10 things to know before starting Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

10 things to know before starting Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Pokemon Scarlet and Purple is the first mainline open-world game in the series, bringing tons of new features and lots of good magic from Pokemon Legends: Arceus while keeping the original formula that makes Pokémon games so fun.

As you take on Paldea’s many challenges – the tough trainers of Victory Road, the massive Pokémon of Path of Legends, and the antagonistic faction of Starfall Street – you’ll explore the massive world alongside your legendary companion Pokémon, Koraidon or Miraidon. There’s a lot to do in the game, but we’re here to help.

Below we list some tips that we wish we had known when getting started in the game.

Lock your map from spinning using the right stick

The map in Pokemon Scarlet and Purple is absolutely cluttered with icons. Press the R stick to lock the large map, although unfortunately there is no way (as far as we know) to lock the minimap.

Ensuring the map always has north up helps navigating Paldea a ton – and will also make you less dizzy.

You cannot jump, but your mount can

You capture Koraidon or Miraidon (in Scarlet and Purple respectively) very early on, and Legendary Pokemon offer a huge boon: unlike previous mainline Pokemon games, you can actually jump off cliffs and ledges using your mount.

If you see objects on top of a cliff, try jumping to reach them. Of course, you won’t be able to reach every ledge you see — you’ll have to feed your mount special sandwiches (with Herba Mystica, obtained by defeating Titan Pokémon) to jump to some of the higher places.

Catch it all (duh) and claim rewards for it

Of course, you should try to catch every new Pokemon you see, but as you do, be sure to claim rewards, like Exp. Candies or Specialized Poké Balls in the Pokédex for doing so. You can do this by pressing X while on the Pokédex book screen. You gain access to more rewards the more unique Pokemon you catch.

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

Take classes at school for easy rewards

It’s easy to rush to Paldea right away, but if you go back to your school and take a few lessons (talking to the receptionist at reception) you’ll be rewarded. You will receive EXP Candy in different sizes from complete the midterms and finals in each subject.

Check the levels of wild Pokémon when you arrive in a new area

Before diving into battles of trainers and gyms, test the waters around you a bit. Gyms and zones don’t appear in order, so you may end up in a level 50 zone while you’re still at level 20! We recommend battling a wild Pokémon to see what the level range looks like, as you can simply run away from the battle if you get overwhelmed.

Fight every trainer you see

If you’ve followed the advice above and everything seems safe, absolutely talk to every trainer you see and fight them. Trainers who want to battle will have bubbles above their heads and their Poké Balls will glow with a sparkle from time to time.

Defeating Trainers is important to keep your Pokemon at the correct level, but there are also characters wearing costumes near Pokemon Centers that will reward you for defeating all Trainers in the area. They will tell you how many trainers to beat when you talk to them.

A pokemon trainer runs towards another trainer in a grassy field

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

Keep Your Pokemon Out in Let’s Go Mode

New to this game, you can throw your Pokemon out of their ball using the R button and they will automatically battle nearby Pokemon. If your Pokemon has a Type Advantage, it will make quick work of whatever it’s fighting against automatically. If they don’t, they will take damage. They will even retreat towards you in fear if the battle continues south.

These battles offer free EXP and crafting items! Pokemon that walk around with you will even pick up items from the ground, making exploration much easier.

Some Pokemon, like Pawmo (the evolution of Pawmi)must take a certain number of steps to evolve.

Many tools are accessible from menus, rather than from NPCs

NPCs like Name Evaluator and Movement Tutor are a thing of the past. Just like in Pokemon Legends: Arceusyou can rename your pokemon and teach them old moves all from their summary screens.

The latter is crucial, as leveling up through Auto-Battles will skip the move learning process, so you’ll need to manually open the Pokemon’s summary page to teach them the move.

Climb these towers when you see them for faster travel points

If you see a large stone tower with a ladder, climb it. These watchtowers serve as fast travel points that you can return to.

Additionally, Chest Form Gimmighoul – a ghost-type Pokemon – usually waits atop these towers. You can catch or defeat them for 50 Gimmighoul Coins, which you’re going to want a lot of (to evolve Gimmighoul).

A Pokémon trainer stands in front of a huge watchtower

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

You can enter buildings with doormats, but not those without.

All buildings with doormats in front of their doors are shops. If the building doesn’t have a doormat, it’s not a real building and it’s just decoration. (Don’t waste your time trying to enter each store like we did, please.)

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