Because Pokemon Scarlet is one of the first open-world games in the series, it might not be clear what order you should take on your first playthrough so here's my preferred route through the game with a recommended level for each chapter.
- You can use your map screen to fast-travel to any Pokemon Center that you've already been to
- Know your type matchups; they're extremely good to know when playing through any Pokemon game
- Know the basics of terastallization which is this gen's battle gimmick (read my Pokemon Scarlet review for more about it)
- Completing tera raid battles are a great source of XP candies
- You can also find rare candies to level-up your Pokemon in hidden locations around the world
Create your character then watch the opening cutscene. After a while, you'll find yourself in your house. Go downstairs to speak to your mom, speak to Director Clavell at the door, and then go upstairs to grab your bag and talk to Clavell again. Go outside where Clavell will show you the 3 starter Pokemon. They'll follow you around for a while so just walk to the other house that's marked on your map. Choose your starter Pokemon then go to the beach behind Nemona's house for your first Pokemon battle. Walk to Poco Path and begin your adventure to Naranja Academy. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154
There will be a forced encounter with Lechonk so go ahead and catch it. You may as well catch more nearby Pokemon like Tarountula, Hoppip, Fletchling, Pawmi, and Scatterbug. Further up the path, you and Nemona will hear a Pokemon cry. Take a right turn off the path to investigate. You'll fall down a cliff, help out the box Pokemon, Koraidon, and then follow it through a cave. You'll be attacked by some powerful Pokemon but Koraidon will save you and get you back out of the cave.
Next, go to the nearby lighthouse, battle Arven and he'll explain Koraidon's origin and lend you Koraidon's Poke Ball. Speak to Nemona on top of the lighthouse, return to the surface, and take the path to the Los Platos Pokemon Center. Because this is your first visit to a Pokemon Center, the staff will have quite a few things to say. Buy some potions, Poke Balls, and a few of every status-healing item from the Poke Mart.
Take the path until you reach the gate to Mesagoza. Nemona will sneak up behind you and challenge you to another battle. This time, she will send out 2 Pokemon and she'll terastallize her second one. Inside Mesagoza, you can visit the shops or you can approach the stairs in the north part of town to continue the main story. 2 Team Star kids are picking on a girl wearing an Eevee backpack so defeat the first one in battle then Nemona will show up to give you your Tera orb. Terastallize your Pokemon and you should defeat the second goon easily. Finally, you can go up the stairs and enter Naranja Academy.
Attend your first class where you will introduce yourself to the class and answer some basic questions. At this point after class, you'll need to complete a few basic tasks around campus:
- Speak to Arven in the cafeteria
- Speak to Cassiopeia, a mysterious hacker who hacked your phone and she will call you after you speak to Arven
- Speak to Nemona in the staff room
- Speak to Director Clavell in his office and watch the cutscene
- Go to your dorm room, sleep in your bed, leave your room, and watch the Treasure Hunt cutscene
- Lastly, meet Nemona at the stairs and watch the cutscene
Treasure Hunt Overview
Phew; that was a very long tutorial! 😅 You are now free to roam the Paldea region as you see fit and there are 3 broad activities that you need to accomplish to complete the main story:
- Defeat the 8 gym leaders then challenge the Pokemon League
- Defeat 5 titan Pokemon to obtain the Herba Mystica
- Find 5 Team Star bases and defeat their leaders in battle
1: Stony Cliff Titan Recommended level: 16
⚠️ Rock type (weaknesses: water, grass, fighting, ground, steel)
🧭 Take the path east from Mesagoza. Consult your map to find the exact location.
If you picked the grass or water starter Pokemon then you can defeat the titan Klauf easily with it. However, if you picked Fuecoco then perhaps you can switch up the order of this guide and do Cortondo Gym first then go back to this after.
The Stony Cliff Titan is even easier if you reach level 16 because your starter Pokemon will evolve. Defeat the titan then you'll need to defeat it a second time with a helping hand from Arven. Also, I recommend catching a Klauf nearby because it's great against bug, fire, and flying types which are coming up very soon. The great thing about defeating the Stony Cliff Titan first is that you're now able to dash faster while riding Koraidon! 💨
2: Cortondo Gym Recommended level: 15
⚠️ Bug type (weaknesses: fire, flying, rock)
🧭 Take the path west from Mesagoza.
