A free-roaming player decides to fully embrace the open-world gameplay of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, nearly completing their Pokedex in the process.


One Pokemon Scarlet and Violet player managed to catch over 350 Pokemon—thus coming close to finishing their Paldea Pokedex—without completing a single main story objective in the new games. This undertaking underlines the fact that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are true open-world adventures from the very beginning, which is arguably the biggest selling point of Game Freak’s latest pair of RPGs.


Released last week, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet represent a big departure for mainline Pokemon games, most notably due to Game Freak’s decision to replace the series’ traditionally linear overworld design with a truly open world and exploration-focused gameplay akin to Pokemon Legends: Arceus. This evolution of the long-running franchise also invited some notable technical challenges, as evidenced by the wide variety of performance issues currently plaguing Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. But the vast majority of reviewers still praised the new gameplay mechanics and the enormous amount of player freedom they enable.

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One fan known as mysario on Reddit has now decided to fully commit to this exploration-focused gameplay, managing to catch 355 pocket monsters without advancing any of the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet storylines. The player took to social media to share their achievement earlier today, stating how the feat required no trading, though it did limit their team composition. Namely, without any gym badges, the only way for them to have a high-powered team was to train one from the lowest of levels. High-level creatures—whether traded or caught—otherwise disobey battle orders, which is a staple mechanic that’s been part of the series since the ’90s.

For added context, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet feature 400 Pokemon combined, meaning this free-roaming fan managed to complete around 90% of their Pokedex before touching any of the story quests. Following this undertaking, the player did return to the three main storylines and is currently in the process of completing them to get the rest of the Pokedex.

Game Freak’s adoption of open-world gameplay hasn’t gone without a hitch, as the aforementioned technical issues stemming from the move are largely responsible for the fact that Scarlet and Violet are some of the worst-rated Pokemon games ever. That said, the decision to incorporate key features from Pokemon Legends: Arceus into the new mainline installments clearly has potential and has been praised by fans and critics alike. So, while there’s little doubt that the next Pokemon games will continue this open-world formula, what remains to be seen is whether Game Freak manages to improve on its execution.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now on Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Most Heartbreaking Pokedex Entries

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