Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are no strangers to bugs and glitches. However, the latest issue that players discovered goes beyond the occasional appearance of textures.
Fans of the competitive multiplayer of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have discovered an alarming flaw in the game's PvP battle stage: the generation of random results in combat.
In practical terms, this means that players can learn the order of attacks that will hit and miss, and coordinate their moves accordingly. Given the RNG component of Pokémon battles, this is a serious problem for competitive players. For example: Moves with 90% or less accuracy seem to fail the first time they are used (via Reddit - opens in a new tab) - so players learn to avoid them, hoping that your opponent uses them first. Players on Twitter have also reported similar issues.
This bug goes beyond the more cosmetic and technical issues for Scarlet and Violet and directly affects the systems at the heart of the Pokémon experience.
Uh oh Pokémon Scarlet/Violet Battle Stadium currently uses the same RNG seed for each battle. This allows us to pick moves to make sure OHKO moves like Sheer Cold always hit! pic.twitter.com/lSlBJr1AF627November 2022, XNUMX
(Image credit: future)
The Nintendo Switch version of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is plagued with performance issues and bugs, with popping textures and characters interrupting scenes being two of the most notable issues. However, this particular issue overshadows choppy animations and frame rate issues. This RNG bug touches the heart of Pokemon: the battle system.
Like all the best RPGs, Pokemon lives and dies by its battle mechanics. The tense back and forth of pocket monster combat and the complicated arithmetic that keeps it afloat has been at the heart of the Pokémon experience since the days of Red and Blue.
Those crucial moments in a Pokémon battle, in which we have been pushed to the limit, are what make the games. The familiar alarm sound effect sounds when our pocket buddy's health drops to red. We dug deep, gritted our teeth, and attempted a risky finishing blow to try to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat. At this last moment, we cross our fingers and hope that luck is on our side.
With a broken RNG seed in its PvP mode, Pokemon just can't bring that experience to competitive players in the same way, and that breaks my heart.
(Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company/GAME FREAK)
Even despite this newfound problem, Scarlet and Violet are still packed with bold and innovative features that push the boundaries of Pokémon in a big way. Worryingly, however, the depth and scope of the bugs plaguing the game are wide enough to undermine the core combat system.
Competitive Pokémon battles have been a staple of the Pokémon fan community since the beginning of the series. The fact that Game Freak dropped the (Poké) ball here is also disappointing because it's possible to release ambitious open-world titles for the Switch and execute them gracefully; just watch Xenoblade Chronicles 3 or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
By failing to catch this bug before release, Game Freak introduced a flaw into the most important system in Pokémon.