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Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

How do Pokémon Battles Work?

Vincent Lau

Battles are a key element of the Pokémon series–and this, of course, extends to Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. So, how do they work this time around?

How do Battles Work in Scarlet & Violet?

There are two main ways of initiating a Pokémon battle:

(1 of 2) Initiating a wild Pokémon battle. (Credit: Serebii)

Initiating a wild Pokémon battle. (Credit: Serebii) (left), Initiating a trainer battle. (Credit: GameXplain) (right)

One, you can begin a battle with a wild Pokémon by touching the wild Pokémon on the field. This is similar to starting a battle in Pokémon Sword & Shield.

Also, if you’re close enough to a wild Pokémon, you can press Joy-Con-ZL to automatically throw your lead Pokémon at the wild Pokémon to trigger the battle. Doing this when the Pokémon is facing away from you will give you a bonus at the start of battle, akin to Pokémon Legends "Arceus" IconArceus.

Two, you can begin a battle with a Pokémon trainer by walking next to them, when they’re ready for a battle (for example, when they’re bouncing a Poké Ball in their hands). Unlike previous Pokémon games, a Pokémon trainer will not force you to fight them when you enter their line of sight.

Battle Flow

After initiating a battle, you will send out the first available Pokémon in your party. If you’re facing an opposing Pokémon trainer, they will do the same.

Next, you and your opponent(s) will take turns to choose an action to perform.

Battle Options

During a battle, the following actions will be available to you:

(1 of 2) These are the actions you can select. (Credit: Serebii)

These are the actions you can select. (Credit: Serebii) (left), After selecting “Battle”, you may choose a move to use. (Credit: Serebii) (right)

  • Battle: This lets you select your current Pokémon’s moves. Each Pokémon can learn up to 4 moves. The number next to a move (its PP value) indicates how many times it can be used. You can press Joy-Con-ButtonY to learn what a move does.
  • Pokémon: Choose this to view your Pokémon party. From here, you can check the stats of your Pokémon or switch out your current Pokémon for a new one.
  • Bag: This lets you open your bag to use various items, such as recovery items or items that temporarily boost stats.
  • Run: If things are looking dire, choose this to attempt to flee from the battle.

Battle Outcomes

After all sides have selected an action, anyone who opted to switch Pokémon, use items or flee the battle will go first.

From there, the Pokémon with the higher Speed stat will generally go first, followed by the remaining Pokémon. However, some moves like Quick Attack have increased priority, so be cautious–especially when your Pokémon are at low HP.

(1 of 2) Pokémon that reach 0 HP will faint. (Credits: Serebii)

Pokémon that reach 0 HP will faint. (Credits: Serebii) (left), If you KO/catch a Pokémon, all of your Pokémon will earn EXP. (Credits: Serebii) (right)

If a Pokémon is hit by a move, their HP may decrease. Once a Pokémon’s HP falls to 0, it will faint and exit the battle. If the fainted Pokémon belongs to a Pokémon trainer, the trainer must send out a replacement Pokémon from their party; if they have no more, they lose the battle. Meanwhile, when a wild Pokémon faints (or is captured), the battle immediately ends.

When you knock out (KO) or capture a Pokémon, all of your Pokémon will earn experience points, although Pokémon that didn’t contribute to the fight will earn less. Once a Pokémon has gained enough experience, they will Level Up, increasing their stats. Additionally, they may learn new moves or even evolve into a stronger form. Defeating a trainer will also reward you with money.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Nintendo, Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    17 November 2022
  • Last Updated
    10 May 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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