Once you reach the gym, you'll need to complete the olive roll challenge! Just speak to the person in front of the olive rolling course then push the giant olive to the end of the course. You can also battle trainers to unlock shortcuts.
Each gym leader in Pokemon Scarlet uses 3 Pokemon and they always terastallize their final Pokemon into their gym's type even if their last Pokemon's type is different. For example, Katy's final Pokemon is a Teddiursa which is not a bug type but she terastallizes it into a bug type. Teddiursa also gains the same weaknesses as any other bug type.
3: Artazon Gym Recommended level: 17
⚠️ Grass type (weaknesses: fire, ice, poison, flying, bug)
🧭 Take the path east of Mesagoza; east of where you defeated the Stony Cliff Titan.
Once you begin the gym challenge, talk to the guy in front of the Sunflora pen. You'll need to find 10 Sunflora in a game of hide-and-seek. Find the first 3 Sunflora right behind you when you start your search and find the other 7 around town.
The gym battle is what you'd expect for a low-level grass type gym. Don't get thrown off when Brassius sends out Sudowoodo (a rock type) because he promptly terastallizes it into a grass type!
4: Open Sky Titan Recommended level: 20
⚠️ Flying/Dark type (weaknesses: electric, ice, rock, fairy)
🧭 Fast-travel to Cortondo, trek west, and climb the mountain.
Once you reach the mountain, you'll need to avoid some falling rocks. Don't worry; even if you get hit by them, it's not like anything bad happens. Defeat the scary-looking bird Pokemon at the top of the mountain then Bombirdier flies away to its food stash and has a meal. Defeat Bombirdier again with help from Arven for the second Herba Mystica.
Now, Koraidon will be able to swim across water. You can also use your dash button while swimming to swim especially fast. 🌊
5: Dark Crew Recommended level: 21
⚠️ Weaknesses: fighting, bug, fairy
🧭 Fast-travel to the Pokemon Center west of Cortondo then take the path north until you reach the Dark Crew Base and look for the black flags.
Once you reach the base, defeat the guard, and then send out your first 3 Pokemon in auto-battles to defeat 30 Dark Crew Pokemon. Finally, you'll fight the Dark Crew leader, Giacomo, who has a Pawniard and a dark type Starmobile. After you defeat Giacomo, travel to the Cascaraffa Pokemon Center so that you can fast-travel there later. Don't take on the Cascaraffa Gym quite yet, though.
6: Levincia Gym Recommended level: 24
⚠️ Electric type (weakness: ground)
🧭 Fast-travel to Artazon then travel north. You should easily see Levincia's lights shining into the sky. Koraidon can swim across the river after defeating 2 titans.
Once you begin the gym challenge, you'll have to participate in a collaboration with the streamer, Iono, by participating in a Where's Waldo type of challenge. You also need to defeat a couple of trainers that use electric type Pokemon. Finally, you'll need to defeat Iono's electric type team. Electric types are vulnerable to ground but don't depend on ground type moves too much because her final Pokemon, Mismagius, uses the levitate ability so it's immune.
7: Fire Crew Recommended level: 27
⚠️ Weaknesses: water, ground, rock
🧭 Fast-travel to Artazon and trek north. Look for the red flags.
Once you reach the Fire Crew base, defeat the guard, and once you're inside, send out your first 3 Pokemon to auto-battle until they defeat 30 Fire Crew Pokemon. Finally, battle the Fire Crew boss, Mela. She uses 2 Pokemon: a Torkoal and a fire type Starmobile.
8: Lurking Steel Titan Recommended level: 30
⚠️ Steel type (weaknesses: fire, fighting - NOT ground)
🧭 Travel west of the large quarry that's north of Levincia.
