Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Which version should you get?

Nintendo /

The release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is less than a month away. With it, two different versions are en route and while both contain, essentially, the same game there are many differences that separate the two so which one is right for you? Did NOT mean for that to rhyme.

First, we need to go into what we absolutely do know about the game(s). These are facts given out by Nintendo and the Pokemon Company. Not anything from a leaker or speculation. We’ll get into that stuff later.

What we know.

First and foremost, the biggest choice between the two comes down to its proverbial poster child.

koradonandmiraidon /

Unlike many of the previous Pokemon games, your cover legendary is going to be with you through the vast majority of the game serving as your insanely cool-looking mount.

Getting Pokemon Scarlet will net you the red plumage-covered dragon Koraidon while Violet will find you hanging out with the bluish-purple digital dragon with LED screens for eyes known as Miraidon. Their types haven’t been revealed yet but to me, the biggest choice comes down to the mount themselves. While they both perform the same, Koraidon runs on all fours despite having what looks like wheels. If there’s a secondary reason why one would have a wheel for a crotch, I genuinely don’t want to know. I’m still getting over learning about ducks.

There are also regular Pokemon that are version exclusive meaning that if you want to “catch ’em all” you’ll need to trade with someone so coordinating with other people playing doesn’t hurt. For example, both of my kids are getting Violet and that is the primary reason I’ll be going through Scarlet first. Here are all the version exclusives we know of so far.

  • Pokemon Scarlet
    • Larvitar and evolutions:
      • Pupitar
      • Tyranitar
    • Stonjourner
    • Armarogue (a new Fire/Psychic type that looks like a yellow Megaman)
armarouge /
  • Pokemon Violet
    • Bagon and evolutions:
      • Shellgon
      • Salamence
    • Eiscue
    • Ceruledge (a Fire/Ghost that’s the Zero to Armarogue’s Megaman)
Ceruledge /

There are more than likely more but for now that’s all the confirmed Pokemon. There will also be exclusive characters and changes to locations. For example, in Pokemon Scarlet the Professor you work with will be Professor Sada while Professor Turo reps Pokemon Violet.

Likewise the banners and school colors change depending on your game version. Probably to give your character a distinct tie of some sort so you can tell what version they’re playing in multiplayer.


For all the information Nintendo has released there’s clearly a ton they haven’t. There are speculations from everything from new types to new evolution and even the possibility of time travel hinted at by the fact that both the two legendaries and two professors look like representatives of the past and future.

Some of the other new Pokemon have been speculated to be game specific as well. The new adorable (and morbid) ghost-type puppers known as Greavard is rumored to have both an evolution as well as a dark-type dog that appears in the opposite game.

Pokemon - Greavard
Nintendo /

Savannah dwellers Girafarig (and its new evolution Farigiraf) and Donphan (rumored to have a new form) are both speculated as being version exclusives as well.

In closing

There are definitely going to be some clear distinctions between the two games so keep the differences in mind and remember the speculation is just that. Every Pokemon game has speculation that doesn’t turn true.

Ultimately, as a long time Pokemon player who’s been playing non-stop since Yellow first released, my choice always comes down to the people in my life. If I know a lot of my friends and family are going to focus on one I’ll get the other. Not to be different, not to be unique, but because I know it’ll make my trades more valuable when filling up the Pokedex to have versions my friends don’t have easy access to.

Or, you know, also do what I did and just preorder the two-pack. That also works. Play both.