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Catching Pokémon is one of the best things about all the Pokémon games. Sure there are a few games such as Pokémon United, Pokémon Stadium where you don’t actually “Catch ‘Em All.” But majorly speaking, every Pokémon game requires you to catch those monsters.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are heralded as the first official, fully open world Pokémon games. This means you can explore the way you want, and catch the way you want. That includes sneaking up on those hard-to-catch ‘Mons!

Encountering Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet allows players to traverse the landscape the way they like. Ride atop your Pokémon, fly to new towns, fast-travel, run, or simply walk around. Once you reach the open fields, you’ll also have the ability—or rather the need—to sneak around.

A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet player riding on top of the Pokemon Koraidon out in the wild grassy fields.
You can ride atop your Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet. Screenshot by Upcomer.

Unlike previous versions of Pokémon—where players would explore the grass and a Pokémon would unexpectedly leap out for battle—Pokémon Scarlet and Violet give you more control over how you encounter mons. Players will see individual or herds of Pokémon as they explore Paldea. If you’d like to battle a particular Pokémon, you can walk up to the Pokémon and a battle will start. Similarly, if you’d like to avoid battle, you can move away from the mons. Most of the time, they won’t charge and force you into battle.

There are some ‘Mons which get scared and run away when they see you. It’s often these pesky Pokémon that you want to catch. So how do you lock down these mons so you can catch them? The answer is sneaking.

A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet player riding on top of the Pokemon Koraidon on the beach. Pokemon can be seen on the beach out in the wild, ready to be caught.
Unlike previous Pokémon games, you’ll randomly see mons roaming in the wild, like these Pokémon on the beach. Screenshot by Upcomer

Sneaking in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Rather than charging in like a Tauros at a gate, some Pokémon will require some skill to encounter. Before getting too close to the mon you’re seeking, first stop running, walking, or riding. Then follow these steps:

  1. Crouch down by pressing the B button on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Sneak up on the Pokémon by using your D-pad to control your character. Try not to move too fast (only touch the D-pad lightly), and try to move around the Pokémon so you are sneaking behind it. If the Pokémon sees you, it might run.
  3. Press the left trigger button to lock onto the Pokémon.
  4. Press the right trigger button to throw your Pokéball at the unsuspecting mon.
  5. The Pokéball that is thrown is the first mon in your party. You should get a message on the screen that says “[Pokémon] was caught off guard”. Now you’re entered into battle, where you can either defeat or catch your new mon.
A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet player in a wild grassy field crouched down. A Psyduck is in view with an arrow above its head that reads "Lvl 21 Psyduck".
Once you lock onto the Pokémon, you’ll be able to see their name and level (Screenshot by Upcomer)

Not only is this super useful for catching shy Pokémon but there’s also a task in The Indigo Disk expansion. This BBQ task in The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero requires you to successfully sneak up on a Pokémon.

Pokemon characters taking selfies holding items in a lab.
The Indigo Disk expansion sends you on an exchange to the Blueberry Academy (Image: Nintendo)

Hopefully, you can now catch your mons, and complete your quests. Happy catching.