The ninth generation of Pokemon games has officially been announced, in the form of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet. It’s fair to say nobody expected the next gen to arrive so soon, particularly given Pokemon Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl and Pokemon Legends: Arceus have all launched in the last four year. It’s clear developer Game Freak has been incredibly hard at work behind the scenes, and that it’s worked even harder to keep the next Pokemon games a secret.
Here’s everything we know about Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet so far.
What are Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet?
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are the official names of the ‘Generation IX’ Pokemon video games.
They’re described as open world adventures where ‘various towns with no borders blend seamlessly into the wilderness’. Like Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the games will allow for wide exploration across a number of terrains, with Pokemon roaming freely.
As with other games, you’ll play as a Pokemon trainer going up against a number of fighters. Your main rival for these games appears to be Nemona, a woman with black and green hair. She has a Pawmi for a companion – although not much else is known about her.
While much of the same terrain that appeared in Arceus appears in the first trailers for Scarlet and Violet, it does appear the games will trend closer to the traditional Pokemon formula.
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet: Release Date
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet will launch for Nintendo Switch on 18 November 2022.
The games each have their own Legendary Pokemon, and can be bought separately, or in a shiny two-pack for players to nab to entire experience.
What’s the difference between Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet?
Trailers for Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet have revealed a number of differences between the two titles. The most obvious is in colour palette and theming: trainers in Scarlet will wear red, and trainers in Violet will wear purple.
This extends to the Pokemon Professors in each game. Rather than having the same Pokemon Professor to lead players, Scarlet and Violet introduce new faces to the mix.
The Scarlet Pokemon Professor is Sada – a dusty blonde woman who wears an outfit inspired by generic caveman chic. She wears a bone necklace, has a ruffled collar, and wears a ragged, tan two-piece outfit. While her Pokemon companions have not been revealed, it would be fair to assume she’s a Mandibuzz main.
The Violet Pokemon Professor is Turo – a bearded, brown-haired man with a trendy faded buzzcut. He wears a futuristic purple outfit that appears to light up with neon tubing. It’s unclear what his Pokemon companion would be, but his look closely resembles the Legendary Pokemon of Violet.
The clear difference between the titles appears to be that Scarlet is inspired by the past, while Violet is inspired by the future. This also aligns with the naming conventions of each Professor – ‘future’ in Spanish is ‘futuro‘, while ‘past’ in Spanish is ‘pasada‘.
This theming is also reflected in the designs of the each game’s Legendary beast.
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet: Legendary Pokemon
The Legendary Pokemon for Scarlet is Koraidon, a towering, lizard-like creature that rocks a feathered headdress and a tyre-like body. Its name means ‘ancient’ or ‘past’ in Japanese.
The Legendary Pokemon for Violet is Miraidon, a towering, lizard-like creature that has jet engines for legs and a neon, vaporware-like aesthetic that suggests it’s a more futuristic, tech-inspired beast. Its name means ‘future’ in Japanese.
The differences between the creatures suggest the games may take place on different timelines – or that the time travel introduced in Pokemon Legends: Arceus has a role to play in the events of these games.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Trailers
The first Pokemon Scarlet/Violet trailer launched on Pokemon Day – and while many expected the celebratory Pokemon Presents showcase to deliver news on existing titles like Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a whole new game was a major surprise.
The early trailer is an eye-popping glimpse at the world of Gen 9, and features a medieval style castle and accompanying town, sweeping mountains, an idyllic shore, and plenty of good-looking Pokemon models. Here, Seviper has glimmering, shining scales. Sunlight glints off Magnemite’s round metal body.
The second trailer went further, showing off a number of the game’s unique features, and excellent additions to gameplay.
Will Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet have online co-op?
According to the second trailer for the games, Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet will include online co-op multiplayer for up to four players. This was only gently touched on, so we don’t know much about this mode – but an NPC in the trailer indicated players will be able to link up together to explore the wide open world of the games.
Short gameplay snippets shown off suggested players could meet up in open fields, and travel together in some form. It’s unknown if this extends to playing the entire game together, but it’s a promising new feature all the same.
Fans have long called for online co-op in Pokemon titles to be more involved – and these games could deliver on that hope.
What are the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter Pokemon?
The starter Pokemon for Scarlet and Violet have already been revealed, and while opinions may vary, many have agreed there’s a stand-out favourite already.
Sprigatito, the grass cat Pokemon, is an absolute gem, and its design is extremely cute. When you compare it to its rivals, there’s no wonder why it’s become one of the more popular choices online.
Fuecoco, the fire croc Pokemon, is also getting its fair share of love. This delightful-looking buddy, that strongly resembles an apple, is slowly garnering its own fanbase, thanks to its adorably short arms and tiny, chomping teeth.
Quaxly, meanwhile, appears to be getting the short end of the stick. This duckling Pokemon is still fairly cute, and has a sassy little arm pose – but its watery toupee is certainly raising some eyebrows. It’s not quite a fashion disaster, but it does make the duck look a little odd.
As with past generations, expect there to be much debate about which starter Pokemon is ‘best’ leading up to the eventual launch of the game. There’s no real ‘right’ answer here – but Sprigatito really is a gem.
New Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet
Three new Pokemon were given the spotlight in the second trailer for Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet.
The first is Lechonk, a pig-like Pokemon named after the suckling pig dish lechón, which is enjoyed in Spain, Portugal, and the Philippines. There’s not a whole lot to say about Lechonk – it’s a cute little piggie, and that’s about it.
The second new Pokemon is Pawmi, a cute, squirrel-like creature with big, floppy arms. Pawmi is very round, and looks closely related to fellow cute Pokemon, Emolga – although its colour scheme suggests it’s a fire type.
The other new Pokemon introduced in the second trailer is Smoliv, an adorable grass-type that appears to be very anxious. Its name could be derived from ‘small leaf’, which distinctly describes this tiny little bud.
It’s likely we’ll see more new Pokemon as Scarlet and Violet head towards release.
Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet are set to launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on 18 November 2022.