Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: Everything we know so far

I didn’t even know Pokémon Scarlet and Violet was a thing until I had to start writing about it (right now), but Game Freak is pumping out yet another Pokémon game, and boy do I know more about this now than I did yesterday.

The first teaser trailer launched on Feb 27, 2022, and it was surprisingly revealing despite some of its quirky live-action scenes. At first glance, it seems rather reminiscent of Pokémon Sword and Shield, so if that was your cup of tea, then Scarlet and Violet might be right for you.

Before we dive in, this title still has time to launch, so keep in mind our frequently updated lists of best PC games and best PC Game Pass games as well as our best Xbox Series X games and best PS5 games. If you haven’t purchased the latest-gen of consoles, we highly recommend checking out our Xbox Series X|PS5 reviews. And if you’re more into the imaginative play, see our best virtual tabletop software and DND tips pages.

Now, from the release date and story to the gameplay and Pokémon starters, here’s everything we know about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release date

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is slated to release on November 18 2022, which is rather soon considering Pokémon is a big release for Nintendo. For comparison, Metroid Prime 4 was announced like half a decade ago. 

Like all new Pokémon games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet story

It’s unclear which direction the story will go in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, but I suspect it’s going to be a recycled version of previous Pokémon arcs.

I imagine we’ll fight gym leaders, battle this game’s version of the Elite Four, deal with Team Rocket nonsense, and then prevent a cataclysmic event caused by the new legendary Pokémon introduced in this title. Or at least some variation of those events.

I’m less concerned about the story than I am about the world itself. I’m curious which part of our real world did Game Freak draw inspiration from. For Sun and Moon, it was Hawaii. For Sword and Shield, it was Great Britain. From what we’ve seen so far, it takes place in some mountainous region surrounded by an ocean and a desert. Sahara region? Columbia?

According to the official website, in Pokémon Scarlet, you will meet Professor Sada, and in Pokémon Violet, you will meet Professor Turo. Each is carrying out research into certain lore passed down in the region.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gameplay

We haven’t seen direct gameplay from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet just yet, but we have seen great overhead footage of the world design.

The structure does look reminiscent of Sword and Shield, with Pokémon wandering about the forests, caves, deserts, and mountains. However, it’s unclear if the gameplay will be similar to Sword and Shield, which is a more classic approach to the franchise, or Arceus, which sees the player fight Pokémon in a more active combat system. I kind of hope it’s the latter. I’m bored of the Pokémon formula.

Here’s a description from the official Pokémon site:

“Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer an open-world experience that only the Pokémon series can deliver—one welcoming even to newcomers to the series.

“You can experience a new style of adventure, with a world that you’re free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story. You will, of course, journey to hone your skills as a Pokémon Trainer, but many more discoveries and stories await you. Meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and adventure in the world of Pokémon the way you want to.

“Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet allow multiplayer gameplay with up to four players. Along with series staples, such as trading and battling Pokémon, you will be able to explore the various locations of the region in these games with other players. You can discover new Pokémon and explore unfamiliar areas with your friends and family, opening the door to an adventure more precious and fun than ever!”

Right now there are 8 gyms confirmed, some Pokémon have a new Paldean form, Pokédex is greatly expanded, multiplayer lets you explore 3 friends, and Terastallize is a new feature that crystallizes Pokémon in combat and boosts their stats.

Unlike other Pokémon games, you’ll actually start out with one of the two legendries and they’ll serve as a mount to ride, climb or fly.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet starters and confirmed Pokémon

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduces the ninth generation of Pokémon to the series. As of right now, there are 898 Pokémon (not including those confirmed for Scarlet and Violet). It’s entirely possible that Scarlet and Violet will bring that list to the quadruple digits. But right now, here are all the confirmed new Pokémon for Scarlet and Violet.

PokémonTypeDescriptionSprigatitoGrassProduces a sweet smell that make opponents not want to battle. Bathes in sunlight to produce energy.FuecocoFireA crocodile with hot scales and fire leaking from its head. When excited, more flames come out.QuaxlyWaterA little duckling with strong legs from swimming. The blue coif on top is made of a gel that comes from its feathers.PawmiElectricA small rodent Pokémon similar to Pikachu who generates electricity by rubbing its cheeks.LechonkNormalA black pig Pokémon that gives off an unpleasant smell and though it appears fat is mostly muscle.SmolivGrass/NormalA small plant creature that produces a bitter olive on its head. It can shoot oil to slow down opponents.CetitanIceThe Terra Whale Pokémon that needs to have a lot of muscle to for their large bodies.Wooper (Paldean)Poison / GroundTo keep from drying out while living on land, they began to cover their bodies with a poisonous film.FidoughFairyFidough’s moist, smooth skin has elastic qualities and is both firm and soft at the same time. When these Pokémon become excited, they intimidate their opponents by puffing up their bodies to appear bigger.KoraidonUnconfirmedThe main Legendary for Scarlet.MiraidonUnconfirmedThe main Legendary for Violet.

(Image credit: Pokemon)

The three starter Pokémon are Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly. Sprigatito is a “capricious, attention-seeking” Grass Cat Pokémon; Fuecoco is a laid-back Fire Croc Pokémon that “does things at its own pace”; Quaxly is an “earnest and tidy” Water-type Duckling Pokémon.

We’ll keep you updated as new Pokémon get announced, but from what we’ve seen of the trailer, there are plenty of returning favorites. You can get a special Pikachu as an early purchase bonus; it’ll be available to claim until February 2023 with the Mystery Gift feature. Here’s a list of the returning Pokémon (thanks GamesRadar).

AltariaArcanineAzumarillBagonBearticBlisseyBounsweetCacneaCacturnClawitzerCetitanChanseyChewtleClauncherClawitzerCoalossalCombeeCubchooCufantDeerlingDonphanDragonairDargoniteDrifblimDrifloonEeveeEiscueElektrossFlaaffyFlabébéFletchinderFletchlingFloetteFlorgesFuecocoGardevoirGastlyGengarGirafarigGogoatGolduckGrowlitheGyaradosHappinyHariyamaHattereneHaunterHippowdonHisuian ZoroarkHoppipHonchkrowHoundoomHoundourHydreigonJumpluffKoraidon (Legendary)LarvitarLechonkLilligantLucarioLumineonLuxioMagnemiteMagnetonMagnezoneMakuhitaMareanieMareepMeowthMiraidon (Legendary)MisdreavusMismagiusMudbrayMurkrowNoibatNoivernPacharisiuPawmiPelipperPersianPetililPichuPinecoPinurchinPikachuPolteageistPsyduckPupitarQuaxlyRaichuRioluRockruffRotomSawsbuckSeviperScizorShellderSinisteaSkiddoSkiploomSlakingSlakothSlowkingSmolivSnoruntSprigatitoStaraptorStaraviaStarlySteeneeStonjournerSwabluSylveonTalonflameTsareenaTyranitarVenonantVespiquenVigorothWingullWooper (Paldean)ZoruaOutlook

While I enjoy Pokémon, Scarlet and Violet needs to bring something unique and interesting to the table for me to return to the franchise. I hope that the gameplay structure and story-telling evolves beyond the usual tropes. For more info on Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, stay tuned right here.

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