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You can make elaborate sandwiches for Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet

At picnic sites, Pokémon can be fed, bathed, and played with

a ham sandwich on a table, surrounded by ingredients, with an eevee pick holding it together Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, you could make and feed your Pokémon curry. For Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, you’ll have to assemble sandwiches for you and your Pokémon crew. The Pokémon Company outlined Scarlet and Violet’s new picnic area, where players will be able to bathe, feed, and play with their Pokémon, in a 14-minute trailer that debuted Thursday.

It’s extremely cute, and an experience players will be able to use with friends through Scarlet and Violet’s Union Circle. The Pokémon Company says these areas will be accessible when playing with friends by simply walking up to a picnic-in-progress.

The Pokémon Company explained how it works on the official Scarlet and Violet site: After starting a picnic, Pokémon will gather around — including your Legendary Pokémon, either Koraidon or Miraidon. You can make sandwiches using ingredients purchased in towns, before stacking them high onto the sandwich bread. Sandwiches restore HP for Pokémon, but also can add different effects, The Pokémon Company said. Look, Scarlet and Violet is now a sandwich making simulator, and I’m not mad at that. It’s definitely got a minigame vibe to it, because there looks to be some skill involved; your sandwich may topple over if you make bad choices.

Picnics are also where Pokémon can bathe, scrubbed clean with a Mareep sponge. Cleaning your Pokémon is not just for fun, but it will also restore HP and make them like you more. Apparently, Pokémon will get visibly dirty depending on what they’re trekking through — “mud from the roadsides, snow from snowstorms, and sand from sandstorms” as well as taking damage in battles.

Picnic areas look pretty customizable, with different tablecloths, water bottles, cups, and other decorations. It’s an area where you can take photos, too, and toss a little ball to your pals, like in Sword and Shield. Likewise, The Pokémon Company also said it’s possible to find Pokémon eggs there, too.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be released Nov. 18 on Nintendo Switch. It’s the ninth generation of the storied franchise, bringing players to the new Paldean region — a region inspired by the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and loaded with tons of new Pokémon to catch.

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