Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: Release date, new Pokémon, open-world gameplay

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: Release date, new Pokémon, open-world gameplay

pokemon scarlet and Purple will be released Nov. 18 on Nintendo Switch. Ahead of that release date, The Pokémon Company is slowly rolling out new information on the ninth-generation Pokémon games, the next in line for the 26-year-old franchise. The first details—including the games’ names—were released on Pokémon Day in February; a second trailer debuted on YouTube on Wednesday.

With pokemon scarlet and Purple months away, there’s still a lot to be learned about the next mainline games in the franchise. But there’s a lot we do know, too — including some brand-new Pokémon and what to expect from the open-world gameplay.

Here’s what The Pokémon Company has shown so far on pokemon scarlet and Purple. We’ll keep updating this story as new details come out.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet release date

a pokemon trainer standing in front of a house

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

On Wednesday, The Pokémon Company announced that pokemon scarlet and Purple will be released Nov. 18. The games are coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet open-world RPG gameplay

A Pokémon trainer throws a Poké Ball in a mountainous area

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

pokemon scarlet and Purple are described as an “open-world experience,” meaning that players will be able to move freely between wilderness and towns in a way that’s different from past Pokémon games. The gameplay is expected to have elements of traditional Pokémon games, with, perhaps, more influence from Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s Wild Area and Pokemon Legends: Arceus‘partially open-world experience.

The Pokémon Company says that the world will be “free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story.” Still, there is a journey for Pokémon trainers to begin on, but it’s one that sounds more varied than in the past: “Meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and adventure in the world of Pokémon the way you want to,” The Pokémon Company says on the Pokemon Scarlett and Purple website.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet multiplayer experience

four pokemon trainers running off in different directions

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

The Pokémon Company says players can expect “multiplayer gameplay with up to four players.” Trading and battling are one part of that experience, but the big change is in exploration: “You will be able to explore the various locations of the region in these games with other players,” the company wrote on the pokemon scarlet and Purple website.

pokemon scarlet and Purple will have local wireless play for two to four players, with online multiplayer available for one to four players.

It’s unclear how extensive the multiplayer experience will be, but it’s clear that The Pokémon Company has been leading into a more in-depth multiplayer experience following Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Scarlet and Violet starter Pokemon

sprigatito, quaxly, fuecoco

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

pokemon scarlet and Purple‘s three starter Pokémon are Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. Like in previous games, Pokémon players will start their game with one of these three Pokémon. Sprigatito is a “capricious, attention-seeking Grass Cat Pokémon” that can conduct photosynthesis; Fuecoco is a “laid-back Fire Croc Pokémon that does things at its own pace” and spouts flames; and Quaxly is an “earnest and tidy Duckling Pokémon” which is particular about keeping its hair clean.

We still don’t know what these three starters will evolve into, however.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet new Professors and rival

Professor Turo and Professor Sada in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

For the first time, players will get a different professor depending on which game they buy: Players that choose pokemon scarlet will get Professor Sada, while Pokemon Purple players will have Professor Turo. Each of these professors is doing their own research “into lore passed down in the region,” according to The Pokémon Company. Their names are a reference to their research, too: Sada and Turo are references to past and future, respectively, and explain their outfits. This plays into the names of the legendary Pokémon, too, which contain the words “korai” and “mirai,” for “ancient” and “future.”

It’s not immediately clear how or if the professor choice will impact gameplay much.

As for the pokemon scarlet and Purple rival, that’s Nemona. She’s not explicitly labeled as a rival; instead, The Pokémon Company calls her “a friend and reliable guide” who is an “experienced Pokémon trainer,” which seems to serve a similar purpose as the rival.

Other new Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet

lechonk rolling on the ground

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

Nemona, in particular, helped introduce three of pokemon scarlet and Purple‘s new monsters: Pawmi, Lechonk, and Smoliv. Pawmi is an electric mouse that generates electricity by rubbing its cheeks, while Lechonk is aa perfect, normal-type hog Pokémon that loves berries. Smoliv is described, naturally, as an olive Pokémon that has a very worried face.

Alongside these little guys, The Pokémon Company shared images of the new legendary Pokémon, Koraidon and Miraidon. These Pokémon are vaguely serpentine and match the respective colors for their game — pokemon scarlet has scarlet-hued Koraidon and Pokemon Purple has the purple Miraidon. Koraidon looks to be a bit more historical and natural, while Miraidon feels futuristic, perhaps mimicking the looks of the two new professors.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet pre-order details

two-pack pokemon scarlet and violet box

Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

pokemon scarlet and Purple are available for pre-order now at the Nintendo Store. Both cost $59.99 and will allow players to preload the game closer to its Nov. 18 release date.

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