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Everything You Need to Know about ‘Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’

A map of the Paldea region in 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' is shown with text over it.
The Pokémon Company

It’s that time of year again. That’s right! We have a new Pokémon video game to enjoy. This time around, we’ve been gifted with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet for the Nintendo Switch. These two versions are a bit different from each other and previous Pokémon games.

If you’re wondering whether you should pick up Scarlet or Violet for the Nintendo Switch, you’re in luck. We’re here to break down the subtle differences between Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet and explain how the newest Pokémon game compares to others in the franchise.

What Are the Differences Between Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

Overall, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are the same game. They have the same storyline and gameplay. However, there are some little differences between the two versions. Knowing what each one has to offer can help you decide which one to choose.

You’ll Enjoy Different Time Periods and Professors

The two professors from 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' stand together.
The Pokémon Company

You’ll want to think about whether you like the future or the past when you’re deciding on which version of the game to pick up. That’s because each version takes place in a different period. Specifically, Scarlet occurs in the past, while Violet occurs in the future.

You can see these different periods reflected in the clothing of the professors for each version of the game. Professor Sada in Scarlet wears a necklace made of claws and a coat with a fur neck over cavewoman attire. In contrast, Professor Turo rocks a sleek white jacket over a futuristic jumpsuit.

The Two Versions of the Game Feature Different Pokémon

The two legendary Pokémon from 'Scarlet and Violet' are shown.
The Pokémon Company

The biggest difference in terms of Pokémon between Scarlet and Violet is the variation in the legendary Pokémon. You’ll team up with Koraidon in Scarlet, while Miraidon is your partner in Violet. The design of these Pokémon reflects the period of their respective games, as Koraidon looks a bit like a prehistoric bird, and Miraidon appears to be made of metal.

You’ll find that different types of Pokémon are exclusive to each version. For example, you’ll find Pokémon like Drifloon, Oranguru, and Armarouge in Scarlet, while Misdreavus, Passimian, and Ceruledge are in Violet.

Slight Differences Will Also Appear at the Academy in Both Games

Two characters from 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' wear different uniforms.
The Pokémon Company

In this version of Pokémon, you are a student at either Naranja Academy (Scarlet) or Uva Academy (Violet). These two academies present the same experience except for a few aesthetic differences.

If you opt for Pokémon Scarlet, you’ll wear an orange uniform, and your school will have a crest that looks a bit like an orange. Should you select Pokémon Violet, you’ll wear a blue outfit, and your school crest will feature grapes.

How Are These Two Pokémon Video Games the Same?

Despite the minor differences between Scarlet and Violet, the two games are the same. They share the same story and have the same type of gameplay. You’ll also notice other similarities when it comes to everything from your starters to the region you explore.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet take place in the same region

A map of the Paldea region in 'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' is shown.
The Pokémon Company

Both versions of this Pokémon game take place in the Paldea Region. The design of this region is rumored to be inspired by Spain, which makes sense given the Spanish names of the academies.

The Paldea Region includes more than just cities and Pokémon gyms. You’ll also find plenty of open spaces, lakes, wastelands, and mountain ranges where you can explore and catch Pokémon. To get around this region, your legendary Pokémon can also serve as a form of land, air, and sea transportation.

The Same Starters Are Present in Both Versions of the Game

'Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' starter Pokémon stand side by side.
The Pokémon Company

Although each of these games has Pokémon that are unique to it, the starter Pokémon are the same between the two versions. You can choose from Sprigatito (a grass cat Pokémon), Fuecoco (a fire croc Pokémon), and Quaxly (a duckling Pokémon).

As with all Pokémon games, you’ll want to look at the various evolutionary forms of each Pokémon before selecting your starter. For example, Sprigatito, which starts as an adorable kitten, looks unrecognizable in its final form.

How do Pokémon Violet and Scarlet compare to previous games?

Now that you know the similarities and differences between the two versions of this game, you probably want to know how this game compares to previous Pokémon games. Overall, the game offers a lot of fun and variety with some annoyances.

More Detailed Character Creation Is Possible for Most Things

Four characters from 'Pokémon Violet' look into the camera.
The Pokémon Company

For those who love to customize their characters in Pokémon games, Scarlet and Violet provide plenty of options. When you start the game, you can select everything from your hairstyle to the shape and color of your eyes. As the game goes on, you can purchase accessories like hats, backpacks, and sunglasses to change up your look.

Sadly, there is one area where you don’t have as much freedom to express yourself through customization, and it’s your outfit. Throughout the game, you will wear your school uniform. A lot of people might be disappointed by this, but it does perfectly reflect the reality of going to a school that requires a uniform.

A Familiar Yet Unique Approach to Gyms and the Story

Two 'Pokémon from Scarlet and Violet' battle.
The Pokémon Company

All Pokémon fans know that you have to defeat eight gym leaders to become a champion. Scarlet and Violet follow this same formula — with a twist. You still need to beat eight gym leaders and earn eight badges. However, in this version of the game, you can take on the gym leaders in any order you like.

Additionally, you can do more than just tackle those gyms to become a champion. Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer three different quest paths. Victory Road involves collecting gym badges, Starfall Street requires you to clear bases, and the Path of Legends has you defeat giant Pokémon.

The Game Graphics Leave Something to Be Desired and Glitches Do Occur

When you compare Scarlet and Violet to the Game Boy versions of the game that many of us grew up with, the graphics are amazing. However, graphics have come a long way since then, and Scarlet and Violet don’t do the best job of reflecting that.

Unfortunately, having lackluster graphics isn’t the only problem with this game. Glitches pop up throughout the gameplay both in handheld and docked mode. Many Pokémon fans are still playing the game and having fun laughing at these glitches. However, others find it simply isn’t worth playing the game until it gets patched.

Pokémon Scarlet

Explore the Paldea Region and become a champion in Pokémon Scarlet.

Pokémon Violet

Enjoy a expansive region and a unique story in Pokémon Violet.

Shannon Flynn Shannon Flynn
Shannon Flynn is a freelance writer for Review Geek. This attorney turned writer has been creating content ranging from blogs to eBooks for nearly a decade. She has written on topics in several industries, including healthcare, retail, and law. However, she has a special interest in writing about tech products, including smart home devices, e-readers, Apple products, and Nintendo gaming. She also has a passion for trying out different apps and all things LEGO. Read Full Bio »