The titan Orthworm is a very annoying steel type Pokemon with the Earth Eater ability that makes ground type moves heal it instead of causing damage. Its offensive stats are low so you may be able to outlast it in a long battle with healing items. Anyway, you need to fight Orthworm twice like all of the other titans. You also need to follow it around several times because it keeps trying to run away.
With a third Herba Mystica, Koraidon will be able to jump higher by pressing the jump button longer. 🦘
9: Cascarrafa Gym Recommended level: 30
⚠️ Water type (weaknesses: grass, electric)
🧭 Fast-travel to the Pokemon Center beside the Dark Crew Base and journey north.
Cascarrafa has a long gym challenge because you have to travel all the way to Porto Marinada to deliver Kofu's wallet then you have to participate in an auction mini-game to buy some very expensive seaweed. After all that, go back to Cascarrafa and prepare for battle.
10: Poison Crew Recommended level: 33
⚠️ Weaknesses: ground, psychic
🧭 Travel to where you defeated Orthworm and journey northwest. Look for the purple flags then walk through the forested area.
Once you reach the Poison Crew's base, defeat the guard, and then send out the first 3 Pokemon in your party to defeat 30 Poison Crew Pokemon (just like all of the other Team Star bases). After that, defeat Atticus's team of poison type Pokemon.
11: Medali Gym Recommended level: 36
⚠️ Normal type (weaknesses: fighting)
🧭 Fast-travel to the Pokemon Center north of Asado Desert then take the path east until you reach Medali. You'll need to walk past some Pokemon and a trainer that are around level 50 which is probably too high of a level at this point in the campaign.
Medali's Gym Challenge is to find 3 other trainers and battle them for clues to the secret recipe then order that dish in the Treasure Eatery. Luckily, you can skip the trainer battles and order the secret recipe right away by choosing grilled rice balls, medium, extra crispy, fire blast, lemon. Afterwards, it's just a matter of defeating Larry's normal type team. Despite Larry's apparent fighting type weakness, he uses a couple flying type Pokemon that are more resistant to fighting type moves.
12: Quaking Earth Titan Recommended level: 36
⚠️ Ground/Fighting type (weaknesses: water, grass, ice, flying, psychic, fairy)
🧭 Fast-travel to Cascarrafa and trek west.
The Quaking Earth Titan is a very powerful Pokemon for how early you can encounter it. If you chose Quaxly or Sprigatito as your starter, wait until their final evolution at level 36. Terastallize your Pokemon for an even bigger edge. If you chose Fuecoco instead, you might want to wait until level 40 or so. Like with the other titans, you need to defeat the Great Tusk titan twice and for the second fight, you get a little help from Arven.
With a fourth Herba Mystica, Koraidon will be able to glide. You lose height more rapidly the longer Koraidon remains airborne. 🪂
13: Montenevera Gym Recommended level: 42
⚠️ Ghost type (weaknesses: ghost, dark)
🧭 Fast-travel to Medali then follow the red path in the screenshot below.
Once you reach Glaseado Mountain, this is your opportunity to catch a variety of ice type Pokemon. Anyway, just follow the path to Montenevera Gym and begin the gym challenge. You need to fight a few trainers using ghost type Pokemon in double battles; that's really all there is to it. After the gym challenge, you need to fight Ryme's ghost type team. It's another double battle but there's nothing particularly special about her team besides the annoying Mimikyu that you can't damage on the first turn thanks to its Disguise ability.
14: Alfornada Gym Recommended level: 45
⚠️ Psychic type (weaknesses: bug, ghost, dark)
🧭 Fast-travel to the Pokemon Center west of Cortondo, trek south until you reach a cave, and journey through the cave (requires at least 3 titans defeated to increase Koraidon's jump height). At the other end of the cave, you'll come out on top of the plateau so then just walk to Alfornada.
Alfornada's gym challenge is to participate in emotional spectrum practice. Dendra will call an emotion a few times and all you have to do is press the corresponding button. You also have to fight a couple trainers that use psychic type Pokemon. After you complete the gym challenge, you'll have to defeat Tulip's psychic type team. If you use dark type moves like I did, her final Pokemon, Florges (a fairy type), is a bit of a challenge because it's very strong against dark types.
