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pokemon scarlet and violet key art/box art Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

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Everything to know about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The ninth generation of Pokémon is coming to Nintendo Switch in November

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be released Nov. 18 on Nintendo Switch. Ahead of that release date, The Pokémon Company is slowly rolling out new information on the ninth-generation Pokémon games, the next in line for the 26-year-old franchise. The first details — including the games’ names — were released on Pokémon Day in February. A second trailer debuted on YouTube in June, before another peek at Scarlet and Violet was published Wednesday.

Since then, The Pokémon Company has been dripping out information through Twitter teases and trailers, showing peeks at new Pokémon and the mysterious Paldean world.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are now less than a month away, and we’ve learned a lot about the next mainline games in the franchise. There are a ton of new Pokémon, region-specific forms, and vast, open-world gameplay, to name a few.

Here’s what The Pokémon Company has shown so far on Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. We’ll keep updating this story as new details come out.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release date

a pokemon trainer standing in front of a house Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

On Wednesday, The Pokémon Company announced that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be released Nov. 18. The games are coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch.

Region name: Paldea

dutch style houses with lots of flowers and a windmill in the background, from pokemon scarlet and violet Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

In August, The Pokémon Company shared the name of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new region: Paldea. It’s described by The Pokémon Company as “a land of vast open spaces dotted with lakes, towering peaks, wastelands, and mountain ranges.”

The region is centered around a large city called Mesagoza, where players will attend one of two schools: Naranja Academy or Uva Academy, depending on whether they’re playing Scarlet or Violet.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet open-world RPG gameplay

A Pokémon trainer throws a Poké Ball in a mountainous area Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are described as an “open-world experience,” meaning that players will be able to move freely between wilderness and towns in a way that’s different from past Pokémon games. In Polygon’s Oct. 21 preview, Scarlet and Violet felt like a massive open world that’s full of quests. The gameplay is expected to have elements of traditional Pokémon games, with, perhaps, more influence from Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Wild Area and Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ partially open-world experience.

The Pokémon Company says that the world will be “free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story.” Still, there is a journey for Pokémon trainers to embark on, but it’s one that sounds more varied than in the past: “Meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and adventure in the world of Pokémon the way you want to,” The Pokémon Company says on the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet website.

In August, The Pokémon Company described how players will be able “weave” a story however they want after enrolling in one of the two academies. The schools require an independent study called The Treasure Hunt, which is how players can access the three “grand stories” in Scarlet and Violet. The Pokémon Company first described one of those stories so far, the one that’s likely most traditional and familiar to Pokémon fans — traveling between eight gyms to become a Pokémon champion and taking on Victory Road.

In early September, The Pokémon Company shared new details on the other two — Path of Legends and Starfall Street. Path of Legends is a quest line that takes trainers out in search of an ingredient called Herba Mystica with an upperclassman called Arven.

Starfall Street is where you’ll take on the game’s villains, Team Star. They’re the bad kids at school.

When exploring the Paldea region, trainers can have a Pokémon out and walking with them. There’s also the “Let’s Go!” feature which lets trainers send out Pokémon to collect stuff and automatically start battling with close Pokémon.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet multiplayer experience

four pokemon trainers running off in different directions Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company says players can expect “multiplayer gameplay with up to four players.” Trading and battling are one part of that experience, but the big change is in exploration: “You will be able to explore the various locations of the region in these games with other players,” the company wrote on the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet website.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will have local wireless play for two to four players, with online multiplayer available for one to four players. This is through a feature called the Union Circle, where players can meet up and “adventure together in the same space.”

It’s unclear how extensive the multiplayer experience will be, but it’s clear that The Pokémon Company has been leading into a more in-depth multiplayer experience following Pokémon Sword and Shield.

There’s also trading and battling, as The Pokémon Company outlined in August. Using the Poké Portal, there are trades with friends and surprise trades, as well as battle functionality.

Scarlet and Violet starter Pokémon

Sprigatito (a green weed cat), Quaxly (a blue duck with a funny hair style), Fuecoco (a small, red gator). Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s three starter Pokémon are Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. Like in previous games, Pokémon players will start their game with one of these three Pokémon. Sprigatito is a “capricious, attention-seeking Grass Cat Pokémon” that can conduct photosynthesis; Fuecoco is a “laid-back Fire Croc Pokémon that does things at its own pace” and spouts flames; and Quaxly is an “earnest and tidy Duckling Pokémon” who is particular about keeping its hair clean.

We still don’t know what these three starters will evolve into, however.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet new Professors and rival

Professor Turo and Professor Sada in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

For the first time, players will get a different professor depending on which game they buy: Players that choose Pokémon Scarlet will get Professor Sada, while Pokémon Violet players will have Professor Turo. Each of these professors is doing their own research “into lore passed down in the region,” according to The Pokémon Company. Their names are a reference to their research, too: Sada and Turo are references to past and future, respectively, and explain their outfits. This plays into the names of the legendary Pokémon, too, which contain the words “korai” and “mirai,” for “ancient” and “future.”

It’s not immediately clear how or if the professor choice will impact gameplay much.

As for the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet rival, that’s Nemona. She’s not explicitly labeled as a rival; instead, The Pokémon Company calls her “a friend and reliable guide” who is an “experienced Pokémon trainer,” which seems to serve a similar purpose as the rival.

