For many players, nicknaming their newly-caught monsters is an integral part of the Pokémon experience. Many people who play certain challenge runs — known as “Nuzlockes” — even consider it a mandatory rule for them to give all of their Pokémon nicknames.
Of course, not every nickname sticks. Sometimes you forget to rename your Pokémon upon catching it, or you may think of a more suitable name later on. Fortunately, trainers in the Paldea region aren’t stuck with the first nickname they think of. Here’s how you can change the nicknames of your Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet.
Name Rater in older generations
In general, there are limitations on when a trainer can change the nicknames of their Pokémon, which presumably remain in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Players usually have to be the Original Trainer of a Pokémon in order to rename it. While they can rename traded Pokémon without nicknames as of Generation 8, they cannot change the name of traded Pokémon that already has a nickname.
In the vast majority of Pokémon games, trainers can only change a Pokémon’s nickname by visiting an NPC known as a Name Rater. The Name Rater usually stays in a specific location, meaning players can only rename a Pokémon once they have progressed to that point in the game. Of course, this did change in Pokémon Sword and Shield, where a Name Rater named Jack appears in every Pokémon Center.
How to change Pokémon nicknames in Scarlet and Violet
However, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet follow a new trend regarding when trainers can change the nicknames of their Pokémon, which previously appeared in Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Let’s Go, Eevee! and Legends: Arceus. Like in those games, trainers in the Paldea region can change a Pokémon’s nickname anytime and anywhere.
This is because renaming in these games is no longer linked to a specific NPC. Instead, players have the option to change nicknames from their main menu. In order to access this option, trainers should select the Pokémon they want to rename and check its “Pokémon Status Summary” page.
From this page, players simply need to press the X button on their controller, as indicated by the “Change Nickname” option at the bottom of the screen. This will open up a standard Nintendo Switch keyboard where players can input a new name. There are no limits on how often this can be done. As a result, players should feel free to change Pokémon nicknames whenever inspiration strikes in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
About the Author
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.