15: Glaseado Gym Recommended level: 48
⚠️ Ice type (weaknesses: fire, fighting, rock, steel)
🧭 Fast-travel to Montenevera then follow the blue path in the screenshot above.
Glaseado gym is located at the top of Glaseado Mountain. For the gym challenge, you have to complete a snowboarding course where you need to ride Koraidon through a bunch of gates marked by flags. Then, you'll have to defeat Grusha's ice type team. Her team isn't super special but it is strong against popular types like dragon, grass, ground, and flying.
16: Fairy Squad Recommended level: 50
⚠️ Weaknesses: poison, steel
🧭 Fast-travel to the Pokemon Center west of Montenevera.
The Fairy Squad's base is located on a plain that you can see easily north of Glaseado Mountain. Defeat the guard then like with the other Team Star bases, you need to defeat 30 of their Pokemon by sending out the first 3 Pokemon of your party in auto-battles. Finally, you need to defeat Ortega's team of fairy type Pokemon.
17: False Dragon Titan Recommended level: 55
⚠️ Water and Dragon/Water type (weaknesses: grass, electric, dragon, fairy)
🧭 Fast-travel to Medali and journey northwest.
With Koraidon, swim to the eastern island in Casseroya Lake, and then find a colourful pink Tatsugiri on the ground that's shouting the word TITAN! You'll fight the water type titan, Dondozo, in battle. After, swim to the largest island and explore the northern shore until you encounter Dondozo for a second battle. Once you and Arven defeat Dondozo, you have to defeat the other titan, Tatsugiri (a water/dragon type). Arven will help you out against Tatsugiri as well.
After you defeat these titans, you get the fifth Herba Mystica which will let Koraidon climb up cliffs. Now that you can easily climb any cliffs in the Paldea region, your life will truly never be the same. 🧗
18: Fighting Squad Recommended level: 56
⚠️ Weaknesses: flying, psychic, fairy
🧭 Fast-travel to Glaseado Gym and trek east.
The fighting squad is located in north province area one which has some extremely mountainous terrain. If you defeated the False Dragon Titan and unlocked Koraidon's wall climb, getting there is a piece of cake. Look for the yellow Team Star flags.
Defeat the guard then you have to defeat 30 of the Fighting Squad's Pokemon. As always, defeat the squad boss Eri's team of fighting type Pokemon. Eri's Starmobile actually gave me a lot of trouble because each time it takes damage, it increases its defense stat. Unluckily for me, I didn't have any special attack moves. 😓
Arven Recommended level: 60
🧭 Fast-travel to Los Platos then work your way south until you reach the lighthouse.
Arven utilizes a well-balanced team of Pokemon that includes all of the Pokemon he used to battle the titans plus Mabosstiff as his final Pokemon. Once you defeat Arven, that's the end of the Path of Legends storyline.
Director Clavell and Cassiopeia Recommended level: 60
🧭 Fast-travel to Mesagoza.
Meet Clive at the doors of Naranja Academy. To the surprise of no one, it's actually Director Clavell! Clavell's team is also well-balanced with various types. At the end of the battle, watch the cutscene, enter the academy, and use the computer at the front desk to enter the schoolyard. Battle against Cassiopeia who uses a team of Eeveelutions. Her team is also comprised of many different types. After you finish her off, that's the end of the Starfall Street storyline.
Pokemon League Recommended level: 62
🧭 Fast-travel to Mesagoza and enter the gate in the northwest part of town.
You need to travel to the Pokemon League northwest of Mesagoza and challenge the Pokemon League. The first part of the challenge is an interview. Here are the questions and the answers that I used to pass the interview:
- How did you get here?
I rode my Pokemon
- What is the name of the academy you are enrolled in?
Naranja Academy (Scarlet) or Uva Academy (Violet)
- What brings you to the Pokemon League?
I came to become champion
- What do you plan to do when you become champion?
I want to become stronger (remember your choice for later)
- Which of the 8 gyms gave you the most difficulty?
Medali Gym (this answer and the next 2 must be about the same gym)
- What was the name of the gym leader?
- What was the type of Pokemon that gym leader used?
