Pokemon Scarlet & Violet may rock the school vibes and push the utopian impossibility of free healthcare, but deep down, it’s all about throwing hands. Collecting Pokemon? Filling out your Pokedex? Second fiddle to beating up a toddler for his lunch money – and we just keep going in for more.
Battling is the core of Pokemon, and it probably always will be. Most systems revolve around the art of combat in some way, and Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is no different. Battling is straightforward in Pokemon, but like with all great games, it’s easy to get into, but deceptively difficult to master. That’s where we come in.
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Type Advantage Is Key
The first thing you need to know about Pokemon and its battle system is that everything has a Type. Heck, some have multiple types. These Types govern the majority of a fight’s outcome on a basic level. As a general rule, you want to use Pokemon (and attacks) that are strong against your opponent, whilst simultaneously being resistant to their counterattacks.
This can be demonstrated in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet from the very first battle as your chosen Pokemon will be strong against your opponent. Striking a weakness will result in bonus damage, striking a resistance will result in less damage, and in some cases, you could hit an immunity, which results in no damage. Learn your Types, and you’ll go far.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Items
Battles in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are a little bit on the easy side, but you can get worn down over a prolonged adventure, during a pesky Gym Battle, or even just through a tough Trainer encounter. Pokemon Centers are not always available, so what can you possibly do in these situations?
Use items. Items range from basic restoratives like Potions, to powerful remedies like Antidotes. There is an item for just about any situation, and having a small stockpile of curatives will help you get through even the toughest of areas, and most difficult of encounters. Don’t forget to pack a few Revives for good measure.
Terastallize Is Powerful But Limited
The shiny new Uber State in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is the Tera system. In the past, this took the form of Dynamax or Mega Evolution, and it largely remains the same here. This system allows you to infuse specific Pokemon with extra power, turning them into a crystallized version of themselves. This process is called Terastallizing.
What this ultimately means is that you will deal more damage and take less in return. The catch? You can’t spam this form. In fact, you can only use it once before you need to recharge by visiting a Pokemon centre. Therefore, it is advised that you keep a hold of this mighty tool for special occasions and difficult encounters. You don’t want to be left without it because you got a bit too trigger-happy.
Don’t Double Dip
Each Pokemon can only have four moves available at any given time. This forces you to make difficult decisions about how you build your team, and your Pokemon. It can be very tempting – especially for new players – to double-dip on moves. By which we mean take multiple attacks of the same element.
For example, having Ember and Flamethrower on the same Fire Pokemon is a wasted slot. Why? Well, Flamethrower is the more powerful attack, so you will never use Ember. Ember should therefore be replaced with Flamethrower, not exist alongside it. In a very broad-stroke manner of speaking, don’t stack multiple of the same elements.
Take Moves That Counter Your Weakness
Another key aspect of battling is to recognise your own weaknesses, and what Type counters said weakness. So, let’s say you have a Fire Pokemon. They are weak to Water. A great way to make your Fire Pokemon better is to learn attacks that are strong against Water Pokemon. In this case, Electric or Grass.
Once again speaking with very broad strokes here, Pokemon that can learn counters to their weakness tend to be more valuable than those that aren’t. Similarly, Pokemon who can learn many elemental attacks (such as Snorlax) are also incredibly valuable tools in your arsenal.
Aim For A Balanced Party
All of this comes to the final point, you want to build a balanced party/team. Running 6 Electric Pokemon is not going to go well if you bump into a Diglet. Having a team that can not only attack and counter as many types as possible but also is resistant to a variety of attacks, is very important.
That being said, how you decide the makeup of your party is entirely up to you. There are very few wrong answers here. Provided you have the right tools at your disposal and you don’t overcompensate in one area, you should be on the right track. Experiment and have fun.
EXP Share Is A Wonderful Thing
Levelling up Pokemon can be a bit of a pain in the rear. Thankfully, EXP Share exists, and it’s there to make the whole experience significantly less tedious. In short, whenever you win a battle, EXP is shared with all of your Pokemon. This means all of your Pokemon tend to exist at around the same level, and you don’t need to manually level up each of your Pokemon.
Whilst we love this feature of modern Pokemon, it has its detractors as it’s a mandatory thing. In past games, you could turn it off basically. Whether you like it or not is up to you, but we find it a plus.
Don’t Fret About The Late Game Until The Late Game
Finally, end-game Pokemon is quite the journey. Making the perfect team with perfect stats can take a while, and it can be quite stressful for newcomers. However, we advise putting all of that nonsense to one side and waiting until you get to the late game before you start worrying about it.
The biggest reason for this is that it is much easier to get an optimised party in the late game. This saves a lot of time and tends to make the main story more enjoyable.
That’s all we have on Pokemon Scarlet & Violet for now, but we have more guides and content on the way.