In addition to needing materials to create TMs, you’ll also need some for other reasons. Sinistea Chips in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet are especially handy for such purposes. As a result, you need to find Sinistea.
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Where Sinistea Can Spawn
There are two definite places where you can find Sinistea: Alfornada and Zapapico. However, Sinisteas do not spawn in the cities themselves. It would be best if you explored outside of town to locate these Ghost-type Pokémon.
Of these two spots, it’s far easier to find Sinistea near Alfornada. Just east of this city, some ruins are on top of a hill. You can encounter Sinisteas here at any time of day. Every time that you knock out or catch a Sinistea, you get between one to three Sinistea Chips.
Keep in mind that Sinisteas are tiny. Their overworld model is very hard to see—especially if it is obscured by tall grass or other objects. For this reason, you should look at your minimap once in a while to see if there are any around that you can’t spot with your naked eyes.
Fun fact: Sinistea is tied with roaming-form Gimmighoul as the shortest Ghost-type Pokémon. Though, which one is cuter is completely subjective!
What Are Sinistea Chips Used For?
Besides being used to craft TMs at Pokémon Centers, there’s an NPC in Zapapico that wants Sinistea Chips. This NPC trader is located near the center of the city. They are wearing a red shirt and a blue denim jacket. They are also standing in front of a small fountain.
If you trade this NPC 10 Sinistea Chips, they give you a set of Malicious Armor. Malicious Armor is only obtainable in Pokémon Violet. More importantly, Malicious Armor is the item you need to evolve Charcadet into Ceruledge.
The Pokémon Scarlet equivalent is the Auspicious Armor, which lets Charcadet evolve into Armarouge. However, you need Bronzor Fragments instead of Sinistea Chips to get the Auspicious Armor. Also, there is a different NPC.
How to Evolve Sinistea
If you want to evolve a Sinistea into a Polteageist, you’ll need a special item. If you have an Antique Form Sinistea, you must use a Chipped Pot on it to evolve. And, if you have a Phony Form Sinistea, you must use a Cracked Pot on it to evolve.
The only place where you can get Chipped Pots and Cracked Pots is Port Marinada. There are auctions here where you can place bids against NPCs in an attempt to buy one.
However, there are only four auctions going at a time, and none of them are guaranteed to have a Chipped Pot or Cracked Pot up for grabs. As such, you’ll need to check back every day so that you don’t miss the right auction.
How to Tell the Difference Between Antique and Phony Sinisteas
The only visual difference between Sinistea’s two forms is a tiny seal located on its underside. Just inside Sinistea’s lower rim, if it is an Antique, it will have a small image shaped somewhat like a speech bubble. However, if it is a Phony, there will be no small image here.
There is no stat difference between the two forms. This little detail only matters for the evolution method and what kind of Polteageist you get (Antique or Phony). The odds of encountering an Antique Form Sinistea is about 1%. Therefore, you need to catch 100 Sinisteas for even a remote chance of finding an Antique one.