Should I get Pokémon Scarlet or Violet? - Upcomer
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Every time a new generation of Pokémon comes around, trainers are faced with a choice. Most Pokémon games launch in pairs, meaning many players must pick one version of the game over another. Of course, the most diehard fans might simply opt to buy both versions.

However, if you’re only able to pick up one version of the Generation 9 Pokémon games, it’s helpful to know the version differences so you can decide which version would be more to your liking.

Here’s all the information you need to decide if you want Pokémon Scarlet or Violet.

Version-exclusive Pokémon in Generation 9

The most impactful difference between any two versions of a Pokémon game is the line-up of Pokémon available in that game. As a result, you’ll want to know what Pokémon you could potentially catch before choosing Pokémon Scarlet or Violet.

Here are all of the version-exclusive Pokémon in the Generation 9 Pokémon games:

  • Scarlet
    • Paldean Tauros (Blaze Breed)
    • Larvitar, Pupitar and Tyranitar
    • Drifloon and Drifblim
    • Stunky and Skuntank
    • Deino, Zweilous and Hydreigon
    • Skrelp and Dragalge
    • Oranguru
    • Stonjourner
    • Great Tusk
    • Slither Wing
    • Brute Bonnet
    • Sandy Shocks
    • Scream Tail
    • Flutter Mane
    • Roaring Moon
    • Koraidon
    • Walking Wake
  • Violet
    • Paldean Tauros (Aqua Breed)
    • Bagon, Shelgon and Salamence
    • Misdreavus and Mismagius
    • Gulpin and Swalot
    • Dreepy, Drakloak and Dragapult
    • Clauncher and Clawitzer
    • Passimian
    • Eiscue
    • Iron Treads
    • Iron Moth
    • Iron Hands
    • Iron Jugulis
    • Iron Thorns
    • Iron Bundle
    • Iron Valiant
    • Miraidon
    • Iron Leaves
Iron Thorns in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Iron Thorns is little more than Tyranitar as a robot. | Provided by Game Freak

Many Pokémon fans have found that they prefer the ancient Paradox Pokémon of Scarlet to the futuristic Paradox Pokémon of Violet. While the ancient Pokémon have unique designs that can differ substantially from the Pokémon they are based on, the futuristic ones tend to take the less inspired approach of “take this existing Pokémon, but make it a robot.”

That said, you cannot encounter any Paradox Pokémon until the very last area of the main storyline in both games. In fact, most Paradox Pokémon are only available in the post-game. As a result, it’s more important to consider what version exclusives you could actually add to your party and use throughout the game.

Other factors when deciding if you want Pokémon Scarlet or Violet

While you won’t be able to use the box Legendaries in battle until very late in the game, you will use them as Ride Pokémon for the bulk of the game. This means that it’s worth considering whether you would rather ride around on a Koraidon or Miraidon during your journey around the Paldea region.

From there, whether you choose Pokémon Scarlet or Violet is ultimately a question of aesthetics. Many characters have different outfits depending on the version of the game you pick, so your decision might ultimately boil down to whether you want characters to have a reddish color scheme or a purplish color scheme.

Remember, you can trade with another player to get version-exclusive items and Pokémon. At the end of the day, Scarlet and Violet are the same game with a handful of minor differences. This means your experience should be largely the same regardless of which version you ultimately settle on.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.