Pokémon Scarlet & Violet are the latest Pokémon adventures for the Nintendo Switch, releasing on 18th November 2022. They are the first Generation 9 Pokémon games; the previous generation began with Pokémon Sword & Shield. The games are set in the Paldea region.
How are Pokémon Scarlet & Violet different?
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet are the next mainline Pokémon games, building upon the foundation set by Pokémon Red & Blue way back and continued by all the generations up to Pokémon Sword & Shield.
Scarlet & Violet feature all the key aspects you’d associate with the main Pokémon series: A vast world to explore, hundreds of Pokémon to battle with and catch (some old, some new) and dozens of characters to meet (whether they be friend or foe).
Like previous mainline games, Scarlet & Violet come in two separate versions: Scarlet version and Violet version. The differences between the two are very minor: certain Pokémon creatures only appear in one version and not the other. However, you can trade with somebody with a different version to catch them all.
An Open World Adventure
Pokémon Sword & Shield were the first Pokémon games to feature an open world-like area: The Wild Area. Later, Pokémon Legends featured multiple open world-like zones. With Scarlet & Violet, the entire game world of Paldea will be open world!
This means you can go anywhere you want, at any time. According to Nintendo, “you’re free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story.”
On top of this, you can play multiplayer with up to four players, exploring the region of Paldea together!
Three Different Story Paths
New to Scarlet & Violet, there are three story paths that you can follow concurrently.
Victory Road is the traditional Pokémon storyline, where you travel Paldea in search of the eight gyms, with the aim of becoming the Champion.
Path of Legends
Path of Legends is a quest where you search for Herba Mystica, rare herbs guarded by powerful Titan Pokémon.
Starfall Street pits you against the trouble-making Team Star, formed from rebellious students. There are multiple squads with their own base.
Travel with your Pokémon
An often requested feature: when exploring Paldea, you can have one Pokémon follow alongside you!
You can also order this Pokémon using the “Let’s Go!” feature, so they explore in the direction you indicate. The Pokémon may pick up useful items and auto-battle wild Pokémon.
Auto-Battles are a new way of battling. When using the “Let’s Go!” feature, your Pokémon will automatically engage wild Pokémon and fight without requiring any input from yourself. You can watch over the auto-battling Pokémon or go elsewhere and do something else.
When your Pokémon wins during Auto-Battle, they can earn experience points and items. However, it doesn’t sound like you can catch wild Pokémon this way, so be careful there aren’t any shiny Pokémon around!
The TM Machine
Every Pokémon Center has a useful contraption called the TM Machine. This lets you create your own TMs (Technical Machines) using League Points (LP) that you’ve earned plus materials dropped by wild Pokémon. LP can be earned by progressing the story and exchanging materials from Pokémon.
The types of TMs available to create will gradually increase as you continue your adventure. Each TM teaches a specific move to certain Pokémon. For example, TM85 Rest can teach Rest (user regains health, then falls asleep) to certain Pokémon. TMs can only be used once, but you can create multiple of each.
As you travel around Paldea and you feel like things are getting a tad too serious, perhaps it’s time to lie back and enjoy some quality time with your Pokémon!
Similar to the camping feature in Sword & Shield, you can set up a picnic area almost anywhere in the Paldea region. Your traveling Pokémon will all appear at once, in anticipation of the tasty picnic food you can make.
Sandwiches are the bread and butter of any good picnic and it seems Pokémon love them too. You can fill your sandwiches with all sorts of yummy ingredients, then carefully stack them with your bread to (hopefully) create a culinary masterpiece. Feeding sandwiches to your Pokémon can restore their HP and grant useful effects.
Besides this, you can interact with your Pokémon during picnics, chatting to them to make them perk up or cleaning them when they get dirty from traveling for so long. You can even invite other players via local or internet communication.