Pokemon Scarlet and Violet house

Are Pokemon Scarlet and Violet open-world? Here’s the answer

By Steven Rondina


May 14, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet represent an enormous step forward in the franchise, but are they true open-world games?

Pokemon Legends: Arceus upended the established norms of Pokemon. The series’ battle system was given an enormous overhaul, there was the ability to gain priority in battle, and Pokemon could be captured in the overworld through nontraditional means.

The expectation after the initial trailers was that Pokemon Legends: Arceus would be an open-world game. Fans were left frustrated when Game Freak stated this wasn’t the case.

Instead of being open-world, Pokemon Legends: Arceus was in the same vein as games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mario Odyssey. There were large, open environments where players had lots of freedom to explore, but each area was disconnected from the rest.

Is that going to be the case in the new Pokemon games? Or will Pokemon Scarlet and Violet finally let players explore open-world areas? Here’s what we know.

Will Pokemon Scarlet and Violet be open-world games?

Developers have confirmed that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will be open-world games.

Game Freak left no room for interpretation or question when it came to the open-world nature of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The games will take place in an open world, bringing the franchise forward in a big way.

“The Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet games, the newest chapters in the Pokémon series, are coming to Nintendo Switch later this year. With these new titles, the Pokémon series takes a new evolutionary step, allowing you to explore freely in a richly expressed open world,” the games’ website states.

The move to an open world comes after numerous experiments from Game Freak. One of the biggest selling points of Pokemon Sword and Shield was the introduction of the Wild Area, a massive zone in the center of the map. Players could freely roam in a large area with rotating weather patterns that spawned different Pokemon. The Wild Area had its own control scheme to accommodate for this, including an adjustable camera.

This was expanded in many ways with Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Though it was an enormous improvement, the Pokemon series still seemed to be trapped in the past. Fans are hoping that this will change with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The new games are set to be released later this year.