Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon X & Y: Full Comparison

Pokemon X

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet vs. Pokémon X & Y: Full Comparison

Generations VI and IX have been significant cornerstones in the Pokémon fandom. Both generations added major changes and new features to the series. These new features have fundamentally changed what Pokémon is. Today, we’re going to be comparing the flagship games of each generation, Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, to see how they stack up.

We’ll be breaking down the differences and similarities between the game that brought Pokémon into the 3D world and the game that made it open world. By the end of this article, you’ll know which Pokémon journey is the right one for you.

The Games

Pokémon X & Y were the first Pokémon games for the Nintendo 3DS. For the first time, mainline Pokémon games transitioned from 2D pixel art to fully 3D models. This represented a big change in the franchise as it stepped into the modern age. Pokémon X & Y were well received at launch. It is officially the highest rated Pokémon game in the series and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also managed to do incredibly well financially. Despite being the lowest rated Pokémon game, Scarlet and Violet have sold over 22 million copies worldwide. The open-world environment turned the classic Pokémon formula into something refreshing and new.

Release Year20132022
Total Units Sold16.68 million 22.66 million
ConsoleNintendo 3DSNintendo Switch


The Pokémon regions are the core part of each new Pokémon game. They set the overall theme and mood of the games. That is especially true for Pokémon X and Y, which takes place in the Kalos region. Kalos is based on the northern half of France. This area is a highly metropolitan region which is represented in the sprawling Lumiose City.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet call the Paldea region home. Paldea is based on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra. A number of Spanish cultural elements are proudly displayed throughout Paldea, like the architecture and music. The Paldea region is designed to encourage open-world exploration and travel.


Pokemon X/Y

The 3D models and environments weren’t the only new features added in Pokémon X and Y. Many of these new features were carried over into later generations of games. Pokémon X and Y gave the entire franchise a complete makeover that it desperately needed.

  • For the first time ever, players could customize the protagonists.
  • A new mode of transpiration was added. Players can roller-skate through the Kalos region.
  • Certain Pokémon were given new temporary evolutions they could unlock during battles, called Mega Evolutions.
  • Players could pet, feed, and play with their Pokemon with the new Pokemon-Amie feature.
  • A feature called Horde Encounters allowed players to battle against five Pokemon at once when entering wild Pokemon battles.
  • A new type of Pokémon, called Fairy-type Pokémon was added.

A vibrant open-world environment wasn’t the only new feature that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet offered. The newest Pokémon games rewrote many of the iconic Pokémon traditions. New ways to travel and battle Pokémon were added, which made the series feel new.

  • Scarlet & Violet has a new battle gimmick called the Terastal phenomenon. Pokémon are able to change their typing in the middle of battle to increase the power of certain moves.
  • New Pokémon from both the past and future have been brought to the current day called Paradox Pokémon. These Pokémon have new typings than their current-day counterparts.
  • Players will use their Legendary Pokémon, Koraidon or Miraidon, to traverse the expansive Paldea region.
  • Up to four players are able to simultaneously engage in multiplayer. Players can trade, battle, and travel through the game together.

Gym Battles

Both Pokémon X & Y and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet retain the classic gym battle style. Players will explore the region and challenge eight different Gym Leaders who specialize in a certain type of Pokémon. Once players have claimed eight gym badges, they’ll take on the Elite Four and the Pokémon Champion to become a Pokémon Master.

In every other game, players will battle the eight gym leaders in a specific order, but that’s changed in Scarlet and Violet. Players can face off against the gym leaders in any order that they wish. The gyms don’t scale alongside the player, so they could battle them in the reverse of the intended order. Scarlet and Violet offer much more freedom than in previous games.

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