We already knew that Pokémon Scarlet & Violet would be fully open world, and could be explored in any order – but now we know the game will include three main story campaigns, including the usual gym battling route.
Revealed in today’s Pokémon Presents broadcast, we learned that journeys in the Paldea region will begin with your character joining a school (the Naranja Academy in Pokémon Scarlet, or the Uva Academy in Pokémon Violet).
From there, you’ll be given a “special independent study project, known only as ‘The Treasure Hunt’. The Treasure Hunt will see you exploring Paldea, where “three grand stories” are on offer, and can be approached in any order.
As you’d expect from the series, one of those stories revolves around becoming the region’s best trainer, by beating the leaders of 8 Pokémon gyms. However, in the new games, there’s no set path through those 8 gyms, meaning you can take them on in any order. In the latest gameplay, we saw Glaseado Gym, an ice-type location set in what looks like a ski resort.
The other two campaigns are more of a mystery, although there are some distinct possibilities for those hinted at in the new footage. One could revolve around the game’s legendaries, Koraidon and Miraidon, who appear to partner with the player early on and are rideable Pokémon, able to act like bikes, gliders, boats, and can even climb mountains.
Another could revolve around the game’s new battle mechanic, Terastallizing. This option allows any Paldea Pokémon in the game to turn into a new gem-like form, which makes them stronger and can even change their elemental type (connected to a new stat, Tera Type). The game will also introduce Tera Raid Battles, which can reward you with Pokémon that have rare Tera Types – in the trailer, we saw a water-type Gardevoir, for example.
No specific story reason was given for why Terastallizing is a part of the game – but the official webiste says the new Professor Sada and Professor Turo are researching the phenomenon, so it seems likely to form part of a story campaign.