Pokemon Scarlet and Violet tips will help you gain a foothold in Paldea and learn the basics of battling, catching, and finding the game's many secrets. There's a lot more little nuances that's been added to the game now, so it's important to have a few initial advantages as you head off to find your treasure. For those who could use a helping hand, our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet with tips and tricks will help you adjust to the new world ahead!
1. Going North takes you to more dangerous areas
It's a simple idea, but the further North you go in Paldea, the more difficult the game becomes, with wild Pokemon and Trainers both reaching higher levels as you do. You start at the very Southern point of the island, where it's easiest, so the further up you go, the harder things will become. Use this to know what's ahead, and to guess whether you're ready for it. By the time you're at the highest beaches and mountains, wild Pokemon will be level 50 and up, with the Trainers even tougher. Areas do tend to have specific types though, so our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet type chart might help you keep the advantage.
2. Go for the Titans first to unlock new powers
Once the Naranja Academy Treasure Hunt begins, players can choose to go where they like, and whether they want to go for three quests - the Path of Legends, where you fight Titan Pokemon, Victory Road, where you fight the gym leaders, and Starfall Street, where you fight members of Team Star. You'll want to do all of these, but if you want to pick one first, we recommend the Path of Legends, as outlined in more detail on our guide on where to go first in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, where you'll fight Titan Pokemon with Arven. Each one you beat unlocks a new power for Koraidon or Miraidon, like higher jumps, gliding, crossing water, or even climbing up walls. So the more Titan Pokemon you beat, the easier it'll be for you to get around the map - the full list of powers and specifically how to get them is at the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Koraidon and Miraidon abilities page we put together!
3. Hit wild Pokemon in the back for a free attack
If you want to fight a wild Pokemon, press B to sneak and get behind it without it noticing - then throw a Pokeball at its back. This'll start the fight with the Pokemon surprised, allowing you to stop it from doing anything in the first round and giving you a good advantage. There's no reason not to do this, so try to surprise wild Pokemon whenever possible.
4. Save Terastallizing for bosses and gym leaders
Terastallizing - the new power-up you can give your Pokemon - changes their type to their Tera Type (which you can check in the description), and improves the power of all attacks that match that Tera Type. So for example, a Wooper with an Electric Tera Type will become electric when you Terastallize them, replacing their other types, and their electric attacks will do a lot more damage.
You need to be careful with Terastallizing - you're swapping out your weaknesses and strengths for new ones - but you also need to be careful about when you do it. You can only Terastallize Pokemon with your Tera Orb, and it loses its charge after being used once. It usually needs to be recharged at a Pokemon Center, meaning it's important to save this power for big threats and enemies. If you want more of an idea of what you're dealing with in this new mechanic, we put together a full guide on Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Tera types and Terastallizing to explain it!
5. You don't have to fight trainers - but you should anyway
Trainers now don't challenge you unless you walk up and speak to them, meaning you'll only fight trainers when you want to. However, you should do it fairly regularly - aside from the obvious EXP gain, it's the best way to make money, which you won't get for fighting wild Pokemon. Only go up against nature and you'll find yourself running out of money next time you want to buy Pokeballs and Potions.
6. You can fight gym leaders, Titans, and the Star Team in any order - but they won't match your level
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet allow you to fight gym leaders and other bosses in any order you want, but that doesn't mean they're all as easy as each other. Tough enemies are always the same level, no matter what level you are - the easy ones are always low-level, the difficult ones are always high-level. Going into the map and examining the icon for that boss will give you some details about what to expect, with hints and clues about how difficult they are and what order you should challenge them. Or if you want it laid out clearly, check out our page on the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet gym leaders, we've got a full list of them in ascending difficulty, with weaknesses!
7. Without badges, you can't use high-level Pokemon
While you can go to high-level areas quickly and even catch level 50 powerful Pokemon, they won't do what you tell them to without the gym badges you get by beating gym leaders. Badges don't matter if you catch low-level Pokemon and level them up - then they'll do what they tell you - but without enough badges, the high-level Pokemon you catch will ignore the orders you give.
It's also the case that the level of Pokemon you can catch and control is based on how many badges you have, not the most powerful gym you've beaten. Even if you beat the highest level gym first, you still only have one badge - and that means you can only control Pokemon caught beneath level 25. You'll have to go back and beat the easier ones to change that.
8. Send out Pokemon for Let's Go and Autobattling whenever possible
By pressing R, players can send out the first Pokemon in their party to follow them around in Let's Go mode, pick up items, and Autobattle nearby wild Pokemon to earn EXP for themselves and the party. It's a good habit to get into, especially if your Pokemon are higher level - though be careful about what you send them up against. Type advantage and level are taken into account, and your Pokemon can take damage even when they autobattle without you. Make sure they can handle whatever you're sending them up against.
9. Picnics and Sandwiches offer free temporary buffs
Sandwiches are a big source of power-ups in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - even terrible ones like that above - with different sandwiches and meals used to grant different buffs and bonuses to your Pokemon, including XP, battle strength, and even your chance to encounter shiny Pokemon. You can make sandwiches whenever you set up a Picnic (assuming you have the ingredients), or buy them pre-made from food vendors in towns. You should keep a look out for NPC picnickers while exploring - they'll give you ingredients for free.
10. Tera Raids offer unique Pokemon and lots of gifts
As you explore, you'll see beams of light that mark Tera Raids - large crystals where you can team up with three other players (online or NPCs) to fight a powerful Terastallized Pokemon with a rare Tera type. Beating these gains you a lot of rewards, a chance to capture that Pokemon, Tera Shards (used to change your own Pokemon's Tera Types after you beat Gym Leader Larry), and a chance to enjoy one of the best songs in the soundtrack. Fight Tera Raids whenever possible, and you'll be all the stronger for it. If you can find a friend or a random team via Pokemon Scarlet and Violet coop, your chances will be even better!