What to Play Before Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The ninth generation of Pokémon is headed to Nintendo Switch November 18th in the form of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. While not the first Pokémon titles for Nintendo Switch, these games appear to be the culmination of many recent entries in the franchise as a fully open world with more realistic character designs and more attention to detail than its predecessors. These games are already some of the most highly anticipated titles in the second half of 2022, with many people already pre-ordering the games. If you want to play Pokemon Scarlet or Violet, but are new to the franchise or have only played a few Pokémon games, we put together a list of games that will help prepare you for these new entries.

Now first things first, you do NOT need to play every entry before. In March of this year, after the new games were announced, I thought it would be fun to replay every mainline entry in the series. I’m just now playing through the seventh generation on 3DS with Pokémon Sun, and I am so burnt out. While I love these games, they definitely can get repetitive if you play them in rapid succession. So instead of playing EVERY game, let’s try and narrow it down to five games that you may have already played to get you ready for Scarlet and Violet.

Photo Courteous of The Pokémon Company

#1. Pokémon Red and Blue

The classics. The OG. The games that started it all. A lot of us have probably played these games already, but if not, try to get a hold of a copy. These games are hard to come by physically, but are also available for digital download on 3DS. If you can get your hands on a copy, playing these games will help you see just how far the franchise has come. While we often remember these games fondly, truth is, these games are riddled with glitches, and a lot of our favorite mechanics of Pokémon battles are absent here. So, check these games out if you haven’t.

Photo Courteous of The Pokémon Company

#2. Pokémon Sword and Shield

Sword and Shield were the last main installments before Scarlet and Violet. We know that these new games will be open world, and while we’re not entirely sure what that looks like, Sword and Shield attempted a somewhat open-world segment called the Wild Area. These games would work great for veteran Pokémon trainers who haven’t played a new Pokémon game in a few years to show how far the games have come in recent years. Scarlet and Violet are surely introducing tons of new features, such as the recently announced Terastallizing mechanic, but the games will undoubtedly be taking quite a lot out of Sword and Shield’s book. 

Photo Courteous of The Pokémon Company

#3. Pokémon X and Y

The Paldea region in Scarlet and Violet are based off of the Iberian Peninsula, the location of Spain and Portugal. Right above the Iberian Peninsula is France, which is the inspiration behind the Kalos region from X and Y. With the two real-world locations being right next to each other, there’s speculation on if there will be any in-game connection between Kalos and Paldea. If you skipped these games, maybe taking a look will help some aspects of Scarlet and Violet make more sense. 

Photo Courteous of The Pokémon Company

#4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

The most recent entry in the Pokémon franchise, Legends: Arceus, included multiple open-world segments, included rideable Pokémon to help traverse the areas and fun new boss fights, all of which we can expect in Scarlet and Violet. Not only is it a blast to play, it almost seems like a tech demo for a fully open world Pokémon game. Definitely check this one out if you haven’t!

Photo Courteous of The Pokémon Company

#5. Pokémon Home

Okay, this one isn’t really a game. Pokémon Home is an application on the Switch that lets you transfer your Pokémon across the different Switch games, Pokémon Bank, and even Pokémon Go. There is an incredibly high chance we’ll be able to transfer our Pokémon over to Scarlet and Violet, and unless you want to start your collection from scratch, grab this from the Nintendo eShop. While a yearly membership is $15.99, you can also store and transfer up to 30 Pokémon for free by downloading the app. It will still let you move your collection, it just may take a bit longer. 

Ultimately, nobody knows what games will or won’t prepare us for Scarlet and Violet. But there are plenty of other Pokémon games to keep us fans busy while we wait. We’re still anxiously awaiting more information about these games, so be sure to follow Boss Rush Network or join the Discord to stay up to date on future Pokémon News.


Brad Melville is a junior writer for Boss Rush Network. Brad is a huge fan of video games, especially Pokémon, and loves relaxing with some TV or a nice movie when he can. Some of his favorite video games are Pokémon Platinum, Banjo-Kazooie, and Breath of the Wild. You can follow him on Twitter, where you can find him ranting about superheroes, complaining about TV shows, or giving his hot takes about Nintendo.


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Featured Image: The Pokémon Company

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