10 things you need to know before starting Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Pokemon Scarlet Y Violet is the first mainline open world game in the series, bringing tons of new features and a lot of good magic from Pokemon Legends: Arceus keeping the original formula that makes the Pokémon games so much fun.

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

Below we have listed some tips that we would like to know early in the game.

Lock your map from rotating by using the right stick

the map in Scarlet Pokemon Y Violet it is absolutely packed with icons. Press the R stick to lock on the large map, though unfortunately there is no way (that we know of) to lock on the minimap.

Making sure the map always has north at the top helps with navigating Paldea a lot, and it will also make you less seasick.

You can’t jump, but your mount can.

Koraidon or Miraidon Captures (in Scarlet Y Violet respectively) from the start, and Legendary Pokémon offer one major advantage: Unlike previous mainline Pokémon games, you can actually jump off cliffs and ledges with the help of your mount.

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

Capture everything (duh) and claim rewards for doing so

Of course, you should try to catch every new Pokemon you see, but while you’re at it, be sure to claim rewards, like Exp Candy or Specialized Pokéballs in the Pokédex to do so. You can do this by pressing X while on the Pokédex book screen. You access more rewards the more unique Pokémon you catch.

A menu screen showing the rewards for catching Pokémon.  The player got things like Poké Balls, EXP Candy, and Stardust.

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

Take classes at school for easy rewards

It’s easy to run to Paldea right away, but if you revisit your school and take a few classes (by speaking to the receptionist at the front desk), you’ll be rewarded. You will receive EXP Candy of various sizes of complete midterms and finals in each subject.

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

Before you dive into trainer and gym battles, test the waters around you a bit. Gyms and areas don’t appear in order, so you might find yourself stumbling across a level 50 area while still at level 20. We recommend fighting a wild Pokemon to see what the level range is, since you can run away from battle if you are outleveled.

Fight every trainer you see

If you’ve followed the above advice and all seems safe, absolutely speak up and fight every trainer you see. Trainers who want to fight will have speech bubbles above their heads and their Poké Balls will glow with a flash from time to time.

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

A Pokémon trainer runs towards another trainer on a grassy field.

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

Keep your Pokémon out in Let’s Go mode

New to this game, you can launch your Pokemon out of its ball by using the R button and they will automatically fight nearby Pokemon. If your Pokemon has a type advantage, it will make quick work of whatever it is fighting automatically. If they don’t, they will take damage. They will even retreat to you in fear if the battle goes awry.

These battles offer free EXP and crafting items! Pokémon that walk with you will even pick up items off the ground, making exploring much easier.

Some Pokémon, like Pawmo (the evolution of Pawmi)they need to walk a certain number of steps in order to evolve.

Many tools can be accessed from menus, rather than from NPCs.

NPCs like the name qualifier and move tutor are a thing of the past. as in Pokemon Legends: Arceusyou may change the name of your pokemon Y teach them old moves all from their summary screens.

The latter is crucial, as leveling up via auto-battles will bypass the move learning process, so you’ll need to manually open the Pokemon’s overview page to teach them the move.

Climb those towers when you see them for more fast travel points

If you see a large stone tower with a ladder, go up it. These watchtowers serve as fast travel points that you will be able to fly back to.

Also, Chest Form Gimmighoul, a Ghost-type Pokémon, is usually waiting at the top of these towers. You can catch or defeat them for 50 Gimmighoul Coins, which you’re going to want a lot (to evolve Gimmighoul).

A Pokémon trainer stands in front of a huge watchtower.

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

You may enter buildings with mats, but not those without.

All buildings with doormats in front of their doors are shops. If the building does not have a doormat, it is not a real building and is just decoration. (Don’t waste time trying to get into every store like we did, please.)

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