How Pokemon Home has changed Scarlet and Violet

Nintendo /

To say that Pokemon Home’s release date tried my patience is like saying the sun is a little hot or that the final series of Heroes was just mid. I couldn’t keep it together.

Game Freak told us early Q1 2023. But that past. Then they told us a date in May. Two hours later they said, “nevermind”. But it’s finally out now and the question is, how has the game changed? Is it better? Is it worse? What are the problems this causes that would make them wait this long to release it.

To answer this I popped in Pokemon Violet for the first time ever. “But Eric,” you ask, “weren’t you the guy that wrote all those absolutely amazing, award winning, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet guides?” Well first off, thank you. It didn’t win any awards but your praise is all the awards I need. But secondly I did all those guides using Pokemon Scarlet and research to verify that it was the same in both by having my kids play Violet. I told myself I wasn’t going to touch Violet until Home was compatible with it so, finally, half a year later, I finally popped in the cartridge.

As is my tradition for playing the “other” Pokemon game in a series, (like the Violet to the Scarlet, the Sword to the Shield, the White to the Black, X to the Y, etc) I made my character a girl named Goodall and made a rule for myself like I always do with second playthroughs. I’m going to make this character completely knowledgeable and fill out her Pokedex before I even get into the main game. So, the second I was given the Pokedex app and access to boxes I saved and quit.

I then went into Pokemon Home and transferred EVERY one of the 400 Pokemon in the Pokedex to Violet as well as a ton of Pokemon new to the game including, finally, my Meloetta that’s been sitting in digital jail since 2017.

When I was done I went in and updated my Pokedex which gave me every reward including a ton of in game money, rare balls like the Fast Ball and the Moon Ball, and a slew of XP items as well as the completion congrats. This is before I was tasked with completing it.

I then made my way to the school where Jacq asked me to complete 30, then realized I did it, then 100, then 200, and finally 400. Before the story officially got underway I received a diploma for completing the Pokedex and received the shiny charm. Before even getting a gym badge.

Pokemon-Home-Profile-Goodall /

After doing all this I set up my team of shinies that I’ve had waiting in Home. Ones I actually wanted to start out the journey with. Not the team of pigs and bugs they expect you too.

If you can’t tell, I’m a shiny fan.

So how does this actually change the game?

Well, for me, I got to actually play the game I wanted to. As someone who’s been playing the Pokemon games since Yellow released, I get bored with the gradual progression of having to train Pokemon that you’ll eventually get rid of. I want to have a team of ride or dies and this let me have that out the gate. I felt like Ash hitting the world with Pikachu in tow.

The addition of the Shiny Charm at the beginning of the game was also HUGE. I almost immediately ran into a shiny Smoliv. So if you’re a shiny fan I’d absolutely recommend getting it at the start of the game because I’ve been running into shinies all over the place with this thing. A LOT more than I encountered playing through Scarlet without the charm which was…once.

It also makes things like raids, online battles, and surprise trades a lot more exciting. As I mentioned in this article here, there’s a lot of Pokemon you can now transfer into Pokemon Scarlet and Violet that you couldn’t normally get with the game. In fact the very first surprise trade I did got me a Hisuian Voltorb which I’m kinda debating seeing if I can hatch a shiny for, TBH.

When you get in raids and online battles right now, it’s a lot more chaotic because people are trying out new teams and partners so it’s not uncommon to get into a raid and seeing someone throw in a Hoopa or Volcanion for no good reason other than to just flex that they got one. I fully cop to throwing Meloetta into raids because I’m just so damn happy to see her again.

All in all, I know Game Freak and Nintendo worry that this ruins the experience of the game but, honestly, I’m having so much more fun having this freedom that it somewhat angers me that we had to wait this long.

How about you? How’s the game treating you since Pokemon Home got thrown in there? Are you growling at having Zacians and Zamazenta all over the online meta again? Enjoying spending time with your Ash Cap Pikachu? Or are you finding the new additions to the game to be a bit…cheugy?

Pokemon-Home-Cheugy /

Let me know in the comments below.