Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Is Your Pokemon Hacked?

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Is Your Pokemon Hacked?

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Launched in November 2022, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet has been available for just over two months. Even without a Pokémon Home port, there’s plenty of time for the hackers to come across Surprise Trade.

Unlike Pokemon Sword and Shield, it’s definitely harder to tell if a Pokemon is hacked or not. Scarlet & Violet removed the ability to rename another Trainer’s Pokemon. This was a very useful tool for determining if a Pokemon was legit. Name rating will be extra useful in Scarlet & Violet, especially due to the increased Shiny rates throughout the game and Perfect IV rates in Tera Raids.

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However, after receiving my first hacked Pokemon through a surprise trade, the same basic rules apply. And considering this was my first hacked Pokemon after well over a hundred Surprise Trades, without the Pokemon Home port, it’s much harder to hack Scarlet & Violet.

Differences with Sword & Shield

So far, Scarlet & Violet has not Pokemon HOME User support. This means that players cannot carry over Pokémon from previous games or from Pokémon GO into Scarlet & Violet. However, this will be temporary as the Pokémon Company confirmed that Scarlet & Violet will receive full HOME support spring 2023.

More permanent differences include the lack of a name rating. Scarlet & Violet allows you to change your Pokemon’s name through the summary screen. However, you can no longer change the names of any traded Pokemon. Worse, you lost two ways to tell if a Pokemon is hacked: the nicknames for cognate Pokemon and Pokemon memories.

Additionally, Scarlet & Violet do not have a designated Pokémon Nursery. You can breed Pokemon anywhere with the Picnic system, so eggs can and will be hatched around Paldea. However, the Pokemon summary will always say that they were found at a picnic, as that’s where the egg hatched.

Similarities to Sword & Shield

Much of the fundamentals between the two games remain the same. Watch a Pokemon’s moves for max. PP, look at the trainer ID and trainer name, check the Pokemon’s IVs, check the level, and check if the Pokemon is shiny. Take everything as a whole, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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When Scarlet & Violet receive HOME compatibility, Pokémon imported from other games will most likely be tagged in some way.

Additionally, hacks will most likely be shiny. Scarlet & Violet made it easier than ever to hunt shiny, increasing the normal encounter rate up to 1 in 4000. This can be increased again by getting the shiny charm, using the sparkling power through sandwiches, and by participating in mass outbreaks. This will make it more difficult to determine if your Pokemon is legal.

However, with the exception of the Pokemon nicknames and memories, the previous Sword & Shield methods apply.

The infamous Italian Ditto

Let’s talk about the sussy baka in the room: the Italian Ditto. Back in Sword & Shield, if you received an internationally branded Pokémon through a surprise trade, you couldn’t change its nickname. The Italian Ditto took advantage of this, eliminating a good way to tell if a Pokemon was hacked.

Well, the Italian Ditto is back, but it’s a little different. This Ditto is also Italian, shiny, level 100, and nicknamed “Zician.net”, the same as the trainer name. Any Pokemon promoting a website will always be a hack. It’s almost impressive that a hack got into Surprise Trades sooner HOME support launchers. In any case, we can learn a few things from this Ditto.

First, getting to level 100 is no easy feat. Despite the increased availability of Exp Candies, it still takes a significant amount of candies to get a Pokemon to level 100. Most trainers will use these resources for Pokemon they planning to use in competitive battle or Tera Raids. While it’s not impossible to receive a level 100 Pokémon through Surprise Trades, it certainly won’t be a Pokémon solely meant for breeding.

Second, this Ditto has natural Perfect IVs – meaning it hasn’t been hyper-trained to get Perfect IVs. Starting at level 50, Pokemon can be hyper-trained with bottle caps, so you no longer need to breed for the perfect competitive Pokemon. Some players still do this because they can start training a Pokémon’s EVs at level 1. So it’s not uncommon to see natural Perfect IVs. But if these are a level 100 Pokemon, then count that as two yellow flags against the Pokemon.

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Finally, even if this Ditto doesn’t have any, check the Pokemon’s Bands and Marks. In the past, most hacked Pokemon had some sort of event band or multiple bands. The same applies to brands. While these traits are not as desirable as shiny forms, having multiple rare marks or ribbons should be a cause for concern.

Check the memories

Although not as robust a method as the Sword & Shield NPC, the Pokemon memories can still help us determine if a Pokemon is a hack. No matter what, the Pokemon will have some type of note indicating how the trainer got the Pokemon.

This ditto says the coach met it at the Dalizapa Passage. This is impossible because Dittos are not found in Dalizapa Passage. They can be found west of the passage, but not in the passage itself.

Also look at the Pokémon’s encounter level. As you can see, the trainer should have met this Ditto when it was level 30. Again, while the Pokemon that spawn at Dalizapa Passage are around level 30, a majority of them are level 35 to 37.

Check Pokéball

Certain Pokémon can only spawn from certain Poké Balls. For example, while the Paldean starters can be bred and have shiny forms, they will only come from regular Pokéballs. Right now, there is no way for players to catch Fuecoco, Sprigatito, or Quaxly out in the wild.

Right now, only one Event Pokémon comes in a Celebration Ball: Jiseok’s Garganacl. This is the one and only – Flying Pikachu arrived in a normal Pokéball. In previous games, all Event Pokémon were delivered to trainers in a celebration ball. These Poké Balls are not available to trainers in the game. So unless you get the event Garganacl, no other Pokemon will legally enter Celebration Balls.

Check the held item

The classic held item hack is Master Ball. Like every other game before it, Scarlet & Violet gives the player a Master Ball each. While you can always give the Master Ball to a Pokemon, switch the Pokemon to another game, and then switch the Pokemon back to yourself after restarting the first game, this is tedious. And since Scarlet & Violet does not offer HOME support yet, you need two switches with different profiles to trade with yourself.

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For Scarlet & Violet, watch out for Exp. Candy XL and Ability Patch. While the XL Candies aren’t impossible to farm, they do require the completion of multiple 5-star and above Tera Raids. The Ability Patch is a much rarer item that players won’t just ship through a surprise trade.

Check previous events

Event Pokemon hacks will probably become a problem in the future, but for now it’s very easy. At the time of writing, the only Event Pokémon for Scarlet & Violet is Flying Pikachu. Legendary Pokémon outside the Paldea region are not available yet.

So far, there have been three major Tera Raid events: Charizard, Fighting-type Cinderace, and Poison-type Greninja. You can easily check past Tera Raid events through the Poké Portal News. In addition to competition guidelines, you can view the latest Tera Raids.

Charmander, Scorbunny and Froakie float around in Surprise Trade. Again, due to breeding and increased Shiny rates, receiving a Level 1 Shiny version of any of these Pokémon is not immediately a red flag. So continue using previous methods to decide for yourself.

Check the movements

In addition to the PP count for a move, look to see if the Pokémon can learn its moves through breeding or TMs. This is when the fan wikis can really come in handy as they have a huge knowledge base contributing to them, making them some of the most reliable sources for Pokemon game data.

Searching for individual Pokemon will show you what moves a particular Pokemon can learn through upgrading, breeding, and TMs. Anything not on these lists are considered illegal moves, as the game itself will never allow Pokemon to learn a move outside of leveling up, breeding, and valid TMs. It’s always worth double-checking moves, you’d be surprised how many moves you think a Pokemon should be able to learn through TMs but can’t. Yeah, I’m thinking how Seismitoad can’t learn Ice Beam, but Swampert can.

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