Press "Enter" to skip to content

Game Guides

Uh oh! You've reached a glitched section of Hard Drive where the news is real!

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Nuzlocke Rules: How to Play a Nuzlocke

Using the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Nuzlocke rules are a great way to add extra challenge to playing the game! Every time you replay the latest games, the open world gives you new ways to explore the Paldea region. You can do take on gyms in a different order, focus your efforts on taking down Team Star ASAP, or just experience it the same way with a new team.

One of the best ways to reexperience any Pokemon game (official or fan-made), though, is with a challenge run, and no challenge run is more popular for the franchise than the Nuzlocke. Beginning in the early days of the internet, Nuzlockes are perfect for any Pokemon game, and Scarlet and Violet are no exception. Here are the rules to play a Nuzlocke in Pokemon Scarlet Violet.

How to Play a Nuzlocke in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

There are three basic rules to follow for every Nuzlocke:

  1. You can only catch the first encounter in an area. If it faints or runs away, you don’t get a Pokemon from that route.
  2. If a Pokemon faints, you must release it (or permanently put it in the box).
  3. Nickname every Pokemon.

The first Nuzlocke rule gets a bit more complicated in the case of Pokemon Scarlet Violet, though. Since the areas are more open and opt for an overworld style encounter, getting the first encounter is a bit more complicated. There are a few ways that players can treat encounters in this game instead.

  • Go to the first Pokemon you see.
  • Use resources like Serebii’s Pokearth and a randomizer to choose a random encounter in each new area.
  • Close your eyes and run around until you encounter a new Pokemon

Optional Rules (Hardcore Nuzlocke)

How to get Quaxly, Sprigatito, and Fuecoco in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

There are a few optional conditions that players can opt to use in Nuzlockes as well. A couple are clauses that can make the run more interesting:

  • Dupes clause: if your first encounter is a Pokemon you already had/have, you can ignore it and catch the next encounter instead.
  • Shiny clause: if a shiny Pokemon is encountered, you can catch it no matter what.

In addition to these, there are Nuzlocke rules to make Scarlet Violet challenge runs more difficult. The most common “Hardcore Nuzlocke” rules include:

  • You may not use items in battle. However, your Pokemon can have held items, and you can use them outside of battle. This removes the ability to heal during battle, or abuse X-items.
  • You may not level your Pokemon up higher than the level of the next boss trainer (gym leader, elite four member).

That’s all you need to know to play a Nuzlocke of Pokemon Scarlet Violet! These rules are all self-imposed, so keep in mind that having fun should be the top priority. While you’re playing through, check out our helpful guide of all restaurant meals to get helpful boosts!

Hello adventurer! Please collect five USD skins a month and head to our Patreon.
Become a patron at Patreon!