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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet tips and tricks

With so much to do in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed so here are our best tips and tricks to get you started

Before you set out on your journey in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, there are a lot of things that you should know about to make your time a little more enjoyable.

The Basics

  • If you’re ever lost, and not sure what to do next, you can always talk to any Pokémon Center lady. She’ll give you a good idea of what you should be doing next, and mark her suggestion on your map. The activity that she suggests will be based on your Pokémon levels, and not how much you’ve done already, so make sure you double-check before heading off to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Battling in Let’s Go mode is a good way to gain experience. While each Let’s Go battle will only earn you about half the experience of a proper battle, you can easily knock out four or five Pokémon in Let’s Go in the time it would take you to complete a single normal battle, making it the quicker option overall.
  • Let’s Go mode is also useful for quickly registering a Pokémon in your Pokedex. Even if you don’t want to catch a Pokémon now, you might want to find it later. Simply send out your Pokémon to battle it in Let’s Go mode, and it’ll be immediately registered to your Pokedex, letting you hunt down its location if you ever want to find it again.
  • Don’t worry too much about standing too close to cliff sides. If you fall down a cliff, your Rotom Pokedex will carry you down to safety, and you’ll be presented with a prompt to be taken back up to where you fell off. Don’t worry, there’s no fall damage here, either.

The Three Paths’ Rewards

Each story path – the Titan path, Victory Road, and Project Starfall – has a specific, different reward for completing tasks. Depending on how you want to play the game, each one varies in usefulness.

  • The Titan path is the most useful of the rewards overall, but probably not the one you’ll want to do first. Completing challenges here and taking down Titans will earn you movement abilities for your Koraidon or Miraidon, such as swimming, gliding, and climbing. While these aren’t strictly necessary to progress, they do make getting around Paldea much easier.
  • Victory Road’s gym challenges are also incredibly important, as they raise the level cap of Pokémon. Raising the level cap means that Pokémon up to that level will be easier to catch, and they’ll also listen to you. If your Pokémon are a higher level than the level cap, they’ll often disobey, rarely using any move at all, and often slacking off in battle. In previous games, this only applied to traded Pokémon, but in Scarlet and Violet, it applies to all of them.
  • The Project Starfall path probably has the least useful rewards, but it can still give a significant boost to your Pokémon’s power levels. Defeating Team Star bosses will give you access to more TMs to craft, as well as a handful of crafting materials.

Food Is Your Friend

  • Food can either be purchased at shops, or made at picnics using your own ingredients, which can be picked up in the world, or also purchased at shops. Each sandwich that you make while on a picnic is influenced by the ingredients you put into it, with flavour and ingredient combinations leading to different perks.
  • Both food bought in shops and sandwiches made on picnics can offer a variety of different perks. These include boosting spawn rates for specific Pokémon types, increasing the rate at which eggs appear on picnics, powering up your Pokémon in raids, and even boosting the rate at which shiny Pokémon spawn.

Finding Rare Pokémon

There are a few different types of rare Pokémon, ranging from those that are simply hard to find, to Pokémon with different Tera types, and especially shiny Pokémon. Finding them can be a little difficult, but not impossible.

  • Shiny Pokémon are very rare, appearing at a rate of about 1/4000 spawns. They don’t sparkle on the overworld like they did in Pokémon Legends Arceus, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for visual changes. The rate of shiny spawns can be boosted by special sandwiches, and also increase in Pokémon outbreaks after defeating 30 or 60 Pokémon.
  • Different Tera types can be found in overworld spawns, but are most easily obtained in Tera raid, where the catch rate is extremely high. Both wild Tera Pokémon and Tera raids show up on the overworld with huge columns of light above them, and raids appear on the map too, so they should be very easy to find.
  • You can also change the Tera type of any Pokémon you like — with a few caveats. First, you’ll need to get 50 Tera Shards of a single type, which can be earned from raids of that type or rarely on the overworld. Then, you can eat a special dish at Treasure Eatery in Medali, which will use up your Tera Shards and change your Pokémon’s Tera type. The first one is free, but you can only use it to change to Normal Tera type.
  • The minimap can show you nearby spawns, but it’s not always as straightforward as it seems. It won’t show you what’s spawned, but rather what can spawn currently. If you hang around long enough, you should be able to find what’s listed there, so don’t give up hope! Just be patient and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Get Competitive

Scarlet and Violet make preparing for competitive battling easier than ever, with a host of new and easily accessible options for making your Pokémon ready to take the leaderboards by storm.

  • Bottle caps are found rarely in high-level Tera Raids, but they’re most easily accessible in Delibird Presents shops once you’ve earned 6 gym badges. The Delibird Presents stores in Cascarrafa, Levincia, and Mesagoza all stock bottle caps, and they can be bought with both money and LP. Bottle caps can raise the Individual Values, or IVs, of a Pokémon’s stat, which can make them more powerful overall. Bottle cap training is also available at level 50 now, down from level 100 in previous games.
  • Nature mints are also widely available, both in stores and scattered about the region in random places. Mints will change the nature of your Pokémon, which provides a boost to one state and a drop to another. If you’ve got a physical attacker with a nature that hinders Attack, consider using a Mint to change its stat gains and losses to something more favourable.
  • Delibird Presents shops can offer a wide range of competitive-focused items, but these items can be very useful in your playthrough as well. Take a look through the shop’s inventory in Mesagoza and experiment with items that sound good for how you play.

Be sure to check out our guides for the best Titan order, the best Gym order, the best Team Star base order, and the best route to take if you’re taking on all the story paths at the same time.