- What was your starter Pokemon?
(pick your starter Pokemon)
- Remind me, what do you want to do when you become a champion?
I want to become stronger (or whatever you chose for question 4's answer)
- Do you like Pokemon?
For part 2 of the Champion's Assessment, you need to fight the Elite Four in battles. Each member of the Elite Four uses a different type. Your party isn't healed between battles so you need to heal-up via using items.
- Rika: ground type
- Poppy: steel type
- Larry: flying type
- Hassel: dragon type
Lastly, go through the door for the final battle against Top Champion Geeta. Geeta does not have a specific type that she uses. After the battle, you'll be awarded with the Champion title and Nemona will come to congratulate you.
Nemona Recommended level: 65
🧭 Fast-travel to Mesagoza.
Nemona has a well-rounded team and she also doesn't use a specific type. Anyway, once you defeat Nemona, that's the end of the Victory Road storyline. To continue with the next part of the game, make sure you have finished all 3 main storylines including the previous ones: Path of Legends and Starfall Street.
Great Crater of Paldea Recommended level: 67
🧭 Fast-travel to Medali and then head south.
Walk into the laboratory and meet up with Arven, Nemona, and Penny. Koraidon will fly the 4 of you into Area Zero but then it'll hide in its Poke Ball. You can only walk on foot for a while. The gang will also follow behind you and chit-chat.
Follow the linear path to the deepest part of Area Zero. Along the way, enter the 4 research stations. Each time you approach a research station, there's a forced battle with an ancient Pokemon then you'll enter the research station, unlock one of the 4 locks, and you can rest your Pokemon on the bed. There's also a journal in each research station that you can read if you wish. On the way down, you may as well fight some of the powerful ancient Pokemon because they grant a lot of XP when defeated.
Once you reach the deepest point of Area Zero, there are a few more forced battles, and then you can enter Professor Sada's lab and finally learn about everything that's going on. Afterwards, take the elevator to the deepest part of the lab to start the final battle. Professor Sada's team consists of high-level ancient Pokemon. Her final Pokemon, Roaring Moon, is a powerful level 67 dragon type that also boosts its attack using its booster energy item.
After that battle, the Paradise Protection Protocol will activate and lock out everyone's Poke Balls except for Koraidon so the final battle is Koraidon vs. Koraidon. Don't worry too much about how you perform because this battle is actually impossible to lose. Terastallize your Koraidon when the game tells you to then win with Tera Blast. Enjoy the cutscenes and the credits. 😊
Gym rematches Recommended level: 65
You can now switch Koraidon into its battle form and it starts at level 68. If you ever ride Koraidon, it will automatically switch back into its travel form and you'll need to manually switch it back if you want to keep battling with Koraidon.
Top Champion Geeta wants to participate in the Academy Ace Tournament but first, she needs you to battle the 8 gyms. The gym leaders are actually weaker than Sada's team so your little victory lap shouldn't pose much of a problem.
Academy Ace Tournament Recommended level: 69
Once you're finished with the gyms, return to Naranja Academy and speak with Geeta. She will follow you to your dorm room then ask you a few basic questions about the gym leaders. After you're finished, you can start the tournament by going up to the left desk in the entrance hall. You'll need to battle Arven, Professor Jacq, Professor Dendra, and Geeta. Arven and Geeta use the same Pokemon that they used earlier in the story but they're now stronger.
After you win the tournament, Jacq will call you and tell you that new raid battles are showing up all over the place. In fact, these are five-star raid battles and I recommend that you take them on with level 75 or higher Pokemon.
Congratulations for beating Pokemon Scarlet! 😄 If you wish, you can return to the deepest part of Area Zero and use your Master Ball to catch the other Koraidon. Because you'll have 2 Koraidons at this point, perhaps you can trade with a buddy who owns Pokemon Violet to get their Miraidon. You can also complete 25 five-star raid battles for the opportunity to participate in even more difficult six-star raid battles which appear only once per day.
If you manage to catch all the Pokemon and complete the Pokedex, speak to Professor Jacq in the academy for a special reward. 🏆