Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s Trainers Won’t Attack On Sight

In every Pokemon generation before, locking eyes with another trainer meant one thing: battle. It didn’t matter where you were, what you were doing, or whether or not you had a Pokemon with enough HP to survive a single tackle, as soon as that trainer spotted you it was game on.

That’s apparently not the case in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Previews from multiple outlets are suggesting that NPC battles are no longer mandatory and players will have at least some choice in whether they engage in a friendly Pokemon duel.

"When we first encountered an NPC in our hands-on session, the NPC did not initiate a battle or dialogue when we walked in front of them," reported IGN. "The Nintendo rep specified that the icon above the trainer’s head signified they would battle us, but only if we initiated by talking to them first, and that's how it would be throughout the game."

It’s possible that areas of Scarlet and Violet not covered in the preview will still have some mandatory battles, which would make sense if the player is forced to infiltrate Team Scarlet’s base and enemy trainers catch you in the act. But the fact you won’t have to worry about roaming trainers in the overworld will certainly make the game seem more inviting.

Another thing every preview mentioned was how the Nintendo Switch seemed to buckle a bit under the technical requirements of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Eurogamer said "Scarlet and Violet seriously struggled with performance," while Nintendo Life reported strange hiccups when swapping Pokemon under certain scenarios, "as if the game was having to free up some RAM to make space for the next Pokemon’s model."

So far there hasn't been any word about seven-star raids in the previews. A leak from a few days ago hinted that Scarlet & Violets raid would go past Sword & Shield's five-star raids to be six or even seven stars. They're described as "very hard," with Pokemon that could reach as high as level 100.

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