Beyond these two professors, there’s also Clavell, the academy director, and Mr. Jacq, the biology and homeroom teacher.

Other new Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet

an image of Cetitan in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Nemona, in particular, helped introduce three of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new monsters in June: Pawmi, Lechonk, and Smoliv. Pawmi is an electric mouse that generates electricity by rubbing its cheeks, while Lechonk is a a perfect, normal-type hog Pokémon that loves berries. Smoliv is described, naturally, as an olive Pokémon that has a very worried face. Then there’s Fidough, a yeasty Pokémon that’s essentially a few bagels put together; Cetitan, a muscular Pokémon that’s designed for snowy regions.

But wait, there’s more: Paldean Wooper, which is a special version of Wooper found only in Paldea, as well as a poisonous primate with a weirdly long finger, Grafaiai; a cute (and sometimes large) crab, Klawf; and two version-specific knights, Armarouge and Ceruledge.

There’s also Cyclizar, which is a mount Pokémon that can be ridden like a bike. It looks suspiciously similar to Scarlet and Violet’s two legendary Pokémon, but The Pokémon Company hasn’t confirmed if they’re related in any way. Scarlet and Violet’s two Legendary Pokémon, Koraidon and Miraidon, are version-specific Pokémon that’s also a vehicle.

Here’s a full list of the new Pokémon:

Koraidon and Miraidon

Two Pokémon trainers ride Koraidon and Miraidon, with Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly in between them, in artwork from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

Alongside the new regular little guys, The Pokémon Company shared new forms for the new Legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon. These Pokémon are vaguely serpentine and match the respective colors for their game — Pokémon Scarlet has scarlet-hued Koraidon and Pokémon Violet has the purple Miraidon. Koraidon looks to be a bit more historical and natural, while Miraidon feels futuristic, perhaps mimicking the looks of the two new professors.

In August, The Pokémon Company revealed that these two Pokémon are a core part of Scarlet and Violet — they can be ridden like motorcycles that work on land, sea, and in the sky. Here’s how the three modes work, straight from The Pokémon Company:

  • Sprinting Build / Drive Mode: Players can ride Sprinting Build Koraidon or Drive Mode Miraidon, making it easier to traverse the expansive Paldea region more freely.
  • Swimming Build / Aquatic Mode: Players will be able to jump into rivers, lakes and vibrant oceans to approach the Pokémon that live there or cross perilous waters in a snap by riding Swimming Build Koraidon or Aquatic Mode Miraidon.
  • Gliding Build / Glide Mode: Players can jump from mountains, towering cliffs or tall buildings and glide toward their destination.

Koraidon and Miraidon don’t seem like regular Legendary Pokémon — you usually pick those up pretty far into Pokémon games. But in Polygon’s October preview, we learned that you do get these pretty early on, as their essential for travel. No word yet if they’ll be usable in battle, however.

Picnics

a ham sandwich on a table, surrounded by ingredients, with an eevee pick holding it together Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there were camps. In Scarlet and Violet, there are picnics. The picnic areas serve the same function as camps — there’s a space to play with, feed, and bathe your Pokémon. Once you’ve started a picnic, your group of creatures will gather around the space. You make make sandwiches using purchased and found resources, piling toppings high in a little minigame. These will restore HP for Pokémon, or add different effects.

Elsewhere in the picnic space, you can bathe your dirty Pokémon to restore HP and make ‘em like you a bit more. There will be toys to play with, too — the trailer in Scarlet and Violet’s Oct. 6 trailer showed a soccer ball to kick around.

If you’re playing with friends using the Union Circle, you can join your pal’s picnic, too.

Terastal Pokémon and Tera Raid Battles

terastal fuecoco — it looks like a shining gemstone Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

The Terastal Phenomenon looks like it replaces Gigantamax Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Instead of getting huge, Pokémon in the Paldea region turn into gemstones with jewel crowns that can change their types. Basically, with a Tera Orb, players can transform Pokémon once per battle to “enhance their battle strategies by increasing the power of any moves that have the same type of their Pokémon’s Tera Type,” The Pokémon Company said.

There are 18 Pokémon Tera Types in total, the company said.

The second part of the Terastal Phenomenon is Tera Raid Battles, which seem to work like Max Raid Battles. With friends or alone, players can battle and catch wild Terastal Pokémon.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet pre-order details

two-pack pokemon scarlet and violet box Image: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are available for pre-order now at the Nintendo Store. Both cost $59.99 and will allow players to preload the game closer to its Nov. 18 release date. The Pokémon Company is offering a special Pikachu as a preorder bonus, as well as an Adventure Set for digital purchasers — adding potions, heals, and other in-game items as extras.

There’s also the double pack, which includes both versions of the game. Players who buy this will get two codes — one per game — and 100 Poké Balls for each code. The double pack costs $120.

New Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Nintendo Switch

An image of the Nintendo Switch Scarlett and Violet edition, including the new OLED screen. The controllers are red (left) and purple (right) mirroring the two marquee Pokemon on the cover. Image: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

Nintendo will release a special edition Nintendo Switch OLED model that’s all decked out in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet art. It’s out on Nov. 4 and costs $359.99 — it doesn’t include either game.

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