belt. You will lose one Belly point approx. every 20 steps. Also note that your partners have no Belly meter, unless you switch leaders with them.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon uses a move style called Turn-Based movement, meaning every time you take a step, use an item, or attack, your turn is over and every Pokémon on the floor can then make their move. Use this style strategically to gain an advantage.
Experience points are gained the same way as in past Pokémon games; you beat wild Pokémon, and they give you Exp. But leveling up has changed slightly. Unlike past games, when you reach level 30, you must gain 30,000 Exp. to level up again. All the way up to level 100, it takes 30,000 Exp. points to level up. You do not need more and more as you level up, which is helpful when you are into your level 90's.
Leveling up is the same as in past Pokémon games also; you gain Stats, and you learn new moves at set levels.
Stats in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon are what determine your amount of power in the certain category. As an example: if you gain Defense, Physical Attacks will do less. If you gain Special Attack, Special Attacks will do more damage.
Stat gains are significantly different than past Pokémon games. When you level up, you only gain (typically) one of each stat, especially at higher levels. This is contrary to the concept in other games where you typically gain 3 or 2 of each stat.
There are 5 different stats in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Attack, Special Attack, Defense, Special Defense, and HP. Also unlike past games, there is no Speed stat. This is because every Pokémon moves at the same speed, unless boosted with Agility.