Should You Get Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet?

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Pokemon Violet and Pokemon Scarlet are set to be some of the most creative and immersive Pokemon games to date. With a format that seems to be expanding on the Pokemon Legends: Arceus format and a heap of new features, this new duo of entries in the iconic franchise are looking incredible so far.

As with any Pokemon launch, though, it’s hard to know which game to pick up out of the two. This is especially true if you play Pokemon with a loved one and want to trade game-exclusive Pokemon with them to complete your Pokedex.

While the games aren’t out yet at the time of writing, I’ve been able to gather up all the key differences between Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet that you need to know as a Pokemon fan. Here’s my answer to the question “should you get Pokemon Scarlet or Violet?” to help you pick out the game that’ll fit you the best.

Have you decided which game you’re getting? Please feel free to let me know, I’d love to hear whether you’re getting Pokemon Scarlet or Violet. They both look like they’re going to stand out as two of the best casual games on the Switch by a mile.

Pokemon Violet vs. Pokemon Scarlet

Before we look at the facts, it is worth noting that there are a lot of fan theories that there will be overarching themes of time travel in these two games. Some folk even think that Pokemon Scarlet will take place in the past and Pokemon Violet will take place in the future.

Part of the reason for this is the difference in aesthetic between the two Professors.

Professor Sada, from Pokemon Scarlet, dresses with lots of older-looking motifs, like a tooth necklace and buckles made of teeth. Professor Turo, however, has a modern looking haircut and a futuristic outfit underneath a lab coat. The contrast between them is quite stark.

There’s also a sharp difference between the legendary Pokemon from these games, too.

The legendary Pokemon from Scarlet, Koraidon, looks quite like a feathered dinosaur. Ignoring the giant wheels, of course. The legendary Pokemon from Violet, Miraidon, has eyes that look like screens, a metallic face, and a robotic appearance.

Most of the time travel theories focus on the Professors, but some folk believe that the time travel theme could influence the Pokemon, too. These could result in Pokemon Scarlet players having ancient, prehistoric versions of Pokemon, and Pokemon Violet players having futuristic versions.

Again, I must stress that these are just theories and possible outcomes based on leaks and speculation. There are some definite, fact-based differences between the games that are worth noting though, so I’ll dive into those now.

The Characters

One of the major differences that you’ll spot between Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet is the characters. Some characters feature in both games with the same appearance, but others differ based on which version of the game you have.

The major difference, as noted earlier, is the Professors.

Interestingly, Professor Turo does not seem to exist in the Pokemon Scarlet universe, and vice versa for Professor Sada. This is a first for the series. There are some time travel fan theories that link the two Professors and other characters, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

The school director, Clavell, has a minor difference based on the game that you’re playing. He will wear the color of the relevant school for each game, wearing an orangey-red suit for Pokemon Scarlet, and wearing a violet suit for Pokemon Violet.

Your character will also have a school uniform with the appropriate colors for the school that features in your game, too.

Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet don’t appear to feature as many ways to change your outfits as Pokemon Legends: Arceus, but the uniforms are well designed and there are lots of physical customization options.

The Schools

This is a minor difference, but it’s worth noting anyway. The schools in Pokemon Violet and Scarlet are different, with different names, crests, and color schemes.

The school in Pokemon Violet is Uva Academy, and the school in Pokemon Scarlet is Naranja Academy. Uva Academy has a blue and indigo crest with a bunch of grapes on it, and Naranja Academy has an orangey-red crest with a slice of orange on it.

Exclusive Pokemon

I’ve already mentioned that the legendaries differ between the two games, as is the case for essentially every Pokemon game in the franchise. There are other game-exclusive Pokemon that are worth knowing about, though.

There are two wicked new Pokemon that are tied to each game. Ceruledge can be found in Pokemon Violet, and Armarouge can be found in Pokemon Scarlet.

Ceruledge is a Fire and Ghost type Pokemon, known as the ‘Fire Blades’ Pokemon.

Utilizing the physical manifestation of grudges as a weapon, this Pokemon wields two blades and will do anything to win in battles. Alongside standard moves like Flash Fire, Ceruledge can use Bitter Blade and heal itself for 50% of the physical damage inflicted.

Armarouge is a Fire and Psychic type Pokemon, known as the ‘Fire Warrior’ Pokemon.

Armarouge wears the armor of a once fearsome warrior, and it always wants to fight fairly. Armarouge can also use the move Flash Fire and its signature move is Armor Cannon, which uses its own armor in a projectile-based attack. This attack lowers Armarouge’s defense.

There are other Pokemon that are tied to the games, too, with some intriguing new designs. The exclusives in Pokemon Violet include Bagon, Shelgon, Salamence, and Eiscue. The exclusives in Pokemon Scarlet include Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar, and Stonjourner.

Final Thoughts

If you’re someone who will be playing Pokemon with a loved one, you’ll be able to trade any exclusive Pokemon and play co-op with them no matter which version you decide to get. I’d suggest picking up whichever game you feel has the coolest specific Pokemon and most interesting Professor.

If you’re someone who wants to pick between Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet based on the strongest and most tactically viable Pokemon, it really will come down to splitting hairs.

Both legendary Pokemon are Dragon types, but one of the biggest differences between the games is actually between Ceruledge and Armarouge.

Based on the Pokemon types, Armarouge is slightly weaker than Ceruledge. Of course, that’s not the only thing that can make a Pokemon strong or weak, but it is worth considering if you’re looking for every tactical advantage possible.

As a reminder, Armarouge is a Fire/Psychic type and Ceruledge is a Fire/Ghost type.

Both Pokemon have Fire in their type categories. Fire is not effective against 4 other types of Pokemon. Put simply, Fire is ineffective against Fire, Water, Rock, and Dragon. There are 3 types which are super effective against Fire, which are Water, Ground, and Rock.

Ghost is completely ineffective against Normal Pokemon and it is not effective against Dark type Pokemon. In contrast, Psychic is weak against other Psychic Pokemon and Steel types, and completely ineffective against Dark Pokemon.

Ceruledge, therefore, has one less type disadvantage than Armarouge. Of course, this could easily be overcome with some careful move selection, but it’s a notable difference that’s worth thinking about if you’re a data-focused player.

While I’m personally picking Pokemon Scarlet because I like the theming, I’m expecting to see a lot of people pick Pokemon Violet based on the exclusive Pokemon types and the legendary Pokemon, too.

I’d love to hear which one you’re picking. Will you be going for Violet or Scarlet? Let me know in the comments section below.


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